Potpourri: Homelessness, silos and I-25

May 3, 2016 | Uncategorized

What a beautiful spring!

The “it’s spring, just kidding” nature of Colorado’s weather is one of the many things I like about living here.

In keeping with the theme of variability, this month’s column is a potpourri of topics that have been on my mind. So, here you go.

Homelessness is the only issue that matters in Fort Collins, or so it seems as homeless advocates share their grievances at every regular session of the City Council. The real stories of need are almost drowned out by the accusatory and abusive tone of the aggrieved directed at city leaders.

In truth, the council and city staff deserve a lot of credit for trying to understand the situation and take reasonable actions.

One council member routinely defends the city’s prohibition of camping in open lands. Councilman, let me assure you that business and property owners feel the same way about people trespassing on, urinating on, defecating on and trashing their properties.

While trying to protect the natural environment, don’t forget to defend the environment we live and work in.

Even permissive San Francisco has its limits. A March poll by the San Francisco Chamber found that more than half of respondents believe the city is going in the wrong direction. The No. 1 issue fueling dissatisfaction: homelessness and attendant behavioral issues.

Remarkably, the issue even out-polled housing affordability.

To the leaders of Woodward, thank you for preserving the savable historic structures of the old Coy-Hoffman farm on your new corporate headquarters campus. That was your stated plan from the beginning, and you honored it to the best of your abilities after assessing the safety and soundness of the structures.

Progress is being made on a plan to widen the most congested portion of North Interstate 25. A plan is afoot to build a managed lane each direction in the next few years between Colorado Highway 14 in Fort Collins to just beyond Colorado 402 south of Loveland.

Doing so will cost about $235 million, if the money can be assembled.

Another opportunity to accelerate the widening of I-25 is the Fix Colorado Roads Act, which will be introduced soon in the Legislature. The bill would refer a measure to the fall ballot asking voters to approve up to $3.5 billion of bonding for transportation projects.

Repayment of the bonds would come from several sources including the state’s general fund and gas tax revenues, among other options. Our own area legislators will need to get behind the bill for it to have a chance to pass.

Why the community needs to stay focused on economic development is evident with the announcement in mid-April that Intel will cut its worldwide workforce by 12,000 people. The local impact is expected to be modest, but it’s a reminder that we are a workbench for Silicon Valley, and some decisions are beyond our control.

To offset that, we need to concentrate on supporting a climate that is conducive to primary employer retention, expansion and attraction.

There you have it. Enjoy a great, if variable, spring!


Original article posted in the Coloradoan and can be view by visiting: http://www.coloradoan.com/story/money/2016/04/29/david-may-column/83662742/