More for homeless vets
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have awarded $615,859 to the state of Colorado — including $178,528 to Colorado Springs — to reduce veteran homelessness.
The money will go to the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program, which combines rental assistance with clinical services and case management. Vets are housed in privately owned rentals through the program, and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income to rent. The Springs award is part of a $65 million national allocation.
Mayor Steve Bach is one of 432 mayors nationwide who have joined the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness by the end of 2015. He's hoping to house 100 vets this year and to make services available to others who seek help. — JAS
Teams advance in GoCode
It's time to meet Colorado Springs' finalists in the GoCode Colorado civic app challenge.
This is the second year that the Colorado Secretary of State's Office has held the challenge, which aims to get entrepreneurs, business partners and developers to use public data to create apps that solve business problems ("Breaking the code," News, March 25).
During the first round of the challenge, two teams from each competition site (Fort Collins, Denver, Colorado Springs, Durango and Grand Junction) are selected to further develop their apps. The Springs' finalists are U-nite, which is creating an app that will help businesses link to resources and potential employees at higher education institutions, and Quizata, which is creating an app to help businesses understand the desires and needs of tourists. Photos of them and the other teams are at on.fb.me/1aM1vLn.
A panel of judges will select the three top apps on May 21. Each will be awarded a state contract worth $25,000. — JAS
Bustang coming in July
Bustang, the state's new interregional bus service, will launch July 13.
There will be seven round-trips per day, Monday through Friday, from Colorado Springs to Denver. Bustang will also have routes between Fort Collins and Denver and Glenwood Springs and Denver.
Each 50-passenger bus comes equipped with bathrooms, bike racks, free WiFi, power outlets and USB ports. Generally, a one-way ticket from Colorado Springs to Denver will cost $12. To learn more about fares, bus stops and schedules, visit bit.ly/1JnEf23. — JAS
Bonds issued for CC
Noting Colorado College's positive economic impact, El Paso County commissioners last week approved $150 million in revenue bonds and revenue refunding bonds for campus projects. The lower-interest-rate county bonds will yield $4.1 million in savings for CC, spokeswoman Leslie Weddell says via email, and the college will be solely responsible for repayment.
The college plans to spend about $45 million renovating and expanding Tutt Library and constructing the Center for Immersive Learning and Engaged Teaching, which is part of the library, Weddell says. CC also plans to upgrade student residence halls, the Olin Hall of Science, and Armstrong Hall, which contains the 730-seat Armstrong Theater and other facilities. — PZ
Fire station contract signed
Construction of Fire Station 22 is to get underway by August at 13075 Voyager Pkwy., the city announced last week. Colorado Springs government will chip in $253,301, though the station was supposed to have been funded by development in and around Northgate, the commercial site anchored by Bass Pro Shops.
City funds are required, the city says in a release, "because the amount to be collected from annexation fees is not sufficient to cover construction costs." Fire Chief Chris Riley had originally talked about a 2014 opening, but the schedule now puts it at March 2016. — PZ
New name for Beth-El
The Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences has been renamed for Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson, becoming the first University of Colorado at Colorado Springs academic college to be named in recognition of a donor.
The Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation has provided an $8 million gift, which will be placed in an endowment. Only the investment proceeds will go toward hiring more faculty to train nurses, among other things, UCCS says in a release. — PZ