<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - government]]> http://gazette.com/rss/government Tue, 27 Jan 2015 05:27:19 -0700 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Oil and gas tax revenue has little impact for Colorado Springs area]]> BY RYAN MAYE HANDY ryanmaye.handy@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/oil-and-gas-tax-revenue-has-little-impact-for-colorado-springs-area/article/1545287?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/oil-and-gas-tax-revenue-has-little-impact-for-colorado-springs-area/article/1545287?custom_click=rss Every year, El Paso County gets a couple of hundred thousand in tax dollars from oil and gas and mineral extraction - which might seem odd, since the county has very little of either.

But thanks to annual state severance tax and federal mineral leases, slivers of municipal budgets all over El Paso County come from energy operators, few though they may be in an area with a smattering of oil wells and no active coal mining permits.

In 2014, El Paso County got $104,103.49 in severance taxes, which was distributed to nine local governments for the 2015 fiscal year, according to records released Monday by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. Within the county, the city of Colorado Springs got the most - $57,003.

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]]> Every year, El Paso County gets a couple of hundred thousand in tax dollars from oil and gas and mineral extraction - which might seem odd, since the county has very little of either.

But thanks to annual state severance tax and federal mineral leases, slivers of municipal budgets all over El Paso County come from energy operators, few though they may be in an area with a smattering of oil wells and no active coal mining permits.

In 2014, El Paso County got $104,103.49 in severance taxes, which was distributed to nine local governments for the 2015 fiscal year, according to records released Monday by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. Within the county, the city of Colorado Springs got the most - $57,003.]]> Tue, 27 Jan 2015 04:15:31 -0700 <![CDATA[Colorado Springs council may flush Mayor Steve Bach's stormwater plan]]> BY MONICA MENDOZA monica.mendoza@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-council-may-flush-mayor-steve-bachs-stormwater-plan/article/1545285?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-council-may-flush-mayor-steve-bachs-stormwater-plan/article/1545285?custom_click=rss It appears that Colorado Springs City Council will let Mayor Steve Bach's capital improvement proposal for stormwater projects, roads and parks go down the drain.

The council is set to vote Tuesday on whether to put a $160 million bond issue on the April 7 ballot, but it does not appear Bach has the five votes he needs - despite a last-minute phone and email campaign by the newly formed Colorado Springs Forward group to drum up council and citizen support.

Two alternative proposals by council members surfaced Monday, and the proposal advanced by Councilwoman Jan Martin for a "pay as we go" stormwater plan could be the one that gains council's favor.

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]]> It appears that Colorado Springs City Council will let Mayor Steve Bach's capital improvement proposal for stormwater projects, roads and parks go down the drain.

The council is set to vote Tuesday on whether to put a $160 million bond issue on the April 7 ballot, but it does not appear Bach has the five votes he needs - despite a last-minute phone and email campaign by the newly formed Colorado Springs Forward group to drum up council and citizen support.

Two alternative proposals by council members surfaced Monday, and the proposal advanced by Councilwoman Jan Martin for a "pay as we go" stormwater plan could be the one that gains council's favor.]]> Tue, 27 Jan 2015 04:10:15 -0700 <![CDATA[Colorado lawmakers consider banning powdered alcohol]]> IVAN MORENO, Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-lawmakers-consider-banning-powdered-alcohol/article/1545251?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-lawmakers-consider-banning-powdered-alcohol/article/1545251?custom_click=rss

DENVER — Colorado lawmakers will consider whether to ban powdered alcohol before the product arrives in stores amid worries that its convenience will make it easy to sneak into schools and sporting events.

Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont have already banned the product, which is pending approval from federal regulators. A bill to join those states will be considered Monday in a Colorado House committee.

The product called "Palcohol" is an ounce of rum or vodka in powdered form in a plastic bag. Water is mixed in to the bag, and each serving is the equivalent of a shot of liquor, according to Lipsmark, the company that owns the product.

The Denver Broncos agree with the proposal to ban



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DENVER — Colorado lawmakers will consider whether to ban powdered alcohol before the product arrives in stores amid worries that its convenience will make it easy to sneak into schools and sporting events.

Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont have already banned the product, which is pending approval from federal regulators. A bill to join those states will be considered Monday in a Colorado House committee.

The product called "Palcohol" is an ounce of rum or vodka in powdered form in a plastic bag. Water is mixed in to the bag, and each serving is the equivalent of a shot of liquor, according to Lipsmark, the company that owns the product.

The Denver Broncos agree with the proposal to ban

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Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:40:30 -0700
<![CDATA[Events in and around Colorado Springs this week]]> The Gazette http://gazette.com/events-in-and-around-colorado-springs-this-week/article/1545219?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/events-in-and-around-colorado-springs-this-week/article/1545219?custom_click=rss

The Colorado Springs City Council will discuss at its Monday work session a proposed April 7 ballot question that would ask voters to change the city's charter to give the City Council hiring and firing power over its employees.

The council also will discuss placing a recall question on the ballot.

Residents in District 4 were successful in their efforts to get a recall election for Councilwoman Helen Collins. The council is expected to take action on the recall ballot question at its meeting Tuesday.

The work session begins at 1 p.m. in City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave.

The Colorado Springs City Council is expected to vote on a decrease in natural gas rates at its regular council meeting Tuesday.

If



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The Colorado Springs City Council will discuss at its Monday work session a proposed April 7 ballot question that would ask voters to change the city's charter to give the City Council hiring and firing power over its employees.

The council also will discuss placing a recall question on the ballot.

Residents in District 4 were successful in their efforts to get a recall election for Councilwoman Helen Collins. The council is expected to take action on the recall ballot question at its meeting Tuesday.

The work session begins at 1 p.m. in City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave.

The Colorado Springs City Council is expected to vote on a decrease in natural gas rates at its regular council meeting Tuesday.

If

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Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:52:45 -0700
<![CDATA[Fight over Palmer Lake could end in court]]> BY RYAN MAYE HANDY ryanmaye.handy@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/fight-over-palmer-lake-could-end-in-court/article/1545231?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/fight-over-palmer-lake-could-end-in-court/article/1545231?custom_click=rss

When Palmer Lake resident Cynthia Graff took her seat in front of the Monument board of trustees last week, she was one in a long line of area residents who came to plead for a timeless Western right - water.

Water, specifically in Palmer Lake, is part of what drew Graff and others to the Tri-Lakes region. Even after development cut off the flow of runoff into the natural lake, Palmer Lake residents have fought for six decades to keep the iconic lake full. But now the town is fighting for the water against close competitors, the town of Monument and its lake, pitting the survival of one lake against another.

For some locals, the fight over an old railroad water right has one resolution - to fill Palmer Lake, which has been



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When Palmer Lake resident Cynthia Graff took her seat in front of the Monument board of trustees last week, she was one in a long line of area residents who came to plead for a timeless Western right - water.

Water, specifically in Palmer Lake, is part of what drew Graff and others to the Tri-Lakes region. Even after development cut off the flow of runoff into the natural lake, Palmer Lake residents have fought for six decades to keep the iconic lake full. But now the town is fighting for the water against close competitors, the town of Monument and its lake, pitting the survival of one lake against another.

For some locals, the fight over an old railroad water right has one resolution - to fill Palmer Lake, which has been

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Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:58:00 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado tightening reins on health insurance exchange]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-tightening-reins-on-health-insurance-exchange/article/1545252?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-tightening-reins-on-health-insurance-exchange/article/1545252?custom_click=rss DENVER — Colorado's health insurance exchange is facing more scrutiny from the Legislature.

The state Senate gave initial approval Monday to two bill to increase oversight of the quasi-public exchange, called Connect For Health Colorado.

One of the bills authorizes state auditors to take a closer look at how the exchange operates.

The measure is a priority for Republicans who have newly taken control of the Senate. Democrats opposed the measure last year, but are supporting it this year.

The other bill requires lawmakers to approve before the exchange awards employee bonuses. Republicans call it a needed check on the exchange. Democrats called it onerous for an agency that both sides want to run with



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DENVER — Colorado's health insurance exchange is facing more scrutiny from the Legislature.

The state Senate gave initial approval Monday to two bill to increase oversight of the quasi-public exchange, called Connect For Health Colorado.

One of the bills authorizes state auditors to take a closer look at how the exchange operates.

The measure is a priority for Republicans who have newly taken control of the Senate. Democrats opposed the measure last year, but are supporting it this year.

The other bill requires lawmakers to approve before the exchange awards employee bonuses. Republicans call it a needed check on the exchange. Democrats called it onerous for an agency that both sides want to run with

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Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:28:49 -0700
<![CDATA[5 Things To Know at the Colorado statehouse]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/5-things-to-know-at-the-colorado-statehouse/article/1545214?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/5-things-to-know-at-the-colorado-statehouse/article/1545214?custom_click=rss DENVER — Colorado lawmakers are heading into the third week of the 2015 legislative session, and their workload is beginning to increase. Five things to watch for this week:

POWDERED ALCOHOL

It's not available in stores yet, but Colorado lawmakers are considering joining a handful of states that have already banned powdered alcohol until they find out more about the product and how to regulate it. Federal regulators are still working to approve the product, called "Palcohol." It's marketed as an ounce of rum or vodka in powdered form, which is then added to water. A Republican bill to ban the product gets its first committee hearing in the House on Monday.

TEEN PREGNANCY

Democratic Gov.



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DENVER — Colorado lawmakers are heading into the third week of the 2015 legislative session, and their workload is beginning to increase. Five things to watch for this week:

POWDERED ALCOHOL

It's not available in stores yet, but Colorado lawmakers are considering joining a handful of states that have already banned powdered alcohol until they find out more about the product and how to regulate it. Federal regulators are still working to approve the product, called "Palcohol." It's marketed as an ounce of rum or vodka in powdered form, which is then added to water. A Republican bill to ban the product gets its first committee hearing in the House on Monday.

TEEN PREGNANCY

Democratic Gov.

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Sun, 25 Jan 2015 10:27:09 -0700
<![CDATA[Gazette wants to hear from readers about city election in Colorado Springs]]> The Gazette - http://gazette.com/gazette-wants-to-hear-from-readers-about-city-election-in-colorado-springs/article/1545181?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/gazette-wants-to-hear-from-readers-about-city-election-in-colorado-springs/article/1545181?custom_click=rss

The 2015 Colorado Springs municipal election is fast approaching, and with five City Council seats and the mayor's office up for grabs, plenty is on tap.

As the second city election under the strong mayor form of government, the choices made by voters could have great influence on the future of Colorado Springs.

The Gazette wants to hear from readers about the election and campaign issues that are important to them and will host an election coverage open house at 
6 p.m. Thursday at the paper.

Space is limited, and an RSVP is required. To do so, email your request to Local News/Elections Editor Rob Johnson at rob.johnson@
gazette.com by Tuesday. Confirmation emails will be sent to attendees.

If you are unable

Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


]]> The 2015 Colorado Springs municipal election is fast approaching, and with five City Council seats and the mayor's office up for grabs, plenty is on tap.

As the second city election under the strong mayor form of government, the choices made by voters could have great influence on the future of Colorado Springs.

The Gazette wants to hear from readers about the election and campaign issues that are important to them and will host an election coverage open house at 
6 p.m. Thursday at the paper.

Space is limited, and an RSVP is required. To do so, email your request to Local News/Elections Editor Rob Johnson at rob.johnson@
gazette.com by Tuesday. Confirmation emails will be sent to attendees.

If you are unable]]> Sun, 25 Jan 2015 04:15:21 -0700 <![CDATA[Councilman Snider won't seek re-election, guaranteeing three new council members in April]]> By Monica Mendoza monica.mendoza@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/councilman-snider-wont-seek-re-election-guaranteeing-three-new-council-members-in-april/article/1545114?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/councilman-snider-wont-seek-re-election-guaranteeing-three-new-council-members-in-april/article/1545114?custom_click=rss

Colorado Springs City Councilman Val Snider will not seek re-election, and that means at least three new faces on the council in April.

Snider broke the news Friday morning on Facebook.

"After much thought and personal reflection I have decided I'd like to take my life in a new direction, other than running for another four years on City Council," Snider wrote. " . it's my view some new blood and fresh perspectives will be useful for City Council."

Snider, a retired Air Force officer, was elected to the at-large seat in 2011, the same year Jan Martin and Merv Bennett won their seats. Martin is term limited; Bennett has said he intends to seek re-election.

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]]> Colorado Springs City Councilman Val Snider will not seek re-election, and that means at least three new faces on the council in April.

Snider broke the news Friday morning on Facebook.

"After much thought and personal reflection I have decided I'd like to take my life in a new direction, other than running for another four years on City Council," Snider wrote. " . it's my view some new blood and fresh perspectives will be useful for City Council."

Snider, a retired Air Force officer, was elected to the at-large seat in 2011, the same year Jan Martin and Merv Bennett won their seats. Martin is term limited; Bennett has said he intends to seek re-election.]]> Sat, 24 Jan 2015 04:10:16 -0700 <![CDATA[Mayor honors five Colorado Springs young leaders]]> By MONICA MENDOZA monica.mendoza@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/mayor-honors-five-colorado-springs-young-leaders/article/1545078?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/mayor-honors-five-colorado-springs-young-leaders/article/1545078?custom_click=rss Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach presented five people with Mayor's Young Leader awards on Wednesday, honoring individuals for efforts in their field while making a positive impact in the community. The event raised $9,000, which will be used for projects led by young leaders.

Twenty-one people were nominated. The winners are:

- Creative Industry - Jorden Smith for A Positive Note. Smith is a musician who experienced a traumatic brain injury. A Positive Note is meant to help young adults with disabilities create a sense of self-worth and accomplishment while learning the fundamentals of music.

- Economic Impact - Yemi Mobolade for The Wild Goose Meeting House.

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]]> Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach presented five people with Mayor's Young Leader awards on Wednesday, honoring individuals for efforts in their field while making a positive impact in the community. The event raised $9,000, which will be used for projects led by young leaders.

Twenty-one people were nominated. The winners are:

- Creative Industry - Jorden Smith for A Positive Note. Smith is a musician who experienced a traumatic brain injury. A Positive Note is meant to help young adults with disabilities create a sense of self-worth and accomplishment while learning the fundamentals of music.

- Economic Impact - Yemi Mobolade for The Wild Goose Meeting House.]]> Sat, 24 Jan 2015 04:10:13 -0700 <![CDATA[Blog: Mayor Bach received $999 in gifts in 2014]]> Monica Mendoza http://gazette.com/blog-mayor-bach-received-999-in-gifts-in-2014/article/1545122?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/blog-mayor-bach-received-999-in-gifts-in-2014/article/1545122?custom_click=rss Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach received some lunches, tea and a poncho among other gifts in 2014, according to a report he released Friday.

All told, Bach recived $999 worth of gifts, most of which were lunches and dinners. He did get a $50 jacket at the USOC Open House, a $25 set of cuff links from Gen. William Shelton -- who retired in 2014 when he was Commander at Air Force Space Command on Peterson Air Force Base -- and $75 small Nike sculpture from the Sister City Greek delegation.



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Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach received some lunches, tea and a poncho among other gifts in 2014, according to a report he released Friday.

All told, Bach recived $999 worth of gifts, most of which were lunches and dinners. He did get a $50 jacket at the USOC Open House, a $25 set of cuff links from Gen. William Shelton -- who retired in 2014 when he was Commander at Air Force Space Command on Peterson Air Force Base -- and $75 small Nike sculpture from the Sister City Greek delegation.

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Fri, 23 Jan 2015 14:59:27 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado lawmakers gear up for battle over fracking]]> By Ivan Moreno, Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-lawmakers-gear-up-for-battle-over-fracking/article/1545127?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-lawmakers-gear-up-for-battle-over-fracking/article/1545127?custom_click=rss DENVER — Colorado Republicans are proposing to compensate mineral owners when a local government bans or restricts fracking.

The GOP's approach has bothered Democrats who argue lawmakers should wait for recommendations from a task force studying how to resolve land-use disputes among homeowners, local governments, and energy companies.

Regulations over fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, are expected to be one of the most divisive issues state lawmakers take up this year.

Recommendations from the task force are due in late February. But Republicans already have two pending proposals to counter any fracking restrictions.

A bill in the House would require local governments that ban fracking to compensate



Read more on Colorado Springs Gazette


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DENVER — Colorado Republicans are proposing to compensate mineral owners when a local government bans or restricts fracking.

The GOP's approach has bothered Democrats who argue lawmakers should wait for recommendations from a task force studying how to resolve land-use disputes among homeowners, local governments, and energy companies.

Regulations over fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, are expected to be one of the most divisive issues state lawmakers take up this year.

Recommendations from the task force are due in late February. But Republicans already have two pending proposals to counter any fracking restrictions.

A bill in the House would require local governments that ban fracking to compensate

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Fri, 23 Jan 2015 14:52:31 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado funding for immigrant driver's licenses still in limbo]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-funding-for-immigrant-drivers-licenses-still-in-limbo/article/1545120?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-funding-for-immigrant-drivers-licenses-still-in-limbo/article/1545120?custom_click=rss DENVER — Republicans again blocked access to funds to operate a Colorado program granting immigrants driver's licenses regardless of their legal status.

The state Department of Revenue has asked budget writers for permission to spend about $166,000 that they've already collected from immigrants who have paid for licenses, driving permits, and identification cards.

The program receives no state funding and is operated through user fees. Without the funds, the department has said it may need to reduce the offices that process the licenses from five statewide to one.

The Joint Budget Committee voted on the issue on Wednesday and Friday and both times the request failed to get enough votes to pass.



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DENVER — Republicans again blocked access to funds to operate a Colorado program granting immigrants driver's licenses regardless of their legal status.

The state Department of Revenue has asked budget writers for permission to spend about $166,000 that they've already collected from immigrants who have paid for licenses, driving permits, and identification cards.

The program receives no state funding and is operated through user fees. Without the funds, the department has said it may need to reduce the offices that process the licenses from five statewide to one.

The Joint Budget Committee voted on the issue on Wednesday and Friday and both times the request failed to get enough votes to pass.

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Fri, 23 Jan 2015 13:30:14 -0700
<![CDATA[Cañon City Councilman Kevin Ditmore has died]]> By Carie Canterbury, The Daily Record http://gazette.com/caon-city-councilman-kevin-ditmore-has-died/article/1545071?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/caon-city-councilman-kevin-ditmore-has-died/article/1545071?custom_click=rss

Council members, city officials and visitors to the Cañon City Public Works Committee paused Wednesday for a moment of silence when they received news that Councilman Kevin Ditmore had died after a recent illness.

Ditmore, 57, was elected in November 2013 as the District 2 council representative and served as mayor pro tem. While in office, he also was appointed to the contract negotiating committee and the Fremont County Tourism Commission and he was chair of the Public Works Committee. His term was set to expire in December.

"Kevin was a very civic-minded individual, and he was good for this community," Councilman Colby Katchmar said during Wednesday's meeting.



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Council members, city officials and visitors to the Cañon City Public Works Committee paused Wednesday for a moment of silence when they received news that Councilman Kevin Ditmore had died after a recent illness.

Ditmore, 57, was elected in November 2013 as the District 2 council representative and served as mayor pro tem. While in office, he also was appointed to the contract negotiating committee and the Fremont County Tourism Commission and he was chair of the Public Works Committee. His term was set to expire in December.

"Kevin was a very civic-minded individual, and he was good for this community," Councilman Colby Katchmar said during Wednesday's meeting.

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Thu, 22 Jan 2015 17:11:54 -0700
<![CDATA[Mowle reappointed as El Paso County Public Trustee]]> By name newspaper - http://gazette.com/mowle-reappointed-as-el-paso-county-public-trustee/article/1545069?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/mowle-reappointed-as-el-paso-county-public-trustee/article/1545069?custom_click=rss Gov. John Hickenlooper has reappointed Tom Mowle as El Paso County Public Trustee, the governor's office announced Thursday. Mowle's term will run through Feb. 1, 2019.

Mowle, 49 and a retired Air Force major, has served as Public Trustee since February 2008, when he was appointed by then-Gov. Bill Ritter.

The trustee's office processes real estate foreclosures and oversees the administration of deeds of trust, among other duties.

Mowle graduated in 1987 from the University of Notre Dame with bachelor's degrees in computer engineering and government.

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]]> Gov. John Hickenlooper has reappointed Tom Mowle as El Paso County Public Trustee, the governor's office announced Thursday. Mowle's term will run through Feb. 1, 2019.

Mowle, 49 and a retired Air Force major, has served as Public Trustee since February 2008, when he was appointed by then-Gov. Bill Ritter.

The trustee's office processes real estate foreclosures and oversees the administration of deeds of trust, among other duties.

Mowle graduated in 1987 from the University of Notre Dame with bachelor's degrees in computer engineering and government.]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 15:45:01 -0700