Headlines – May 25, 2023

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Gov. Polis Signs Property Tax Relief Bill 

Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a tax relief plan Wednesday, which now will go on November’s ballot as Proposition HH.

If voters approve the measure, it would remove $50,000 off the taxable value of residential properties and lower tax rates down to 6.7 percent over a period of 10 years. Commercial and agricultural property tax rates would go down as well.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, the average homeowner will save about $1,000 over the next two years and over $3,000 over the next five years if Proposition HH passes.

 Senate Bill 303 was created to address rising housing costs, which have in turn, raised property values and property taxes.

Judge Rules Against Factory Farms In Water Quality Case

A judge ruled in favor of environmental watchdogs who sued the state of Colorado for failing to protect waterways from factory farms.

According to The Colorado Sun, Judge Matthew Norwood said Colorado’s Water Quality Control Division violated state and federal law by issuing general operating permits to large livestock operations. But the division did not monitor the farms’ water discharges to ensure that they were following health department protocols. 

The plaintiffs included the Center for Biological Diversity and Food and Water Watch. The nonprofits said the ruling would hold the industry accountable for its pollution and protect Colorado Rivers from high nitrogen and E. coli levels.

Douglas County School Board Member Resigns

A Douglas County School Board director announced her resignation Tuesday because she felt the district was not taking action against racism and discrimination. Elizabeth Hanson, who had been on the board since 2019, said there were quote “egregious things happening in this district.”

“Jeremiah Ganzy is not the only student in this district that has experienced disgusting acts of racism, of antisemitism, of homophobic, and of transphobic acts,” Hanson told the Board.

Hanson referred in her resignation speech to how several district officials had denounced the alleged racism at Castle Rock Middle School. An eighth-grader, Jeramiah Ganzy, has reported being verbally attacked by fellow students with racial slurs both in school and on social media. She also noted how dozens of principals in the district had asked the board in 2021 to not dismantle an equity policy that had been adopted the year before.

According to Colorado Public Radio, Hanson also expressed concern about the board choosing to spend tax dollars to go to trial against former superintendent Corey Wise. Wise was fired without cause in February 2022 after an alleged closed meeting between four majority board members. Wise sued, citing a breach against the Colorado Open Meetings Law.

“I also can no longer look at our community, our taxpayers in the eyes, and assure them that every dollar in our budget is being spent wisely,” Hanson said.

Hanson said she hoped her resignation would create awareness in the community and lead to solutions. 

Broomfield’s 1stBank Center To Be Closed

Broomfield officials voted Tuesday to close the 1stBank Center. The Broomfield Urban Renewal Authority’s Board of Directors said the arena never made a profit since its opening in 2006.

The facility cost $45 million to build. It was financed by issuing almost $60 million in bonds. Less than half of the bonds have been paid back.

According to 9News, the city is expected to demolish the event center sometime after it closes on November 30th of this year. The 6,500-seat venue was designed for sporting events and concerts.

The 1stBank Center is owned by the Broomfield Urban Renewal Authority and the land it sits on will likely be sold.

Colorado Shortens Big Game Hunting Season After Rough Winter

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are reducing big-game hunting licenses and shortening season dates to allow herds to recover their numbers after the severe winter.

The Parks departments will issue 12 percent fewer hunting licenses for deer, elk, pronghorn, moose and bear.

Snow conditions in the northwest corner of the state were the worst in 70 years, officials said. Heavy storms buried food for grazing animals like elk, pronghorn, and mule deer.

Hall Ranch Closed For Prescribed Burn Today

Boulder County will conduct a five-acre prescribed burn today at Hall Ranch to reduce woody debris that could lead to a wildland fire.

The County will close Hall Ranch all day and is asking residents to not call 911 if they see smoke and flames in the prescribed burn area over the next several days.

Officials say they will stop burning if the weather creates unsafe conditions. Closure alerts are posted on the Boulder County Parks and Open Space Facebook and Twitter accounts.

DIA Expects 400,000 Travelers Over Memorial Day Weekend

​​Denver International Airport is expecting over 400,000 passengers to travel through its checkpoints over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. A DIA press release says the increase in travelers is almost 10 percent higher compared with this time last year. The airport is recommending that passengers be inside the airport at least two hours before boarding time.

A free, remote bag check will be available for domestic flights on 75th Avenue, near the Pikes Peak Shuttle Lot and at the transit center near the RTD A-Line. To help ease the stress of holiday travel, the Canine Airport Therapy Squad will have more than 80 volunteer dogs available for friendly pats and selfies.

Boulder To Celebrate Walk And Bike Month In June

The City of Boulder is reminding residents that June is walk and bike month in Colorado. The city is teaming up with Community Cycles and other local partners to host free walks, bike rides and related events.

 Boulder’s Walk and Bike to Work Day will be held on June 28. People who sign up for the event are eligible to win prizes. Other events include a Bike Show, a Slow Marathon, and the annual Bike to Work Day Happy Hour.