Loveland Pays Company To Accept Deed Of Former County Building

A very common question people ask LovelandPolitics to research is why a particular company or individual gets an incredible business incentive (like a million dollar commercial building in this case) for nothing when an open bidding process could have yielded the city a much better result.

According to one group formed in 2013, the Loveland Business Partnership (LBP), it appears their investors are promised just that kind of “exclusive” access to community and business development professionals for an investment between $5,000 to $25,000. In the case of LPR Construction and LBP board member Rocky Turner it could be true. His company walked away with the former Larimer County building for $732,000 along with an immediately approved subsidy (sorry incentive) from the City of Loveland via an urban renewal district of $750,000 to update the property. Along with the building, Turner’s construction firm that didn’t need an incentive to come to Loveland since they are already here, will also get 40 parking spaces in a city owned parking lot during normal business hours.

LBP doesn’t disclose their financial data but Doug Rutledge serves as Chairman of the board along with Loveland Director of Economic Development, Kelly Jones, Don Marostica and Doug Erion.

Please take a few minutes to read our entire story and look to the bottom of the page where the influence purchasing in community affairs appears to be openly for sale. Chairman of LBP, Doug Rutledge, and perennial schemer in city development opportunities Don Marostica we believe were the instigators of the organization. Below are pictures posted today by Councilwoman Johnson at an event last night with Doug Rutledge and Troy McWhinney (bottom right).

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22 Responses to Loveland Pays Company To Accept Deed Of Former County Building

  1. Jack Benjamin says:

    Doug Rutledge was listed as one of the artists of the Equinox
    sculpture at I25 and Hwy 34. Doug Erion and Jack Kreutzer were
    the other two artists.

    I still think all the Loveland downtown effort is driven by Erion, with
    the end goal of finding permanent public funds for the gallery addition
    to the museum which will bear his name. He has fleeced the average
    citizen of Loveland his whole adult life, and had only gotten better
    at using circuitous funding routes to camouflage his influence.

    • Admin says:

      Doug Erion is also on the board of LBP which is clearly offering access to public officials for sale. Doug Rutledge also “serves” on the DDA and Loveland Downtown committee boards.

      Participants in the LBP meetings have included the former mayor, current City Manager and of course Leah Johnson along with, of course, Kelly Jones.

      The fact decisions and negotiations regarding who will get a free building are occurring between board members of LBP which include the recipient of the city’s significant subsidy, city staff and elected officials needs to be investigated by the District Attorney.
      Selling access to government

  2. Gary says:

    Thank you for revealing this abuse of the public. The LBP is an organization which like the LDP is allowed to make decisions how to spend public money without being accountable to voters. I am upset that City staff and at least one city council person are involved, they obviously don’t believe their primary duty is to protect the interests of the people who actually pay the bills (the voters).

    • Admin says:

      We don’t believe LBP has any official connection or authority over city decisions whatsoever. It appears to have been set-up apart from the city using a near identical to the name to the Loveland Downtown Partnership to confuse people. Like the previous group Stone Soup, the intent is to keep private payments both in and out private and away from public scrutiny.

  3. Carol says:

    Did you contact the city manager Steve Adams before writing?

    I doubt he would approve Kelly Jones serving ina board seat
    for a group trying to sell their influence. There isn’t any question
    Jones is not allowed as a city employee to sell influence or access.

    Steve would probably tell her to resign before the state opens a larger
    ethics investigation into Loveland.

    • Admin says:

      No, we did not contact Mr. Adams before writing our story.

      It is important to note the URA is required to use “competitive bidding” before disposing of a property owned by the URA as is the city. Apparently, the city is claiming a waiver, we understand, because the multi-party transaction involves paying the county $1 million while simultaneously “selling” it to LPR construction while also also approving a $750,000 subsidy or “incentive” for LPR to buy the building for just over $730,000.

  4. Gary says:

    All of the City of Loveland officials involved in this affair have clearly acted with a conflict of interest and sold their influence to assist a private company. None of this manipulation from behind the scenes is ethical and probably illegal as well. The loss of their jobs should not be the only penalty for their actions. It sounds like a clear case of corruption which should be investigated by the Attorney General for Colorado rather than the local City or County attorneys.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Kelly is divorced so going by her maiden name Kelly Peters now. She used to run The Warehouse accelerator owned by LBP so probably knows how much the board of LBP gets paid for “consulting.” I think her loyalties are more with LBP because they installed her in that city post making $130,000 a year. I know her from before The Warehouse job because we worked together in the food services business together.

    • Admin says:

      She is on the LBP board and we doubt receiving any compensation given the serious ramifications of a civil servant being paid for performing official government acts.

      We also heard Doug Rutledge has been hurting some financially so wouldn’t be surprised if he is pulling money out of LBP in an attempt to monetize his connections and community “service” on the various downtown boards.

      Of course, getting LBP to release their official tax filings is highly unlikely.

  6. Linda Rosa says:

    So the City is giving exclusive daytime rights to the Pulliam building parking lot to a private business, while planning to do away with much of the downtown street parking. And from the Walker study, it is perfectly clear that the parking garage was designed to only accommodate The Foundry businesses, employees, hotel patrons, and apartment dwellers.

  7. Ed Klen says:

    Optimistically speaking, there may be a reasonable reason for some of this, but then be transparent and tell folks.
    Mayor Marsh was also trying to find logic and reason for some of the Centerra structure and she was shouted at by fellow councilors for doing so.
    If you want to quit being described as a criminal, quit acting like one.
    It may be true that some of you were voted into your position to conduct city business, and we trusted you to do so, but it does not give you a pass to do what YOU think best, go to your constituents on some of these matters, for it is they who will pay the price in the end.

  8. Gary says:

    The City Council has already been far too generous with economic incentives. It is reasonable to reign this in before the developers bankrupt Loveland. Let the builders obtain a larger share of their building costs from private sources. City Hall should never have acted as a lending institution in the first place.
    Thank You Jacki for looking after the interests of the little guys who collectively pay most of the bills.

  9. Greg Snyder says:

    Character was once defined as how you treat people who can do nothing for you when no one is looking. Apparently we have little character in those running the City of Loveland.

  10. Extremely Concerned says:

    As always your article is informative but takes too long to get to the point.
    Here are the three questions that need to be answered immediately;

    1. How much did Rocky Turner “invest” in Loveland Business Leadership to gain extra-ordinary access to councilors, city manager and the city’s director of economic development which resulted in his exclusive sweat deal of a free $1 million building.

    2. Has Turner’s and other “investors” money been paid out to Marostica, Erion, Rutledge and especially Kelly Peters-Jones since they are all on the board with him?

    3. Have any elected officials who presided over the final appropriation of $1 million plus incentives (based on Kelly and Doug’s recommendation) receive campaign contributions, personal income or just attend LBP’s soirées for free? Councilors Fogle, Overcash and Johnson need to stop hiding their income by refusing to list “clients” and tell us who pays them for “consulting” services.

    The quid-pro-quo you allude to in the unnecessarily long article cannot be proven until this information is released. Only a prosecutor or law enforcement outside Loveland can be trusted to verify the disclosure

    If the city and LBP refuse to release that information we will conduct a sit-in at the council meetings reminding them of their duties until it is done. A bipartisan demonstration that Lovelanders of all political persuasions will not tolerate influence peddling! Let’s show these people that we cannot be divided politically when it comes to city officials selling their integrity.

    • Admin says:

      Thanks? Sometimes we are critiqued for failing to provide enough background or detail thus struggle to strike that balance between getting to the meat of the story while also providing the proper factual context of the players, properties and actions we are referencing.
      It has been brought to our attention Doug Rutledge’s Company is building the 138,000 sf, 4-stories parking garage at The Foundry for $10.5 million. It certainly may explain why the parking structure was indispensable to the project even after water was flowing into it and a number of people recommended an alternative parking arrangement.
      We will assume Rutledge recused himself from the DDA board and Loveland Downtown Partnership deliberations and recommendations on the Foundry project? Can anyone check or so they remember? It would certainly seem like an irreconcilable conflict of interest if he was negotiating a $10.5 million contract with Brinkman to build the city paid parking structure while also advising the city in the project as a member of those two boards to provide the subsidies making the construction of the parking garage possible?

      • Linda Rosa says:

        I think you will find that complicated lease-back deal the City made to get around asking voters to approve debt to build the parking garage will ultimately cost taxpayers a lot more than $10.5 million. It’s looking more like double that amount.

  11. Extremely Concerned says:

    Doesn’t our District Attorney have a copy of these statutes?

    The Colorado Crime of Bribery 18-8-302
    It is a class 3 felony to offer a pecuniary benefit to a public official with the intent to influence some action, or for a person who is a public official to accept a bribe. 18-8-302 (3)

    The Colorado Crime of Compensation for official behavior 18-8-303 (1)
    A person who solicits or accepts compensation for having, as a public servant, given a decision, opinion, recommendation, or vote favorable to another or for having otherwise exercised a discretion in another person’s favor; or a person who offers such compensation commits a class 6 felony. 18-8-303 (1)

    • Admin says:

      For the record, we don’t know if a crime has been committed but would like the appropriate authorities to investigate. We are wondering if anyone involved with LBP can explain how they openly solicit “investors” to give them money to influence the economic development process while Loveland’s Director of Economic Development is a member of the governing board of directors. As a city employee, she is very clearly not allowed to solicit people’s money in exchange for an official act the way the website indicates they are doing. Even if she never receives anything more than the swanky dinner party invitations, she simply cannot be shaking people down for money to have access to her department or the city council.

      On the question of Doug Rutledge getting big contracts for the projects recommended and overseen by DDA and Loveland Downtown Partnership, we were notified he does indeed recuse himself but not until the very last minute and final meeting after vociferously advocating for his own pecuniary interests. If this is accurate, he may also be in trouble for using his appointed city board positions to unjustly enrich his own company. Brinkman was also the recipient if free property from the city which begs the question whether they had any choice in which contractor to use for building the garage structure if they, like LPR Construction, wanted Rutledge and company to influence City of Loveland to provide the free land downtown.

  12. Junkyard Dog says:

    Would someone please confirm or deny the following rumor, which has been told to me for the fourteenth time in about three weeks:

    A search warrant was requested, issued, and executed for a Disqus account used to post comments to The Reporter-Herald web site/Disqus channel because they were of a threatening nature.

    After the search warrant was executed the identity of the individual responsible for the threats was determined, and an arrest warrant was requested and issued. The execution of the arrest warrant, according to the persistent rumor, will be completed shortly.

    According to the rumor the person facing arrest is a member of the Loveland City Council or an immediate family member.

    If this rumor is factual it is a serious matter because voters have a right to know if one of their elected officials is threatening people using Social Media. If the rumor is not factual or true, it is a terrible thing to repeat and should be stopped.

    • Admin says:

      There are a few people who have historically tried to post threatening, obscene or just bizarre allegations against the editor of the RH and also this website. We are not aware of any rising to the level of a criminal investigation since they are normally just filtered. It doesn’t sound real but we don’t know since this is the first time we are hearing this rumor.

      Hopefully, a reader may know the source and whether it is an accurate rumor.

  13. Jack Benjamin says:

    Ok, this is a big deal for every contributor to the RH and this site that had wished to remain anonymous. I’ll explain in a bit.

    I haven’t read or contributed to the RH comments for years, so if there were threats to the RH, I wouldn’t have seen them. Also, I would think the RH would have taken those down immediately. I do remember someone really going after the RH and specifically Jeff Stahla with very wild accusations, or at least implications. I haven’t seen that in a long time, though, so either it’s stopped or Admin has filtered them from this site.

    I also can’t imagine a Councilor going after the RH for their reporting on Council business, as the RH, council, and staff are all in each other’s back pockets. Now, I could see a Councilor having a bone to pick about the RH singling them out with biased reporting. But if that happened and the law became involved, why wouldn’t that be reported by the RH?

    But, back to my first paragraph, what if the threat is all a ruse? What if the real goal is to have a reason and legal sanction to force an ISP to give up the identity of an IP address? Only the RH would know for certain the IP address linked to any comment. If they went to a judge and presented threatening comments, do we believe the judge would have the technical savvy to force the RH to prove the comment was associated with the IP address the RH is claiming?

    This means anyone contributing to the RH (and to this site if they use the same pseudonym) could be exposed, even if they weren’t making threats. If any powerful person in Loveland had deep, personal connections with the RH, they could make this happen.

    This means anyone commenting on the RH and going after powerful people better be doing it away from their home internet connection.

    See also “Carter Page and FISA.”

    • Admin says:

      Thanks for the thoughts. Don’t forget VPN’s. Anyone can conceal their identity going through a Virtual Private Network. What is unlikely is anyone on the city council would be unhappy with the RH. They have largely become a secondary distribution point for the city’s canned propaganda so there is no substantive reporting anyway.

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