Loveland's Independent News Source

Loveland - February 21, 2014

In response to an exclusive LovelandPolitics article published late last month,
Loveland Assistant City Manager Rod Wensing dispatched an email to State House
Representative Brian DelGrosso telling DelGrosso the city is against proposed
reforms of the state's urban renewal authority (URA) laws.

Writing on behalf of the City of Loveland, Wensing started in his email,  

"I recently became aware that you may be getting some local political pressure
to support / sponsor a new URA Bill this session that would further erode the
flexibility of Colorado Cities and Towns to address the unique challenges
around redevelopment issues that most communities are encountering. I would
ask that you not succumb to this pressure..."

Several council members contacted City Manager Bill Cahill once they became aware
of the email.  They expressed frustration the city is weighing in on an important
matter without seeking the advice or consent of council. The LovelandPolitics story
included a harshly worded email by County Commissioner Steve Johnson scolding
DelGrosso for not supporting the reform measure that Johnson, a former state
senator, had negotiated with numerous Democrats and Republicans in the Colorado
Legislature.  As the Republican leader in the State House, DelGrosso's support is
critical to the measure passing.

While DelGrosso has not expressed any philosophical opposition to the reform, he is
worried that Republican fund raising in the 2014 election cycle will be impacted as
many Republican contributors are also large developers and bond companies that
rely on URA's for their businesses.

DelGrosso Says Johnson Misrepresented His Position

For his part, Brian DelGrosso told local officials the email from Larimer County
Commissioner Steve Johnson, describing DelGrosso as against the measure, was
entirely inaccurate.  Instead, argues DelGrosso, he had already begun the process
of having staff prepare the language they will be able to bring to the floor for a vote.

Whether that language represents the reform being sought by Johnson or a lesser
watered down version for the public's consumption remains to be seen. According to
the Colorado Counties Inc. (a non-profit association of Colorado counties) they are

"To Allow counties the ability to have official standing to negotiate how much
of  our property tax increment can be used for prospective urban renewal
authority projects."

Johnson is reported to have negotiated a compromise from this policy objective
where counties can half say in 50% of the TIF (Tax Increment Financing) on future
URA projects within their respective counties.  The new law would require cities to
seek approval from counties and other impacted local entities for up-to 50% of the
TIF impact before approving a new URA.

In an attempt to cut the reform measure off at the pass, the City of Loveland is trying
to assemble local governments together to negotiate some inter-governmental
agreement governing how money from URA's is spent and approved.  County
officials who are also participating in the process told LovelandPolitics the local effort
is only a fall-back scenario should the reform measure being proposed at the state
level fail.

Property tax revenues are hemorrhaging in Larimer County as McWhinney's
Centerra and other URA's grow in population.  Intended as a measure to allow
developers willing to rennovate blighted property in crime ridden areas to keep some
of the future increased property taxes generated by their efforts, Loveland pretended
open land was blight to qualify McWhinney for the tax scheme thus leaving local
services that depend on those revenues virtually without revenue to service
Centerra's growing population.
Loveland Lobbies Against
URA Reform
51st State House Representative
Brian DelGrosso
From: Rod Wensing
Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 3:13 PM
To: Representative Brian Delgrosso - State of Colorado
Cc: Mark Radtke (; Bill Cahill; Alan Krcmarik;
Mike Scholl
Subject: Possible CCI URA Bill: Local Pressure to Support
Importance: High

Hi Representative Delgrosso,

I recently became aware that you may be getting some local
political pressure to support / sponsor a new URA Bill this session
that would further erode the flexibility of Colorado Cities and Towns
to address the unique challenges around redevelopment issues
that most communities are encountering.  

I would ask that you not succumb to this pressure as I think it is
important for you to be aware that over the past few months, there
have been conversations among the local government managers
of Larimer County, Loveland and Fort Collins concerning use of
Urban Renewal  Areas (URAs) and Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
to solve this issue locally rather than have the State Legislature get
involved.  Linda Hoffmann, Darin Atteberry and Bill Cahill have had
separate (two by two) discussions on whether we might come to
some new consensual understanding on the proper use of URAs
and TIF.  Some of the discussion has centered on the recent
success of the City of Loveland-Larimer County agreement for TIF
from the Brinkman Galley Flats project in the Downtown area.

As a result, Larimer County Manager, Linda Hoffman is taking the
lead in convening a conversation with municipal staffs throughout
the county, as well as other taxing jurisdictions.  Senior
management staffs of the organizations will meet throughout the
year to discuss common interests in the success of URAs,
accurate measurements of the benefits and financial impacts of
URAs, and any resolutions we see to come to a common approach
to the formation and use of URAs.

It is expected that the three core jurisdictions in the discussions will
be Larimer, Loveland and Fort Collins.  However, the process will
also include some method for other municipalities and taxing
jurisdictions to participate.

Please accept my thanks in advance for your consideration of this
important request and please find attached the City’s 2014
Legislative Policy Agenda in which it indicates Loveland’s strong
support of the preservation of local control.  I stand ready to answer
any questions you may have.

I also hear that there is a new little addition to the Delgrosso

With Regards,

Rod Wensing
Assistant City Manager
City of Loveland, Colorado

From: Bill Cahill <>
Date: Thursday, February 13, 2014
Subject: FW: Possible CCI URA Bill: Local Pressure to Support
To: "'Tom Donnelly' (" <donnelt@co.>
Cc: Linda Hoffmann <>, "'NEIL
GLUCKMAN' (" <gluckmn@co.larimer.>, Mayor - Cecil Gutierrez <Cecil.Gutierrez@cityofloveland.
org>, Rod Wensing <>

Hello all:

Word has traveled to you that the City of Loveland has asked that
Representative Brian del Grosso not sponsor or support a bill on
URAs that we have heard about.

I am forwarding to you the e-mail we sent to Brian, so that you can
see it.  You’ll see that we are requesting that Brian not sponsor or
support, because we think that we can begin to address these
issues locally.  We are optimistic that the process Larimer County
is starting will have some productive results.

Of course, we are also concerned because we’ve not seen the bill
and can’t be sure what’s in it.  If you share the material, then that
might help to address our concern.

Thank you.

William D. Cahill
City Manager
City of Loveland
500 East Third Street
Loveland, CO 80537
v 970.962.2306
f 970.962.2900