Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wednesday May 2, 2012

The state legislature is forming a task force to look into the state's enterprise zones.  The zones give businesses tax cuts in exchange for bringing jobs to the area.  The Denver Post says an analysis it did last year filed documents for $75 million in tax credits while creating a net 564 jobs, a cost of about $133,000 per job.

The Colorado Attorney General's Office is looking into whether a commission to compensate victims of the Lower North Fork Fire violates the state constitution.  There's a question of whether singling out victims of the fire is consitutional, considering the $600,000 state liability cap.  According to the Denver Post, a bill to create the commission is picking up steam in the house.

 A state health department grant is helping fight childhood obesity.  The $105,000 grant is going to the Colorado Farm to School Task Force to help schools local farmers and communities bring fresh local food into K-12 meal and snack programs.  The grant will fund outreach and technical assistance to local communities, research on best practices in farm-to-school policy.

The City of Grand Junction is working on the city's first roundabout at 12th Street and Horizon Drive.  Some curbing is being replaced and that means the busy intersection is being closed overnight through the week.  The closures will be marked with detours between 6pm and 6am and is expected to be finished by the end of the week.

Some motorists might be surprised that 3% of all vehicles registered in Colorado are motorcycles, but what's even more surprising is the number of fatalities. Motorcycle riders accounted for 17% of traffic deaths in Colorado last year.  The state is doing what it can, stepping up awareness of sharing the roads with cycles. Tips for both drivers and motorcyclists are available online at Video links are also available.

The City of Grand Junction is the latest to weigh in on the BLM’s  Draft 2012 Oil Shale and Tar Sand Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement process.  A letter signed by Mayor Tom Kenyon says the city is interested in several parts of the plan, including implementing protections for the community.

The Mesa County Public Library is on the move.  Not in a bookmobile, but into temporary quarters in the old Ashley Furniture Store on 1st Street.  The Daily Sentinel says a $5.5 million renovation and expansion at the existing library is set to start this summer and finish next spring.  The project adds 9,000 square feet to the 36,000 square-foot facility.

An economist with Wells Fargo Bank says things are looking up economically in the Grand Valley and nationally, but the news could be short lived.  The banks's senior economist tells the Daily Sentinel the scheduled ending of a pair of Bush-era tax cuts and a 2% payroll tax reduction next year could throw the economy back into recession.