The Home Front: National monuments, mobile homes and a gas leak explosion

Donald Trump’s executive order on national monuments could impact Colorado sites, the Denver Post reports today, calling into question decades of monument designations. Trump is expected to sign the order on Wednesday, “instructing the Interior Department to review national monument designations his three predecessors have made over the past 21 years,” including Bears Ears National Monument.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel today reported that Ursa Resources, an oil and gas driller which has begun drilling in western Garfield County, has constructed a new rig that “doesn’t stand out,” reporting that, “some 50 feet shorter than a typical drilling rig, it nearly hides behind a 32-foot-tall sound wall that Ursa has erected around the pad where it has begun drilling wells at its first Battlement Mesa pad.” The rig is part of the company’s new tactics to reduce drilling impacts.

Boulder is exploring the purchase and annexation of the Ponderosa Mobile Home Park, the Boulder Daily Camera reports today. “Should the city acquire Ponderosa, a 68-unit park at 4475 Broadway, it would look to preserve roughly the same density and affordability levels that exist there now, said Kurt Firnhaber, the city’s housing director.”

Water restrictions will soon be announced in Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Today writes, mostly because the city is “anticipating an earlier-than-normal water runoff in the wake of the dry spring.” The restrictions will limit lawn watering to just three days a week, starting in May.

The Colorado Board of Education has spared two Greeley-area middle schools from more serious consequences, choosing instead to turn Franklin and Prairie Heights middle schools into “innovation schools” next year. ” The state could have shut down the schools, taken them over or transformed the schools into charter schools, among other possible options,” the Greeley Tribune reports.

A gas leak has been cited as the cause of an explosion in a Loveland motel, the Loveland Reporter-Herald reports today. Firefighters extinguished the blast, which was ignited by a resident who lit a cigarette, before the building burned down. It’s unclear what caused the initial leak.

The Fort Collins Coloradoan fronts an explainer today about where school funding goes. In short, two main funding sources — state formula funding and local funding through property taxes and specific ownership taxes — are calculated differently, with the state formula based on school enrollment and local funding based on ownership taxes.  The story is part of the paper’s new series on school funding, “Sacrificing Our Schools.”

Colorado Springs’ Trails, Open Space and Parks programs remains a success story 20 years later, the Colorado Springs Gazette writes today, and it will remain for at least the next several years. “The program will continue until at least 2025. Its current formula calls for 3 percent to be spent on administering the program, 6 percent on maintenance of any TOPS property, at least 60 percent on open space acquisitions, and no more than 20 percent on trails and 20 percent or less for parks.”

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