The Pueblo West View

Regional News

50 positions in jeopardy

Colorado State University-Pueblo administrators are revising next year’s budget projections and the new bottom line could mean as many as 50 positions on campus will go dark in fiscal year 2015.

The combination of declining state revenues and declining enrollment on the Belmont campus is forcing CSU-Pueblo President Lesley Di Mare to reassess next year’s ledger and cut projections by $3.3 million.

The fiscal year 2014-15 begins July 1.

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Budget balanced through reserves

As 2013 comes to a close, Pueblo County dipped into its reserves last week to true up its budget for the past year.

The county amended its budget, taking more than $4.3 million in reserves to balance the current year’s finances.

Pueblo County just adopted its budget for next year, but some unfortunate events — a recall election, a building crisis, costly maintenance repairs — forced some departments to go over budget this year.

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Amtrak may run off Pueblo track

Saving the Southwest Chief will take three states working together and $120 million over the next decade, according to state Sen. Larry Crowder, R-Alamosa.

The Chief is the daily Amtrak passenger train running between Chicago and Los Angeles, with stops in La Junta and Trinidad.

Amtrak officials are considering moving the route further south in two years, so the Chief would run through Wichita and Amarillo — cutting out Colorado altogether. To that end, Crowder is sponsoring legislation in the upcoming General Assembly to create a financing authority to oversee Colorado’s portion of the problem. Similar efforts are underway in Kansas and New Mexico to protect the Chief’s current route.

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Black Hills turbine OK’d

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission has approved a multiyear power plan from Black Hills Energy that includes building an additional $70 million turbine at its power plant east of the city.

To pay for the turbine, Black Hills will need an additional 4.8 percent in revenue — an increase it doesn’t intend to pass on to rate payers until 2017.

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New pot shop to open Jan. 1

Pueblo County issued its second recreational marijuana license last week.

Commissioners approved licenses for The Greener Side, which has dispensaries at Stem Beach and in Pueblo West.

Owner Hank Borunda said his Stem Beach location will sell retail pot beginning Jan. 1, but the Pueblo West business won’t sell recreational pot until mid-January, due to a delay at the state.

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Mapps sought on new charges

Law enforcement increased the spotlight on Harry Mapps last week, announcing that he now is wanted on warrants for first-degree murder and arson in a Nov. 27 triple homicide in Rye.

Mapps, 59, is suspected of shooting Reginald and Kim Tuttle and their daughter, Dawn Roderick, 33, and then lighting their Rye home on fire to cover up the crime.

“The evidence and with the new charges will make him one of the most sought after fugitives in the country,” Sheriff Kirk Taylor said last week.

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This week’s meetings

Monday

City Council work session, 5:30 p.m., council chambers, 1 City Hall Place.

City Council, 7 p.m., council chambers, 1 City Hall Place.

County Commissioners, 9 a.m., County Courthouse.

Tuesday

Pueblo West Metropolitan District Board, 6 p.m., district office.

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