Sunday, February 9, 2014

US 36 Privatization 50-Year Contract to be Signed Wed. Feb 12, 2014 - Day before Senate briefing by CDOT

The Colorado Senate and House MUST STRIP the ability of the state privatization board, the HPTE, to sign the 50-year US 36 privatization contract without the consent of elected officials.
Nine Colorado public highways being sold to foreign toll road firms over the next 12 months starting with US 36. I-70 in downtown Denver/mountains, C-470 and I-25 from Denver to Ft. Collins are all being privatized and tolled.
Round trip from Denver to Boulder will cost $28 in the express lane during rush hour. Toll cost is indexed to inflation and will rise much higher over the next half century.
The amount of profit Goldman Sachs and Plenary will make from US 36 is a CDOT secret that is being kept from the Colorado taxpayers and elected officials.
The expensive toll lane addition will mean highly congested free lanes. It will become illegal for the state of Colorado to add additional free lanes to US 36 without compensating the toll operator for 50 years of decreased toll revenue.
Colorado elected officials are not being allowed to review the secret 50 year contract terms before the state privatization board, the HPTE, signs the contract.
CDOT is lying to the public and elected officials. CDOT claimed Jan 23 in the Denver Post that the 50 year legally binding US 36 contract can be amended at anytime.  This is a lie.
If the US 36 contract is changed or the toll lane removed, Colorado will be legally obligated to pay Goldman Sachs and Australian shareholders 50 years of toll revenue- a cost to taxpayers of hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.
If an emergency closes Highway 36 for more than 12 hours in a year, taxpayers will be required to compensate the toll road operator until the highway is reopened. In the southern US, toll roads force the state governments to pay tolls during hurricane evacuations.
Wages of CDOT snow plow drivers and highway workers will be slashed by as much as half, with benefits and pensions likely eliminated to increase Goldman Sachs and shareholder profits.
Like a scene from the Hunger Games, the private toll road operator and the state privatization board can order CDOT to take action against Colorado citizens protesting tolls.
It will be illegal for surrounding communities to upgrade roads or transit systems around US 36 in any way that reduces tolls for Goldman Sachs and the Australian toll road developer, Plenary Group unless Colorado pays 50 years of toll compensation.
To boost toll revenues, HOV cars with a driver plus passenger will soon have to pay tolls to use the US 36 or I-25 express lanes.
Senator Matt Jones and 14 Colorado elected lawmakers including Senate President Morgan Carroll have signed a letter requesting a 60 day hold on the US 36 privatization contract.  CDOT has rejected the Senators’ request and is racing to sign the 50 year contract before public outrage can stop the deal.
We MUST stop the US 36 privatization. Colorado has 3 days or less to take action.  By Thurs Feb 13 the deal will be signed.
CDOT has scheduled a briefing with the Colorado Senate to unveil the signed contract on Thursday Feb 13, 2014.
What can YOU do?
The Colorado Senate and House MUST STRIP the ability of the state privatization board (HPTE) to sign this contract without the consent of elected officials.
An emergency legislative session in the next 3 days must remove HPTE signing authority.
Once the HPTE signs the 50 year contract, it becomes illegal for the state of Colorado to modify the contract or US 36 without paying 50 years of toll revenue.
The time for action is NOW! Elected lawmakers will only act if the public demands ACTION. Remember- the next election is this fall. There are viable public US 36 finance options.
Please, take 5 minutes to call or email your elected Colorado Senator and Representative.
No action means that you will pay tolls and lose control of YOUR public highways for the next 50 years. Please, take action for yourself and your children.
Click here to email or call your state lawmaker - click Friends of Colorado website
https://friendsofthecoloradopuc.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/us-36-privatization-50-year-contract-to-be-signed-weds-feb-12-2014-the-day-before-the-cdot-senate-briefing/
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Press Contact/Interviews:
Ken Beitel, clean energy analyst & Advisory Board Chair, Drive SunShine Institute (DSI)
ph: 720 436-2465 email: Ken.Beitel@DriveSunShine.org
Websites: www.Drivesunshine.org Website: Friends of Colorado – sign the Change.org petition
The attached letter signed by 14 members of the Colorado General Assembly was sent to the stakeholders of the U.S. 36 reconstruction project on Jan 30th 2014. Signatories include Senators Jones, Heath, Tochtrop, Ulibarri, and Senate President Morgan Carroll, Representatives Foote, Hullinghorst, Becker, Peniston, Kraft-Tharp, Salazar, Primavera, Singer, Moreno.
(click to view lawmaker's letter)
http://friendsofthecoloradopuc.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/us-36-transparency-letter-1-30-14.pdf
CDOT -- HPTE
SUMMARY OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE CONCESSION AGREEMENT
January 24, 2014
Click Here to for full CDOT HPTE contract document
http://friendsofthecoloradopuc.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/us-36-summary.pdf
Compensation Events: (page 32)
(a) Compensation Events mean:
(i) A breach by HPTE of any provision of the Concession Agreement;
(ix) A Change in Law coming into effect after the Commencement Date which permits vehicles for which Tolls could be charged prior to the Change in Law to travel on the Managed Lanes without paying the full Tolls established in accordance with this Agreement (to avoid doubt, including increasing beyond 2,000 the number of permits for low emission vehicles to use the Managed Lanes without payment of Tolls);
(x) A Change in Law that results in the imposition of new or added federal, State or local taxes on Tolls and gross Toll receipts save to the extent that, at the time such Change in Law comes into effect the Concessionaire has achieved a specified level of internal rate of return;
(xi) The construction and operation of an Unplanned Revenue Impacting Facility;
(xiii) An order issued by a Governmental Authority or judicial authority having jurisdiction over the Project preventing the Concessionaire or HPTE from performing its obligations or exercising its rights under this Contract;
(xiv) Any delay in the timely issuance of a Necessary Consent that is caused by the imposition of a moratorium by or on the issuing Governmental Authority relating to the acceptance or processing of applications or the issuance of Necessary Consents generally; and
(xv) Any other matter which the Concession Agreement refers to as or deems to be a Compensation Event, or which is to be treated as if it were a Compensation Event.
--------- Suppression of US 36 Toll Protests (Page 2)
1.4 If the Concessionaire is able to demonstrate to HPTE's reasonable satisfaction there are
protestors or trespassers that are having a material adverse effect on the conduct of the
Phase 2 Work, the delivery of the Services or the collection of Toll Revenues that Concessionaire is unable to mitigate, then HPTE will evaluate whether HPTE or CDOT can lawfully provide any assistance in relation to the removal of the protesters or trespassers that is not independently available to Concessionaire and, to the extent that such assistance can be lawfully provided, HPTE shall or shall cause CDOT to provide such assistance to the extent it is, in the discretion of HPTE, reasonable and appropriate in the circumstances to do so

18 comments:

  1. Please add your voice on this issue whether you're a resident of the US 36 corridor or not. We will all be affected by this. I want to hear there will be transparency, work will be co posted by Colorado contractors, resident workers and whenever possible, using Colorado products and services. I would also very much like to see the long term unemployed (LTUE)* workers (residents) given priority in jobs created throughout the life of this project. *LTUE determined using CDLE data re multiple UI claims in the last 3-5 years and DOR / tax return data that demonstrated a precipitous, sustained drop in earned income as a result of this recession

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    Replies
    1. More privilege for the wealthy who can afford the toll, more Goldman Sachs greed!!

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  2. Anonymous9:09 AM

    This is completely uncalled for and unmanageable by the citizens of Colorado. With this privatization going into effect, the State of Colorado cannot even improve/increase the RTD mass transit system because no additional light rails can ever be built in the next 50 years. In addition, how does this now impact the bus system; what will the fares increase to when the buses have to pay the tolls?

    Toll roads are fine. I frequently use E470 and the Northwest Pkwy, but at an average of $1 per mile, no citizen will be able to maintain the ability to go to work to pay these tolls. Without a workforce, there will be no existance of the Colorado economy.

    Furthermore, in times of an emergency, like the flooding that took place last year, we (Colorado citizens and government) will have to put our funds towards paying the toll operator (who will be sitting at home not working because the road is closed) instead of focusing that money towards the fixing/rebuilding of the road and the assistance of our neighbors in need.

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  3. Absolutely No! on the privatization of Colorado roads. The foreign shareholders didn't build those roads, the Colorado taxpayers did. I strongly apposed this outrageous contract!

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  4. Anonymous9:37 AM

    No thanks, the rich are already rich enough, so stop nickle and diming the rest of us. Another country should NOT "own" our roads in Colorado and we should not have to pay fee's to another nation for using the roads we the people built and maintain through our taxes.

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  5. No, no, no, no! Privatization of Colorado roads is a big mistake! CDOT should be ashamed to have even consider such an outrageous notion. These foreign companies didn't build Colorado roads the Colorado taxpayers did!

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  6. Being from the Midwest and newly arrival to Colorado, this idea is INSANE. If you want tolls then please by all means go to Chicago or New York and see how well that has worked out. Tolls are nothing more then a Tax payer funded road for a private contract to profit on. If toll operators want to build a new road and toll that fine, but taking a TAX PAYER built road is horrible. This is nothing more then stealing. If the State wants to SELL the road to an operator for MILLIONS and there are alternate routes fine. But in this case you can only hope to see more accidents on side streets and more pedestrian deaths.

    I guess being in public office makes some people just plain stupid, the Constituents are in your charge, not some big money operator. Just goes to show, it doesn't matter your party, greed will always win.

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  7. How and where do I say NO!? And what exactly do they mean a FOREIGN company???

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  8. Anonymous10:46 AM

    Fake, you idiots really think any of this is legal?

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  9. Anonymous10:59 AM

    Please join the state employee union at the CDOT public hearings about the US-36 contract. The hearings will be held:
    • Wednesday, Feb. 12, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the City Park Recreation Center, 10455 Sheridan Blvd., Westminster.
    • Thursday, Feb. 13, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Louisville Recreation Center Crown Room, 900 W. Via Appia, Louisville.

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  10. What happened to the light rail plan to boulder? This is bullshit! We need to get off our asses and stop the madness!

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  11. Anonymous12:36 PM

    This is all confusing at most...but kinda stupid if ya ask me. From what I'm getting is that its some hot shot with money and power who got it in his/her head that just because they have money or power or both that they can just "own" whatever they want...makes ya feel like a part of you is no longer yours. I don't know a whole lot bout this but it seems totally redundant and idiotic...just like how the president thinks he "owns" anything and everything just because he has money and power.

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  12. Anonymous7:49 PM

    who are these people at the cdoc?

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  13. Anonymous9:47 PM

    Hey, Canadian here, stumbled on this via libertarian website. I hope this doesn't carry through. You're in my thoughts. Good luck.

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  14. Anonymous10:01 AM

    In today's economy, I'm not sure I have the understanding of why they decided to do this. As most people commute via the interstates, how can they afford the tolls during the financial decline we are still suffering. I think this is a big mistake and will make a lot of very unhappy Coloradians.

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  15. How can CDOT NOT be controlled by the elected officials?? The people behind this must be uncovered and removed asap. State and Federal dollars are being spent right now to improve US36. How are we expected to be ok with it being handed over to a private firm and being charged a ridiculous toll to drive in these new lanes? The Board members of HPTE should all be investigated to their involvement in this blatant highway robbery and if they profited in ANY way then they should be fully prosecuted.

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  16. Colorado selected officials are not being allowed to review the undisclosed denver HOA defect claims attorney terms before the state privatization board, the HPTE, signs the contract.

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  17. Anonymous8:46 AM

    During the public meeting this week Ms Fisher with CDOT stated NO CDOT employees will lose their jobs, Not sure about that but I know with one hundred percent certainty that as CDOT farms out a lot of their jobs to public companies,those companies will have significant loss of their employees as plenary roads takes over. ALSO Ms Fisher stated that Plenary will pay their employees the same rate as the CDOT employees make. DID she mean just Plenary Roads ? because I work for one of the concession teams which is
    ◾Ames Construction, Inc.- construction
    ◾Granite Construction- construction
    ◾HDR- engineering design
    ◾Trans field Services- maintenance
    ◾Goldman Sachs- financial advisor


    We do not make anything close to the wage CDOT employees make.
    Perhaps she was just misled and should ask Plenary Roads.

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