The Home Front: U.S. Senators Bennet and Gardner want $9M reimbursement for cleaning up water toxins near Colorado Springs

“Colorado lawmakers are making a second bid to get local water utilities reimbursed for cleaning up toxins tied to the Air Force after failing to get their provision in the National Defense Authorization Act,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner this time are working to get an amendment to a defense spending bill that would reimburse $9 million to water providers in Security, Widefield and Fountain for their emergency actions in 2016 after tests found that the Widefield aquifer carried dangerous levels of perfluorinated compounds — chemicals tied to firefighting foam used at Peterson Air Force Base.”

“It’s not that often, Greeley Assistant City Manager Becky Safarik said, that local governments open new offices, let alone ones that are designed specifically for the departments that work in them,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “So, she said, officials are excited about the Greeley’s new $21.4 million City Center, 1001 11th Ave., which was designed to house the city’s information technology and water and sewer departments, municipal court, GTV8 studios and the Greeley City Council chambers. It’s the first time in decades officials can say that With a vault in the basement and underground tunnels that connect to teller stations to prove it, Greeley’s current City Hall originally operated as United Bank of Greeley. The City Hall Annex, located across the street, was supposed to be used as space for business offices.”

“Sears at the Mesa Mall will close in November as the department store continues to shutter locations across the country,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The Sears Holding Company announced Wednesday that it will shut down 46 Kmart and Sears locations. The Mesa Mall Sears is the only Colorado store on the list.”

“The ‘Fix Our Damn Roads’ proposal to sell $3.5 billion in bonds to finance state road and bridge projects has made the ballot, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams announced Wednesday,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “A random sampling of the measure’s petition signatures showed backers of Initiative 167 had submitted enough to exceed the 98,492 needed to qualify for the November election, Williams stated in a news release.”

“When Pueblo citizens have large items lying around that need to be disposed of, it can be a costly endeavor,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Some citizens will keep that trash around and pile it up instead of getting rid of it. That, in turn, may lead to lead to illegal dumping. The problem is getting worse and city and county leaders are trying to fix it. To that end, the city of Pueblo was proactive in opening up a large item trash drop-off site earlier this year at the old animal shelter site on Stockyard Road. There residents are able to dispose of large, bulky items at the cost of a $10 voucher that are limited to two per city address.”

“Fall is landing in Summit County with chill and raindrops, and focus is starting to shift from the stress of a dry, fiery summer to hopes for a snow-packed winter,” reports Summit Daily. “While it is far too soon to accurately guess what kind of snow the High Country will wind up getting, there’s at least hope for average snow in Summit based on predictions for the 2018-2019 climate pattern. El Niño is a term originating from the 1600s from the Spanish “El Niño de Navidad,” or child of the nativity, as the pattern usually occurs around Christmas time. The importance of the climate pattern, which alternates with a neutral or La Niña pattern every two to seven years, can’t be overstated. It can affect the livelihoods of fishermen in Central and South America, cause severe droughts in South Asia, and cause major and minor disruptions to typical climate patterns all over the planet.”

“Developers and Steamboat Springs City Council found common ground on an annexation agreement that would lay the foundation for three neighborhoods in West Steamboat to be built and annexed into the city limits,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “Council will review the final annexation agreement at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 18. Should the annexation agreement be approved, it would then be reviewed by the city planning department and city clerk’s office.”

“Though finance staff have been at work on the 2019 budget process since last December, the public-facing portion of the budgeting season began Wednesday with a review of the new budget book by the Citizens’ Finance Advisory Commission,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The commissioners discussed their likes and dislikes about the new and improved budget book, which they will communicate to the City Council at the council’s first budget study session Sept. 11. This year, by council direction, city staff led by Budget Manager Theresa Wilson moved deadlines forward in the budgeting process to give council more time to consider the budget, and changed some aspects of the budget presentation to make it more understandable to people without a finance background.”

“When local kids head back to their classrooms this fall, a new mental health support system is being mobilized on their behalf,” reports Vail Daily. “On Tuesday, Aug. 21, the Eagle County commissioners allocated $400,000 from the 1A marijuana tax proposals that passed last fall to fund four new school-based counselors — three for the buildings in the Eagle River Valley and one for the Roaring Fork Valley School District. The proposal marks the first recommendation from the county’s Mental Health Advisory Committee.”

“With several hospitals, an airport and a few Air Force bases around and near Northern Colorado, it’s not uncommon to hear a helicopter buzzing overhead,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “One of the most frequent questions Coloradoan reporters field on a daily basis is finding out the origin of helicopters spotted above Fort Collins. The short answer: It could be a variety of things, most of which are mundane. Hospitals have four of the seven helipads in Northern Colorado.”

“The defense attorney for Matthew Smith made a motion Wednesday to acquit him on charges of attempted first-degree murder, stating that there is not sufficient evidence to give the jury in support of the charges,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Smith, 27, is accused of ordering Jeremy Jackson, 27, and Jacob Durand, 22, out of a pickup truck at gunpoint and then attempting an execution-style shooting in the early morning hours of June 28, 2017, in the Chandler area. Smith is facing charges of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, felony menacing and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.”

“Boulder City Council on Tuesday night voted to move forward with a flood mitigation plan that ignored expert advice, objections from a key project partner, and the preferences of the public and a city advisory board,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The 6-3 vote to advance the plan known as Variant 1, taken around 11:30 p.m., was to a mostly empty chamber: Residents of Frasier Meadows retirement community left earlier after a failed vote for the Variant 2 plan, which received the most support during a public feedback process, best met the nine identified project criteria, was preferred by the University of Colorado (the property owner) and the Water Resources Advisory Board and is the most easily adaptable for larger storms brought about by climate change.”

“Colorado’s 6th Congressional District will be ground zero this fall in the fight over control of the U.S. House,” reports The Denver Post. “Technically, it’s a race between Democratic challenger Jason Crow, an attorney and former Army Ranger, and Republican incumbent Mike Coffman for the district that traces a half circle around Denver’s east side. But nationally, it’s seen as a key indicator of whether Democrats can take Congress. “I think the odds are high — not certain, but high — that whichever party wins this district will control Congress come January,” said Eric Sondermann, an independent political analyst. “If Crow pulls this off, you can easily imagine the Democrats having a very good night come November and taking back the House.” The Cook Political Report rates the race as one of 27 tossup seats that are now in Republican hands. Just two Democratic seats are considered tossups.”

 

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.

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