I’ve put out a community-wide survey regarding projects that Colorado Springs citizens might be interested in investing in as an Oklahoma City “package” idea. It’s not everything, but it’s a pretty good start. There are 360 responses in 2 days and its open until Friday. I’m going to make the results public in the hopes it starts a community-led conversation about investment priorities or projects that might deserve attention in the region. Opportunities to invest in Colorado Springs.
I have couched this as a hypothetical, short-term and finite tax increase to fund projects. This is a conversation starter about community investment. I support the idea personally and I’m curious about the public mood. I’m just a citizen who is interested in the results, which will be posted publicly. The survey is simple, anonymous and everyone has access. I’m hoping you will share the link with your readers to encourage a larger sample size.
Here is the survey:
This survey was designed to gauge interest in improving Colorado Springs. It is anonymous and not official. I will publish the results for all to see. Just looking for your honest opinion and thoughts. Team US.
1. I would support a short-term, finite tax increase to fund a package of projects to improve Colorado Springs
2. If our city were to invest in its future by funding specific projects through a short-term tax initiative, which are the top 5 projects (or less) you would support most:
“These meetings will be about listening,” said Val Snider, City Council member. “Since the task force began its work more than a year ago, we’ve heard from citizens and businesses that stormwater management is a problem the community must solve to protect life and property. Of the many options available to us, we need to know how the public wants stormwater addressed.”
About the Stormwater Task Force
The Stormwater Task Force was formed in August 2012 by the City of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado Springs Utilities, community business leaders and citizens to determine the breadth of the community’s stormwater needs and options for managing it. The group includes business leaders, interested citizens, professional engineers, and city, utility and county staff.
For more information on stormwater in the Pikes Peak region and the work of the Task Force, visit http://www.pikespeakstormwater.org/.
Following days of negotiations with U.S. Senate leaders, Mark Udall and Michael Bennet announced today that a proposal to raise a cap on the amount of emergency transportation funds Colorado can access to repair the state's flood-damaged roads, bridges and highways will be included in the Senate's bipartisan bill to avert a default and reopen the federal government. The language in the deal mirrors legislation authored by Udall and Bennet that the U.S. Senate passed late last month in the wake of floods that destroyed roads and bridges along the Front Range and into the foothills. However, the bill died after the U.S. House of Representatives failed to take it up.
"Colorado has shown our nation that we are better when we stand united to confront natural disasters and rebuild better, stronger and smarter than before. I am proud the Republican and Democratic leaders of the U.S. Senate agreed to include this language in the bipartisan deal making its way through the chamber now," Udall said. "Colorado cannot wait any longer for this arbitrary cap to be lifted, for Congress to avert a government default or for this partisan government shutdown to end. This is a welcome development for the Centennial State, and I am proud to have been able to shepherd this critical relief through Congress."
"While Washington has been shut down, Coloradans have been working hard to rebuild and recover from last month's devastating floods that left a wake of destruction in our state," Bennet said. "Lifting this cap removes an important political roadblock, and will make available crucial resources we need to get people moving around the state again. Coloradans have been resilient and patient, but it's time to let us get to work so we can repair and reopen key access routes to communities affected by the floods."
Current law restricts access to a large portion of emergency road funds administered by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration to $100 million per disaster. The governor and the Colorado Department of Transportation have estimated that the damage resulting from the recent historic flooding will far exceed the current cap. The legislation lifts the cap to $450 million, sufficient to cover the extensive repair work.
Udall, Bennet and Colorado's members of the U.S. House of Representatives have worked since the flooding began to ensure Colorado communities and agencies have every federal resource they need to save lives, protect homes and start the recovery process. Udall and Bennet led a recent delegation effort to urge the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to make crucial resources available to help Colorado recover from the recent historic floods.
This all takes place inside plants that have blast walls, warning sirens, shelter-in-place equipment and ventilation systems that would contain the spread of chemical agents in the event of a leak. Nearby emergency responders undergo training to respond to any potential mishaps dealing with a chemical weapon.
Seven of these plants have been built and completed their missions. The final two are Colorado's Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (slated to open in 2015 and finish destruction by 2019) and Kentucky's Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (projected to open in 2020 and finish weapons destruction by 2023).
In addition to fighting fires and running medical calls, the Colorado Springs Fire Fighters join other departments from across North America by sporting the color pink throughout October in efforts to fight breast and other cancers.
The Colorado Springs Professional Firefighters and have been fundraising for Breast Cancer Awareness through t-shirt sales since May and by joining the “Do you Tu-Tu” campaign created by the Susan G Komen Foundation for 2013. Now that Breast Cancer Awareness month is here, you will see your Colorado Springs Fire Department sworn and civilian staff wearing pink “Firefighters Support the Fight” t-shirts as part of the duty uniform.
Fire fighters exposed to carcinogens and other chemicals while on the job are disproportionately diagnosed with breast cancer – just one of many cancers linked to the work fire fighters do. With one in eight women diagnosed each year, an estimated 232,340 new cases of breast cancer and 39,620 deaths will be reported in 2013. Among all women affected, 85 percent have no family history. Breast cancer in men is rare, but it does happen and those statistics increase with firefighters. About one percent of breast cancers in the U.S. occur in men. The lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000 in U.S. men. In 2013, it is estimated there will be 2,240 new cases of male breast cancer and 410 male breast cancer deaths.
“Fire fighters are motivated to get involved for many reasons, and often it’s because they have been personally affected by the disease,” says Eric Ruettinger a fire fighter with the Colorado Springs Fire Department and a Vice President with IAFF Local 5 “We are supporting breast cancer awareness and prevention activities so that no breast cancer patient goes without life-saving treatments or having hope for a cure.”
Your Colorado Springs fire fighters encourage everyone in our community to participate in cancer awareness and prevention activities.
With state and local governments struggling to fund needed road repairs and with federal surface transportation funding set to be slashed next year, road conditions are projected to get even worse. Congress could reduce the extra costs borne by motorists driving on rough roads by approving funding that will support a federal transportation program that improves road conditions on the nation’s major roads and highways.
The Board of El Paso County Commissioners at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, October 1 confirmed its support of a regional solution to the area’s stormwater challenges. The Commissioners’ approval of a regional stormwater Resolution comes just a week after the same Resolution was approved by Colorado Springs City Council.
Councilman Val Snider, who has served for the past year, on the Pikes Peak Regional Stormwater Task Force, presented the resolution to the Commissioners. “City Council is pleased to be working in partnership with the County. We are confident that after engaging the public through joint town halls that we will be able to create a solution that’s best for the entire region,” said Councilman Snider.
The Stormwater Task Force, comprised of neighborhood groups, business leaders and elected representatives and staff from the City of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado Springs Utilities and adjoining communities has developed an exhaustive and all inclusive initial list of infrastructure improvements needed to improve public safety and protect property from flash flooding throughout the region as well as protect water quality and reduce erosion in the Fountain Creek watershed.
Commissioner Amy Lathen commented, “We are so grateful for all of the volunteer time committed by our citizens and business leaders who have examined the stormwater challenges facing our region. They have and brought us to a point where we can begin to prioritize the stormwater improvement projects that are critical to the entire region and begin serious discussions with our fellow citizens about how to move forward and solve this problem. In adopting this joint resolution, Colorado Springs City Council and the Board of County Commissioners endorses the hard work of our engaged citizen volunteers in this process and affirms its commitment to a sustainable regional solution that protects public safety, private property, public infrastructure and water quality for all of our citizens.”
In addition to an ongoing outside engineering review to assist in prioritization of needed stormwater control improvements, the Taskforce is also planning a legal review of organizational structure options followed by a series of public meetings to discuss its findings and recommendations.
"Boil Water" Advisory Alert
The City of Manitou Springs (City) collaborating with El Paso County Public Health has issued a "boil water" advisory due to a broken water main as a result of the recent rain events. This break caused a loss of water pressure in various areas of the City's drinking water distribution system affecting areas West of Crystal Park Rd. As a result, the distribution system may have been breached and contamination may have entered the drinking water supply. This is a proactive measure being taken by the City. At this point, no contamination has been detected, but the advisory has been put in place as a precaution to protect the public from any possible breach of the drinking water system.
Residents are advised not to drink tap water without boiling it first. Residents should bring all water to a boil, let it boil for three (3) minutes, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Until further notice boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and preparing food.
Businesses providing food or drinks should visit the El Paso County Public Health website at www.elpasocountyhealth.org or call 719-578-3199.
A breach in the drinking water distribution system may introduce disease-causing organisms into the water system. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea and associated headaches. If residents experience any of the symptoms described above and symptoms persist, they may want to seek medical advice from their health care provider. People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at increased risk. These people should seek advice about drinking the water from their health care providers.
The City anticipates the main water line will be repaired by mid afternoon today, September 19, 2013. The City will collect bacteriological samples to assess the condition of the drinking water and will notify consumers when they no longer need to boil their drinking water. Inquiries can be directed to email@example.com or 719-685-2573.
The 27th Annual International Association of Fire Fighters Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Observance will take place Saturday, September 21st at 1:00 pm at Memorial Park. We anticipate over 5,000 family members and fire fighters from all over the United States and Canada to attend, honoring the IAFF fire/emergency service personnel who died in the line of duty or who are being recognized posthumously for job related cancers. Denver Fire Department, Local 858, will be honoring one of its own, Fire Fighter Randall E. Atkinson. Fire Fighter Atkinson died October 9, 2012 of an occupational health related event.
*The ceremony is open to the public and will last approximately 90 minutes. Seating priority will be given to family members and uniformed fire fighters.
*At 12:00pm a large procession of fire apparatus from around the State of Colorado and approximately 400 fire fighter motorcyclists, will depart from The Promenade Shops at Briargate. The procession will travel east on Briargate Parkway to Union Boulevard, and then travel south on Union Boulevard to Pikes Peak Avenue. It will stop at 1:00 pm at Memorial Park, signifying the commencement of the ceremony. Participation in the procession is NOT open to the public/non fire department affiliated riders. However, we strongly encourage the general public to line the sidewalks along the procession route to show their support.
There will be numerous road blocks around Memorial Park for the ceremony as well as “rolling roadblocks” provided by the Colorado Springs Police Department along the procession route. For detailed road block information see the following link: www.iafflocal5.com
I wanted to inform everyone of a few significant and exciting improvements here at the Homeless Outreach Team.
First, we have hired a fourth team member, Officer Chris Kelly. Many of you are familiar with Chris when he worked TDY with the HOT for about 6 months. Over the last year he has been a great asset working with my other team in the Downtown Area. He has extensive experience in community policing and I know he will be a wonderful addition to the HOT.
Second, we are cross training Officer Tim Kippel to take on some HOT responsibilities in conjunction with his current duties on the west side. Tim is currently dedicated to patrolling West Colorado Ave. With his work on the Westside he has noticed the needs of the homeless and desires to serve this special population. He is being cross trained to help identify their specific needs to hopefully connect with you to provide appropriate services.
Third, we have hired a volunteer, Dr. Joe Hanson. Some of you met Joe at the CHAP meeting. Joe’s background is research and Computer Science. HOT has been teaching the public that it costs about $54,000 year/individual to take care of a homeless person however this has been based on 2001 research. We felt it was time to refresh our knowledge. Joe will be renewing the research to see on average how much the taxpayers spend on a homeless individual in Colorado Springs. If anyone has any suggestions, contacts, or research that would add to this project please reach out Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org Once the project is completed, Joe will assist the HOT with answering the high volume of phone messages and emails received each day by our team.
I am really pleased to see how we have expanded our resources to serve our homeless community. Please welcome all of our new members!