Turbulence arises over airport land


It’s been 25 years ago that the Adams County commissioners agreed to let the City and County of Denver annex 54 square miles of undeveloped land for an airport and other related development.

Been There, Done That

I know all about that transaction. I was a big backer of doing just that and most of the business community were also behind the plan. We campaigned hard for it.

Actually, it wasn’t a tough sell because Adams County was supposed to financially benefit big time.

Well, that was then! Now Adams County officials want that 54 square miles back. Of course they won’t get it, but they sent a bombshell letter to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock asking for it and Hancock promptly sent a letter calling their proposal “a joke.”

You see Adams County got sold a bill of goods which years later has turned into a fight with an overwhelming outcome still to come.

At the time we mostly all agreed with commissioners Steve Cramer, Harold Kite and Leo Younger that Adams County would reap the harvest from the subsequent, almost certain land development around the new airport. The naysayers, people like Jim Nelms, warned us that you shouldn’t trust Denver to honor the agreement terms. Now that agreement stipulations probably has Nelms rolling over in his grave.

New Team

We now have new players on both sides of the issue and “promises made, promises kept” is in jeopardy. Adams County has three new commissioners, and they are playing hardball. Of course talk is cheap and lots of bravado will ensue until all believe it is in the best interest of both sides to agree to compromise and both get equal value.

Still a Good Deal

Would I vote again to support the agreement? Yes I would! In the long term it just makes for good business for joint development. But I do expect our elected officials to go over that agreement with a fine-toothed comb and to protect our best interest.

Meantime, de-annexation will only happen “when pigs fly” and probably not in my lifetime. But it makes for great front page news in our local newspapers. Stay tuned folks, this is only going to get more ugly!

Quote of the Week

“It’s her world, Bob, we’re just living in it.” Frankie at Westy’s restaurant, making a comment about me.

Stay well, stay involved and stay tuned.

Vi June is past Democratic state representative for House District 35. She is a former mayor of Westminster and a former newspaper publisher. A Westminster resident for more than four decades, she and her husband, Bob, have five grown children and eight grandchildren.


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