Governor Hickenlooper signs HB-1348 into law…..

It was a great team effort.   Some have been working to see Urban Renewal (URA) Tax Incentive Finance  (TIF) for nearly two decades.   I was only a bit player for about two of them.     County, School, and Special District Government were able to craft legislation that was approved by a split Colorado Congress and ultimately signed into law last Friday by Governor Hickenlooper.   More …..

IMG_1537 IMG_1547 FullSizeRender



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RTD – Gold Line – Ward Street Station Renderings

Here are some renderings of the future Ward Street station.   More about this station can be obtained from Scott Brink:

Station RenderingWard Street Station and current ROW


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Arvada Food Bank Golf Fundraiser Flyer

Please reference the link below to access the entry form for the 1st Annual Arvada Food Bank Golf Fundraiser.


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SDA Legistlative update – HB-1348

jim whitfield.  Colorado SDA secretary
SDA Legislative Action Alert:
Call to action – TIF legislation in the current legislative session

SUPPORT – HB 15-1348 – Urban Redevelopment Fairness Act.

HB15-1348 – Urban Redevelopment Fairness Act passed on 3d Reading in the House. The vote was 44 Yes, 18 No and 2 Excused and 1 not voting due to a conflict of interest. THANK YOU for your tremendous outreach and support. Our success is due to YOUR efforts! Thank you again. The bill is now in the Senate Finance Committee and we are waiting for the bill to be scheduled to be heard. With 6 days remaining in the legislative session the bill could be calendared with very little notice to the public.

We are requesting SDA members to contact their senators and ask them to Vote For HB 1348! The time to act is now! Your voice counts, so please make it heard. We are asking you to email or call your Senator and ask them toVote For HB 1348 – Urban Redevelopment Fairness Act. If you need assistance finding out who represents you at the Colorado State Capitol please visit

If you live in the district of a Finance Committee member, it is especially important that the committee hear from you ASAP.

A listing and contact information for the Senate Finance Committee follows:

OPPOSE – HB 15-135 – Public Bodies and Urban Renewal

On April 20 on Second Reading in the Senate, SB 15-135 – Public Bodies and Urban Renewal (CML’s URA bill) was amended and passed. The bill awaits final action in the Senate on 3rd Reading. The amendments to the bill do not solve our need for important reform of the URA process. Please ask your senator to Vote No on SB 15-135 – Public Bodies and Urban Renewal.

Here are important points to consider.

As amended, SB 15-135:

  • Allows special districts, counties, and school districts to be in local negotiations at the front end of a URA, but provides no relief if the city refuses to enter into an agreement;
  • Does not provide a seat at the URA table for elected special district or school board members to be accountable to their taxpayers;
  • Does not require cities to invest their own sales tax revenues into their urban renewal projects; and
  • If counties are unable to reach an agreement on cost sharing they can force binding arbitration. However, if special districts and school boards are unable to reach agreement on cost sharing, they can be completely ignored while their entire property tax increment is taken by the URA.

SB 15-135 does not solve the much needed reform to the URA process.

SB 15-284 – Voter Approval TIF Payments Ag Land.

Finally, as an FYI, SB 15-284 was introduced late yesterday afternoon in the Senate has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill does not address our need for reform either. The bill is directed at the issues surrounding the Gaylord Hotel project around Denver International Airport. Since the bill is so new, we have not had enough time to develop a position; should that change in the coming days we will alert our members as soon as possible.

Please contact us if you have any questions or if you are able to connect with your state senator.


Ann Terry
Executive Director


Michael A. Valdez
Director of Policy

225 East 16th Avenue Suite 1000
Denver, CO 80203
United States
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Colorado House Bill 15-1348

jim whitfield.  Colorado SDA secretaryThis bi-partisan supported bill  offers County, School District,  and Special District government some representation on Urban Renewal Projects when their tax revenues are potentially affected.   I support this legislation and encourage you to contact your state representatives to support it as well.

Colorado House Bill 15-1348.01

Jim Whitfield Secretary – Colorado SDA (

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Apex PRD receives Arvada Chamber “Behind the Scenes” award

Apex PRD Board of Directors

Apex PRD Board of Directors and Kami Welch, Arvada Chamber President.

The Apex Park and Recreation District received the Arvada Chamber’s “Behind the Scenes Award” at their annual dinner last Friday.  I and my fellow Board members Tommy Skul, Kristen Larington, and Lee Humrich were glad to accept this award on behalf of the District staff that have worked so hard “behind the scenes” to make Arvada and the Apex District the best Recreation provider possible.   It is through the work ethic and leadership of Director Mike Miles, his management team, and staff that our District continues to provide what I feel is fantastic and comprehensive recreational options to our District.

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2015 Colorado SDA Legistlators guide

jim-whitfield-for-apex-board-of-directors - CopyThe following document provides and excellent overview of who, what, and how Colorado Special Districts serve the citizens of our great State !!

Legislators Guide Updated Jan 2015

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Public meetings announcement to gather public input

apex-park-and-recreation-district-board-of-directorsApex Park and Recreation District is hosting a series of public meetings to gather public input on elements of the district’s community recreation master plan. Also on the table for discussion is a possible strategy to finance these projects by extending the district’s current $25 million revenue bond, approved by voters in 1998 to finance the Apex Center and several other projects. The bond is set to expire in 2017. If voters chose to extend it, the action would not incur any new taxes.

The first of three meetings is scheduled for 6:30 pm on Thursday, January 29 at the Apex Center, 13150 W. 72nd Avenue, Arvada, CO.

The 2nd on Thursday, February 26 – Apex Field House (5720 Oak St.), 6:30 pm

The 3rd on Thursday, March 26 – Community Recreation Center (6842 Wadsworth Blvd), 6:30 pm

These meetings are an important step in an extensive information-gathering process that began several years ago. Vision 2020, a volunteer citizen panel, studied the district’s facilities and current community recreation needs, and in 2012, recommended new priorities for improving current facilities and building others. In 2013, more community outreach took place when Greenplay, LLC, an independent organization specializing in parks and recreation planning, compiled community feedback using a number of methods, including a survey, to determine the public’s community recreation needs and preferences. At the three public meetings, citizens are invited to learn about and comment on the master plan elements and finance strategy, and discuss their own priorities for quality, affordable and accessible community recreation. Citizen input is a vital component of quality community recreation throughout the planning process – please bring all your ideas and feedback! There will be ample time for discussion and individual input.

If the January 29 date doesn’t fit your schedule, the next two meetings are 6:30 pm Thursday, February 26 at the Apex Field House, 5724 Oak Street, Arvada, CO, and 6:30 pm Thursday, March 26 at the Community Recreation Center, 6842 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada, CO. For more information on the master plan, or the information gathering process up to this point, contact Luann Levine, or 303-403-2518.


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January 6, 2014 Apex / City of Arvada Study Session material.

jim-whitfield-for-apex-board-of-directors - CopyDear citizens of Apex. The link to the presentation material for our joint study session can be found here: 2014 Jan 6th Study Session Packet.    The material reviews our existing facilities and their coverage area footprint along with the priorities that were identified in 2005 and 2012 by the Vision 2020 steering committee along with the extensive District wide survey performed by GreenPlay.

We will be holding three public input sessions in the coming months to obtain your input on what you would like to see the Apex Park and Recreation provide on the premise that the bonds that built the Apex Center are renewed.     Please check this site or for more information on the meetings.

The primary conclusions I gathered from out study session are as follows:

1) There is support from City Council for the District to go forward with a Bond renewal election.   All parties realize that there are resource and timing constraints (as usual)  but all are dedicated to providing the best solution for the entire City and District.

2) There was a general consensus that East Arvada (Northeast and Southeast)  is under served at present.

3) It is possible that a November 2015 bond election may be the best opportunity although spring and fall of 2016 were also discussed.

4) Meyers pool is a priority for Arvada and Apex and a replacement option (location and funding) needs to be finalized in the next 5 to 10 year time period.    The Apex Center, Stenger/Lutz, and Long Lake ranch were discussed as possible locations for the new 50 meter facility.  Council member Bob Fifer mentioned the new connection under Kipling that will connect to the Stenger Lutz complex and Apex Field House.

5) The Ralston Creek/Arvada Plaza areas are not a viable locations for any Apex recreational facilities at present.

6) Secrest, the existing Meyers pool location, the Pomona Parcel, and the property just east of Indian Tree golf course were all discussed as vaiable options for an East Arvada recreational facility if the District’s constituents feel one is a priority.    A solution for Meyers pool needs to be determined.   Ensuring that all existing and new locations are folded into any future mass transit equations so as to make all facilities as accessible as possible to citizens of the City and District.

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APEX – December 4th Study Session Material

jim-whitfield-for-apex-board-of-directors - CopyWe started our planning for some sort of an election to “renew” the bond issue that built the Apex Center.    Just on the odd chance you wanted to attend our session but had a scheduling conflict I am providing you the presentation material we reviewed.   Please contact Director Miles and any of us on the board if you have any questions or input.Apex-Dec-2014-study-session

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