Ports-to-Plains Investors
Index

 

Newsletters

      Ports-to-Plains



 

 

 

 

 

Ports-to-Plains Alliance

Entries in Colorado (18)

Tuesday
May022017

Getting more out of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridor

May 2, 2017

One of the exciting things about traveling the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridor is seeing the economic development benefits of the increased number of travelers along the corridor.  Over the past couple of years, small towns have seen new hotels and truck stops… Dumas, TX; Stratford, TX; Boise City, OK; Eads, CO and Brush, CO have all seen this type of growth and there are others.

The question that is often asked is, what can we do to get even more economic benefit?  Our member, the Town of Limon, found one way to create a community vision designed to increase the economic benefit of its highway corridor as well as its quality of life.  Limon, a town with a population of under 2,000, rests at a highway hub where five major highways come together including the Ports-to-Plains Corridor and Interstate 70.  This small town, once bypassed by Interstate 70, has seen significant economic growth over the years including numerous truck stops, hotels, restaurants and convenience stores. Yet, the town continues to evaluate its potential and found that many of the travelers had no idea of the destinations available off the town’s highway interchanges. Despite reaching about 80,000 lodging nights a year, most visitors never explored the rest of the town to find out what was there.  Few recognized the cultural experience of the Limon Heritage Museum, the recreation opportunities offered by the Tamarack Golf Course, swimming pool, and fishing pond or the entertainment options of a historical movie theatre, bowling alley and local restaurants.

When Limon updated its Comprehensive Plan in 2014-15, it focused on economic development. The local citizens recognized the value of the transportation system including the Ports-to-Plains Corridor, but also recognized that they could still do better.  As a result multiple goals in the Comp Plan addressed the need to explore ways to provide the visitors a better understanding of what this small town had to offer, in the short and long term, and ways to encourage those travelers to #ExploreLimon. CLICK HERE to view or download the Comprehensive Plan.

These goals led the Town to apply on a national basis to host a Citizens’ Institute on Rural Designä (CIRD).  The CIRD program is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, USDA-Rural Development, Project for Public Spaces and Orton Family Foundation.  Limon was one of seven (7) communities across the nation to be selected from the 52 applications.  Following eight months of preparation, the CIRD workshop was held over a three-day period, February 27-March 1, 2017.  The Workshop included presentations focusing on wayfaring/signage and development of bicycle/pedestrian trails, but the majority of time was spent with community members creating visions for these two topics. The community was joined by National and State Resource Teams which brought significant expertise and energy to the small community. 

To see the final report, please CLICK HERE.  There are some great ideas included in the report for small community implementation.

For more information on CIRD, CLICK HERE.

As a result of the CIRD Workshop, the State Resource Team opened an even larger door to explore and implement not only the visions for wayfaring/signage and bicycle/pedestrian paths but many of the other projects included in the Comprehensive Plan.  The State Resource team has offered to host another project funders meeting to hear Limon’s “Grand Plan” and make commitment for funding a variety of long term community projects.  The transportation system continues to be a huge catalyst for accomplishing any of the goals and objectives defined during the planning process.  Without that transportation system, it is hard to picture Limon’s economy and quality of life.  That is one reason for Limon’s commitment to the Ports-to-Plains Alliance. 

Limon’s economic plans are not limited to increasing and improving the visitors’ numbers and experience.  You will see in the Comp Plan that the community is also supporting of efforts to recruit primary jobs.  During the same period Limon was granted the authority to operate a Foreign Trade Zone and continues to look to provide a base for manufacturing, assembly and distribution.

Rural communities need to find ways to create the vision of their community for the future.  Hanging on to the status quo is not vision.  If you have questions, please contact Joe Kiely, who serves Ports-to-Plains Alliance as its Vice President of Operations (719-740-2240 – joe.kiely@portstoplains.com)

Monday
May012017

That Grantham speech on doomed transportation bill may haunt the Capitol

Colorado Senate President Kevin Grantham,Ports-to-Plains Alliance would like to express its appreciation to Colorado Senate President Kevin Grantham for his sponsorship of HB 17-1242. His impassioned words prior to the final vote in the Senate Finance Committee were spot on.

The Colorado Statesman

May 1, 2017

“We do worry about the Balkanization of our state roads system. If Colorado Springs and then northern Colorado and other RTAs start passing their own [funding and development plans], there will be donut holes throughout the state that will be left out of improvements and will never get the improvements that are needed. Maybe that’s the preferred solution for some. It’s not for me… But that is the direction we are heading, and I think it’s a dangerous one…” 

“I don’t know what would happen if it went to the people… But I know, without a doubt, that if it doesn’t get on the ballot, then it will definitely never pass. We only get so many bites at the apple — I’ve heard that a lot today — but if the number of bites we get is exactly zero, then zero is the result we will get.”

The session’s unloved grand bipartisan transportation measure, House Bill 1242, is dead, but the closing remarks — you might say the sickbed epitaph — delivered for the bill by Republican sponsor and Senate President Kevin Grantham are worth revisiting, especially given that, in the last week, and with a little more than a week left in the legislative session, three new transportation-related bills have been introduced.

Grantham spoke right before the bill was dispatched Tuesday by the Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee, addressing the bill and its critics with words that might come to resonate beyond the committee hearing, even if in a ghostlike way, floating into remarks made years from now by lawmakers begging please for someone somehow to expand I-25 south of Castle Rock or to find a way to get their aged mother or father to the doctor in the middle of the day.

Grantham said running this year’s bill was a brave and bold move. He said the bill was unloved on the left and the right because drumming up billions for much-needed transportation upgrades in a politically and ideologically divided swing state was always going to be — and is long likely going to be — a slog.

He said people in the Capitol have to begin seeing transportation in new ways, and doing that is hard to do. He suggested that the long era of roads and more roads and single-occupancy privately owned vehicles no longer serves the population of the state the way it once did — and particularly the state’s younger and older populations — and that transit, meaning mass-transit, is popular with residents even if it’s unpopular with lawmakers.

Read on… 

Thursday
Apr202017

Colorado lawmakers’ grand bargain on transportation appears doomed

The Denver Post

April 20, 2017

The Colorado legislative session’s top priority, a major transportation bill that seeks a tax hike to improve and expand highways, is unlikely to win approval this term.

Senate President Kevin Grantham, a Cañon City Republican and one of the prime sponsors, announced Thursday morning that he does not have the votes to move it through the GOP-led chamber.

“At this point, we can’t count to three,” he said, describing the number of votes he needs to advance it through the Senate Finance Committee next week.

The bill sponsors continue to work to secure support, but Grantham did not express optimism that the vote total would shift. House Bill 1242 won approval in the Democratic-led House earlier this year but faced tougher obstacles in the Senate because it would ask voters for a 0.5 percent sales tax hike to generate money for a $3.5 billion bond package for roads.

Read on...

Thursday
Apr132017

Colorado Senate president trims proposed transportation tax hike as it advances

Denver Business Journal

April 13, 2017

Seeking the support of enough Republicans in the Colorado state Senate to push through a transportation tax-hike proposal, Senate President Kevin Granthammade several major changes to the bill during a committee hearing Tuesday, including the reduction of the proposed tax increase from 0.62 cents to 0.5.

Grantham, R-Cañon City, also committed $100 million per year from the state’s general fund to a new 20-year stream of revenue that would be used to cover roughly $3.5 billion a year in highway expansion projects, as well as generating additional funding for local roads and creating a new multi-billion-dollar multi-modal transportation grant fund.

Read on...

Thursday
Mar232017

Xcel Energy to invest billions in new wind farms in Colorado, elsewhere

Denver Business Journal

March 23, 2017

Xcel Energy Inc. is making a multibillion-dollar investment in wind power across seven states, from Minnesota to New Mexico — and using Colorado-made turbines from Vestas Wind Systems for a large chunk of it.

The Minneapolis-based company (NYSE: XEL) is proposing to build or buy power from 11 new wind farms in the seven states that would generate up to 3,380 megawatts worth of renewable energy — enough to meet the power demand of about 1,014,000 homes.

The company expects to spend between $3.5 billion and $4.4 billion on the wind farms, if all the projects are approved by regulators, according to a spokeswoman.

Read on...

Thursday
Mar022017

Colorado’s bad roads are costing drivers more than frustration and stress

The Denver Post

March 2, 2017

Deteriorating, congested and unsafe roads and bridges are costing Colorado drivers a total of $6.8 billion annually in additional vehicle maintenance, fuel and accelerated vehicle depreciation overall.

According to a report released Wednesday by TRIP, a national transportation research group based in Washington, D.C., each Denver driver spends 49 hours stuck in traffic and $2,162 each year on additional vehicle operating costs with other Colorado motorists falling shortly behind.

“These additional operating costs could be the extra maintenance that goes into when a driver hits a pothole and has to get something like an axle repaired,” said Carolyn Bonifas Kelly, TRIP’s associate director of research and communication. “But it could also mean things like tire wear, additional fuel costs of driving on damaged roads and even the accelerated rate of vehicle depreciation when drivers trade their vehicles in.”

Read on...

Wednesday
Nov202013

Toward a More Competitive Colorado report released: Annual benchmark study examines competitive factors related to economic growth

This report, released by Ports-to-Plains Alliance member Metro Denver EDC, is a wealth of data that allows comparisons with every state and with just a little work with each state and other countries.  It is a wealth of economic benchmarks.  Clearly worth your time to review.

~~~~~~~~~~

"The good news again is that Colorado continues to rank among the most economically competitive states in the United States in key measures such as job growth, innovation, and technology concentration," said Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver EDC.

Click here for complete release > Denver Metro Economic Development Corporation

November 18, 2013

The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC) released on Nov. 18, 2013, the ninth edition of Toward a More Competitive Colorado (TMCC), an annual benchmark report of Colorado's strengths, challenges, and opportunities for future job growth and economic expansion.

First published in 2005, TMCC is the foremost effort to compare Colorado's competitive position against the other 49 states. The study is researched and developed by the Metro Denver EDC's Chief Economist, Patty Silverstein of Development Research Partners, and is presented in cooperation with Wells Fargo…

Executive Summary

Complete Report

Tuesday
Nov192013

CDOT Asking Input for State Transportation Plan

The Ports-to-Plains Alliance hope you will take a few moments to support the importance of a statewide transportation system for moving people and goods and the Colorado economy.

The survey is available online by clicking here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CDOT News Release

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is asking citizens to get involved in planning the future of the state’s transportation system.  

With the unveiling of the Statewide Plan website at www.coloradotransportationmatters.com, CDOT is inviting the public to play a major role developing the Statewide Transportation Plan (SWP), set for release in mid-2014. 

“We really want to hear from people throughout Colorado because this plan guides us on how limited dollars will be invested in the transportation system and how projects will be selected and scheduled in the future,” said CDOT Executive Director Don Hunt.  “Public participation is crucial for its development since it’ll reflect the priorities and needs of our citizens.”

The website serves as a central point of contact for CDOT, its planning partners and the public at large.

Website visitors will discover what opportunities and challenges are facing Colorado’s transportation system.  It allows the public to provide comments and take on-line surveys and examine the financial practices and organizational policies used by CDOT to stretch resources and meet statewide needs.  In addition, local planning processes, upcoming events and data on the state’s economy, environment and transportation system is available on the site.

Coloradans are encouraged to check the website often to learn about new developments and provide input on the direction of the SWP.