Monday, September 11, 2017

Colorado in focus: Voters’ approval of I-25 funding seen as crucial to ‘Gap’ widening

By Watchdog News - September 11, 2017 at 07:44AM

Denver Post: El Paso County voters’ approval of I-25 funding seen as crucial to ‘Gap’ widening

Even with two local ballot measures setting aside at least $16 million for widening Interstate 25 between Monument to Castle Rock, officials are nowhere near being able to foot the bill for the project.

No other counties or municipalities have offered to help pay to expand the roughly 17-mile stretch from two to three lanes in each direction, and state transportation officials are far from finalizing a funding plan for the project.

To make it a more competitive candidate for federal grants, the Colorado Department of Transportation is proposing adding one toll lane in each direction on the stretch of interstate known as the “Gap.”

But with CDOT’s annual budget shortfall of about $1 billion and infrastructure improvements needed statewide, the project still has plenty of rivals.

The Denver Post: Feds approve expansion of West Elk Mine in western Colorado against environmental group objections

The proposed expansion of the West Elk Mine near Somerset won approval from the U.S. Forest Service on Thursday.

The benefits of the 1,720-acre, 17 million-ton coal mine expansion outweighed any environmental threat, Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest supervisor Scott Armentrout wrote in the draft record of decision.

The West Elk Mine, which is owned by Arch Coal, employs about 220 people and last year produced 4 million tons of coal.

The decision now goes to a 45-day review period during which Delta County commissioner Mark Roeber said he expected environmental organizations to file objections. If the decision is affirmed, work to build roads and drill vents for methane from the mine could begin in the spring.

The Coloradoan: Broadband, taxes and term limits: A look at Larimer County’s November ballot

Commercial breaks during Broncos games this fall may not have as many smiling politicians — or dour, depending on the ad’s tenor — but that doesn’t mean an election isn’t right around the corner.

Voters in Larimer County, Fort Collins and its school districts will have a slew of choices to make this fall. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Fort Collins voters will have a say in two areas: Should the city take concrete steps toward establishing a city-run (or city-sponsored) broadband, and should the city need to ask its voters every time it wants to update marijuana laws to comply with the state’s?


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