Extension of I-27/Ports to Plains Corridor
A future Interstate designation will be a significant new economic development tool for communities along the corridor. Site selectors for manufacturers, warehousing and distribution recommend sites along an interstate highway and travel services businesses such as hotels, truck stops, convenience stores and restaurants, which can have a dramatic impact on small communities will also expand. This will create much needed new jobs and expanded tax base in rural West Texas.
Has your organization considered the resolution supporting the Extension of Interstate 27?
Have you individually added your name supporting the Resolution?
Please share with your Texas Friends!
Please click here to add your personal name to the Resolution in Support of Expansion on Interstate 27
Please click here to downland a draft organizational resolution for consideration by local governments and non-profit organizations. (Word Document)
Len Mitzel: Former Alberta MLA and Ports-to-Plains Alliance Board Member Passed Away
"Until 2012 Mitzel served as the Alberta Government’s director on the board of the Port-to-Plains association advocating for increased trade and transportation routes from Fort McMurray through to Texas and Mexico."
“His dream was to see Hwy 41 become a second north south corridor through Alberta,” said Renner. “Maybe that will come to be some day. I sure hope that when we look back at it in years to come that we will say, ‘Len Mitzel was the one that spearheaded that and worked so hard to see that happen.’”
Former colleagues remember Len Mitzel’s dedication to public service; longtime area MLA dead at 71
Len Mitzel, former Progressive Conservative MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat, has passed away at the age of 71.
“It’s a very sad day. Len was someone who was absolutely committed to public service,” said Rob Renner former PC MLA for Medicine Hat and environment minister. “He took his job very, very seriously. His leadership, particularly in his own community, will be severely missed.”
A man who was “dedicated” to the province and his constituents, and had “endless energy,” is how Adair Prouty, his assistant for eight years, described him.
“I felt very, very sad (on receiving the news). I knew how passionate he was about everything,” said Prouty. “It’s a loss to all of us.”
Mitzel was first elected a PC MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat in 2004, taking over from Lorne Taylor. He served two terms until 2012 when Wildrose candidate Drew Barnes was victorious. Mitzel was the constituency president during Taylor’s tenure as MLA.
“I knew him very well. He was such a decent man. He cared about people, cared about his family,” said Taylor. “A really honest, honourable person.”
Taylor last saw Mitzel in January when he learned he was battling throat cancer.
Mitzel lived with his wife, June Cole Mitzel, in Etzikom. The museum in Etzikom is a prime example of Mitzel’s dedication to public service.
“Len was so proud of that museum and it’s really a lasting legacy of his efforts,” said Renner.
Colorado HB 17-1242 Passed Out of House Committee on Transportation and Energy
Joe Kiely, Vice President of Operations of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance testified in support of HB 17-1242 concerning Transportation Funding before the House Committee on Transportation and Energy on March 22, 2017. Kiely, representing Alliance members, Town of Limon and Pro 15, joined Action 22 and Club 20 in urging the Committee to recognize the value of new transportation funding to Colorado.
Kiely spoke "to the importance of the statewide transportation system, not to the rural transportation system or the urban transportation system but to the statewide system because we all share the system and all rely on the economy of people and goods moved by the statewide system." He urged the Committee "to address the need to support solutions for state-wide transportation funding that:
- Provides permanent, reliable, and robust transportation funding for use as determined by the Colorado Transportation Commission pursuant to its statewide transportation planning process; and
- Establishes funding sufficient to seriously and aggressively address Colorado’s current and future transportation needs; and
- Allows for both maintaining and expanding the existing system to meet the needs of a growing state; and
- Is added to the Highway Users Tax Fund (HUTF) including formula shares for municipalities and counties, and is protected from future legislative actions that re-direct the resources to other uses."
The Committee on Transportation and Energy following amendment passed a vote of 8-3.
Colorado transportation bill clears first hurdle in the House
The crowd was so large at the start, that it spilled into two overflow rooms and out into the hallways of the Capitol.
At a day-long transportation hearing at the Statehouse, lawmakers heard two things loud and clear: Coloradans care a lot about their roads. And they have a lot of opinions on how to pay for them.
Nearly 80 people signed up to testify before the House Transportation Committee on Wednesday for the first hearing on House Bill 1242, the major transportation funding bill negotiated by House Speaker Crisanta Duran and Senate President Kevin Grantham.
The seven-hour debate stretched late into the night, with lawmakers adopting a slew of changes to the bill before passing it out of committee along party lines. The eight Democrats voted for it, while five Republicans voted against it, even after securing a key concession — the elimination of vehicle registration late fees under the state’s FASTER law.
As a whole, the discussion underscored something that Duran and Grantham made clear when they first announced the compromise this month: The bill as introduced was just a starting point.
The bill would send voters a referred measure to increase the statewide sales tax to 3.52 percent from 2.9 percent, to generate an estimated $702 million a year. Most of that money would help cover a $3.5 billion bond package, whose proceeds would be split between state and local projects, to include roads and other forms of transportation, such as mass transit.
Mark your Calendars to join us for the
20th Anniversary Reunion Ports-to-Plains Alliance Conference
September 12-14, 2017 -- Lubbock, TX
Ports-to-Plains Washington DC Fly-in scheduled for April 24-28, 2017
The Board of Directors urges each of its members to send participants to this event. With the potential of the Trump infrastructure proposal of $1 trillion in infrastructure investment moving quickly, this year will be a one-time opportunity to make our case for rural transportation projects.
The general schedule is as follows:
- Monday, April 24th – Travel to Washington DC
- Tuesday, April 25th – Board of Directors Meeting and possible Caucus Event
- Wednesday, April 26th – U.S. House of Representatives Office Visits
- Thursday, April 27th – U.S. Senate Office Visits
- Friday, April 28th – Travel Home
If you wish to participate, please contact Jeri Strong (firstname.lastname@example.org 806-775-3369) for assistance with hotel information.
Xcel Energy investing heavily along the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Region
$1.1 billion Rush Creek Wind and Transmission Project Approved
Xcel Energy has received approval to build, own, and operate the largest renewable energy project in the state. The new 600 megawatt (MW) wind facility, an approximately 83-mile 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line, and two new substations will be located in Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Elbert, Kit Carson and Lincoln Counties. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2017 (view map and details inside). When completed in 2018, the project will produce enough electricity to power about 325,000 homes.
Xcel announces $1.6 billion investment in wind energy from South Plains, New Mexico
Xcel Energy on Tuesday filed to build two new wind energy developments, as well as entering a long-term contract with two existing sites on the South Plains and Eastern New Mexico, adding 1,230 megawatts — enough energy to power 440,000 homes — to its regional system.
The new investment in wind energy comes at a cost of $1.6 billion.
The company plans to build the Sagamore Wind Project in Roosevelt County, New Mexico, by 2020 and the Hale Wind Project in Hale County, south of Plainview, by 2019. Two prospective wind fields in Cochran County and Crosby County near Lubbock, owned by NextEra Energy Resources and known collectively as Bonita Wind Project, will generate an additional 230 megawatts from 2019 to 2049.
Xcel Energy to invest billions in new wind farms in Colorado, elsewhere
Xcel Energy Inc. is making a multibillion-dollar investment in wind power across seven states, from Minnesota to New Mexico — and using Colorado-made turbines from Vestas Wind Systems for a large chunk of it.
The Minneapolis-based company (NYSE: XEL) is proposing to build or buy power from 11 new wind farms in the seven states that would generate up to 3,380 megawatts worth of renewable energy — enough to meet the power demand of about 1,014,000 homes.
The Texas and New Mexico project announcements came on top of Xcel’s announcement last week of the “largest-ever wind expansion in the Upper Midwest” — a proposal to invest $2.5 billion to add 1,550 megawatts worth of renewable energy from seven new wind farms to be built in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa.
Consumer Energy Alliance Applauds the Latest Keystone XL Decision
Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) today commended the Trump Administration’s State Department for issuing a permit to authorize construction of the long-awaited Keystone XL Pipeline. Today’s welcomed authorization helps American families and businesses move forward amidst growing opposition to pipeline development by activist groups.
CEA President David Holt made the following statement:
“This is a huge step forward – not just for this project, but for American energy policy. The Keystone XL Pipeline will provide American refineries with a stable supply of oil, American drivers with lower gasoline and diesel prices, American workers with high-paying jobs, and the American economy with a much-needed shot in the arm.”
June 13-14, 2017, Denver, CO
TOGETHER DRIVING CHANGE: Telling Our Story
Energy and agriculture provide a key basic economy across the Ports-to-Plains region which requires a robust transportation system to connect those resources with global markets. Our communities and others must be able to tell the story… provide clear information in response to attacks on these rural economy drivers. TOGETHER DRIVING CHANGE will focus on bringing together an agenda that will enable attendees to tell the economic story of energy and agriculture productivity.
Economic Developers Alberta (EDA) Announces Its 2017-18 Board of Directors
Economic Developers Alberta (EDA), Alberta's only professional organization for economic developers is pleased to announce its newly elected 2017-18 Board of Directors as follows:
- Bev Thornton - President (Pincher Creek)
- Sara Chamberlain - Past President (Airdrie)
- Christopher King - Vice President (Grande Prairie)
- Court Ellingson - Secretary Treasurer (Calgary)
- Glen Vanstone - Director (Edmonton)
- Schaun Goodeve - Director (Morinville)
- Margot Begin - Director (Killam)
- Sean McRitchie - Director (Strathcona County)
- Jon Allan - Director (Sundre)
- Jennifer Fossen - Director (Wetaskiwin)
- Mary Lee Prior - Director (Town of Vermilion)
"I am looking forward to working with this talented team of economic development professionals from across the province,” says Bev Thornton, EDA President. “Economic developers have a key role in helping Alberta communities build, grow and diversify their economies and this role is more important than ever. EDA was established in 1974, and our members have the benefit of a solid foundation on which to continue learning, sharing and building local, national and international partnerships. Our strong network of EDOs achieves measurable results and represents a distinct competitive advantage for our communities and our province.”
The Honorable Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade is EDA’s Honorary Patron.
13 Ways: Chapter 9 - Ignore Your Seniors
This is for those concerned about the future of their community and are looking for answers on how to find success.
13 Ways: Chapter 9 - Ignore Your Seniors