Severance taxes are a vital source of funding for communities across Colorado. This tax applies to revenue the state collects from mining and energy extraction. Half of these funds go directly to communities affected by those activities. The other half goes towards grants for infrastructure and economic development.
"We have just under a million gallons of hot, natural spring water that flows into the pool," said Patrick Rondinelli, the city administrator of Ouray, while visiting the city's hot springs pool.
"There’s always been ponds in the early years that were in this location and then finally in the late 1920’s a formal swimming pool was built on this very site," he said. "And, it’s been maintained in that condition in some variation. There’s been some changes made to it but basically in this same very site all these years."
Rondinelli said Ouray closes the pool in the spring for about a week to clean it and do basic repairs. The site attracts about 135,000 visitors a year and is a major tourism draw for the small mountain community.