Business

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How about a job for Christmas?

Posted By on Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 2:15 PM

VITOR LIMA
  • Vitor Lima
Firstsource Solutions is announcing its intent to hire 300 people for its call center in Colorado Springs.

Via email, the company sent us a news release about it, and also noted this to us:

I wanted to follow up and leave you with information on how local residents can apply for these 300 open positions, many of which are leadership roles:

· Open interviews (walk-ins) are held daily from 9:00am – 3:00pm and Wednesdays from 12:00pm – 7:00pm
· Apply in person at 5725 Mark Dabling Blvd., Ste 200 or online at www.firstsourcecareers.com
The entire news release is as follows:

Firstsource Solutions, Ltd. announced its call center in Colorado Springs will be hiring 300 new customer care representatives by the end of January 2015 to handle work for a new client in the healthcare space.

“We are making significant investments in the region and hiring at a rapid pace to support our growth plans,” said Michael Roy, Vice President at Firstsource. “This is just the beginning for us as we continue to expand and grow our client service capabilities. We look forward to filling these roles with talented professionals in the Colorado Springs market.”
Firstsource will also be adding leadership roles such as team managers, human resources, recruiting, facilities, IT and trainers to assist in managing its growth plans. Firstsource expects more business to be placed in the Colorado Springs office over the next year.

Firstsource employs over 27,000 worldwide at 48 centers in the U.S., United Kingdom, India, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, serving more than 100 clients in the banking, insurance, healthcare, media and telecommunications industries, including 21 companies in the Fortune 500.

About Firstsource:
Firstsource (NSE: FSL, BSE: 532809, Reuters: FISO.BO, Bloomberg: FSOL@IN) is a leading global provider of customized Business Process Management (BPM) services to the Healthcare, Telecom & Media and Banking & Financial Services industries. The company’s clients include Fortune 500, FTSE 100 & Nifty 50 companies. Firstsource has a “rightshore” delivery model with operations in India, Ireland, Philippines, Sri Lanka, UK and U.S. (www.firstsource.com).

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Colorado marijuana: The taxman cometh

Posted By on Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 3:23 PM

SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock

The money side of the marijuana business continues to be a mess. Though Colorado may have a marijuana-friendly bank as soon as next year, there's a bigger question looming on the horizon: How are these businesses going to file their taxes?

Like any other business, Uncle Sam is going to want his due, and that brings up a few concerns. But never fear, the Internal Revenue Service is working on it. Casey Wooten of the IRS' Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) responded to a few frequently asked questions in a press release from Wednesday, December 3rd.

Here's the short version:

• The IRS and OPR are still hashing out the details (no pun intended). They'll put out an advisory guide soon.
• There is court precedent for taxing a marijuana business. You can deduct cost of goods sold. You can't deduct expenses for the marijuana part of your business. But you can deduct expenses for parts of your business not directly related to the marijuana.
• The IRS may or may not penalize marijuana businesses for paying withholding returns in cash. You can thank Colorado legislators for asking that question.
• Tax preparers will probably be able to help you file. The OPR just has to say so, and they probably will.

Here's the full release, via the IRS Newswire:
IRS Guidance Coming for Practitioners Preparing Returns for Marijuana Retailers
BNA Daily Tax Report by Casey Wooten


November 20, 2014

Tax preparers whose clients include marijuana retailers will get some guidance in early 2015 on how to perform due diligence and stay on the right side of the law, an official from the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility said.

It's important for the OPR to make a statement on ethical practices for preparers in the growing number of states where marijuana is legal, OPR Director Karen Hawkins said Nov. 19 at a public meeting of the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council.

“I'm going to stay away from the controlled substances issue and focus on what the tax courts have said, so cost of goods sold is in play, but anything else that's in play is going to depend on whether it's part of the trade or business of cultivating or sale, or whether it's a subsidiary trade or business that just happens to have a connection,”Hawkins told Bloomberg BNA.

Tax Compliance Headache.

In recent years, states such as Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana use, while California, Washington, D.C., and others have either decriminalized it or decided to allow it for medical use. Marijuana sales are still illegal under federal law, however.

Because of federal anti-money laundering rules, banks are reluctant to service marijuana retailers, who in turn must operate their businesses mostly in cash. This can create a headache from a tax compliance perspective, making it difficult for businesses to use government services such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.

In July, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) wrote to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, asking him to stop the agency from penalizing marijuana businesses from paying their employees' withholding taxes in cash (135 DTR G-3, 7/15/14).

Legal Trouble.

Much like banks, practitioners are concerned that preparing returns for marijuana growers could lead to legal trouble, Janeen Ryan, a member of the advisory council, said.

“We were approached by people that are professionals and 230 legacy preparers and they said ‘we are concerned to even do their returns,”'said Ryan, who helped write the annual advisory report section on marijuana retailers.

The IRS can't change Tax Code Section 280E, which prevents deductions or credits for expenses if a business is involved in the trafficking of controlled substances; that change requires congressional action.

Until then, marijuana retailers are only able to deduct for the cost of goods sold, Ryan said.

But the agency can issue a clarification that preparers' practices won't be affected.

In their report, members of the advisory panel suggested that the IRS publish guidance clarifying that a tax professional won't be considered unethical, targeted for audit or considered in violation of Circular 230 rules solely for preparing a return for a marijuana business.

Court Action.

Hawkins said there are court cases defining what kind of deductions marijuana retailers can take that will help her shape the guidance on this issue.

She referred to a 2007 case, Californians Helping to Alleviate Medical Problems Inc. v. Commissioner, in which the U.S. Tax Court ruled that Section 280E didn't prevent a California organization providing medial marijuana from deducting expenses related to a separate part of the businesses (94 DTR K-1, 5/16/07).

“Within those parameters what we would essentially be saying to the preparers in those states is that you've got some hard conversations to have with your clients about what goes on to the tax return, but as long as you are adhering to what the tax law says about treatment, you're going to be within the confines of what Circular 230 expects of your due diligence,” Hawkins said.

To view a complete list of all articles relating to OPR visit OPR Press at www.irs.gov.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Visualize the growth of fracking

Posted By on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 3:17 PM

CENTER FOR WESTERN PRIORITIES
  • Center for Western Priorities

We all know that there's an oil and gas boom underway in the state, but it's often tough to visualize what that means.

That's why I was so thrilled by the animated maps that the Center for Western Priorities just released. I'm probably revealing my geeky side by saying this, but these things are awesome. You definitely want to hit the link and see them for yourselves, but just to give you a quick preview, they show the number of oil and gas wells in the state from 1990 to 2013 as a series of red dots. You start in 1990 and watch the red dots grow as each successive year ticks off. 

The growth is truly astonishing.

Some might remember that Gov. John Hickenlooper forged a last minute deal that kept several oil and gas related initiatives off the ballot this month. Hickenlooper agreed to form an Oil and Gas Task Force that would explore ways to better shield communities from the impacts of the industry while also allowing it to grow. Many Colorado communities have passed or sought laws that either banned oil and gas development within their borders or created limitations like setbacks. The state has fought those restrictions.


DENVER — The Center for Western Priorities (CWP) released a series of animated maps today that show, for the first time, the tremendous pace and scale of Colorado’s oil and gas drilling boom as it progresses in and around communities across the state.

Using publicly-available data from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, CWP mapped and created animated GIFs of every oil and gas well drilled near the key population centers of Greeley (displayed below), Rifle, and Durango between 1990 and 2013. In total, almost 28,000 wells have been drilled over the last twenty-four years around these three communities.

“The scale of recent drilling around Colorado’s population centers is striking. We need to balance the economic impacts of the oil and gas boom with the quality of life needs of Colorado’s local communities,” said Greg Zimmerman, Policy Director at CWP.

Zimmerman also pointed to the relevance of these data and visualizations given the current task force process underway in Colorado: “Governor Hickenlooper’s Oil and Gas Task Force has a real opportunity over the coming months to design recommendations and policies that strike a balance between energy development and the health and welfare of Coloradans. As the energy boom continues to spread into populated areas, we need assurances that communities have a seat at the table and that their very real concerns don’t fall on deaf ears,” said Zimmerman.

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Downtown sales decline in 2013

Posted By on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 12:52 PM

In this week's edition, we report that downtown merchants are working hard to attract shoppers this holiday season.

It made us wonder: What percentage of retail sales take place in the city's downtown core?

So we asked the city's Chief Financial Officer Kara Skinner if she could provide us with sales tax collections in the 80903 zip code area, which includes downtown. Actually, 80903 covers an area roughly south of Patty Jewett Golf Course and north of Motor Way, west of Hancock Avenue and east of Monument Creek.

So that's a lot larger than just downtown.

But it's interesting to note that city sales tax collections in that area declined slightly (by 2.6 percent) in 2013, which runs contrary to the city's total sales tax collections, which are growing. In fact, the city saw a 5 percent overall increase last year, compared to the year before. (It's worth noting that 2012 was the year the Waldo Canyon Fire struck the city, which might have contributed to a decline in tourist spending, although rebuilding homes probably created a lot of sales tax receipts.)

Here's the chart Skinner provided for us. (Thank you very much, Ms. Skinner.)

screen_shot_2014-11-19_at_11.42.38_am.png

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Business Alliance chief resigns

Posted By on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Like city managers, heads of chambers of commerce or economic development agencies apparently don't last long. Joe Raso, who came here less than three years ago, is heading out.

You might recall that Mike Kazmierski also left, in 2011, after working for the Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp. for many years. He's now in Reno where, reportedly, jobs are flooding into that community.

Here's the release about Raso from the Regional Business Alliance, which is the organization that used to be the chamber/economic development corporation.
Raso: On his way out. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Raso: On his way out.
The Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance (Business Alliance) announced today that Mr. Joe Raso has tendered his resignation as the organization's President & Chief Executive Officer.

The Executive Committee has appointed Board member Mr. Toby Gannett to temporarily serve as the Board-designated leader of the Business Alliance until an interim President and CEO are identified. Joe is committed to assuring a smooth and seamless leadership transition.

It is with regret that we accept Joe's resignation. He has succeeded in positioning the organization for the next chapter of growth and we understand his desire to now pursue a new challenge that best makes use of his skills and expertise.

This is a pivital point in the organization as we move into our next phase of growth. Along with the Board leadership, we have determined the end of the year an appropriate time to transition the President & CEO position while our new Board members and Chair are beginning their terms.

The Board will seek the best qualified candidate to fill the President & CEO position, as it did when Joe was hired. However, it is our preference that both the interim and permanent candidate have extensive local experience and a strong community bond to take on the critical local issues we now face. We will look to the membership and the community to help us identify qualified potential candidates.

Joe was hired as President & CEO in March 2012 to lead the Business Alliance, created from the merger of what was then the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corporation and to navigate the transition stage of the organization's history. He possessed the exact skills and expertise we needed two and a half years ago, having led turn-arounds for several unique business development organizations. In the Business Alliance, Joe has strategically built a new business development organization and created a platform for economic growth in the Pikes Peak region. He has expertly led the Business Alliance and the community in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship, public policy, workforce development, and the retention and recruitment of base sector business.

The Business Alliance will continue to move forward implementing our five-year strategic business plan and will keep in place the governance structure that Joe and the staff, working alongside the Board, have developed. Joe has worked tirelessly to help us successfully develop the focal points of our mission in the areas of business development, defense development, community development/legislative affairs, and branding/communications/public relations. He has exceeded the goals we established for him and for the organization; he has provided us a compass for reaching new heights.

We now face numerous community issues that didn't exist two years ago, such as the City for Champions project, the Stormwater Initiative, the local political structure, defense industry sequestration, and local impacts of a potential military Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC)/downsizing.

Joe has built a solid foundation for us to now bring more community involvement around the organization for facing these critical issues by supporting, nurturing and taking the Business Alliance to the next level of innovation and vibrancy.

"It is with a great deal of pride in the stellar organization we have created together, coupled with a heavy heart because I will no longer be working with the volunteers, professional staff, and Member Investors as I transition my energy to other opportunities in community and business development," said Joe. "I am proud of our accomplishments over the past 30 months. Together, we have successfully undergone a transformation, having built a new organization that is poised to meet the challenges of the future."

"I am sincerely grateful for the support the staff and I have received from the Board of Directors, our Member Investors and community supporters. My hope and desire is that the Pikes Peak region will work to continue breaking down silos across major institutions that support economic growth - education, government, business, arts and culture, military, and non-profits," said Joe. "If this can be done in a way that supports and empowers young-minded talent, then the future of the region will be very bright indeed."

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance, we ask for the continued support of our Member Investors and supporters as we move into the next phase of growth as an organization and economic vitality as a community. We thank Joe for everything he helped us accomplish during the pivotal initial development phase of the Business Alliance. The organization and our community are solidly positioned for the truly great things we know are ahead as we work to realize our full economic potential.

Tom Neppl
Chair, Board of Directors
Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance


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Thursday, November 13, 2014

UPDATE: Nor'wood buys Banning Lewis Ranch

Posted By on Thu, Nov 13, 2014 at 11:52 AM

The biggest section of the Banning Lewis Ranch is now in the hands of the region's biggest developer, Nor'wood Development Group. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • The biggest section of the Banning Lewis Ranch is now in the hands of the region's biggest developer, Nor'wood Development Group.

The sales price we reported earlier is wrong: Instead of $15 million, the sales price is $28 million. The county Clerk and Recorder's Office provided the cost to us based on only one deed, instead of the three deeds that transferred ownership to Nor'wood. Also, the deeds indicate that Ultra retained the mineral rights in the deal.

——————————ORIGINAL POST WEDNESDAY, NOV. 12, 2014, 4:27 P.M.——————————————— 

We've heard from Chris Jenkins, president of Nor'wood, who adds clarification about the firm's decisions regarding conservation of land in Banning Lewis Ranch.
It is our intention to assess the entire property, its relationship with adjacent uses, infrastructure, the unique natural assets - its relationship with the entire city and region. Taking the next 18 to 24 months to study this with the best local and national planning firms and coalition of community stakeholders is needed before we are in a position to quantify conservation, recreation and development spaces.
Also, according to land records, the sales price appears to be $15 million.

—————————————ORIGINAL POST WEDNESDAY, NOV. 12, 2014, 4:27 P.M. —————————————————-

In a news release just in, Nor'wood Development Group announced it has purchased the Banning Lewis Ranch from Ultra Petroleum, Houston.

Here's the release:
Nor’wood Development Group is pleased to announce that after careful consideration and much due diligence, the purchase of the Banning Lewis Ranch has been finalized. As a locally owned multi-generational business operating in the Pikes Peak Region for more than 40 years, we consider it a privilege to be the stewards of this great community asset and will ensure that the property’s long term potential is discovered and achieved. Responsible development, recreation and conservation will be foundational principles of the vision for Banning Lewis Ranch, which will take decades to fully realize.

We have previously outlined and restate our commitment to promote the stewardship of environmental resources, quality neighborhood and commercial design, support efficient public services and facilities, leverage opportunities for the long-term viability of our local Air Force installations, protect the property’s world-renown natural formations with a signature conservation effort, and encourage meaningful outdoor educational and recreational opportunities.

We will continue and expand our work with a knowledgeable and experienced team of local and national professionals, municipal leaders, conservationist, community stakeholders and citizens to develop land use and development strategies for the property. We look forward to sharing periodic updates, timelines and additional details when appropriate.  
As we reported this summer, the Jenkins family could decide to set aside two thirds of the 18,500 acres purchased from Ultra for public use.

No purchase price was disclosed, but we're trying to find out. Ultra paid $20 million when it bought the property out of bankruptcy in 2011.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Ex-CSU manager takes job with pollution-control company

Posted By on Fri, Oct 3, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Neumann: plucks former Utilities manager from retirement. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Neumann: plucks former Utilities manager from retirement.
In a news release issued today, Neumann Systems Group announced the hiring of George Luke as a vice president for business operations.

NSG is the developer and owner of a pollution control device being installed on Colorado Springs Utilities' downtown Drake coal-fired power plant. The equipment is designed to remove sulfur dioxide, although Neumann is working on equipment that also would remove carbon dioxide.

The $130 million project has drawn skepticism from a few City Council members for several years.

Luke, who served as electric generation manager with Utilities, won't be directly involved in the NSG installation, due for completion in the next year or two.

Rather, says NSG owner Dave Neumann in an interview, he'll focus on working with oil and gas producers in using CO2, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants, in enhancing oil recovery. Luke has a degree in chemical engineering, Neumann notes.

Luke started with NSG late last month.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Collecting federal help while living in the Broadmoor area

Posted By on Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Funny, this doesn't look like the Broadmoor area. - EDMUND GARMAN
  • Edmund Garman
  • Funny, this doesn't look like the Broadmoor area.
How many farmers do you know who live in the Broadmoor area? Turns out, there are more than 400. At least that's how many individuals who give 80906 as their zip code are listed as recipients of farm subsidies from the federal government from 1995 to 2012.

Together, they've been paid $13.1 million during that 17-year period, according to the Environmental Working Group website, which tracks farm subsidies.

The top farmer is Jay W. Kriss Farms Inc., which has received nearly $1 million during that time from land in Kansas and Colorado, mostly Kansas. The biggest subsidies came from land in Thomas County, Kansas, which is in northwest Kansas. Colby is its county seat. And the corporation's subsidies were mostly for wheat.

But that's peanuts compared to the $280 million collected from 1995 to 2012 in the Finney County, Kansas, area — my old stomping grounds from many a year ago — by 2,793 different recipients. Interesting that this staunchly Republican county has received so much largesse from the big, bad, evil federal government. In fact, Kansas ranks sixth highest for farm subsidies at $16.4 billion, which makes Colorado's $5.4 billion look like chicken feed. 

According to EWG, here's the top 10 states ranked by money received:

screen_shot_2014-09-30_at_11.13.51_am.png

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Monday, September 22, 2014

SunShare keeps on burning

Posted By on Mon, Sep 22, 2014 at 2:09 PM

David Amster-Olszewski, SunShare founder, is gaining steam. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • David Amster-Olszewski, SunShare founder, is gaining steam.
The solar company formed three years ago by a Colorado College grad, David Amster-Olszewski, keeps sending out press releases about new "firsts" as solar power gains momentum.

The latest announces a contract with Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District for 1.4 megawatts of solar power.

For background on SunShare, check out this story from last year. And for the latest from the company, here's the news release:

Denver, CO – Denver-based SunShare announced today it has contracted with Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District to provide Water World, the largest community owned water park in the country, and its other district properties with 1.4 megawatts of clean, reliable energy from its Adams County Community Solar Garden. This is among the largest Community Solar deals to be signed between a Community Solar developer and a consumer. SunShare is one of the nation’s first Community Solar providers.

“We are proud to be part of this Solar Garden with SunShare,” said Harlan Bryant, District Engineer for Hyland Hills Park & Recreation District. “It is a win, win, win situation. We’re helping Xcel Energy meet its renewable energy requirements; we’re helping SunShare, a Colorado company, create jobs here in Colorado; and the District is saving money on our electricity bills.” Water World just celebrated its 35th summer in Denver.

Not only an environmental decision, but also an economic one, Hyland Hills will fix part of the District’s energy costs at today’s levels, protecting it from volatile fossil fuel prices. SunShare will be providing 1.4 megawatts to help power the recreation district and Water World, the equivalent of powering over 300 homes for 20 years.

“We are really excited to partner with such a high profile customer like Water World,” said Jonathan Postal, Senior Vice President of SunShare. “They are now our largest subscriber in Colorado, and we believe them to be the biggest customer of any Community Solar Garden in the nation,” said Postal.

“I’ve been looking for more than four years for a way to incorporate solar energy here at Water World and throughout the District. The Solar Garden business model is the first one that has worked for our Agency,” said Bryant. “I hope this program is very successful, so the District can convert more of our electric consumption to solar production.”

Community Solar allows customers who either can’t or don’t want to put solar panels on their homes to buy solar energy from a solar array located elsewhere in the community.

Electricity generated by SunShare’s Solar Gardens is fed into the main power grid. SunShare’s customers buy a specific amount of energy from the solar garden and receive a credit on their Xcel Energy bill for that amount.
SunShare has over 11 megawatts of Community Solar Gardens built or under development in Colorado’s Front Range. SunShare has projects underway with Colorado Springs Utilities and Xcel Energy with the capacity to serve over 2,200 homes.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kirk and Hill left downtown, but that space won't be vacant long

Posted By on Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 11:53 AM

10404367_951711044854913_5266902830196458279_n.jpg
As of Labor Day, Kirk and Hill has a fancy new location inside the Chapel Hills Mall, and per its Facebook page, business is booming. After nearly 30 years downtown, the women's clothing retailer decided to relocate up north, which, according to customer surveys, would be a more convenient location for its client base.
383840_293938233974641_2011950256_n.jpg

But what's to happen to its former location at 129 N. Tejon St.? According to the Downtown Partnership, nearby retail store State of Mind/Bang Bang will move in, and is planning to open Oct. 1. The new storefront will be bigger than the side-by-side locations the two joint shops share around the corner on 109 E. Bijou St.

State of Mind/Bang Bang opened downtown 15 years ago and has since enjoyed plenty of business, including foot traffic from tourists, says Laurel Prud'homme of the Partnership. Prud'homme adds that Bang Bang (which will lose the State of Mind moniker with the move) is one of the few downtown stores offering clothing for both men and women, and is more affordable than most of the stores nearby.

As for what will fill that Bijou space when Bang Bang moves, Prud'homme says there haven't been any concrete plans made just yet, though a business new to downtown has looked at the space. Meanwhile, To the Grave Tattoo on Bijou will move into the Bijou alley soon, with its former location to be taken up by Wooly Works Knit Shop, which will relocate from North Tejon.
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Firm that helps drilling industry is set to expand

Posted By on Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Annexing 60 acres to the east means the city would provide power to the expansion of a manufacturing plant. - TAKVER
  • Takver
  • Annexing 60 acres to the east means the city would provide power to the expansion of a manufacturing plant.
On Tuesday afternoon, City Council is expected to set a hearing date of Oct. 14 to consider annexing 60 acres out east, a parcel that's owned by Weatherford Artificial Lift Systems, LLC, of Houston.

Its address is 3285 Capital Drive, and the property lies east of Marksheffel Road.

The industrial operation currently is served by Mountain View Electric, but Weatherford wants to expand, according to information submitted last month to the Colorado Springs Planning Commission, which recommended approval of the annexation request.

"The project is undergoing the construction of a significant new 22,380 square foot building to expand its existing operation," the planning staff said in an overview of the request. "This operation includes the manufacture of piping to serve the oil and gas extraction industry. Mountain View does not have the electrical capacity necessary to serve the proposed expansion, therefore Colorado Springs Utilities, which has the capacity, is willing to extend electrical services to this project and site."

The company's website shows 10 job openings for Weatherford in Colorado Springs. That might grow after the expansion, and then there are the construction jobs that will be needed to build the new facility.

Under city policy, to obtain city services, land must be annexed. 

The company doesn't plan to seek water and sewer service from the city, but rather will continue receiving those services from the Cherokee Metropolitan District. However, the annexation agreement would require Weatherford to give the city water rights in the Dawson, Denver and Arapahoe aquifers.

As for fire protection, the site will remain in the Falcon Fire Protection District and pay taxes to that district, as well as property taxes to the city which includes money for the Springs Fire Department. In addition, the company will be assessed $1,631 per acre, about $97,860, to help fund construction and equipping of a new fire station. For police protection, the company will be assessed $677 per acre, about $40,620, for a future police station.

Read the entire planning report here:

Annexation.pdf
Here's information about Weatherford from its website:
Weatherford (NYSE: WFT) is one of the largest global providers of products and services that span the drilling, evaluation, completion, production and intervention cycles of oil and natural gas wells. Weatherford is a new breed of service company—one that can provide the industry with extended products and services, more efficient operations, more powerful research and development capabilities and greater geographic diversity.

Today’s Weatherford is the result of internal growth and innovation, as well as the consolidation of 250+ strategic acquisitions over the past 13 years. From a strategic standpoint, Weatherford has two key objectives—efficiency and productivity. Weatherford strives for efficiency, both in terms of delivering results for its clients as well as leveraging its worldwide infrastructure. The ultimate goal in both cases is to help reduce costs and increase well productivity. As well, Weatherford has created a more streamlined organizational structure to continue a push towards greater individual productivity levels through more intensive recruiting, training and retention.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Shit hits the fan for Meadow Muffins

Posted By on Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 3:17 PM

PATRIMONIO DESIGNS LTD/SHUTTERSTOCK
  • patrimonio designs ltd/shutterstock

Granted, it was never exactly a destination spot for live music. In fact, most Meadow Muffins frequenters would barely notice the front-room entertainment as they made their way toward the main bar and the cavernous party pit below.

Still, it's never good news when a local establishment goes under, especially one that hires local talent and has been around for 30 years.

According to Indy sister publication the Colorado Springs Business Journal, the Old Colorado City institution's doors were closed yesterday afternoon. The business is expected to open under new ownership with a new name.

Recent performers at the venue have included 40 oz Freedom Fighters, Johnny Graves & the Blues Waves, Suga’ Bear & The Show Time Band, and GOYA, while DJ Tony G, DeeJayBee and numerous others have manned the turntables.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New biz group rides to Springs' rescue

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 10:09 AM

We have heroes among us who want to save our community from the rut it's sunk into. - CHRISTOPHER STADLER
  • Christopher Stadler
  • We have heroes among us who want to save our community from the rut it's sunk into.
Citing crumbling infrastructure, high unemployment and a divisive local government, a newly created non-profit group is launching an effort to "bring the community together to help address the problems and the opportunities that lie ahead."

A letter being disseminated across the community to key individuals and groups states that Colorado Springs Forward will lead the way in those efforts.

The organization, the letter says, "is a broad-based alliance of people and organizations that care deeply about and are committed to the success of the Pikes Peak region. Our individual members and member organizations have demonstrated a profound interest in all aspects of our community."

Springs Forward, ("The Shadow knows," July 23, 2014), is a 501(c)(6) which the Internal Revenue Service code defines this way:
501(c)(6) provides for exemption of business leagues, chambers of commerce, real estate boards, boards of trade, and professional football leagues (whether or not administering a pension fund for football players), which are not organized for profit and no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.
The letter and the website contain no names of individuals, but as we reported in July, members reportedly include William Mutch, vice president of government affairs for the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs; Bob Cutter, who headed the nonprofit Colorado Springs Together to help those affected by the Waldo Canyon Fire; businessman Phil Lane; philanthropist Kathy Loo, and developers Doug Quimby, Doug Stimple and Chris Jenkins.

It will become more clear who's involved when CSF publishes an ad in the Gazette that will contain "a list of names supportive of the message," according to CSF's website. There's no mention of placing an ad in any other local media.

We've asked Mutch, considered the spokesman for the group, for more information about the letter the group has sent and more details on its future plans and will update this blog if and when we hear back from him.

Two weeks ago, we checked in with him asking if CSF would endorse the Nov. 4 ballot measure that would create the Pikes Peak Regional Drainage Authority to deal with stormwater needs. Here's his response: 
We are still doing our various discussions about potential priorities, mission and vision, and if there is a role the group could fulfill in the community. As such, it would be premature for us to take a position on the storm water issue. We will certainly be in touch with you if/when a decision is made to formally announce the organization.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Manitou RMJ opening goes exactly how you'd expect

Posted By on Fri, Aug 1, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Local restaurants might get more business – especially if they deliver. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Local restaurants might get more business – especially if they deliver.
Right now, anyone over 21 can go to Manitou and buy weed from a clean, well-lit store.

Five years ago, that would have been astonishing. In six weeks, it will be a non-event – another familiar storefront along Manitou Avenue.

But yesterday was opening day for Maggie's Farm in Manitou, as shown in this video by our online-content coordinator Craig Lemley. People lined up early in the morning, before the store's 4:20 p.m. opening had been widely announced. The Race Car Museum Outlet loaned Maggie's its parking lot for the day – event security reported the adjacent gas station had a few stray cars ticketed earlier.

By request from the owner, Manitou Springs City Councilor Kevin "Sarge" Mac Donald was the first customer.

While he spoke with the staff and perused the well-lit glass case of bud jars, the line of customers waited patiently outside. Local Domino's employee Rachel Rushing came by with a show of goodwill — coupons for a free side with the purchase of a pizza. Rushing says she noticed the line and, during a lull in business, asked her manager if she could drop by. She also says she might talk to the manager at Maggie's about putting a few Domino's coupons by their checkout counter.

"I think businesses can help [each other]," she said.

The pot store will be open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. 


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Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Close Drake" proponents submit arguments

Posted By on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Group emphases social and health costs of keeping Drake online. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Group emphases social and health costs of keeping Drake online.
A list of business owners has been submitted to the Colorado Springs Utilities Board for consideration in the debate surrounding when to decommission the coal-fired Drake Power Plant downtown.

Leslie Weise, one of those business owners, wrote this message to the board today:
Dear Council Members Bennett and Snider,
Please find the attachments that were submitted to the CSU Board at yesterday's meeting by both Jim Riggins and myself.

Included as an attachment is a summary of various quantifications by respected entities regarding the social and health costs of coal fired power generation.

Also included are the names of the 36 business leaders who have endorsed the March 20, 2014 letter to CSU Board and Jerry Forte expressing support for consideration of a short term decommissioning of Drake pursuant to the findings of the HDR Study.

I would like to repeat my requests that:
a) these names be added in the public input process methodology,
b) that a full tally of the inputs be provided on the Drake Task Force website or at the next CSU Board meeting, and
c) a reporting of how this input will be used during the Drake Decommissioning decision making process as it currently stands overall at greater than 2 to 1 in favor of a shorter term decommissioning of the Martin Drake plant.

Thank you for your consideration.
Regards,
Leslie Weise
Utilities Board Vice-Chair Andy Pico noted to colleagues that the board had received an "overwhelming amount of recent email" that by his count is running 3-1 in favor of keeping Drake on line longer to keep electric rates low.

In any event, the business owners argue there are real economic costs associated with continuing to burn coal. Here are the documents the group submitted to the board:

Indirect_Costs_of_Coal.pdf Drake_letter_May_2014_3f.pdf Signatories_for_Drake_Business_letter_2nd_submission_July_16_2014.pdf
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