Friday, April 2, 2010

Participation in National League of Cities results in federal appropriation requests

COMMERCE CITY – The city’s attendance at the National League of Cities (NLC) conference in March may have paid big dividends for the city, according to Mayor Paul Natale.

Natale, City Council members, City Manager Jerry Flannery, Deputy City Manager Nanette Neelan and Intergovernmental Relations Manager Mizraim Cordero spent time at the conference meeting one on one with U.S. Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Diana DeGette (D-CO), and Betsy Markey (D-CO), U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Mark Udall (D-CO), and the U.S. Department of Interior. They discussed priority issues, growth opportunities and prospective federal funding requests.

City officials and staff also participated in training workshops, facilitated discussions and policy and advocacy meetings.

According to Natale, collaboration with representatives plays a large part in a community’s ability to receive federal funding for projects that would provide solutions and benefits to the region as a whole. Major topics of discussion included the completion of the interchange at Tower Road and Pena Boulevard ; the completion of Second Creek trail; the improvements to the intersection at state Highway 2 and 96th Avenue , and for equipment that would allow the Police Department to communicate with other jurisdictions.

As a result of the meeting, Perlmutter included two of the five Commerce City projects in his formal 2011 Appropriations Funding Requests, submitted to the House of Representatives and to various committees for consideration and mark-up into the appropriate bills. DeGette also submitted a request for completion of the interchange at Tower Road and Pena Boulevard .

If fully funded, the requests would provide nearly $2 million in funds, create new jobs, and impact the city’s policing and overall mobility.

“We’re very pleased to have support from the federal level,” Natale said. “Our city is in a critical growth period and it seems as though the federal government is recognizing our needs. If these appropriation requests are approved, Commerce City – and the region – will benefit greatly.”

Councilwoman Kathy Teter said attending the NLC conference would not have been possible without the support of Commerce City citizens.

“I would like to thank the citizens for allowing us to attend the NLC conference,” Teter said. “We learned so much and are very appreciative for the opportunity.”

Council members Dominick Moreno, Jim Benson, Renee Bullock, Jadie Carson and mayor pro-tem Tracey Snyder echoed Teter’s sentiments.

About the appropriation requests
The following information was provided to the House of Representatives on behalf of Rep. Perlmutter for Commerce City , and the requests have been forwarded to various committees for consideration and mark-up into appropriate bills. There are 37 total project requests for Colorado , and the complete list can be viewed on Perlmutter’s congressional Web site.

Interoperable communications equipment
Amount requested: $713,000
Project description: Commerce City is seeking funding to purchase state-of-the-art interoperable communications equipment, allowing its Police Department to communicate across jurisdictional and departmental lines. Such equipment includes: 54 mobile computers for police and emergency vehicles, 35 fixed-mounted radios and 20 portable radios for supervisors, upgrades to the mobile emergency management command center, and additional equipment required by the first responders tactical accountability project.

The ability to communicate and share information during an emergency is essential for a prompt and effective response. This equipment will enhance the city’s preventative and response capacities.

Construction of on-ramp from Tower Road to Pena Boulevard
Amount requested: $1,250,000
Jobs created or saved (projected): 26
Project description: Commerce City is seeking federal funding to complete the construction of study and design for an on-ramp at the interchange of Tower Road and Pena Boulevard . This on-ramp will allow for traffic on Tower Road to directly access Pena Boulevard going south/west.

This project would complete the “missing” on-ramp at this essential interchange. Once completed, it will allow Commerce City residents in the Reunion area to travel more quickly and conveniently to and from Denver International Airport and other regional locations and municipalities.

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