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Incorporation papers filed for second toll road

A Denver-based project management corporation re-filed for incorporation of a toll road on the eastern plains one day after Gov. Bill Owens vetoed legislation regulating private toll companies.The Meneren Corp., which originally filed for the route with the Colorado secretary of state in 1995, is planning a toll road that runs parallel to and east of the proposed Front Range Toll Road.According to research by Rob Dougherty, posted on the Web site of a Pueblo-based anti-toll road group, Meneren chairman William Tolbert filed incorporation papers with the state for a company called JICRO, which intends to build the north-south road. The proposed corridor for the road is 12 miles wide and runs about 250 miles long, from the Wyoming border to the Huerfano County line, a route parallel to the controversial Front Range Toll Road.JICRO reported spending $500 for “work in connection with the proposed toll road,” as required by Colorado law at the time. No further work was reported, and the law requiring work to begin in a timely manner was later repealed. One of the bills vetoed by Gov. Owens last June would have required corporations to spend $500,000 within two years of incorporating.”There needs to be a requirement that progress continue each year and be completed in a reasonable number of years,” said Dougherty on However, a bigger concern for Dougherty and other groups monitoring transportation issues is that Colorado law does not require these companies to notify citizens whose property lies in the path of these proposed roads. These companies are also not required to register with any governmental agency whose jurisdiction includes the proposed corridors.Another road project registered with the secretary of state, KIWI II Inc., runs in part of the same corridor as the Front Range Toll Road but covers an additional three miles to the west. This corridor runs through the towns of Falcon, Elbert, Elizabeth and Kiowa.Local opposition continuesThe Eastern Plains Citizens Coalition, a group formed last spring to oppose the toll road, is working with state legislators to forward several bills related to the toll road proposals and the right of private corporations to take property for such projects. The two bills vetoed by the governor in June will be reintroduced when the Legislature reconvenes on Jan.11.Other legislation that will be introduced early in the 2006 session will seek to define more clearly when both agricultural and urban areas can be declared “blighted” and condemned by the state.Colorado Citizens for Property Rights have filed a voter’s initiative with the Colorado secretary of state. The initiative, which the group hopes to place on the November 2006 ballot, restricts state powers of eminent domain that permit the taking of private property for “public use.” It outlines how the term “public use” will be defined and states, “The public or private benefits of economic development … shall not constitute a public use.” The group will be gathering signatures at their booth at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, which runs from Jan. 7 to Jan. 12.Rep. Al White, a Republican from Winter Park, will introduce a referred measure identical to the initiative when the Legislature reconvenes.”Most of the legislators we’ve talked to have been appreciative of our bringing these issues to their attention,” said Kathy Fauth of the Colorado Citizens for Property Rights. “Our goal is to wake up citizens and help them understand that we’re in charge of the government. We need to let our legislators know that we’re keeping an eye on them.”Ray Wells, who managed the development of the Denver Tech Center, is president of the Front Range Toll Road Corp. In mid-December, he said he is moving the FRTR corridor further east and will have a new corridor map available early in January. “The people out on the plains sort of got the idea it was 12 miles wide and we’d take everything in sight,” he said. Wells said the new route would not run through anyone’s house.

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