The City of Colorado Springs’ Lodgers and Automobile Rental Tax (LART) fund is administered by City Council, with the guidance of the LART Citizen’s Advisory Committee. LART funds are required to be used for tourism or economic development purposes — events, projects and services that attract visitors or enhance the economy of the City and Pikes Peak Region.Read the application here:
El Pomar’s Pikes Peak Recreation and Tourism Heritage Series is hosting the release event for the TPL economic benefit study and has arranged for the space. The TPL economic benefit study was privately funded for the City of COS. No City funding has gone into this program.
A search of City files located no record responsive to your request, which we interpret as a request for the final Economic Benefits Study. At this time, the requested record is in draft form and has not been finalized by the third parties who are completing the study. However, it is the understanding of the City that a final report will be available onSo if you want to see the report when it's presented on Thursday, feel free to attend, because the event has been posted as an open meeting for City Council, many members of which are likely to attend. The meeting notice is the third one down.
January 12, 2017.
The City of Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation System’s Economic Benefits Study will be released on Thursday, Jan 12 from 4-6 pm as a part of El Pomar Foundation's Pikes Peak Recreation and Tourism’s Heritage Series. The event will take place at The Broadmoor, Little Theater, 1 Colorado Ave. Colorado Springs, CO 80906. The report will be presented by the Trust for Public Land followed by a panel discussion.It's worth noting that The Broadmoor just closed on a land swap deal with the city in which it acquired the controversial 189-acre Strawberry Fields open space. One argument for trading it to the resort focused on the city's limited resources available to maintain the property.
A new report by The Trust for Public Land shows that the parks and recreation system in Colorado Springs generates hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefits each year. “The economic benefits study gives us quantifiable information on the benefits of our park system that we have long recognized but considered too difficult to quantify. The report will be an asset for promoting Colorado Springs as an incredible place to live, work, and vacation,” says Mayor John Suthers.
Colorado Springs’ public parks and recreation system includes nearly 14,370 acres of parks and open spaces, over 150 miles of trails, and numerous recreation and cultural facilities. These amenities include: Garden of the Gods Park, Monument Valley Park, Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, Meadows Park Community Center, Starsmore Discovery Center and many more.
The parks and recreation system provides seven major economic benefits that are measureable: health, tourism, economic development, property value, stormwater infiltration, clean air, and recreational use. “The strong results of this analysis demonstrate that the parks and recreation system in Colorado Springs provides real economic value to the community’s residents and businesses,” says Karen Palus, City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director.
The report was prepared for the City of Colorado Springs by economists at The Trust for Public Land. "For years, we have talked about the intangible benefits of the park and recreation system in Colorado Springs, but until now we have never had an economic analysis that put a dollar value on the benefits of the parks, trails, open spaces, and recreational facilities," says Jim Petterson, The Trust for Public Land’s Colorado State Director.
“El Pomar Heritage Series seeks to bring together key organizations, stakeholders and leaders to discuss how the region can best promote and protect recreation and tourism in a diverse economy with high quality of life,” says R. Thayer Tutt Jr. President and Chief Investment Officer, El Pomar Foundation.
About The Heritage Series
Utilizing the Penrose Legacy to inspire discussion, understanding, and promotion of our regional outdoor assets, El Pomar Foundation launched the Pikes Peak Recreation and Tourism Heritage Series in 2015. The intent is to increase knowledge and interest in an important part of the region's economy and quality of life.
About The Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.
... they are all on the district courts within the Circuit- including Judge Blackburn's seat in Colorado- there are no vacancies on the U.S, Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit itself (unlike the four on the 9th circuit indicated by CCA for Circuit Court of Appeals).
More importantly, Senators Bennet and Gardner jointly recommended and strongly pushed for action on a nominee. There is every reason why they should continue to do so given the caseload and need to move quickly to fill this seat that they both cited, and the continuing need for both home-state senators to approve any hearing (scroll down).
See these press releases:
Sens. Bennet, Gardner Urge Judiciary Committee to Consider Regina Rodriguez Nomination: President Nominated Rodriguez in April Following Bennet, Gardner Recommendations
(Republican - Colorado) 07/12/16
Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner today urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to work swiftly to consider the nomination of Regina Rodriguez to fill the vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The Colorado senators wrote to Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy urging them to schedule a hearing and a vote on confirmation as soon as possible.... "Given the court's caseload, it's crucial that the Judiciary Committee move quickly and thoroughly to consider this nomination," Bennet said. "Regina Rodriguez is eminently qualified to serve on the District Court. We're confident that her impressive background in both the public and private sectors will serve her well on the federal bench." "Regina Rodriguez has a long record of service to Colorado," said Gardner. "She is immensely qualified to serve on the federal bench, and I'm certain that her broad experience will allow her to better serve Coloradans in a new capacity as a judge on the U.S. District Court for Colorado."
Mayor Suthers has had several inquiries about his interest in various positions. This is not uncommon after a Presidential election. But as he has indicated in the past, there are very few positions he would seriously consider at this point in his career. The press would undoubtedly become aware if he was being considered for a position he was interested in.According to this website, there are six vacancies with the U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit, Denver.
If a vacancy occurs in the office of Mayor, duties and responsibilities of that position shall transfer according to section 4-20 of this Charter, and Council shall call an election within ninety (90) days, unless a general municipal election will occur in one hundred eighty (180) days and nominations for the office of Mayor can be timely filed in accord with municipal election law, for the purpose of electing a qualified person to the unexpired term of the office of Mayor. If a general municipal election will occur within one hundred eighty (180) days, the provisions of section 4-20 of this Charter shall apply until a successor of the Mayor last elected pursuant to the provisions of section 2-10 of this Charter is elected and qualified, in accordance with this Charter. (1909; 1961; 1975;And here's section 4-20 from the Charter:
(a)Whenever the Mayor is unable, from any cause, to perform the duties of the office for more than a temporary or short-term absence, the President of the Council shall be the acting Mayor and shall hold such office until a successor of the Mayor last elected pursuant to the provisions of section 2-10 of this Charter is elected and qualified, in accordance with this Charter, at which time the President of the Council may return to his or her seat on Council. (2010)
(b)If the President of Council refuses or is unable to discharge the duties of the Office of Mayor, the Council shall elect one of its members acting Mayor, who shall hold such office until a successor of the Mayor last elected pursuant to the provisions of section 2-10 of this Charter is elected and qualified, in accordance with this Charter. (2010)
(c)Whenever the President of Council becomes the acting Mayor, Council shall elect a new President of Council to serve during the absence as provided in this Charter. (2010)
This hearing tomorrow is being held because the Court of Appeals has determined that Ms. Weise may have violated its court order when she publicly discussed documents sealed by the District Court after she inadvertently received the information. The attorney representing Colorado Springs Utilities will be requesting an evidentiary hearing on this matter.
We want to clarify information regarding the impact of the Martin Drake Power Plant on air quality. This plant meets all Environmental Protection Agency and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) air regulatory requirements. Official air quality reports are public information and available through CDPHE.
Denver, CO – On Friday January 6th, at 10am, El Paso County resident Leslie Weise has been ordered to appear in the Colorado Court of Appeals to determine if her efforts to seek truth and transparency regarding a damning air quality report that Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) has prevented the public from seeing will be met with sanctions and fines from the Court. Weise was inadvertently given access to the secret report after she filed a petition in District Court for release of the report under the Colorado Open Records Act. CSU has requested the Court of Appeals to punish her for speaking about it.
Who: Three-judge panel at Colorado Court of Appeals will consider if concerned parent Leslie Weise should receive sanctions and/or fines for whistleblowing Colorado Springs Utilities’ Air Quality Violations; many Weise supporters plan to be in attendance wearing red.
What: Colorado Court of Appeals to consider if Weise should be punished for whistleblowing Colorado Springs Utilities’ Air Quality Violations.
When: Friday, January 6th, at 10am
Where: Colorado Court of Appeals, 1st floor of the Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center at 2 East Fourteenth Ave, Denver 80203
Why: More than 1,400 Coloradans have signed a petition and over 45 business and community leaders have signed a group letter asking Colorado Springs Utilities to release the air quality report showing non-compliance of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions and drop their threat of sanctions, fines and imprisonment against Leslie Weise. Dozens of community members protested outside the Utility Board meeting last month and 15 residents spoke during the public comment period of the meeting, calling for transparency and dropping charges against Weise. A separate letter was sent by the City of Manitou Springs Mayor and City Council expressing their concerns over the air quality impacts to their community located just west of the Martin Drake Plant.
Nevertheless, CSU and the Utility Board appeared unmoved and are proceeding with their legal force to silence and punish Ms. Weise. CSU’s CEO Jerry Forte continues to claim that SO2 emissions from the coal fired Martin Drake Power Plant have been in regulatory compliance despite all of the multiple professionally-completed air models revealing dangerously high spikes in SO2 along the foothills of the Pikes Peak region. The EPA designated the region “unclassifiable” for the SO2 standard for safe levels of air quality. Nearly 300,000 people and 120,000 children live within a five mile radius of the Martin Drake Plant.
The combination of CSU withholding the air quality report whose non-compliance results were made known through Weise’s Court filings and the media and CSU filing for sanctions and fines against Weise has many citizens questioning the management and operations of their municipally-owned “schoolyard bully” Utility and its governing Board. Many supporters of Weise’s efforts plan to attend the court proceedings Friday, in what they consider to be a David vs. Goliath fight, with the City of Colorado Springs trying to silence a brave, single mother concerned for the public and the safety of her son attending elementary school near the Martin Drake Plant.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) has been found by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to cause severe health impacts in concentrations as low as 75 parts per billion. Exposure to SO2 for as little as five minutes can cause respiratory distress, increased asthma symptoms, and aggravate heart disease; impacts are felt most acutely by children, the elderly, and asthmatics.
While the air quality report (created by AECOM under contract from CSU) applies only to SO2 concentrations, many local residents are concerned about other by-products of burning coal, some of which can cause cancer, birth defects and respiratory ailments, and are pushing for Colorado Springs Utilities to transition to clean renewable power sources, which are now at cost-parity or in some cases cheaper than fossil fuel energy. Residents and local leaders are demanding transparency via the release of air quality reports from Colorado Springs Utilities and dropping legal action against Leslie Weise for bringing air quality violations to the light of day.
(A) In granting the Defendants’ motions to dismiss SaveTo read the entire appeal, here you go: SaveCheyenneAppeal.pdf
Cheyenne’s first claim for relief, did the District Court err in declining to
apply the common law doctrine regarding the dedication of parks, as
delineated in McIntyre v. Bd. of Comm’rs, 61 P. 237 (Colo. App. 1900), and Friends of Denver Parks, Inc. v. City and County of Denver, 327 P.3d 311 (Colo. App. 2013), which holds that the municipality to which land has been dedicated as a park holds it as trustee, solely for the benefit of its citizens, and mandates that it may not impose upon it any burden or servitude inconsistent with park purposes, nor may it alienate the ground, or relieve itself of the authority and duty to regulate the park’s use?
(B) Did the District Court err in holding that the City does not hold
Strawberry Fields as a trustee, solely for the use and benefit of its citizens as a park, based upon a misperception that the Save Cheyenne’s argument is based upon a “public trust doctrine,” existing in Pennsylvania and some other states, but not Colorado, as opposed to the application of the terms of a common law dedication articulated in McIntyre and Friends of Denver Parks?
(C) Did the District Court err in concluding that, because the
Colorado Springs City Council in 1885 had dedicated the lands including Strawberry Fields as a park, and stated that Council may always “direct any act or thing to be done concerning said parks, which they may deem best for the improvement of said parks,” it had thereby abrogated all the terms of a common law dedication, including the restrictions on conveyance, use, and the requirement that the City retain regulatory authority over the park?
The City anticipates that construction of a full spectrum detention pond in accordance with the Professional Engineer's design plans will be in place in February. This permanent detention on the Mountain Valley Preserve subdivision will appropriately manage the runoff from the new development and accommodate for significant flood events.
Throughout construction of the subdivision temporary stormwater controls have been in place. The City of Colorado Springs will continue to work with Mountain Valley Preserve throughout construction and will inspect all drainage aspects of the project as they are completed.
Lynette Crow-Iverson a community leader who led the effort to pass Referendum 2C (the “Pothole Fix”) in 2015 is an entrepreneur and innovator. Iverson as a single mother raising 2 girls on her own built a successful franchise business in the medical field which continues to expand today. Conspire! provides industry compliance for a safe and drug free workplace.
“Noting the lack of many business experienced Members currently serving on City Council many of my colleagues have encouraged me to run. In a competitive environment and the need to lift our community in so many ways the feeling in the community and in the District is one of disappointment at the lack of leadership,” noted Iverson “I believe my experience and my innate leadership skills will be a good addition on Council and to support Mayor Suther’s vision for our City going forward.”
A community activist Lynette Crow-Iverson currently serves as a Trustee for the Colorado Springs Health Foundation, Vice Chair for the Pikes Peak Work Force Board, serves for Chancellor Shockley-Zalabak’s Regional Connect board, is a Member of the Regional Leadership Forum and past Chairwoman for Colorado Springs Forward.
“As a businessman and a colleague of Lynette’s I was thrilled to hear that she was running for City Council. I have served with Lynette on the Colorado Springs Health Foundation and I know firsthand her business acumen and creativity,” stated Jon Medved “Lynette Crow-Iverson is a first class leader and exactly what our City Council needs.” Jon Medved is a Co-Chair on the Friends for: Lynette Crow-Iverson Committee.
City Council District 5 includes much Colorado Spring’s Old North End, the Patty Jewett neighborhood and runs as far east as Powers Blvd.
I wanted to let you know that the land exchange with the Broadmoor has been closed. All necessary documents, including the conservation easement held by the Palmer Land Trust, have been executed and recorded.
Through this exchange, the City gained 371 acres of property and 115 acres of new public trail easements that include an expanded North Cheyenne Cañon Park, secured property for the Manitou Incline, expanded Bear Creek Park, and secured easements for the Chamberlain Trail, Barr Trail, South Cañon Trail, and trails to Hully Gully.
The land exchange from the City to The Broadmoor includes 180+ acres of the area called Strawberry Hill, as well as .55 acres adjacent to the Cog railway. A conservation easement has been placed with the Palmer Land Trust upon the 180+ acres of Strawberry Hill that was transferred to The Broadmoor; the public will continue to have access to all but 8.5 acres of the Strawberry Hill property to ensure conservation and recreation values are protected and public access is provided to the property in perpetuity. The conservation easement defines only an 8.5 acre private building envelope within the 180+ acre parcel to develop a picnicking area, horse stables and trail. In addition, the City received a public access easement over the entire parcel except the building envelope.
Public park master plan processes for the Strawberry Hill property and North Cheyenne Cañon Park will begin in 2017.
I want to personally thank you all for your engagement, thoughtful dialogue and creative approaches to the success of this project!
I hope each of you have a very Happy New Year!
Have a great day!
If Employee signs and does not revoke thisIf he violates the agreement, he has to pay the city $30,000. Here's the non-disparagement section:
Agreement, and executes the Supplemental Release attached hereto as Exhibit A on or after
the Separation Date and does not revoke it, the City agrees: (i) to pay Employee an amount
equal to 6 months of Employee’s current base salary, to be paid within 5 working days following
the date the Supplemental Release becomes binding and non-revocable; (ii) to pay the
employer’s share of the cost of premiums to continue Employee’s current medical and dental
coverage through July 31, 2017, so long as Employee timely pays Employee’s share of the
contributions to the City; and (iii) to allow Employee to continue, if currently enrolled, in the
vision plan through July 31, 2017, so long as Employee timely pays the cost of the premium. All
payments shall be subject to legally-required withholdings. Further, the parties agree that no
PERA contributions will be made on these payments as they do not constitute salary for PERA
Mutual Non-disparagement. Employee shall not make negative or disparaging
comments relating to the City, its elected officials, employees or representatives, its services, or
Employee’s employment with the City. In addition, Employee will not disclose to any person or
entity the circumstances surrounding Employee’s departure from the City’s employment. The
City shall not make negative comments relating to Employee’s employment with the City or the
circumstances surrounding Employee’s departure from the City’s employment. All parties
acknowledge the City is subject to the CORA. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if either party is
subject to a valid subpoena or court order, or is otherwise required by law, to provide truthful
testimony in a proceeding, such testimony will not be a violation of Section 7 of this Agreement.
Council Members: 12/28/2016City of Colorado Springs, Councilmember At-Large
Subject: Contradictions in the City's de-TABORING presentation
After our discussion of what to do with the excess funds, we learned that the number had jumped from $2 million to between $7-$9 million, and only learned of this change during the Council meeting. This creates issues of contradiction and concern. The first, that we were given incorrect or at least inaccurate information. This impacted our discussion and how we saw the issues. Second, that we were only given the corrected information during its presentation to the Council. This clearly put us at a disadvantage in discussing the full scope and issues surrounding this windfall.
Clearly, this Council needs to come to terms with its contradictions. I suggest, we decide to either vote to change TABOR's language and therefore its effects on our financing, or we return the funds which TABOR requires. The Mayor has stated that it is a matter of city public policy that anything that does not require a vote of the people, should not be sent to the people. TABOR refunding does not require a vote of the people. Keeping it for city use does require a vote. In summation, it should not be a ballot issue.
In addition, to suggest that it should be committed to storm water projects rather than current debts or acceleration of projects in the best interests of the city is disingenuous at best. We know there are bills coming due from Parks and Recreation water, additional legal work for storm water related issues and C4C infrastructure requirements. In addition, this return of TABOR money is without a commitment against the accrual of a storm water fee after the April election.
The Council at the insistence of the Chief of Staff, after lamenting that he could not balance the budget without taking $500,000 from the police and firefighter's salaries, allowed this transfer. The City failed to mention returning these funds when discovering this windfall. Don't we want to take care of our city employees first? What about accelerating the Comprehensive City Plan? What about the museum, bridge and infrastructure costs associated with C4C? What is the overall mayor's plan for storm water? A series of de-TABORING band-aids until a fee is assessed? The City deserves better.
The Council's primary function is to help strategize the city's growth and progress. The mayor's solution in taking this to the ballot for only Storm water issues does neither. We should expect accurate numbers, a comprehensive plan from the Chief Executive of the City and transparency to the public.
I supported this amendment at the $2 million level because it was more cost effective to ask for the money to remain with the city rather than the cost of returning it. At the $7 million plus level, it needs to be returned to the citizens. They will need it when they receive their storm water fee!
V/r bill murray 12/28/2016
William 'Bill' Murray
City of Colorado Springs Will Terminate Research
Bike Lane Demonstration Project
Public Input, Traffic Data Contribute to Decision
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo – The City announced today that the bicycle lane demonstration project along Research Parkway will be terminated. The bicycle lane striping and vertical delineators will be removed as soon as weather permits.
For the safety of the travelling public, the outside travel lane will continue to be a designated bicycle lane until lane markings can be changed to reflect vehicle travel.
In an effort to manage traffic speeds on Research Parkway, the Traffic Engineering Division implemented a demonstration project to “right size” the corridor between Austin Bluffs and Chapel Hills drive from six to four travel lanes and repurposed the outside travel lane as a buffered bike lane. The project’s goals were two-fold: To manage excessive traffic speeds and to utilize the remaining pavement to create additional bicycle connections along the corridor.
“The purpose of a bicycle lane demonstration project is to assess public sentiment as well as vehicle and bicycle traffic impacts,” said Mayor John Suthers. “The Traffic Engineering Division has prepared a report on the Research Parkway demonstration project. The bottom line is that the vast majority of residents in the area of the demonstration project are opposed to the project and the vast majority of people who support it do not live in the affected area. The amount of local resident use, even in favorable fall weather, was not significant.”
The study completed by Traffic Engineering reported that changes in vehicle speeds resulting from the lane reduction did not meet expectations and was not consistent with typical results from such an effort. The city plans to address excessive vehicle speed on Research through traffic enforcement.
“Colorado Springs will continue to promote bicycle transportation because we have a large number of residents and visitors who ride bicycles for both recreational and transportation purposes. We believe the city’s attraction to cyclists will be a growing part of our tourism economy going forward and providing multi-modal transportation options will make our city more attractive to a vibrant workforce. For this reason, I continue to support the development of the 2017 Bike Master Plan. With that, the city will continue to conduct demonstration projects to assess viability of routes and locations, while assessing levels of community support or opposition.”
The City encourages the public to provide input on projects that affect traffic flow, and offers multiple opportunities for engagement, including neighborhood meetings, City Council presentations and SpeakUp!, the city’s online survey tool. Prior to implementing the demonstration project the City conducted three neighborhood meetings in Spring 2016 to notify the public of the plan and gather input.
“With projects such as this one, there are a number of factors that determine outcomes, but be assured, public input is a major element of our decision-making,” said Jay Anderson, Citizen Engagement Specialist for the City of Colorado Springs. “While community meetings have been a long-standing method for such engagement, we are pleased to continue offering new ways for citizens to engage directly with the city.”
The Ride on Research demonstration project generated over 1,300 responses, which were an impactful element of determining the path forward. Metrics are as follow.
SpeakUp! Survey on Demonstration project:
1,347 people participated
· 63 percent of respondents lived in neighborhoods surrounding the demonstration project
· 37 percent of respondents lived in other neighborhoods
Overall response to the demonstration project:
· 80.5 percent of respondents said they want the project reversed
· 14.3 percent of respondents said they really like it, and remaining respondents said they felt it required some changes to make the project more palatable.
I appreciate that Stephannie is trying to show mPACT’s efforts at communications, but I still have significant concerns about their transparency. To be specific, as an organization that uses public dollars, I would appreciate mPACT not just speaking out during the public comments portion of one public entity (PPACG) but actually providing information about its accomplishments, effectiveness, and measurable outcomes, that would be included as an item within an agenda packet … not just for PPACG, but also for the City and CSU [Colorado Springs Utilities]. Every time I learn more about this organization I only find I have more questions, like:
1. Who signs contracts on behalf of mPACT?
2. How are funds authorized and spent?
3. How are the private groups, like Bryan Construction and United Way, chosen to participate, at the exclusion of many other nonprofits and developers?
The fact remains that mPACT has not been transparent with local government about how it spends its funds and how effective it has been with public dollars. I hope this will change now that you [Independent] have put a spotlight on this organization.
As compensation for the benefits and privileges granted under this Franchise and in consideration of permission to use the City’s Rights-of-Way, Grantee shall continue to pay the City the sum of one dollar twenty cents ($1.20) per Subscriber per month as a franchise fee (“Franchise Fee”) until ninety (90) days after the Effective Date or July 1, 2017, whichever is later (“New Payment Date”). Commencing on the New Payment Date, Grantee shall pay the City an amount equal to three and one-half percent (3.5%) of Grantee’s Gross Revenues as aThe 89-page agreement will not dictate rates, and the company will have to answer complaints from customers.
Franchise Fee. The Franchise Fee shall be increased to four and one-half percent (4.5%) within one (1) year after the New Payment Date and shall be increased to five percent (5%) within two (2) years after the New Payment Date, provided that all other Cable Operators providing Cable
Services in the City are required to pay the same Franchise Fee rates (i.e. percentage of Gross Revenue and increases in such percentage) and commencing on the same dates as set forth in this Section 3.1. The Franchise Fee may be recovered from Subscribers by Grantee in accordance with Applicable Law.