Severance taxes are a vital source of funding for communities across Colorado. This tax applies to revenue the state collects from mining and energy extraction. Half of these funds go directly to communities affected by those activities. The other half goes towards grants for infrastructure and economic development.
KVNF’s Laura Palmisano looks at severance tax projects on the Western Slope.
"We have just under a million gallons of hot, natural spring water that flows into the pool," said Patrick Rondinelli, the city administrator of Ouray, while visiting the city's hot springs pool.
"There’s always been ponds in the early years that were in this location and then finally in the late 1920’s a formal swimming pool was built on this very site," he said. "And, it’s been maintained in that condition in some variation. There’s been some changes made to it but basically in this same very site all these years."
Rondinelli said Ouray closes the pool in the spring for about a week to clean it and do basic repairs. The site attracts about 135,000 visitors a year and is a major tourism draw for the small mountain community.
Many states require students be taught financial literacy. However, Colorado is one of the few that also tests on it. To help students learn, some schools are bringing outside experts into the classroom.
Six teams of students are playing a quiz game similar to Jeopardy. The purpose of the game is to gauge the financial literacy of sixth-graders who just completed a weeklong course on the topic.
"I wish that somebody had taught me this when I was this age,"Autumn Lettau with NuVista Federal Credit Union says.
On Friday, hundreds of people attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the new multimillion-dollar recreation center in Montrose.
The facility has an estimated price tag of $28 million.
"Tracking the whole history, it’s probably going on almost two decades of effort to bring a recreation center to Montrose," Ken Sherbenou, the executive director of the Montrose Recreation District, says.
More than $34 million in grants from the state will go to local communities for public improvement projects.
Forty communities across the state received grants from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA).
Hotchkiss got $1.1 million to upgrade the town’s sewer system. De Beque received $2 million to help build a new fire station. The state awarded Mesa County $1 million for road and structure improvements.
The Montrose Recreation District got $1.9 million to expand its community recreation center. And, Cedaredge received nearly $2 million.
Buy local movements are happening across the country from Richmond to San Francisco. Cities and towns know that getting people to shop in their community means more tax revenue for municipal budgets. The City of Montrose in western Colorado is in on the game too.
It’s a cold morning in downtown Montrose. The lobby at the visitor center is full of people standing in line, trying to get their hands on Montrose Bucks. They’re large checks that can only be spent at businesses within city limits.
Republican Congressman Cory Gardner stopped in Montrose for a voter meet-and-greet Monday.
Gardner is currently the U.S. Representative for Colorado's 4th Congressional District, which covers most of the eastern part of the state. He faces Democratic incumbent Mark Udall in a hotly contested race that could decide which party controls the Senate.
KVNF's Laura Palmisano spoke to Gardner at his campaign event and brings us this candidate interview.
The 19th Amendment guarantees women in the United States the right to vote. Tuesday was the 94th anniversary of its passage and Women’s Equality Day.
To celebrate about 15 women dressed like they’re from the early 1900's marched around the courthouse in downtown Montrose. They chanted and waved signs that said “vote it counts” and “women make a difference”.
Karen Connor wore a tri-color sash that read “votes for women”.
"We’re here to remind people that women worked really hard to get the vote and they need to remember that and go out and vote," Connor said.
KVNF's Wednesday Morning Music Mix host Jeff Reynolds visits with legendary Texas singer-songwriter Willis Alan Ramsey, whose iconic 1972 self-titled album influenced almost every songwriter who came out of Texas in subsequent years. Ramsey's wife & musical partner Alison Rogers joins him. The two will perform in concert Friday, Oct. 18th in Montrose. The long-awaited 2nd album is previewed in the interview.