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Noted: SDS contracting goes out of town


SDS work goes to outsiders

Six prime contractors have been hired to work on the Southern Delivery System project, for which Utilities plans to spend up to $100 million this year. But half of the contractors are based in other states, so will a good chunk of that money leave our community? We tried to ask but the SDS spokesperson wasn't available.

The out-of-staters did submit the lowest bids, and perhaps local contractors don't possess required qualifications. The city hired Garney Construction of Kansas City, Mo., McCarthy Building Co. of St. Louis, Mo., and Carollo Engineers of Walnut Creek, Calif. The other three are semi-local: MWH, an engineering consultant, is based in Broomfield with a Colorado Springs office. ASI Constructors and HCP Constructors are based in Pueblo West.

Subcontractors interested in SDS contracts should attend a "business opportunity workshop" today (Thursday) from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the Leon Young Service Center, 1521 Hancock Expressway. Or contact the prime contractors directly through — PZ

County wants a cafeteria

If eateries along the Garden of the Gods corridor thought the county's new Citizens Service Center at 1675 Garden of the Gods Road would beef up their customer base, here's some disheartening news: El Paso County is seeking a cafeteria provider to "offer breakfast, lunch, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages" at the center under a contract for this year with five annual renewal options. The contract comes with a vending machine deal and optional, but not exclusive, catering service.

The cafeteria will have a captive audience in the county's roughly 1,000 employees who will work at the center — some already are there — plus an estimated 2,000 daily visitors, along with about 300 Everest College workers within walking distance. "Other clientele may include employees from other nearby area businesses," the county's bid notice states.

One criterion is how much the concessionaire would pay under a "rent and revenue sharing proposal" giving the county a percentage of gross sales. Bids are due Monday. — PZ

Greg Timm dead at 56

Former City Council candidate, real estate developer and attorney Greg Timm died July 7 following a battle with brain atrophy syndrome, a degenerative disease similar to Lou Gehrig's. Timm, 56, moved to Colorado Springs in the mid-1980s, and literally left his mark on the city with the Stetson Hills development.

When the Springs had the chance to get minor-league baseball, Timm provided the land that became Sky Sox Stadium.

Timm had long had his eyes on a leadership position in the city, and had planned on running for mayor in 2011 before his illness. Former Mayor Lionel Rivera notes that before the real estate crash, Timm was known for his charitable giving, and was eager to serve on the city's Airport Advisory Commission to help make the airport an "economic engine."

"I think he always had the good of the city at heart in everything he did," Rivera says. — JAS

Term-limits revote, in 2012

Voters won't get a shot this year at undoing what they did last November, giving all county elected officials a possible three terms. Last week, commissioners refused to let voters decide the issue this year, instead voting to submit the measure in 2012 — the same ballot when Commissioners Sallie Clark and Dennis Hisey can seek third terms.

At issue is wording in the November 2010 measure, approved by more than 60 percent of voters. Liberals and conservatives have criticized commissioners for approving a deceptively worded measure, which County Attorney Bill Louis has admitted was crafted to elicit approval. Representing Americans for Prosperity, former City Councilor Sean Paige warned, "We will let our members know about this. That's not a threat ... it's just what we do."

Commissioner Darryl Glenn was the lone dissenter in how the 2012 measure would be worded. Glenn opposed giving Clark and Hisey a shot at a third term. — PZ

Velasquez' office empty

While the official word is that city financial and administrative services director Terri Velasquez has been on a paid 30-day leave since June 25, it would appear the "leave" is permanent. City spokesman John Leavitt confirms Velasquez' personal effects have been removed and her office is now vacant. Velasquez had worked for the city since 1987. — JAS

Lundberg takes on the rules

State Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, says he has read the 96-page "Proposed Child Care Center Rules" packet, produced by the Division of Child Care Licensing and Administration as the framework for early childhood care centers throughout the state. "I contacted people I know within the industry," says Lundberg "and ... they saw this as over-the-top."

Last month, Kathryn Hammerbeck, executive director of the Early Childhood Education Association of Colorado, told the Independent of her concern about out-of-touch and unnecessarily costly rules.

Lundberg agrees: "I think that the state has really stepped over the boundaries, and limited day-care centers to a one-size-fits-all approach." Lundberg hopes Gov. John Hickenlooper will intervene. — CH

Patient records breached

As first reported June 2 ("Hospital records breached?" Noted), city-owned Memorial Health System has been investigating a former city worker's unauthorized accessing of some 2,500 patient records. Monday, Memorial issued a news release saying it had confirmed that Lori Niell, a nurse in the city's occupational health clinic, accessed the records without a legitimate work-related reason.

Memorial reported the breach to police and is working to create more safeguards for electronic medical records. Memorial CEO Larry McEvoy said in a statement the hospital was "saddened and angered" by the breach.

Niell was an authorized user on Physician Link, a password-protected system designed to allow community health providers access to their patients' information related to care at Memorial. The city is in the process of notifying patients by mail. Niell no longer works for the city. — PZ

Compiled by Chet Hardin, J. Adrian Stanley and Pam Zubeck.

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