Headlines September 28, 2021

Headlines September 28, 2021


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State Auditor Finds Issues With Medicaid Transport Program Contractor

The State Auditor’s Office presented a report to the legislative oversight panel yesterday highlighting problems with IntelliRide, a company contracted to transport Medicaid recipients.

According told The Denver Gazette, the state auditors determined close to $300,000 of the non-emergent medical transportation claims issued by IntelliRide were non-compliant under state and federal regulations. $2.5 million worth of claims were also found to be potentially non-compliant.

The auditor’s office also found the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing did not have regulatory controls to catch the shortcomings of the company. The department also did not report to law enforcement or Adult Protective Services 32 incidents of potential mistreatment of at-risk adults by the operator including several injuries.

Public Meeting On Colorado’s Air Quality

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will hold a virtual public meeting this evening from 6:00 PM to 7:30 p.m. for participants to share input on the new Fenceline air quality monitoring plans. The new system will monitor the Suncor refinery, a Phillips 66 fuel terminal in Commerce City, the Goodrich carbon aircraft brakes plant, and a Sinclair trucking fuel terminal in Henderson. Advance registration is required to participate. Those interested may contact CDPHE official Andrew Bare at 720-425-2736 for more information.

Proposed Ordinance Slated For Boulder To Redevelop Diagonal Plaza

The Boulder City Council will look at redeveloping the Diagonal Plaza located on the corner of 28th and Iris Avenue in Boulder during their October 5th meeting. The redevelopment would need a special ordinance to allow a portion to be redeveloped into a mixed-use commercial and residential district with a community park.

The Denver Post reports that a special ordinance for the redevelopment project would be an unusual step, but it is a reflection of Diagonal Plaza’s long history of decline, its confusing mess of ownership, and the desire of city officials to see the site improved after years of failed attempts.

If they get approval, developers plan to build 291 residential units and about 27,000 square feet of commercial space. 73 of the residential units would be permanently affordable. None of the few remaining businesses currently in Diagonal Plaza would be displaced by the project.

If the ordinance passes, development plans have a tentative timeline that involves the project coming before the planning board in January 2022, with technical documentation submitted in March and building permits secured by the end 2022.

CSU Launches Effort To Close Equity Gaps And Boost Graduation Rates

The Board of Governors of the Colorado State University system recently voted to invest $11.2 million over three years to close equity gaps and to raise student graduation rates.

CSU Provost Mary Pedersen told The Denver Post too many students do not complete their degrees but do walk away with student debt. The money for this project would help support students at the highest risk of dropping out, including those from rural and low-income backgrounds as well as those who are the first in their families to attend college.

The Denver Post reports 47% of CSU students graduate within four years and 70% in six years which is on par with similar institutions nationwide. The CSU system includes the Fort Collins campus, CSU Pueblo, and CSU Global.

Longmont COVID-19 Testing moves to Boulder County Fairgrounds

A free Longmont COVID-19 testing facility is up and running at the Boulder County Fairgrounds at 9595 Nelson Road in Longmont. According to county officials, the site opened to accommodate a larger number of those requesting testing amid a surge in cases fueled by the Delta variant.

County officials encourage symptomatic community members and those who think they have been exposed to get tested even if they have been vaccinated. Along with the Longmont Boulder County Fairgrounds site, free testing locations include the Stazio Ball Fields in Boulder, the Nederland Community Center, and Centaurus High School in Lafayette.

DIA Will Plug Oil And Gas Wells

Denver International Airport officials say the airport will begin the process of permanently plugging all its 64 remaining oil and gas wells. The Denver Post reports a 2018 city audit questioned the economics of the wells as they were expensive to maintain and operate. The wells have been inactive since 2018 in part due to concerns raised by City Council members and environmentalists. An airport official told The Denver Post, accelerated plugging will begin after the airport runs a bid process to select a contractor with a goal of plugging all wells by late 2023 or early 2024.