Press Releases

ICYMI: Hickenlooper Secures More Than $100 Million for 160 Community Projects Across Colorado

Apr 2, 2024

From water system upgrades in Gunnison and a hospital expansion in Steamboat Springs, to infrastructure improvements in Grand Junction and workforce housing in Alamosa, communities across Colorado discuss the impact of FY24 CDS projects secured by Hickenlooper

In case you missed it, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper, along with the Colorado congressional delegation, secured over $157 million in congressionally directed spending (CDS) for 160 projects across the state in the fiscal year 2024 (FY24) federal funding bills. Hickenlooper personally secured over $111 million for 114 projects. Hickenlooper voted in favor of both FY24 federal funding bills.

For information on all CDS projects secured, click HERE and HERE.

Read more below:

Steamboat Pilot & Today: South Routt Medical Center awarded $2.3 million toward expansion

Staff at South Routt Medical Center were happy to get the official notice from U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper’s office that the facility has been approved for $2.3 million from congressionally directed spending for the center’s expansion.

The new funding — which had been in the request queue for about a year — will be used along with $1.3 million in previous state funding toward an estimated $4.6 million expansion project for the busy medical center in Oak Creek, according to Ken Rogers, district manager of the South Routt Health Service District.

“We are absolutely excited that was able to happen; it’s a really big step in moving forward in our expansion project,” Rogers said.

The center plans to add roughly 1,500 square feet of space to handle the current patient load of approximately 8,000 medical patient visits each year. In addition, dental and physical therapy services offered through cooperative vendors serve another 3,000 patient visits each year.

Vail Daily: Feds to provide nearly $1M in relief to Gypsum as town searches for ways to reduce taxpayer burden on $85M sewer plant

The town of Gypsum has been hard at work looking for ways to reduce the taxpayer burden on the most daunting of all the projects it must undertake in the coming years: an $85 million wastewater treatment plant upgrade that’s been ordered by the state.

Gypsum’s current wastewater treatment plant has been pushed to more than 80% capacity, which triggers a regulation saying the town must begin designing a new facility.

Last week, it was announced that the town was awarded $959,752 in the final FY2024 Federal Appropriations bill, spearheaded by the local congressional delegation including U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, along with Rep. Joe Neguse.

Town Manager Jeremy Rietmann said the funding will help reduce some of the costs that would otherwise fall on local ratepayers.

“This infrastructure is critical in safeguarding the health of our residents as well as our local rivers and streams,” Rietmann said.

The Fairplay Flume: Park County to receive $850,000 in funding for infrastructure improvements

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the first government funding packages for the fiscal year 2024, which includes over $129 million in congressionally directed spending for 120 Colorado projects. One of these projects is located in Park County and would improve unsafe county roadways that lead to Colorado state parks.

The funding will provide for a new chip seal surface for County Roads 90 and 92. These two roads were last chip-sealed over 20 years ago and are beyond their designed life. Due to extreme safety concerns, 20.23 miles of paved roads must be completely ground, a new subgrade prepared, and a new 8-inch chip seal surface placed. The road edges are disintegrating which narrows the roadway, the multilayer patching has lost integrity causing large potholes to form and are dangerous. Good road infrastructure is crucial, especially on popular routes people use to access parks, and these funds are essential to keep Coloradans safe.

“From affordable housing to infrastructure projects, this is a bill with Colorado needs written all over it,” said U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper, who helped secure $88 million in funding for 78 projects, in a press release. “These projects came from Coloradans, for Coloradans. And there’s more to come.”

Alamosa Valley Courier: Hickenlooper, Bennet secure $2 million for SLVH workforce housing

Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper have secured $2 million in funding to further SLV Health’s ongoing efforts to provide workforce housing for some of their contract employees.

According to Donna Wehe, Communications Director with SLV Health, the application for funding was to improve the Pikes Place apartment building that SLV Health recently purchased.

“The building is located on our campus,” Wehe says, “and we want to make improvements to the property to bring it up to par for workforce housing.”

Currently, SLV Health is renting between ten and fifteen apartments throughout Alamosa to accommodate those visiting professionals who are working locally and providing needed health care services as well as long term medical students who are doing their residency with the hospital.

“This housing will allow us to keep our workforce nearby and on campus, which is so much more convenient for everyone. It’s especially helpful for those people who are part of a couple but have only one vehicle. That can create problems when a spouse needs to go to work and the professional or student needs to come to campus. Renovating Pikes Place and having people comfortably housed on campus solves that problem.”

But, Wehe says, there was another prime motivation to do this, not just for how it benefits SLV Health but also for the benefit it will provide to the Alamosa community.

“We have a serious shortage of affordable housing in Alamosa,” she says. “By buying and renovating this apartment building, we can free up those other 10, 12 or 15 apartments we’re renting throughout the town and make them available to others who need a place to live. It’s just a great deal for everybody involved.

“We’re very excited to get this award,” Wehe says. “It’s really great news.”

Craig Press: Senators secure funding for Craig business park

Colorado Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper have announced that $2.5 million in congressionally directed spending will be put toward a business and industrial park in Craig.

The funds were included in the passage of the first of two federally funded bills for fiscal year 2024, which dedicated over $129 million toward 120 Colorado projects.

Hickenlooper previously stated that “we’re helping Colorado grow by ensuring we get our fair share.”

In addition to the funds earmarked for the City of Craig, the bipartisan package will fund six federal agencies including much needed support for families facing hunger, funding for community health centers and significant resources to combat drought and provide reliable water in the West.

Durango Herald: Colorado Senators celebrate millions for Southwest Colorado projects

Colorado’s senators are celebrating the passage of six federal spending bills that will bring over $5.5 million to projects across Southwest Colorado.

Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper both successfully earmarked $1.5 million for a stoplight in Bayfield and $3 million for the Rock Creek affordable housing project in Ignacio.

The two also secured $1 million for vocational training at schools in Pagosa Springs and $2 million for the Moguan Aftercare Housing Facility in Towaoc.

The $1.5 million directed to the Colorado Department of Transportation will be used to build a new lighted signal at the intersection of U.S. Highway 160 and East Bayfield Parkway.

“That intersection has been on my radar for many years,” said La Plata County Commissioner Matt Salka, who previously served as mayor of Bayfield.

He said that light will slow down traffic traveling between the intersection and the light on the west side of town.

“I am hopeful for it pulling down that speed between those two lights, which will improve the safety and well-being of everyone in Bayfield,” he said.

The Daily Sentinel: $2 million for 29 Road interchange included in federal spending bill

The federal government has pledged $2 million toward a potential interchange at Interstate 70 and 29 Road to the Colorado Department of Transportation as part of a recent appropriations bill passed by Congress.

Both Mesa County and the City of Grand Junction have been angling for the interchange, which has been in the works since the 1970s.

In addition to the 29 Road interchange funding, Fruita received $1,750,000 to help replace the Maple Street bridge and Riverside Educational Center in Grand Junction received $168,000 for renovations.

Steamboat Pilot & Today: $1 million appropriation cinches funding for trail tunnel

A Steamboat Springs engineering plan to extend the Yampa River Core Trail west to Sleepy Bear Mobile Home Park and to create a tunnel pathway under U.S. Highway 40 to the Overlook Park subdivision received notice Friday of the final $1 million in funding needed to move forward.

“It’s definitely exciting news,” said Danny Paul, a city civil engineer for 16 years. “Due to the timing, we will now need to come up with creative ways to move phases one and two ahead with minimal delay. With this announcement, we are going to be working hard to combine phase one and two into a single bid.”

The final $1 million needed for funding will allow the city to bid the trail extension and tunnel under the highway as one project in order to save funds.

KREX Grand Junction: Funding Secured for Western Slope Projects

“Senator John Hickenlooper secured over $129 million dollars for 120 Colorado projects, including multiple projects here on the Western Slope.

“The United States Senate passed an Appropriations bill that included $1.75 million dollars in Congressionally Directed Spending for the Maple Street Bridge replacement here in Fruita… This will expand the bridge to 44 feet with sidewalks, curbs, and gutters, making it a safer area for vehicles and pedestrians.

“The City of Grand Junction is also receiving government funding – $2 million dollars for the updating of the I-70 interchange at 29 Road.

“We are very grateful for the support of our Colorado Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper and Representative Boebert…the commitment of these federal funds will go a long way toward completing this design and starting the right of way acquisition process,” said Trent Prall, Grand Junction’s director engineering and transportation.”

Gunnison Country Times: City receives $1.75 million for water treatment plant project

On March 8, the City of Gunnison received $1.75 million in congressional dollars for its water system upgrades from U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, John Hickenlooper and Rep. Lauren Boebert. The money will cover most of “project 1,” which includes the design and construction of an infiltration gallery.

This perforated pipe acts like a shallow, horizontal water well. A large boring machine is often used to feed thousands of feet of piping into a cavity underground, similar to an electric conduit, and then backfill the area with gravel. The gravel filters the water before it enters the pipe and is eventually pumped to a plant for treatment.

The city pulls its drinking water from nine wells scattered throughout the city. The system is outdated and no longer permitted by the state. Because all of the wells pull water from the same aquifer, it’s also vulnerable to contamination and periods of prolonged drought.

Project 1 will increase the number of ways the city can collect untreated water for its drinking water supply. After it’s complete, the city will have the ability to pull from the underground water table using the infiltration gallery and directly from the Gunnison River, in addition to the aquifer. The infiltration gallery is designed to capture the water table that flows underground, and is much shallower than the main aquifer.

Crested Butte News: Congress makes $2M+ investment in local projects

Two local entities scored big with earmarks from the U.S. Congress this past week. As part of the spending bill approved by Congress, so-called earmarks were awarded to various lawmakers including those from Colorado. With 120 requests totaling more than $125 million for the state, two entities in Gunnison County, the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) and the city of Gunnison, received earmarks amounting to more than $2 million. The earmarks came through U.S. senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper and congresswoman Lauren Boebert, even though Boebert voted against the overall spending bill.

Representatives of RMBL got word last week that it was being awarded almost $1 million in funding to invest in remote sensing imagery data to measure forest and watershed health. This data is expected to be useful in identifying at-risk forests and helping land managers target conservation and treatment efforts early in the detection cycle. The same appropriations cycle also awarded $1.75 million to the city of Gunnison for water treatment plant construction and improvements.

According to RMBL executive director Dr. Ian Billick, the project will deploy the National Ecological Observatory Network’s Airborne Observatory over the Taylor and East River drainages to collect hyperspectral imagery, data that breaks the light reflecting off the ground’s surface into 500+ different visible and non-visible bands with a resolution of 1 meter across entire watersheds. Combining this data with micrometeorological measurements scientists will link vegetation and forest health to hydrology and fire. This will improve scientific understanding of the Gunnison Basin as well as enhance global interpretation of hyperspectral imagery from Landsat Next, an incoming generation of planned satellites.

According to Dr. Ian Breckheimer, who will be leading the project, “Knitting together RMBL field data—which stretches back decades—with powerful new technologies will be a game-changer for understanding how ecosystems in the Gunnison Basin will respond to drought and climate change. More broadly, the hyperspectral imaging technology, which allows precise measurement of how light interacts with plants and soil, is poised to transform how we monitor the world’s ecosystems. So not only will this project matter locally, but it will inform science everywhere.”

The impact of this project is magnified by the large number of scientists working at RMBL, including not only traditional ecologists and evolutionary biologists, but hydrologists and biogeochemists working through Lawrence Berkeley Lab (LBL). “This project will significantly advance Lawrence Berkeley Lab’s work in the Gunnison Basin to develop a predictive understanding of the nation’s watersheds by connecting patterns of vegetation distribution and mortality with water resources that are increasingly under stress in the Western US,” said Dr. Nicola Falco, research scientist LBL.

Meanwhile, the city of Gunnison was awarded $1.75 million in the same appropriations decision for its planned water infrastructure improvements. That money was allocated through Bennet, Hickenlooper and Boebert. Funds will help construct an infiltration gallery and drill three new wells to increase resiliency by diversifying water intake sources in Gunnison.

“We are immensely grateful for the $1.75 million appropriation recently approved by Congress,” said city manager Amanda Wilson. “These funds will directly reduce the cost burden on water rate payers. The federal support enables the City of Gunnison to move forward with diversifying our community’s water supply sources which is essential in times of drought and during other events such as wildfires.”

Denver 7: City of Denver receives $2.65M in federal funding for four community projects

The City of Denver has received $2.65 million in federal funding to support four community projects, the city’s Department of Finance announced Tuesday.

The funding was awarded following a request from Denver’s Congressional delegation — U.S. Representative Diana DeGette, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper and U.S. Senator Michael Bennet.

“This funding is instrumental in delivering on our promise for a vibrant Denver,” said Denver Mayor Mike Johnston in a statement.  “We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support of our congressional delegation and look forward to our continued partnership as we work to bring even greater investment to Denver communities.”

The recreation center will receive the most funding from the grant — $1 million. City officials said the center will be among the first public amenities to make Morrison Road a community hub…

The city will use $850,000 to design and construct a new fire station along the Tower Road corridor between 56th Avenue and Peña Boulevard. Officials said it will address the lack of emergency coverage in northeast Denver while allowing Denver Fire to provide backup support for the Denver International Airport. The project also received $13.2 million through the Elevate Denver bond program.

The city will use $300,000 to create a master electrification plan for the airport to increase the use of cleaner forms of energy and reduce emissions, officials said.

Lastly, the remaining $500,000 will support an environmental remediation demonstration project at the former DPS Bus Barn. The site previously served as an aggregate quarry and historic urban fill site from 1932 to the mid-1960s, according to the city.

Coloradoan: Larimer County grants Neighbor to Neighbor $275,000 for a rental assistance program

Neighbor to Neighbor secures $1M for affordable housing remodel: Last week, a news release from Sen. John Hickenlooper announced a bill (which was then signed by President Joe Biden to become law) that would fund several Colorado projects, including $1 million for Neighbor to Neighbor.

This is not for rent assistance, Hayes told the Coloradoan — this funding is to remodel one of Neighbor to Neighbor’s eight affordable properties.

The Mountain Mail: Jane’s Place gets $300,000 in government funding

Jane’s Place received $300,000 in government funding to install a solar array on the roof of the multigenerational housing complex.

The funding, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives March 6, includes $12,602,446 for 14 community projects. The Town of Buena Vista received $1.28 million for a 60-unit deed-restricted housing unit with a 5,000-square-foot childcare space. 

Beth Helmke, county deputy director of administration, said solar was included in the initial concept plans for Jane’s Place. The $300,000 funding request came from discussions with the Chaffee Housing Authority, the Jane’s Place working group and Chaffee County Community Foundation, as an early estimate of expenses.

“At this time, the specific details on the PV array sizing and its production capacity are unknown, so we don’t know yet how much of the complex’s energy demands can be fulfilled by solar,” Helmke said. “We are grateful to Sens. Bennet and Hickenlooper and Rep. Pettersen and their hard-working staff for the support and advocacy on behalf of Chaffee County and our community priorities.”

Vail Daily: Eagle County projects awarded more than $2.3 million in federal community project funding

Projects in Eagle County have received a total of $2,309,752 in federal community project funding.

“We’re thankful for the support of our congressional delegation, including Congressman Joe Neguse and Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet,” Gypsum Town Manager Jeremy Rietmann added. “Federal funding support like this is vital for maintaining reliable wastewater infrastructure and reducing some of the costs that would otherwise fall on local ratepayers.”


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