|Council Reduces I-25/U.S. 34 Commitment For
McWhinney by $2.5 Million - See Low Cost Design
Loveland - Oct. 7, 2009
By a 7-2 vote, Loveland City Council approved a resolution to amend the Centerra Metro District’s agreement with
Loveland. The newest change essentially allows the Metro District to reduce by $2.5 million the amount it received from
public bond proceeds to fund the interim improvements to the I-25 / US-34 interchange.
The interim improvements to the I-25 / U.S. 34 interchange was a part of the package of “regional transportation
improvements” to which McWhinney and Centerra were obligated to fund the Master Finance Agreement that accompanied
creation of the Metro District and Loveland Urban Renewal Authority (LURA) in 2004. Under that agreement, the Metro
District was allowed to control an estimated $591 Million in property tax increment, sales taxes and other revenue; and in
return they promised to provide $100 Million (approximately 10%) for a list of “regional improvements” and about $250
million for other “local public improvements”.
Tuesday night the Loveland City Council allowed McWhinney to renege on using the bond proceeds as agreed to in written
agreements (MFA, IGA and Indenture Agreements).
Under the original agreement, McWhinney's taxing district was required to fund $12 Million for the I-25/ US34 “interim”
improvements, to be completed by 2010; with funds to be held in a separate sub-account. However, during a previous
Council meeting, McWhinney was able to persuade the same majority to allow the transfer of $500,000 from that account to
add to funding for Crossroads Blvd. interchange, so that McWhinney could benefit from a $3 million federal “stimulus” grant;
which will potentially reduce their obligations at that interchange by an equivalent amount.
In this latest action, McWhinney sought to reduce the scope of the US 34 interchange by removing any “aesthetic”
components; in the process allowing them to “redesignate” the remaining $2.5 Million for purposes to be later determined; per
a future proposal by McWhinney.
The hearing attracted a sizeable public audience, with eleven citizens making statements expressing frustration with the
numerous changes Council has allowed McWhinney to make, and urging Council to hold McWhinney to the full improvements
expected by the original agreement.
After Council discussion had ended, Solt made a motion to use the balance of the Interchange set-aside as was originally
intended, with a recommendation to negotiate further concessions as needed to make the contract stay within the $11.5 Million
remainder in the account. The motion failed with only Solt and Gutierrez voting in favor.
When the vote came on the main motion, the Council majority made the argument that “McWhinney always does what he says
he will”, proved exactly the opposite in approving the requested reduced scope of work for the interchange contract.
Council has approved numerous changes to its agreements with McWhinney over the 5 years since the LURA was created;
and it is apparently not the last change to the Master Finance Agreement.
An Agenda note states that the McWhinneys intend to present at the Oct. 20 meeting, a proposed 5th amendment to the MFA
to clarify how the remainder of the account might be used in the future.
Click on image above to see what McWhinney agreed to
build for the $12.5 million funding they received
Click on image above to see the $8 million improvement
Loveland's City Council agree to on Oct. 6, 2008
|CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS OF THE
DRAMATIC OCT. 6, 2009 COUNCIL DEBATE ON THIS DECISION