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

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
**Click here to share on Facebook
Press Contact/Interviews:
Ken Beitel, clean energy analyst & Advisory Board Chair, Drive SunShine Institute (DSI)
ph: 720 436-2465 email: [email protected]
Websites: Website: Friends of Colorado – sign the 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)
January 24, 2014
Click Here to for full CDOT HPTE contract document
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