As part of the CDOT I-25 /Cimarron Improvement Project (“Project”), CDOT is required to construct a trail and stormwater BMPs in conformance with the City’s Drainage Criteria Manual, Vol. II. CDOT proposed a trail and stormwater vault in the existing Cimarron right of way. The trail proposed by CDOT was ADA compliant, but not truly accessible and not preferred by the City’s Park Department. The BMP proposed by CDOT is a vault which will take significant City resources to maintain. If the City obtains the property at the northeast corner of I-25 and Cimarron Street, known as 301 Cimino Drive (the “CSJ Property”), CDOT has agreed to install a trail that the City Parks Department believes will be more accessible and a water quality pond that will require less maintenance effort from the City. The CSJ Property is owned by CSJ No. 7, LLC and Urban Enterprises, LLC. An independent appraisal of the CSJ Property was obtained by the City and indicates the CSJ Property has a fair market value of $904,000.00.
The City wishes to exchange two (2) City-owned properties in the immediate vicinity for the CSJ Property (see Figure 2). These properties are identified as 25 Cimino Drive and 125 Cimino Drive (the “City Properties”). The City Properties are currently vacant. An independent appraisal of the City Properties was obtained by the City and indicates the City Properties have a combined fair market value that is $543,600.00 less than the value of the CSJ Property.
On November 26, 2006, City Council adopted a Statement of Intent (SOI) in support of the Southwest Downtown Urban Renewal Area. On August 26, 2008, City Council adopted a new SOI in support of the Southwest Downtown Urban Renewal Area, which replaced the previous SOI. The 2008 SOI provides, among other provisions, for the transfer of half of 25 Cimino and all of 125 Cimino to the CSURA in support of the Urban Renewal Plan. The remaining half of 25 Cimino was to be converted into parking. Under the 2008 SOI all of the City Properties were intended to be part of the Southwest Downtown Urban Renewal Project. The land exchange will accomplish one of the purposes of the 2008 SOI by making the City Properties available for redevelopment in support of the Urban Renewal Plan.
CSJ No. 7, LLC and Urban Enterprises, LLC desire to exchange the CSJ Property for the City Properties. A condition of the land exchange would be that CSJ No. 7, LLC and Urban Enterprises, LLC will assume the responsibility for and release the City from any necessary environmental remediation of the City Properties.
The proposed land exchange would offer the following benefits to the City:
• Acquire needed property for bike/pedestrian trail from Midland/Greenway Trail intersection;
• Relieve the City of any environmental remediation obligations it may have with respect to the City Properties;
• Support the implementation of the Southwest Downtown Urban Renewal Plan and fulfill the intent of the 2006 SOI and 2008 SOI; and
• Exchange can be completed with no financial obligation from the City.
The City, in accordance with the Real Estate Manual, obtained appraisals for all three (3) properties. Environmental studies and cost estimates have also been completed. These costs were supplied to the appraiser. Based on the amounts of these costs the appraiser has valued the CSJ Property and the City Properties accordingly. A financial evaluation of the land exchange is shown in Table 1. As can be seen from this table, the CSJ Property’s value exceeds the City Properties’ value by $543,600.00.
CSJ No. 7, LLC and Urban Enterprises, LLC are not seeking remuneration for the difference in the values of the properties; however, they would like the difference recognized by City Council as a donation. As such, if Council approves this land exchange, the Division Manager of Traffic Engineering will bring a resolution to Council after the land exchange has closed in order for Council to accept the donation in accordance with section 4.4 of the Real Estate Manual.
At the regular meeting of the Board of El Paso County Commissioners today, Commissioners listened to a report proposing a change of direction for the County Social Detoxification Program.
The County has gone above and beyond for the past eight years to provide this community benefit, even though the service is not Statutorily required. When the County took on the program it was intended as a “temporary solution.”
As El Paso County continues to grow, hospitals and doctors have expressed concerns that a purely social detox model is not sufficient to meet the needs of the community. Experts in the medical community have suggested that El Paso County needs a medical model detox center staffed by medically trained experts able to assist individuals to move toward long term sobriety.
“We recognize that there is a growing need in the County, but we do not have the proper facilities, expertise, staffing and statutory designation to provide a more medically based model,” said Julie Krow, El Paso County Department of Human Services executive director. “Based on the general direction offered by the Board of County Commissioners today, we look forward to working with leaders in the medical community, law enforcement, non-profits and others to establish a detox model with more robust medical and clinical services to better serve our community.”
In 2016, the operational cost of the El Paso County social detox problem was just over $2 million. El Paso County contributed about 25 percent of that total cost. The Penrose-St. Francis healthcare system, Memorial Healthcare and Aspen-Pointe (Managed Services Organization for State funds) contributed the rest of the funding.
El Paso County will continue its financial support for Detox services and is committed to working with the state and its providers as well as the local hospitals through a smooth transition to a new and enhanced medical and clinical model for detox. Administration proposes that the County no longer manage the social detox program.
Not only will a true medical services provider will be able meet longer term needs of patients, it may also be able to bill Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance carriers to help pay for those services; something which the County cannot do.
AspenPointe, formerly Pikes Peak Mental Health, used to run the “Lighthouse” facility, which struggled for years to maintain operations due to funding issues. In 2008, the facility closed with only two months’ notice. Without a legitimate community detox program, emergency rooms filled up with people who were intoxicated. The county jail, which was at full capacity, was not able to accept such individuals. Law enforcement officers spent time many nights driving patrol cars with individuals who were intoxicated in the back seat.
Area hospitals and the community approached the County and asked for a solution. In 2009, a Community Social Detox/Triage facility was established in El Paso County. The County has operated the licensed facility, with Certified Addiction Counselors (CAC), providing admission, assessment, detox treatment/service plan, and discharge after care plan for individuals. However, detox is not a statutory function of County government so, from the very start in 2009 it was thought that this should be a temporary solution to address and urgent need in the community.
That portion of Pikes Peak will be repaved as a roadway construction project because the road condition requires they mill much deeper down than when 2C paving work is conducted. That project is similar to work done on Centennial between Fillmore and Garden of the Gods. Work should start later this year.
The second year of 2C-funded paving operations is underway, thanks to voter support of the temporary 0.62 percent sales tax dedicated solely to road repairs. Today, Mayor John Suthers, City Councilmember Yolanda Avila and several City and community leaders kicked off the 2017 2C paving work at a special event on Foxridge Drive commemorating the second of five years of 2C roadway improvements.
“With the start of our second year of 2C paving, we are building upon the significant progress made in 2016 with almost 230 lane miles paved. Our citizens made a commitment to move our city forward when they approved Issue 2C. We still much work to do to improve the overall condition of our roads, but the return of cone zones throughout Colorado Springs signals that we are well on that path,” said Mayor John Suthers.
City Continues with Local Companies for Concrete and Paving Work in 2017
The City has contracted again with Martin Marietta Materials and Schmidt Construction to pave an estimated 224 lane miles for the 2017 paving season. Paving work officially began with milling operations April 17. Click here to view the 2017 list of scheduled streets to receive 2C-funded paving.
Concrete work for 2017 also continues with the same five local companies that provided 2016 pre-overlay concrete work.
AA Construction Company, Inc.
Blue Ridge Construction, Inc.
CMS of Colorado Springs, Inc.
DRX Enterprises, LLC
Trax Construction, Inc.
Planned concrete work for 2017 is on schedule and projected to be complete in late August. Upon completion of the 2017 concrete program, crews will focus on the 2018 list as funds are available. Crews will conduct concrete repair work simultaneously with paving operations as weather permits.
Foxridge Drive between Drennan Road and West Monica Drive, which connects to several residential streets, is on the 2C paving list for 2017. Estimated completion date is April 28, weather dependent
With the pending departure of City of Colorado Springs Chief Financial Officer Kara Skinner, the City will begin recruiting for the position in the coming weeks. Mayor Suthers offered his appreciation to Skinner, who has accepted a job out of town.
“Kara is an extremely intelligent, credible and respected individual and while we congratulate her on the new position, we will absolutely miss her talents and presence here in Colorado Springs. Kara has consistently led the city through complex budgeting challenges and has done so with a sophisticated and professional approach. We wish Kara and her family only the best in their move.”
Skinner joined the city staff in 2006 and worked as a principal analyst and interim finance and budget director before being appointed CFO in 2012.
Given the timing of Skinner’s departure, the City will temporarily divide the responsibilities of her position between Nancy McCauley from the Colorado Springs Police Department serving as interim finance director and Charae McDaniel serving as interim budget director.
The City expects to retain a recruiting firm to fill the position of CFO, while delaying the open position of Assistant Director of Finance until the higher position is filled.
Updated job postings are available at www.coloradosprings.gov/page/hr-careers
You can read full biographies and curriculum vitae, as well as a full schedule of campus meetings, here. I appreciate your involvement in the process to select the next leader for the campus. You will have opportunities over the next two weeks to meet the candidates, hear their ideas about advancing UCCS and share your views.Benson said in the letter he hopes to name a new chancellor "in the coming weeks."
Your feedback is an important part of the process. It will inform my decision-making as I consider the final selection. I invite you to share your views with me via the form on the website. This is a critical position for the future of the campus and I appreciate your involvement and your input.
The Colorado Springs Police Department, together with the Office of the City Attorney, made the difficult decision to settle the Brown case. Although CSPD sincerely believes the claims of racial profiling were unfounded, the decision to settle was based on comparative analysis of the high cost of legal proceedings and the risk of financial liability in the event the city did not prevail in every aspect of the lawsuit. However, there has been a complete and thorough Internal Affairs investigation of this incident, and it was determined that the actions of the officers did not violate Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) policy.
On several occasions, the ACLU has inaccurately portrayed CSPD as a department that routinely violates citizen’s rights. The public is invited to review CSPD’s most recent Annual Use of Force report (https://cspd.coloradosprings.gov/content/cases-interest) to gain an informed and fact-based opinion of the level of restraint, accountability, and transparency that is central to how CSPD delivers police services.
In the past, the ACLU has failed to “set the record straight” when allegations of misconduct were disproven, as in the Tally case in July 2015. Today’s ACLU announcement follows that same unfortunate practice.
(See Cases of Interest at https://cspd.coloradosprings.gov/content/cases-interest)
Moving ahead, CSPD has issued over 450 body worn cameras which will be able to provide additional information through video footage of patrol officers’ interaction with citizens from initial contact through conclusion. Body worn cameras provide protection both to citizens and to officers in these types of cases and accusations.
The Colorado Springs Police Department remains committed to consistent, fair, and even-handed enforcement of the law. To accomplish that objective, CSPD takes steps to mitigate bias through hiring practices, training, policies, and outreach to diverse communities. Equally important to these steps is the department’s robust internal accountability system. In the event of a complaint of racial bias, the department thoroughly investigates the complaint and takes appropriate action if a policy violation is found.
The City of Colorado Springs has agreed to pay $212,000 to settle a racial profiling lawsuit brought by the ACLU of Colorado alleging that Ryan and Benjamin Brown were pulled over because of their race, handcuffed, searched, and detained at gun point and taser point, all without legal justification.Here's a link to the settlement agreement.
Along with monetary compensation, the Colorado Springs Police Department has agreed to several revisions of its policies on stops, searches, and recording officers.
Ryan Brown posted a video of the 2015 stop online, where it has been viewed more than 165,000 times.
“The racial profiling that Ryan and Benjamin Brown endured is still, unfortunately, all too common for young men of color,” said ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein. “The difference in this case is that Ryan preserved video evidence of the officers’ aggressive escalation and heavy-handed use of force. Although the police department initially refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing, city officials ultimately did the right thing by agreeing to fair compensation.”
In March 2015, Ryan and Benjamin Brown were driving just a block away from their home in a predominantly white neighborhood when they were pulled over by Colorado Springs police. To justify the stop, an officer later claimed that the men had been observed driving slowly through “a high crime area,” terminology that the lawsuit alleged is law enforcement code for “driving while black.”
A taser-wielding officer ordered Benjamin Brown, the driver, out of the car. He was handcuffed, searched without cause, and detained in the back of a police vehicle, even though he had been cooperative, no weapons or contraband were found, and there was no evidence to suggest that he had been involved in a crime.
Ryan Brown then began recording the scene on his phone. His repeated requests for the officers to identify the reason for the stop were ignored. Officers worked together to force him out of the car, push him to the ground, face down in the snow, search him, and cuff him, all the while at gunpoint. Officers grabbed his phone, stopped the recording, and threw it in the snow.
Brown filed a complaint with CSPD following the incident. He received a brief boilerplate letter in June 2015 informing him that the Department had conducted a “complete and thorough” investigation into the incident and concluded that the officers’ conduct was “justified, legal, and proper.”
In October 2016, the ACLU of Colorado filed the lawsuit in federal court, which began nearly 6 months of negotiation between the parties around policy changes and compensation.
“I knew that what happened to my brother and me was wrong, and that I needed to speak up,” said Brown. “I am grateful to the ACLU of Colorado for holding the police accountable, for standing up for our rights, and for winning policy changes that will hopefully prevent others from having their rights violated.”
Multiple Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) policies have been improved as a result of the settlement. Official CSPD policy now clearly identifies the constitutional requirements that must be met before an officer may conduct a pat-down search. CSPD removed policy language that gave undue weight to an individual’s refusal to cooperate as a factor in establishing probable cause for a search or arrest. CSPD policy on recording police was also strengthened to reflect constitutional and statutory protections against unjustified seizures of electronic devices.
Colorado Springs will make available online all of the changes to its policies as a result of the settlement by July 1, 2017. The Chief of Police has also agreed to meet in person with Ryan and Benjamin Brown to discuss the incident.
Ryan and Benjamin Brown were represented by Silverstein and ACLU of Colorado Staff Attorney Sara Neel, as well as cooperating attorneys Darold Killmer and Andy McNulty of Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP.
According to Colorado state law, it is not illegal to drive in reverse on a roadway. In addition, “Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.” (C.R.S. 42-4-803)
Additional investigation revealed that Mr. Dierdorff did check his rear view camera while reversing and that Mr. Tolbert was not in his path when he started reversing.
In reviewing applicable law, the District Attorney’s Office has concluded that charges are not appropriate in this case. The charges filed against Trevor Dierdorff will be dismissed.
Approximately 5,000 Soldiers from 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Sustainment Brigade as well as other Fort Carson units and about 750 Soldiers from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Fort Hood, Texas, are participating in Operation Raider Focus exercise at Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site (PCMS) from April 18 to May 6. The training at PCMS is to prepare Soldiers for any possible mission should the unit be called to support contingencies around the globe. During the exercise, crews will train against each other using different scenarios to build team cohesion and ensure task proficiency. Approximately 1,500 military vehicles, to include 300 Stryker fighting vehicles, and 30 helicopters, to include UH-60 Black Hawks, AH-64 Apaches and CH-47 Chinooks, will be used in the exercise. Many of the vehicles will convoy to and from the training site starting on April 18. Equipment and vehicles that cannot be driven on roadways will be transported via railway to and from PCMS. Approximately 685 tactical vehicles in the 1st SBCT are equipped with Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below with Joint Capabilities Release (FBCB2/JCR) computer systems which will have a resource protection map as the background map image as Soldiers navigate across the terrain. The system with the background maps is intended to allow Soldiers to track friendly and hostile force movements while ensuring archaeological site protection and safety during the exercise.The Mountain Post also says it's committed to being a good steward of the environment. Here's more on that from Carson:
Environmental personnel are involved in all levels of planning for military training, construction and other activities that could affect the PCMS environment. All cultural and environmental sites will be marked with awareness signs which will be placed along main supply routes and tank trails to provide an additional level of awareness to vehicle drivers, commanders and crews. Seibert Stakes will mark areas that are dangerous to vehicle travel or areas that need protection from vehicle traffic due to excessive erosion, areas that are environmentally or culturally sensitive, have been repaired and re-seeded after training use or are being rehabilitated for other reasons. Boulders will be placed around sites determined more sensitive and need more protection from vehicle traffic.Of course, not everyone agrees that Carson and the Army have done a good job, or that it's even possible to reclaim prairies that have been severely damaged by heavy vehicles.
After Operation Raider Focus is completed, there will be an immediate basic remediation work plan implemented and a full assessment for longer term remediation. Soldiers will lead the remediation with the engineer assets that are in place in the unit. Funding is not required at this time for the remediation since it is being done by Soldiers. Fort Carson will use its two re-seeding vehicles to immediately repair any future land damage that results from training at PCMS. We are continually working to maintain the natural resources at PCMS.
On a day we celebrate the Earth, it is reasonable for people to also acknowledge the role fossil fuels play in helping maintain and even improve our planet's condition.It's worth noting the newspaper is owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz who is building what reportedly will be the biggest wind farm anywhere in Wyoming.
Fossil fuels continue providing most of our energy and will do so for generations to come. Without fossil fuels, we cannot build a single solar panel or wind turbine....
We cannot function without fossil fuels, let alone improve our environment and perfect the harnessing of sunshine and wind.
That may explain why the Denver-based Independence Institute has made national headlines by sponsoring an "Earth Day Fossil Fuels Art Contest."
A tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, the anti-government group has an annual revenue of about $2 to 3 million. Though they are not required to disclose their donors, public records show much of their money comes from several of the most infamous donors to the nation’s right wing and climate science denial movements.
A ThinkProgress review of the Independence Institute’s funders (according to data provided by Conservative Transparency, Guidestar, and CitizenAudit) revealed that since 2001, its funders included at least:
• $146,000 combined from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, a pair of tax-exempt foundations controlled by petrochemical billionaires Charles and David Koch and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation and the Center to Protect Patient Rights, entities closely tied to the brothers.
• $2,565,766 combined from DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund, two affiliated donor-advised funds that funnel donations from supporters to non-governmental organizations that promote limited government and free enterprise. According to the Center for Media and Democracy, the Koch brothers and “other ultra-wealthy industrial ideologues appear to be cloaking an untold amount of their donations to conservative political outlets” by using these funds as pass-throughs. A 2015 investigation by the Guardian revealed that the two secretive organizations had directed roughly $125 million over three years to spread disinformation about climate science and fight President Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
The Neumann System Group successfully fulfilled its contract with Colorado Springs Utilities by providing us with the technology to reduce sulfur dioxide from the emissions at the Martin Drake Power Plant. The equipment is operating as expected and we are on track to meeting new Regional Haze mandates pertaining to sulfur dioxide at the end of this year. It was last September when we took full control of this system. Since that time, our employees have been operating and maintaining it.When we noted to her that that didn't answer our question, she responded in an email, saying, "We cannot speak on behalf of NSG. You will have to reach out to Dr. Neumann. NSG's work with Utilities is complete."
Members of the newly formed I-25 Gap Coalition, representing cities, counties, business and economic development interests up and down the I-25 corridor between Denver South and Colorado Springs, will hold a press conference to discuss plans to advocate for accelerating transportation improvements in the gap between Castle Rock and Monument.
What: Media Announcement and Interview Opportunities
When: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 1:30 p.m.
Where: 100 Third Street, Castle Rock, 80104, County Admin Building, Douglas County Hearing Room
* Roger Partridge, Douglas County Commissioner
* Congressman Mike Coffman (CO-06)
* Mayor John Suthers, City of Colorado Springs
* Mark Waller, El Paso County Commissioner
* Dirk Draper, President & CEO, Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC
* Frank Gray, President & CRO, Castle Rock Economic Development Council
A bill (HB 17-1186) to allow Colorado women to fill birth control prescriptions for a one-year supply today cleared another hurdle in the Senate.
“This is an incredible step toward for women and families. It means fewer trips to the pharmacy for people with busy lives or who live in rural areas with longer travel times. It also will result in reducing the number of unintended pregnancies, with a longer reliable supply of birth control. It just gives more stability to women and gives families’ ability to plan their lives,” said Sarah Taylor-Nanista, Vice President of Public Affairs of Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado.
Currently, women can only receive up to three month’s supply of contraception at a time. More than 90% of women in the U.S. use some type of birth control at some point in their lifetime.
Taylor-Nanista praised the lawmakers who supported the measure, a very different outcome than the disappointing defeat of a similar bill last year.
The bill failed in a Senate committee in 2016, never making it to the full Senate. This year, the bill had bipartisan sponsors – Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood), Rep. Lois Landgraf (R-Fountain) and Sen. Don Coram (R-Montrose) – and bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate. The 12-month contraception bill passed unanimously in the Senate State Affairs committee last week.
Sen. Coram called the bill a common sense measure that he was proud to carry.
HB 17-1186 still needs final approval in the Senate.
The agreement was based on the Broadmoor constructing an equestrian facility adjacent to Bear Creek Regional Park. Since this has not occurred, the Broadmoor has not used the trails and the lease payment has not been required.So it would seem that The Broadmoor is hedging its bets.
In recent discussions with the Broadmoor regarding the agreement, they asked that the agreement not be formerly cancelled until the legal action has concluded regarding the property swap with the City.
The 2nd NES The Broadmoor meeting was highly contentious. A more detailed outline will follow, but among the issues inciting outrage were the lack of answers to questions like how many horses are planned for the development, continued outrage over the change in the building envelope which takes up most of Mesa (i.e. blocks public access) from what the City Council had originally approved, an addition now of another building structure (an office) North Cheyenne Canon will lose its National Historic Designation as a result of this, and Strawberry Fields is, according to US Fish and Wildlife is in the heart of the high critical habitat for the Mexican Spotted Owl.
Several people have been in touch with USFWS Endangered Species, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Sierra Club - Colorado Chapter,Colorado Parks and Wildlife asking that a full survey of the area be done as has Weston, the general environmental survey company hired by the City, recommended in documents acquired in an Open Records request.
Officials at USFS believe that Strawberry Fields is an ideal habitat for the spotted owl because of the topography including mature pines and small caves high in the sandstone for nesting, the numerous slot canyons, the abundance of rodents nearby and close proximity to water. Owls are often seen in the area which has been quiet for over 120 years. There are owls which come from the slot canyons of Turkey Creek Ranch and nest on Fort Carson in the winter as well as a siting near Cheyenne Mountain State Park. So, as you are walking, keep your phones ready to grab a pic and send it to us if you see one. Special thanks to Kent Obee Ruth Obee and Jim Lockhart for speaking out.
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