Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland,  January 17, 2018

The old library in Loveland is a familiar property to most residents even if they
arrived in town long after the library moved out of downtown.  In 1987 the building
at 305 E 6th Street became Larimer County offices in Loveland where residents
register vehicles and seek county social and other services for the past 20 years.

Now that Larimer County is erecting a new building in east Loveland with double the
square footage, the Loveland operated Finley's Block URA (Urban Renewal
Authority) is purchasing the county's downtown commercial building for slightly
over $1 million.  Instead of offering the property for sale, however, the city operated
URA negotiated with one man and his company a secret deal last September to allow
him to purchase the property at a price less than an incentive the city will also
provide him; essentially paying him to take the building that Loveland taxpayer's are
paying $1 million to Larimer County to acquire.

Unanimously approved by Loveland's City Council on election night in November,
Loveland Business Partnership (LBP) board member Rockwell "Rocky" Turner's  LPR
Construction company will receive a $750,000 subsidy to repair and update the
former county building the city also agreed to sell his company for $732,000 in the
same agreement.  The city, in other words, is paying Turner's company to take
ownership while paying Larimer County $1 million for the same building.

City Staff and Elected Official Fail To Disclose Potential Conflicts of Interest

As illustrated on the column to the right, LBP investor and board member Rocky
Turner is the beneficiary of a $750,000 economic development "incentive" by the City
of Loveland to provide "public" improvements to the former Larimer County building
in downtown he is also purchasing for $732,000 all in essentially the same
transaction.   Negotiations between Turner, the City of Loveland and Larimer County
were conducted in closed session therefore not open to the public.

Loveland Economic Development Director Kelly Jones along with her subordinate
Mike Scholl first briefed Loveland's City Council in public regarding the scheme
during the September 26, 2017 study session where no public comment was
allowed.  Besides working for the City of Loveland, Jones also serves alongside
Turner on the LBP board of directors.

Loveland Councilwoman Leah Johnson, another member of LBP, was among the
elected officials who directed Loveland City Manager Steve Adams to codify the
already negotiated agreement into a resolution the council would approve during
their October 10, 2017 regular council meeting outlining the multi-party transaction.

Final approval by Loveland's City Council came on the second reading of the
resolution election night November 7, 2017 when attention by most council watchers
was elsewhere.  
see copy of the resolution and exhibits

Both Councilwoman Leah Johnson and city staff member Kelly Jones failed to make
any public disclosures regarding their prior relationship with Rocky Turner and his
"investment" into LBP presumably to secure favored and exclusive access to city
officials for the benefit of his private business.

According to the LBP website, which is pictured below this story, anyone willing to
become an "investor" by providing the organization money will;

'''get exclusive news, insight and access to community leaders and decision
makers.....mold outcomes, and have influence in our community."

History of Loveland Business Partnership

According to LBP's website,

"Through more than 60 years of dedicated service to Loveland, The Loveland
Business Partnership has demonstrated that we know what we are doing-"

Loveland Business Partnership (LBP) was first incorporated in Colorado, according
to the Secretary of State records, in 2013.  Apparently the brainchild of local
businessman Doug Rutledge, Chairman of the LBP board and Don Marostica who like
his son also serves on the LBP board, LBP appears similar to other previous
organizations created by Marostica like the Stone Soup Business Accelerator.

Like Marostica's previous venture,
which was covered by LovelandPolitics, LBP has a
direct relationship to a local business accelerator which in this instance is called The
Warehouse.  LBP is a 501(c)6 organization meaning the sources of money it collects
are not transparent for public review nor are any of the organization's expenditures.  
As a private organization, LBP may pay its board members and other participants
without making any of the financial disclosures required for non-profit groups
designated as 501(c)3.  Most business accelerators operate as 501(c)3's.

Councilwoman Leah Johnson has disclosed she is a consultant to various businesses
and entities in her private consulting business but has never released a list of those
clients.  Whether LBP is paying Johnson directly we cannot say but what is clear is
LBP does have the ability to pay those who assist their "investors" without ever
disclosing those payments to the public.

Doug Rutledge, Chairman of LBP, also serves on the DDA and Loveland Downtown
Partnership boards of directors.  Soliciting businesses for money to gain "exclusive"
access to city officials, board members of the various community development
authorities and other decision makers in the city appears to be a violation of state

An especially important question is who is receiving the money the various business
members and individuals have paid LBP for access to community decision makers
and "incentive" recommendations by Kelly Jones?  If Doug Rutledge and other LBP
board members are using their 501(c)6 group and "consulting services" to secretly  
monetize their access and authority to Loveland business development decisions,
that may also be a crime.
Is LBP Selling 'Exclusive Access' To
City Government 'Incentives'?
Loveland Councilwoman Leah Johnson is a
member and speaker at Loveland Business
Partnership (LBP) meetings which charges
"investors" for access to city officials
Loveland Business
Partnership Board Members
Kelly Jones, City of
Loveland Director of
Economic Development
also Board Member of LBP
Rockwell "Rocky" Turner is
the founder and CEO of
LPR Construction and
"investor" and Board
Member of LBP
1.  Deed for
22,000 sq ft.
building in


2.  $750,000 of
tax dollars as an


3.  40 dedicated
parking spaces in
parking lot
retained by city
allowing LPR to
avoid paying
property taxes or
upkeep on their
parking lot
1.  $732,000 paid
by LPR
back to the city
for 305 E 6th