The Home Front: Trump’s steel tariffs could ‘send costs soaring and even kill’ reopening of iconic cog rail on Pikes Peak

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The Home Front: Trump’s steel tariffs could ‘send costs soaring and even kill’ reopening of iconic cog rail on Pikes Peak

“The Pikes Peak Cog Railway, whose future as an iconic tourist attraction has been in doubt since its closing late last year, will be rebuilt and reopened if its owner and the city of Manitou Springs sign a proposed agreement,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “The cost to rebuild the railway could be close to $100 million, said Gary Pierson, president and CEO of Oklahoma Publishing Co., parent company of The Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs and the Cog Railway. The ownership group is seeking a pair of tax breaks from Manitou Springs but otherwise plans to pay for the project privately. Work on the railway could begin as soon as August with a reopening in May 2020, in time for the unveiling later that year of the new $50 million Summit House on top of Pikes Peak. … Trump administration steel tariffs could send costs soaring and even kill the project, Pierson said. Steel rails that would be used to rebuild the Cog – one of the few railways of its kind in the world – are available only in Switzerland, he said, as are the three steel railway cars that Oklahoma Publishing says it needs to buy.”

“The Greeley-Evans School District 6 Board of Education approved a $264 million budget for the 2018-19 school year during its meeting Monday night, a budget as notable for what it didn’t contain — painful cuts — as for what it did,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Unlike previous years, when district officials cut back on things like bus routes and teacher professional development to save money, this year’s budget was easy to balance because of the voter-approved mill-levy override and an increase in funding from the state, District 6 Chief Financial Officer Meggan Sponsler said.”

“Cancellations of fireworks shows, bans on fireworks use and sales, increased fire restrictions and even an outright closure of a national forest are reflecting ever-growing concern about tinderbox conditions in western Colorado,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Garfield County commissioners on Monday approved an immediate ban on use of fireworks in the unincorporated part of the county, and Garfield sheriff emergency manager Chris Bornholdt told commissioners the Sheriff’s Office is thinking about imposing Stage 2 fire restrictions as well, which prohibits fireworks, campfires or any open burning of any kind. Smoking outdoors is also outlawed unless it’s in an enclosed vehicle or building.”

“The owners of a Longmont home at 525 Collyer St. have requested that the City Council revoke a 1994 designation that identifies their house as a local landmark,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “That 24-year-old landmark designation was based in part on inaccurate information about the house and its historical significance, according to current owners Tim and Heather Chambers and the city staff. Karen Bryant, a senior city planner, has written the council that when a Cultural Resource Survey of the Collyer Street property was completed on the property in 2002, it indicated that ‘some of the information provided in 1994 that warranted designation of the property as a local landmark was incorrect.'”

“The 2018 Leadership Steamboat class took on food waste by purchasing three high-efficiency composters that were placed around town last week,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “The composters, called Earth Cubes, were placed at LiftUp of Routt County in Steamboat Springs and near dining areas at Steamboat Springs Middle School and Colorado Mountain College. Each year, Leadership Steamboat participants select a community project to better the Yampa Valley, and this year’s Leadership class decided to purchase the cubes because food waste makes up 30 percent of waste sent to landfills in Routt County, according to a news release issued by the organization.”

“Last Thursday’s Glenwood Springs City Council meeting discussion regarding the ongoing Seventh Street beautification project was anything but pretty,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “The discussion, which caused some “unpleasantries,” in the words of some council members, was intended to allow council to give direction to city staff on whether to send out to bid Phase 1 of the project, which involves installation of a new sanitary sewer line. Without it, the subsequent five phases of a long-term Seventh Street redevelopment and beautification project that’s to come in the aftermath of the Grand Avenue Bridge completion could not commence.”

“A Minnesota-based fresh produce distributor on Monday announced plans to expand into Colorado by opening a 163-worker processing and distribution center at the vacant former Mars/Doane building at the airport industrial park,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Russ Davis Wholesale, based in Wadena, Minn., plans to invest $8 million to $10 million to purchase the 125,000-square-foot building and ready and equip the site for operations by September. Company executives detailed their plans at a jobs announcement Monday afternoon at the Lake Elizabeth pavilion at the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo.”

“With no controversy and little discussion, the Loveland Planning Commission lent its support Monday evening to the annexation of 25 acres of land on Derby Hill with a zoning that would allow multifamily housing to be built there,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The commission voted 6-0 to recommend that the City Council accept the annexation and the zoning to R-3, or high-density residential, which would allow 10 to 20 residential units per acre. “I find the requested zoning and annexation to be appropriate,” said commission chairwoman Carol Dowding. “Especially because it’s an enclave, this helps the city to grow better, and it can grow in whole pieces instead of in chunks.” The Planning Commission’s recommendation will go to the Loveland City Council on July 17 and Aug. 7 for first and second reading, according to city planner Jennifer Hewett-Apperson.”

“Crews fought a Vail Valley wildfire to a standstill, despite high winds and dry conditions,” reports Vail Daily. “The Bocco fire three miles north of Wolcott was still 415 acres Monday, June 11, the same size it reached Saturday afternoon, June 9, a few hours after it was sparked near the Wolcott shooting range. Evacuations were lifted Monday afternoon. Containment reached 50 percent; 140 firefighters are on the scene, the Bureau of Land Management said.”

“More than 2,800 square miles of public land in southwestern Colorado will be closed to campers, hikers and bikers because of the fire danger,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Officials plan to bar most entry to the San Juan National Forest starting Tuesday to prevent the possibility of an abandoned campfire or another spark starting another catastrophic wildfire in exceptional drought conditions. Roads through the forest will remain open. Residents of more than 2,000 homes have been ordered to evacuate because of a fire that started in the forest north of Durango, which doubled in size to about 25 square miles (67 square kilometers) over the weekend.”

“Georgia Romine quickly began losing ground on her property when the bank along the Arkansas River began caving in,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “She had purchased the land in Florence three years ago and started growing hay to sell, but more and more of the land was falling into the river, decreasing the number of bales of hay she could produce.”

“One year after an attempt to oust Yellow Deli from its home at 908 Pearl Street, the building’s owners association is contemplating a move that would severely impact the restaurant’s ability to stay in business, operators say,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “On Wednesday, owners of units at 900 Pearl Street — which includes offices, retail business and private residences — will vote to more than double the money Yellow Deli pays toward the building’s shared costs, including water, sewer, electricity and trash. Currently, the eatery pays $7 per square foot for those services. The board at 900 Pearl is suggesting raising that to $17 per square foot, adding $16,000 to Yellow Deli’s tab every year.”

“The Pikes Peak Cog Railway, whose future as an iconic tourist attraction has been in doubt since its closing late last year, will be rebuilt and reopened if its owner and the city of Manitou Springs sign a proposed agreement,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “The cost to rebuild the railway could be close to $100 million, said Gary Pierson, president and CEO of Oklahoma Publishing Co., parent company of The Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs and the Cog Railway. The ownership group is seeking a pair of tax breaks from Manitou Springs but otherwise plans to pay for the project privately. Work on the railway could begin as soon as August with a reopening in May 2020, in time for the unveiling later that year of the new $50 million Summit House on top of Pikes Peak.”

“Millennial adventure seekers aren’t the only ones hitching a ride on all those direct flights between Denver and Reykjavik — a lot more fish are about to start flowing from Iceland to Colorado,” reports The Denver Post. “Niceland Seafood, a Reykjavik startup, is locating its U.S. headquarters in Denver, where it will team with the Seattle Fish Co. to distribute the morning’s catch from the cold waters of the North Atlantic to restaurants and stores throughout the region in under 24 hours. “We will be doing tons of fish each week,” said Oliver Luckett, the company’s CEO and former head of innovation at the Walt Disney Co. But a seafood company setting up shop in landlocked Colorado, which is 1,000 miles from the nearest big body of water? For Niceland, the reasons to put a home base a mile high for a business that sources its product at sea level were twofold: the transportation setup and Colorado’s culture.”

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