The Home Front: Colorado is short on money for roads, Boulder County makes buildings ‘safe zones’

“Boulder County on Thursday morning installed posters assuring employees working in its government buildings, as well as visitors to those buildings, that they’re in a ‘Safe Zone,'” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “There are English and Spanish versions of the posters, which state that ‘This space respects all aspects of people including race, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, political affiliation, age, religion, body shape, size and ability.’ Gabi Boerkircher, a spokeswoman for the Boulder County commissioners’ office, said the county plans to have at least one poster near a first-floor entrance to each of its buildings, and county departments and agencies can request additional signs if they want them.”

The Gazette in Colorado Springs reports state roads are short on money. “The Colorado Department of Transportation has identified $9 billion in unfunded priorities, including widening I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock, measured against a $1.41 billion budget next year. That budget already is over-burdened with maintenance requests, the highway department told legislative budget writers Thursday.”

Colorado Obamacare signups are running about 25 percent higher than last year, The Denver Post reports. “Through November, 37,948 people — a nearly 25 percent increase — had signed up for medical and dental insurance plans on Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s exchange. In November 2015, 30,777 people signed up.”

Steamboat Today breaks the news of pilots receiving thousands of dollars worth of unauthorized discounts at a local airport. The paper’s review of short-term airport hangar rentals at the city’s taxpayer-funded airport dating back to 2011 “found several irregularities, including a few cases where the airport staff charged some pilots significantly less for their stays at Bob Adams Field than other pilots of the same type of aircraft who rented the same hangar at the same time of year.” … “Steamboat Today requested the airport rental records after emails the paper obtained in a seperate open records request this summer showed that inconsistencies in the rental records had created friction between former airport manager Adam Kittinger and Public Works Director Chuck Anderson.”

The Coloradoan in Fort Collins reports on a mystery distiller in town, Old Elk. “In a nondescript warehouse in northeast Fort Collins, a handful of people work in obscurity, without a name or logo to betray the activity inside 1713 Lincoln Ave.”

“Weld County officials finalized new oil and gas rules this week, in part, to push back against state regulators, but one of the state agency’s veterans says the rules aren’t too shabby,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Thom Kerr spent 23 years at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission overseeing the industry as it began to boom in Weld. “I’d say that it seems like they’ve reached a middle ground that is good for the residents and good for the industry,” he said.”

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports on a psychiatric hospital raising money for a new facility. “At any given time, the 32 beds at West Springs Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Grand Junction, are filled. An additional 10 to 22 people are on wait lists each day. Those people who would be better served at a psychiatric hospital may be housed in jails, medical hospitals or taken to a Denver-area psychiatric hospital, said Sharon Raggio, president and chief executive officer of Mind Springs Health, the private, not-for-profit parent company of West Springs Hospital.”

“Trump back on winning track,” reads the above-the-fold headline from a wire story about a Trump rally in Ohio in today’s Pueblo Chieftain.

The Loveland Reporter-Herald reports how Larimer County might lift mandatory court appearances for animal violations. “First, if the changes are approved, those who receive tickets for violations such as barking dogs, animals at large or even rabies violations would be able to choose whether to pay the fine in advance or whether to appear in court. On more serious violations, or those involving some possible restitution, animal control officers could still require a mandatory court appearance.”

“Just before midnight Thursday, the Boulder Planning Board rejected a proposed mixed-use development with commercial space and 50 middle-income housing units near the corner of Broadway and Iris Avenue,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The unanimous decision was consistent with a recommendation made by city planners who had taken the rare step ahead of the hearing to recommend outright denial of the proposal, largely on the grounds that it was inconsistent with several Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan policies.”

The Durango Herald reports on potential local fixes for a housing shortage. As part of it, “city staff members are also considering changing regulations that govern parking, height and density to help encourage housing, Planner Mark Williams told the crowd. The city has been working with an advisory committee to help guide these proposals.”