November Greetings to Everyone in Eagle County and Routt County!

 

Just as in June through September, I spent most of October and the first week of November working on Water and Transportation issues, both as a member of the two Joint Interim Committees and as a participant in local, regional, and state-wide water and transportation meetings.

 

Water Issues and Meetings

 

I attended and participated in the Colorado Watershed Assembly (for more info, visit http://www.coloradowater.org) in Avon on October 6 and 7, the NWCOG Water Quality Quantity quarterly meeting on October 21 (visit http://nwccog.org/programs/water-qualityquantity-committee/), and the Roaring Fork Watershed Summit on October 22 (visit http://www.roaringfork.org/documents/roaring-fork-watershed-plan/)

 

In Glenwood Springs on October 26, I joined other Western Slope state legislators for a good discussion with Club20 on current issues facing our state (visit http://club20.org), especially budget and fiscal problems. We discussed a bill that would make the Hospital Provider Fee into an Enterprise fund, as allowed by TABOR.

 

Then that afternoon, we met with the Colorado River Basin Roundtable to discuss the Colorado Water Plan (visit http://cwcb.state.co.us/water-management/basin-roundtables/Pages/ColoradoBasinRoundtable.aspx and also for the Colorado River District http://www.coloradoriverdistrict.org).

 

We discussed trans-mountain diversions (TMDs), given the Denver Post story of October 21 asserting that James Eklund, Director of CWCB (the Executive Branch agency tasked with compiling all river basin implementation plans and over 30,000 public comments into the final draft of the Colorado Water Plan) had special meetings after all comments were officially due with interests who are pushing for more TMDs and that the final plan would suggest new TMDs as one policy solution to the gap. I then spoke for an hour via phone with Director Eklund on October 23, and he assured me that the Denver Post story was completely inaccurate. He stated that the report will not specify new TMDs as sources to fill our projected water supply/demand gap.

 

You can read more in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent at http://www.postindependent.com/news/18797008-113/lawmakers-offer-tepid-enthusiasm-for-state-water-plan where I am correctly quoted: “Another transmountain diversion is not only bad for the Western Slope, it’s bad for Colorado, it’s bad for our state’s economy, it’s bad when, not if, there is a Colorado River Compact call, and it’s very, very bad obviously for our recreational and environmental-based economy,” said Rep. Mitsch Bush, a Democrat who represents Eagle and Routt counties in House District 26.

Mitsch Bush said that the employees in new businesses relocating along the I-25 corridor “don’t come here to Colorado and bring jobs and money with them because they want to hang out on I-25, they want to see free-flowing western rivers.”

 

The final draft of the Colorado water Plan will be presented to the Governor by the Colorado Water conservation Board (CWCB) on November 19 in Denver (for more info please visit http://coloradowaterplan.com)

 

On October 29, the Interim Join Water Resources Review Committee (WRRC) met at the Capitol to finalize bills and resolutions to be introduced in the 2016 Legislative Session as WRRC bills. I will be House Co-Prime sponsor with Representative Don Coram (R-Montrose) on two resolutions: a Good Samaritan Resolution urging the US Congress to pass a bill that would reduce liability for private or non profit organizations that undertake clean up of old, abandoned hard rock mines and another dealing with access to water facilities on Federally managed lands.

For WRRC agendas, audio and other materials, please go to https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cga-legislativecouncil/2015-water-resources-review-committee

 

Transportation Issues and Meetings

On October 8, I participated in the quarterly meeting of the I70 Coalition in Silverthorne (please visit http://www.i70solutions.org/about/)

 

Then on October 28, I attended the CDOT Statewide Transportation Summit in Denver. (visit https://www.codot.gov/summit)

 

 

TLRC Hearing at the Capitol- November 2

http://www.colorado.gov/lcs/TLRC

Tweets by @COTLRComm

 

I continue to work with stakeholders to reduce winter closures on I 70. On November 2, The Interim Transportation legislation Review committee voted to recommend my bill with Rep. Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale) to be introduced in 2016 as a Committee Bill to reduce winter traction-related accidents and closures. I will be working on other transportation bills as well.

 

 

Visits to Schools in Eagle County October 27 and in Routt County November 4

Watching a great play in South Routt Elementary classroom.It was inspiring to visit Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum and Homestake Peak Elementary School in Eagle-Vail on October 27 and elementary, middle, and high schools in all three school districts in Routt County on November 4. Teachers are doing amazing things with limited resources in the Eagle County Schools, and in all three Routt County Districts: South Routt, Hayden, and Steamboat Springs.

 

Chamber Mixer in Eagle County, Health Care meeting in Routt County, and quarterly Mayors/Managers Meeting in Eagle County

 

At the Vail Valley Partnership All-Chamber mixer at the Eagle Valley Airport on October 8, it was great to check in with old friends and meet some new business people. These small businesses make the Valley prosper!

 

Meeting with the Colorado Health Foundation on their visit to Routt County at Rollingstone Respite Center on October 13 made me so proud of our district and all the wonderful help and services local non-profits provide for people of all ages.

 

On October 30, I attended the quarterly Mayors/Managers meeting at the Eagle county building in Eagle. I learned so much from all the local officials, from DOLA, and from Senator Bennet’s office. Jill Klosterman of Eagle County Housing gave a great presentation and led a thoughtful discussion on affordable housing issues in Eagle County.

 

Solving problems for my constituents

 

I continue to try to solve problems and get information for constituents who have contacted me on a variety of issues, including disruptions of 911 and broadband service in Routt County.

 

Update on CenturyLink plans to install redundant line from Silverthorne to Routt County to prevent further outages

 

As I noted in my October newsletter to you, there were two outages, July and September, of 911 and broadband service to Routt County due to highway contractors cutting the only line that brings service into Routt County. From July through October, I have met in person and via phone with CenturyLink Vice-President Mark Soltes and CenturyLink Director of State and Local Government Affairs Abel Chavez to prevent further outages. I had phone conferences in September with  PUC Section Manager for Telecom to discuss solutions. I had also spoken via phone with our local Chamber and government officials. In an email dated November 3, Vice President Soltes stated that having redundant line from Silverthorne to Steamboat Springs in and lit for operation by December 15, 2015 is Century Link’s current plan. I will be following up.

 

From now until the second session of the 70th Colorado General Assembly convenes on January 13, I will continue to work with stakeholders on 2016 bills and continue to represent you.

 

I will be visiting with local governments, businesses, and constituents through December. Please do email me with your questions, concerns and ideas at: repdianehd26@gmail.com

 

You can count on me to keep working across the aisle and with all stakeholders for practical, evidence-based policies that build a better future for ALL Coloradans! I am honored and humbled to represent you and our beautiful, headwaters district!

 

Yours for a just, equitable, sustainable, and prosperous Colorado for ALL,

State House District 26 Representative Diane Mitsch Bush

Yours for a just, equitable, sustainable, and prosperous Colorado for all.

 

 

Diane Mitsch Bush

Representative

Colorado State House of Representatives,

District 26-Eagle County and Routt County

P.O. Box 770535

Steamboat Springs, CO 80477

Paid for by Citizens to Elect Diane Mitsch Bush for Colorado HD 26  •  Tessa Kirchner, Treasurer  •  ©2012-2017 Diane For Colorado