Colorado - FRI. 01/24/20 A Free Business Publication from Alpine Bank Print Version Print View Online Webpage
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NEW WAGE RULES IN COLORADO COULD MEAN MORE OVERTIME PAY
 
 
 

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Wednesday released new rules which will likely make more residents eligible for overtime pay. The major change in the rules is the minimum salary a worker must make to be exempt from overtime requirements. Starting in July, people must make at least $35,568, the current federal level, before they’re exempt from overtime. The minimum salary will increase in steps to $55,000 in 2024. Under the current rules the minimum salary varies with the number of hours worked and it is complicated to calculate.

 
- Denver Post, 01.24.20
 
WANT TO SPEED THROUGH CUSTOMS? YOU HAVE A LONG WAIT FIRST
 
 
 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection created its Global Entry program to expedite the process of clearing customs when returning to the United States from overseas and to save time for customs officers. Although the program may allow a resident to speed through customs, getting approved for the program in Denver is a process that takes months. After submitting an application and paying the application fee, an applicant is required to have an in-person interview. The U.S. Customs office at Denver International Airport is one of the smallest of the 57 in the nation and is understaffed. For people applying now, interviews are being scheduled in late fall. Nationally, there are 350,000 people waiting for an interview.

 
- Denver Post, 01.24.20
 
AAA RELEASES REPORT ON ELECTRIC CARS
 
 
 

The state of Colorado is making a push to get more electric cars on the road, with Gov. Jared Polis signing an executive order a year ago directing state agencies to pursue policies and take actions to work toward that goal. A new report by AAA shows that driving a compact electric vehicle over five years and 75,000 miles will cost only slightly more, about $600 a year than a gas-powered vehicle. The study also showed that concerns about running out of power while driving on a longer trip ease considerably once a person owns an electric car.

 
- Denver Post, 01.24.20
 
GARFIELD COUNTY UNVEILS NEW COMPREHENSIVE MAP SYSTEM
 
 
 

Garfield County now has a new website with a complete set of interactive maps that combine the topographical, satellite or gray base maps with GIS data which can show floodplain boundaries, trails, wildfire risk designations and also allows a user to link to county assessor data to show data on ownership and available property tax data on a parcel. The base map shows the county’s proposed 2030 Comprehensive Plan.

 
- GS Post-Independent, 01.24.20
 
PITCO COMMISSIONERS GIVE ANNUAL REVIEW OF REDSTONE CASTLE
 
 
 

In 2018, Steve and April Carver appeared before the Pitkin County commissioners seeking approval of a complex land-use plan for the Redstone Castle which they had acquired. The commissioners approved the plan and tourism operations, with several conditions, including an annual review. The Carvers appeared before the commissioners this week for the first annual review and presented data showing that tours of the castle were available 201 days in the past year. Of the 3,909 people who were given tours, 3,609 were transported by either the castle’s 14-person shuttle or a private shuttle. The castle has suites available to guests each night, and during the past year, 665 suites were rented to guests.

 
- Aspen Daily News, 01.24.20
 
CDOT READY TO MOVE FORWARD WITH BUSINESS LOOP PROJECT IN GJ
 
 
 

For more than 10 years, the Colorado Department of Transportation has looked to increase the capacity for Interstate 70B, the connecting road from Interstate 70 to Clifton to downtown Grand Junction to merge with U.S. Highway 6&50. The CDOT plan includes widening the two-lane sections of Pitkin and Ute avenues through downtown between Rood Avenue and Third Street. CDOT now has the funding and plans to complete the design phase this year and construction could begin in 2023.

 
- GJ Daily Sentinel, 01.24.20
 
ECOGEN MOVING FORWARD WITH PLANS FOR GJ HEADQUARTERS
 
 
 

EcoGen Laboratories is already a major force in hemp production and processing on the Western Slope, with operations in Palisade, Mack, and Delta, as well as locations in other areas of Colorado and other states. EcoGen is now begun the application and permitting process to create its national headquarters in Grand Junction utilizing the former Grand Junction Steel building and 20-acre property, located on Third Avenue. The headquarters will house all administrative and sales personnel but also have a complete processing operation and distribution center.

 
- GJ Daily Sentinel, 01.24.20
 
THE 25TH YEAR OF THE OURAY ICE FESTIVAL
 
 
 

The 25th annual Ouray Ice Festival kicked off yesterday and will continue through Sunday. It is a huge winter event for Ouray, with thousands of people packing into the small town. All the hotels are filled, and restaurants will be packed as the town of some 1,000 residents triples in size. The focus of activity will be the Ouray Ice Park, which spans the Uncompahgre Gorge. The park uses 7,500 feet of irrigation pipe to drip and spray more than 200,000 gallons of spring water. This year, thanks to the major snow last winter, the ice park will have an unlimited supply of water, something that has not been available for the past four or five years because of drought.

 
- Montrose Daily Press, 01.24.20
 
CMC VAIL VALLEY LAUNCHES FREE FOOD PANTRY FOR STUDENTS
 
 
 

The Community Market and Colorado Mountain College Vail Valley have started a no-cost food pantry for students on the Edwards campus. The Community Market at CMC started Tuesday, Jan 14 and it will be open Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in room 114. The time it is open is when there are the most students on campus. About half the goods in the pantry is fresh produce, prepared meals and healthy drinks. Non-perishable grocery items make up the other half. In the first week of operation, more than 100 students visited the pantry.

 
- www.vaildaily.com, 01.24.20
 
CPW RECORDS SIGNIFICANT DECLINE IN FISH POPULATION IN THE BLUE RIVER
 
 
 

Since 2007, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has conducted biennial fish counts on the Blue River above Dillon Reservoir. In its 2019 fish survey report, CPW found a significant decline in the number of fish. The 2019 survey had the lowest estimate of fish since the survey began, with less than half the total biomass of the fish collected during the surveys in 2010 and 2011. The survey is conducted on a 581-foot stretch of the Blue River, 2.7 miles upstream from the Dillon Reservoir.

 
- Summit Daily, 01.24.20
 
WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE IN THE U.S. TO RAISE A FAMILY?
 
 
 

WalletHub compared the 50 states across 50 key indicators of family-friendliness. The study used a variety of comparisons ranging from the established norms of median family salary, health and safety, childhood education to a ranking of “Family Fun.” Top states:

  1. Minnesota
  2. Massachusetts
  3. North Dakota
  4. Vermont
  5. New Hampshire
  6. New York
  7. New Jersey
  8. Nebraska
  9. Washington
  10. South Dakota
 
- WalletHub.com, 01.07.20
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
MARKET UPDATE - 01/23/2020 Close
 
(Courtesy of Alpine Bank Wealth Management*)
 
 
Close
Change
Dow Jones Industrials
 
29160.09
 
-26.18
 
S&P 500
 
3325.54
 
+3.79
 
NASDAQ
 
9402.48
 
+18.71
 
10-year Treasury yield
 
1.68
 
-0.03
 
Gold (CME)
 
1564.60
 
+9.30
 
Silver (CME)
 
17.77
 
NC
 
Oil (NY Merc)
 
55.59
 
-1.15
 
Natural Gas ($/MMBtu)
 
1.92
 
+0.02
 
Cattle (CME)
 
124.67
 
-1.50
 
Prime Rate
 
4.75
 
NC
 
Euro (per U.S. dollar)
 
0.90
 
NC
 
Canadian dollar (per U.S. dollar)
 
1.31
 
NC
 
Mexican peso (per U.S. dollar)
 
18.76
 
+0.08
 
30-year fixed mortgage rate (Freddie Mac 01/23/2020)
 
3.60
 
-0.05
 
*Not FDIC insured. May lose value. Not guaranteed by the bank.
 
 
 
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