The Home Front: TABOR lawsuit could ‘delay a critical piece of funding for the widening of Interstate 25’

“A years-old lawsuit could delay a critical piece of funding for the widening of Interstate 25 between Monument and Castle Rock, possibly pushing back the start of construction,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “The hangup stems from a 2015 lawsuit filed by the TABOR Foundation against the state over the constitutionality of Colorado’s hospital provider fee. Last December, the foundation argued that a new state law – one that’s expected to generate nearly $2 billion for the I-25 widening and other transportation projects around the state – is also unconstitutional, according to an amended complaint filed in Denver District Court.”

“A nearly three-year legal fight over a concrete and asphalt plant near residential homes, an organic farm and a wedding venue in Johnstown has ended, as neither Weld County nor Martin Marietta Materials will appeal a Colorado Court of Appeals decision to reverse the Board of Weld County Commissioners approval of the plant,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Weld County and Martin Marietta Materials officials have until Friday to appeal to the Colorado State Supreme Court, but both sides on Wednesday confirmed they would not do so. The victory for surrounding property owners could be short lived, as Martin Marietta Materials Regional Vice President David Hagerman in a statement provided Wednesday said he expected the plant to be operational at some point. Neither Hagerman nor a company spokesman would elaborate on the statement, and it’s unclear what path the company will take moving forward.”

“The trouble bubbled up about four times a year when the city of Grand Junction’s sanitation crews cleaned out a narrow, tricky section of sewer drain underneath the alley on the south side of Main Street’s businesses,” reports The Grand Junction Daly Sentinel. “Sewage sometimes backed up, gurgled into toilets or filled up businesses with the stench of sewer gas, requiring workers to open doors to air out the place.”

“Martin Marietta Materials can proceed with steps toward seeking further Boulder County approvals for eventual gravel mining operations on about 610 acres of property south of Colo. 66 and east of Lyons,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Dale Case, director of Boulder County’s Land Use Department, announced Wednesday that he had determined that the county’s permission and conditions for such a “special use” of the land — under a permit originally approved by the county in August 1998 — still apply nearly 20 years later. However, the actual start of gravel mining on the property may still be five or more years away, Case said in an interview.”

“Former Colorado State University-Pueblo President and former Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia has been selected as a finalist for the position of president of the Colorado Community College System,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Garcia was selected after a rigorous nationwide search process that began last fall by the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education. Assuming all goes well, Garcia will replace Nancy McCallin, who will retire after 14 years as president of the system.”

“Routt County is eyeing the current Steamboat Pilot & Today headquarters in west Steamboat as a potential place to put county offices,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “County officials have taken multiple tours of the newspaper offices on Curve Court this winter. The county’s interest in the building, which is listed for sale at $5.5 million, comes after the city of Steamboat ended its pursuit of the property in October. “It’s exploratory at this point,” Deputy County Manager Dan Weinheimer said Wednesday of the county’s level of interest in the building. ‘We’re still trying to identify the pot of money we’d use to buy it and the business case for it in a lot of ways. I think there’s still a lot of work to be done before we’d be willing or able to move forward on something like that.'”

“One of the oldest Fort Collins running races and oldest half marathon takes place Sunday with the 45th running of the Horsetooth Half Marathon,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “An estimated 1,900 runners are expected for the race that takes participants from Hughes Stadium into the foothills and through the city where it finishes at New Belgium Brewing Co. “Registrations have been strong for this year’s race, and we’re expecting to see more finishers than the record 1,650 we had at last year’s race,” race director Nick Clark said. “We’re also expecting very fast times at the front of the race this year, with strong fields in both the men’s and women’s races vying for a piece of the record $8,000 purse.”

“Members of the Berthoud Town Board, both current and elected, are divided over whether a member of their board violated Colorado open meetings law to discuss next steps following the April 3 election,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The “next step” is the selection of a fourth new member of the Town Board to fill the new mayor’s soon-to-be-vacant seat. Will Karspeck won the mayoral seat by about a two-thirds majority over opponent Jeff Hindman, and voters elected Maureen Dower, Tim Hardy and Pete Tomassi to the currently open board seats. Since both Karspeck and Hindman have served on the Town Board since 2016 with terms concluding in 2020, board members knew they would soon need to find someone to fill the mayor-elect’s seat and serve the remaining two years of his term, regardless of the outcome of the race.”

“A heavy storm last weekend did more than put smiles on the faces of local powder hounds,” reports Vail Daily. “That storm, by itself, put down 18 percent of Vail Mountain’s current snowpack. According to the website, Vail Mountain has received 23 inches of snow in the past seven days, virtually all of it from that weekend storm.”

“Their voices give hope to those in the most frightening moments of their lives,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Emergency dispatchers field calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. They’re continuously monitoring first responder movement and answering calls from frightened and injured residents, taking command of a scene until the next level of care arrives. While they typically are the unseen heroes, this is their week to shine. The dispatchers at the Fremont County Regional Dispatch Center are being honored during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. Each day offers a special treat or event, and other local first responder agencies are showing their appreciation by bringing them food and other goodies.”

“New Vista High School parents overwhelmingly told the Boulder Valley school board at a worksession this week that they’re not interested in sharing their building with a proposed charter high school,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The school board is considering an application for Summit Academy, a charter high school proposed by the existing Summit Middle School. Organizers hope to open the school in Boulder in the fall of 2019. The worksession included a public hearing and reports from two committees that evaluated the charter school application. Summit offered three possibilities for a facility in its application, including co-locating at New Vista’s campus at 700 20th St. across from the University of Colorado. Another option was building somewhere else and co-locating both schools at that new location.”

“A woman who says she wore a hidden mike to help build a case against a Denver Women’s Correctional Facility canteen supervisor accused of sexually harassing and assaulting inmates has sued prison investigators because the man was not charged for groping her crotch during the sting,” reports The Denver Post. “They used her as human bait and allowed her to be sexually assaulted while she was wearing a wire,” Denver civil rights attorney David Lane said Wednesday. “He disappears from the Department of Corrections, but no criminal charges are filed. Why wasn’t he charged?” Late Tuesday, Lane’s law firm filed a civil claim in U.S. District Court in Denver on behalf of Susan Ullery, 32, against the former supervisor, Bruce Bradley; Rick Raemisch, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections; Warden David Johnson; Capt. Ramona Avant; and two investigators.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of this listing misstated when a story appeared in The Cañon City Daily Record and has been updated. 

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