Gerry on the Issues

FRACKING

Under state law and regulations more than 90% of Fort Collins cannot be developed for oil and gas.  I have worked for the citizens and the environment and will continue to do so.  State law trumps local law with regard to mineral rights.  We cannot ban fracking without a change in state law.

So I voted to ban fracking in Fort Collins with an exception that an operator could operate if they signed an memorandum of understanding with the city with stronger health, environmental and safety standards than required by the state.  We worked out such an agreement with the current operator who North Fort Collins field has been in operation since 1924.  However, because that agreement allowed for some exploratory drilling in a one mile tract west of AB citizens decided to go the initiative route.

I never voted to overturn the citizens initiated ordinance for the 5 year moratorium.  I did vote for a resolution encouraging citizens not to pass the 5 year moratorium because we would go to court to defend it and would lose and if sued by the current operator we would lose tens of millions of dollars.  Luckily in defending the citizen initiated ordinance to date we  have only been sued by the Colorado Oil and Gas Organization and so the city has only had to pay $100k for lawyers to defend. 
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STADIUM

I wish the stadium had never been proposed and even at this late date vanish.  I have not taken a pro or anti position on the proposed on-campus new stadium.   The city has no planning and zoning authority to stop or significantly change CSU’s plans on their campus.  For the past four years I have met regularly with Dr. Frank to address issues that affect citizens.  The first year was spent on housing concerns and student behavior issues in neighborhoods adjacent to campus.  The past three years has been focused on the stadium issue.  I have advised Dr. Frank to more actively engage the community including those opposed to the stadium and to include the mitigative measures and costs being included in the stadium decision.  He had taken some of the advice but not all the advice.

As you know CSU and the Board of Governors (BOG) has decided to proceed with the new on-campus stadium and the bonds have been approved and issued.  At the direction of city council, for the past two years our staff has been working with CSU staff to ensure that the costs to mitigate a new stadium would be included in the total stadium costs to ensure that Dr. Frank and the BOG consider those costs and adverse effects on the citizens and city prior to making a decision.  We will continue to negotiate to ensure those costs are included and adverse effects mitigated.

Also we will not fund the stadium project or improvements that are solely for the stadium attendees such as utilities for the stadium and turn lanes and possibly a few traffic lights.  These will be paid by CSU.  The overpass at Center/Prospect will also be totally paid for by CSU.  For general structural improvements that are currently needed whether a stadium is built or not such as pedestrian/bike overpasses and underpasses at Elizabeth/Shields as well as a pedestrian/bike path on the north side of Prospect from College to Shields have been under discussion for many months and cost sharing will be determined after additional study.  These improvements and others in this category will probably be funded by CSU and the city and will improve the access and safety of folks going to and from campus every day.