A Few Chamber Updates

Summer vacations just started for the kids but not for us. Here’s a quick overview of recent happenings at the Chamber.

  • The Small Business of the Year Breakfast on Wednesday went very well. We had about 170 attendees at the Hilton and the keynote speaker was great. If you haven’t heard of Decibullz, you should check them out at decibullz.com. It’s a great local start-up with tons of upside potential. The Small Business of the Year winners are listed here. Among them is chamber board member Pete Gazlay of Total Facility Care. Board member Mat Dinsmore of Wilbur’s Total Beverage was a finalist. Ann Hutchison was in charge of this event, ably assisted by Audrey Fraijo and Ken DeSimone of First National Bank did a fabulous job as emcee.
  • Then that evening we had our Spring Business Showcase / Business After Hours at the Hilton. Over 200 people attended and we had 47 vendors. Kim ran this event with lots of support from the staff but especially Mimi Jones.
  • I presented at CSU to a delegation from Slovenia. They were on a trade mission as part of AmCham Slovenia. The AmChams are a longstanding part of the U.S. Chamber’s effort to foster relationships, trade and free enterprise. The Slovenian Ambassador to the U.S. was in the group. Speaking of ambassadors, a couple of weeks ago Congressman Jared Polis popped into the office and in tow was Australian Ambassador to the United States Kim Beazley. We may need to open an international affairs division!
  • We attended the City Council Retreat this past weekend. More specifically, Kevin Jones gave up his Saturday night and Sunday to watch the newly seated Council. These events are always interesting, especially after a new Council is seated. They go through a process of figuring out how to work together as a group of 7 and how to work with the staff. Then they focus on what they want to work on together in terms of priorities. Saturday night was a bit rough on a couple of Council members that openly campaigned against Horak. They were generally able to move past that to develop this list of priorities:

Highest priorities are over the next 2 years are:

Sales tax capture and recapture initiative
Police Substation
Housing Affordability
Waste to Energy
Air Quality Enforcement
As a city what do we want to be when we grow up
Citizen Access to Information

Second tier priorities included:

Intergovernmental Separator Agreement with Timnath
City Foundation
I-25 Funding
Train underpass
Bike Patrol – Neighborhood policing
Rental Licensing / Revenue Fee
Gentrification Plan –
Parks build out – redevelopment
Water tap fees

  • Among other government meetings we were present at this week were: City Council Futures Committee, the city’s Economic Advisory Commission, Councilman Ray Martinez’s Listening Session, Mayor Pro Tem Gerry Horak’s Listening Session, the city’s Affordable Housing Open House, and the city’s River Health Assessment Framework Open House.
  • We led a meeting of the Fix North I-25 Business Alliance this week and have ramped up ally recruitment plan. We are planning to do a supporters’ update in June.
  • At the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance meeting this week we got an update on the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) which includes building Glade Reservoir northwest of Fort Collins. Here’s the timeline for the project, which began in 2004:

June 2015 – the Army Corps of Engineers will issue the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
July 2015 – public hearings on the EIS
2016 – final EIS
2017 – formal record of decision
2018-19 – refine the plan
2020 – start construction
2023-24 – construction complete

  • On Thursday we had 35 people in the building at lunch for our New Member Orientation.

Thank you for everything you do for our community and for the Chamber. It is greatly appreciated.