Submitted by Blair M. Dickhoner
Authorities can be formed in accordance with Section 18, Article XIV of the Colorado Constitution and Sections 29-1-201, et seq. CRS. These cooperative entities provide a variety of functions and are one way to pool resources and maximize governmental services. Many types of special districts and local governments across the state have entered into partnerships to form a broad range of authorities, including water authorities, wastewater authorities, power authorities, 911 authorities, transportation authorities and many others.
In early 2014, we began working with the Johnstown Fire Protection District and the Milliken Fire Protection District on the legal process to form a joint fire authority. Colorado law allows governments to contract and cooperate with one another to provide services or functions that are authorized in common to each individual entity. In the case of the Johnstown and Milliken Fire Protection Districts, which will be jointly referred to as Front Range Fire Rescue, the two entities were seeking to increase efficiency in service, reduce costs and improve cooperation between two fire districts that currently work together and share leadership personnel.
Colorado law allows for a great deal of flexibility in how authorities are structured and what services they will provide. If you think your community could benefit from the formation of an authority and would like to discuss the formation process, please contact one of our special district attorneys.