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Additional $250M Committed to North 1-25

Back in June I reported on an effort by Northern Colorado leaders to convince the Colorado Transportation Commission to direct more resources to North I-25. A delegation spoke to the Commission on June 21. We asked them to retain $200M already committed to North I-25 that had been contingent upon receiving a federal grant that did not come through. We also asked them to move all of North I-25 from Longmont (actually Highway 66 north of Longmont) to Highway 14 (Mulberry) in Fort Collins to the Ti...

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The “Other” Transportation Problem

Because it’s the biggest transportation corridor, and arguably the biggest problem, I-25 gets a lot of attention.

However, it’s not the only problem. The north-south, east-west roads in the region are also critical to our mobility. In that regard, a conversation is underway in Larimer County about those roads.

In April an exploratory meeting was held with various stakeholders to begin exploring the issue and determine if there was interest in working on it together. The answer was ‘w...

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First Half of 2018 Great for Chamber and Community

The region continues to do well as demonstrated by the hard numbers like the low unemployment rate and anecdotally as you see new residential, commercial and public construction projects all over the area.

At the mid-year point of 2018, it has been a strong year for the Chamber. Here’s a quick overview on the top goals and activities.

Be a Bold Voice for Business

Help identify candidates for the Fort Collins City Council. The Chamber does not get involved in partisan politics b...

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Update on Funding for Transportation

With the end of the state legislative session a month ago, I’m still struggling to positively characterize what happened with transportation funding.

In a show of how important transportation was to legislators, the very first bill introduced during the session was Senate Bill 18-001 (SB 1), aka the Fix Colorado Roads Act. It held great promise. With $1.3 billion of new, unencumbered revenue in the state budget, the Legislature had the opportunity to put transportation back in the budget in...

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Local Issues to Keep Eye on in 2018

This will be a busy year for Fort Collins.

The City Council recently discussed when to ask voters to consider renewing the Keep Fort Collins Great tax. It doesn’t expire until the end 2020, nearly 3 years from now. The early consensus seems to be the election April 2019. It looks like the City has a good story to tell, but it also has to justify the continuation of a temporary tax when the original reason – the Great Recession – is gone. This is a conversation not to rush.

Last week ...

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Can’t We All Just Get Along on Transportation

As I write this I’m supposed to be headed to the Annual BizWest Economic Forecast luncheon in Greeley. Instead, I found out yesterday that the hearing for an important transportation bill is scheduled for today in Denver so I’m getting ready to testify.

The legislative and political landscape in the Capitol is always interesting, but especially when the two legislative chambers are controlled by different political parties, and it’s an election year. Everybody declares their fealty to f...

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We Are All Amazonians Now

“Do you think there’s a good chance Amazon will select Colorado for its headquarters? Are you concerned at all about the impact on the local workforce?”

Since Amazon announced on September 7 it was searching for a location in North America for a second headquarters site, those questions have been asked of me several times. My answers are ‘yes’ and ‘yes.’ But before I elaborate, here’s more background.

Amazon announced that it would make a capital investment of up to $5 bill...

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A Summer Reading List

This summer I am looking forward to reading and rereading a shorter-than-usual list of books. I found in recent years my enthusiasm usually outpaces my time! Anyway, here's what I'm reading this summer:

– American Ulysses by Ronald C. White. This is a biography about Ulysses S. Grant. I have always found Grant to be fascinating. He moved from obscurity to become a national hero back to obscurity and is now making a quiet comeback.

– Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. This book has been a n...

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What’s on Your Mind?

By necessity, my focus has narrowed over the past couple of years to a limited number of big issues, including lobbying for money to widen I-25, workforce development and raising the money to pay for these efforts and others. Fortunately we have a government affairs team of staffers and volunteer members staying on top of other community and business issues.

I bring this up because the Chamber Board is having a planning retreat in the near future. Leaders will be talking about the issues note...

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Council took proactive action on climate plan

Here’s a scenario for you: A neighbor enthusiastically approaches you with an idea he says will improve the community. With great verve he espouses his grand vision of the future. You notice several things: The level of enthusiasm is off the charts, the details are numerous but oddly vague, the costs are eye-poppingly high, and the benefits are not at all clear. Then comes the real zinger: He wants you to "invest" a significant amount of your family budget in all of this for decades to come.
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