Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland, October 23, 2016

During the October 5, meeting of the Northern Colorado I-25 Coalition, a question was raised
regarding Highway 34 overpass on I-25.  Loveland Councilwoman Joan Shaffer explained the City of
Loveland is "marshalling" funds to extend a third lane from Denver Ave. (near Walmart) all the
way to I-25 and possibly someday over the deck of the overpass.  That begged the second question,
when will Highway 34 overpass be expanded?

Specifically, a participant inquired about Loveland Developer McWhinney's obligation to help
expand the overpass as part of their Centerra Metro District (which receives 98% of property taxes
and 40% of sales taxes both east and west of I-25 within Loveland).  Shaffer responded
McWhinney's obligation of "$12 million" per their agreement with the city was already spent.  
According to one participant,
"Shaffer's tone implied that no one should dare ask McWhinney for
more interchange money."

Conspicuously absent from the I-25 Coalition's recently funded plan to add an express toll lane to
I-25 is the much needed widening of the busiest intersection over that stretch of I-25, Highway 34.  
Instead, Kendall Parkway will receive an underpass funded, in part, by $6 million from
McWhinney's Centerra Metro Districts along with improvements to Crossroads assisted by prior
commitments from North Front Range - Metropolitan Planning Organization (NFR-MPO).  

Widening of Highway 34 Over I-25
Stripped of Funding By Councilwoman Shaffer and
Colleagues in 2013

The "
Final I-25 and US 34 Interchange improvements" was to receive $50 million from
McWhinney's Centerra Metro District by 2024.  In addition, McWhinney was to fund local
improvements like Kendall Parkway underpass (then called Cordova) in the original plan in
exchange for receiving over $600 million in diverted taxes.

Instead, McWhinney has contributed to the campaigns of local politicians and successfully
amended their agreement to remove obligations to fund regional transportation projects.  Simply
explained, their 2004 agreement with the City of Loveland required that with each new issuance of
bonds (public debt) taken out by the Centerra Metro Districts, an additional "Regional"
transportation improvement would be funded from a portion of that money borrowed.  To ensure
they really funded "regional" improvements instead of local roads, a list of only approved projects
was agreed to between McWhinney and the City of Loveland.  

Contrary to Councilwoman Shaffer's assertion, McWhinney agreed to fund the "Interim
Improvements" to the 34/I-25 interchange at $10 million and the "Final Improvements" at $50
million per their agreement with the city.   As late as 2008 the City of Loveland via an urban
renewal district report, was still boasting that their agreement with McWhinney would fund the
final improvements (widening) of the 34/I-25 interchange (see box right of this story).

In 2013 Loveland's City Council freed the McWhinney's Centerra Metro Districts of their obligation
by changing the definition of "Regional" to include local transportation projects already obligated
under the agreement to be funded.  In other words, McWhinney could continue borrowing
additional funds without contributing any money to the original five "regional" transportation

In 2004, then Loveland City Manager Don Williams promoted the agreement with McWhinney for
ensuring 60% of the tax dollars they would receive going towards regional transportation
improvements.  Today less than 18% have been used for regional roadway improvements.  To add
injury to insult for Loveland taxpayers, the I-25 Coalition plan relies on property taxes from the
county's road and bridges mill levy to contribute $2 million from Loveland property taxpayers.  
Since McWhinney's Centerra gets back over 98% of the property taxes paid in their Urban Renewal
Authority (URA), that shifts the burden to raise the $2 million from property owners outside
McWhinney's URA.

Highway 34 Overpass By-Passed
By I-25 Coalition Funding

Loveland's 2008 Urban Renewal Annual
Report list of Regional improvements
Centerra's tax dollars will provide;

Page 14

Regional public improvements identified:
1. I-25 and Crossroads Boulevard
interchange improvements;
2. Interim I-25 and US 34 interchange
3. County Road 5 and US 34 grade
separation structure;
4. County Road 3E and US 34 grade
separation structure;
Final I-25 and US 34 interchange

6.Centerra Parkway / Crossroads extension

See original document on city's website
List of Transportation Projects
McWhinney Agreed to Fund
In-Exchange For 25 Year / $600 Million
Dollar Tax Diversion
(click to enlarge)