Law

Amendment 74

It may seem like common-sense that the Government is required to compensate land owners when it “takes” or “damages” private property.  In fact, this has been part of both State and Federal law since 1787 and 1876 when both the U.S. and Colorado Constitutions required that the government must provide “just compensation” whenever it took private property for public use.   So, what is the proposed Amendment 74 changing in the Colorado Constitution?  How will the law be different?   Amendment 74 changes the State Constitution by adding the requirement that the Government compensate property owners not only when it “takes” or “damages” private property, but when Government action may have affected the property by “. . . reduc[ing] in fair market value by government law or regulation . . . “.   

Historically, the Courts have generally ruled that regulations or laws restricting the use of property to further legitimate public ends is not a “taking” of property requiring compensation (there are exceptions).   It has long been considered an appropriate and traditional use of the police power of a government to do what is necessary to promote and protect public health, safety and welfare by regulating land use and zoning.   State Supreme Courts have largely followed this precedent.   Amendment 74 changes the current law in Colorado by specifically requiring governments to pay property owners if their land is arguably diminished in value by a zoning change or regulatory change.  An example is if you live next door to a small apartment building – two stories with 8 units.  The city passes an ordinance to limit the height restrictions to 3 stories, but the owner had wanted to build a 10-story apartment building.   The owner could sue the city alleging the new ordinance reduced the value of his property.   Conversely, if the City passed an ordinance allowing 10 stories apartment buildings anywhere, you could sue alleging that by allowing construction of a 10-story building next to your house diminished your value.   I hope this helps illuminate what might happen in the event Amendment 74 passes.

Tim Brynteson, Esq.
Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC
970-663-7300
tbrynteson@nocoattorneys.com
www.nocoattorneys.com


Health Care

What Therapy Services are Offered at Lemay Avenue Health & Rehab?

Columbine Therapy Services staffing at Lemay Avenue Health & Rehab are part of Columbine Health Systems. We provide comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services in physical and occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology. Our staff rehabilitation experience ranges from 2 years to thirty-seven years and covers every decade in between. We are friendly, knowledgeable, truly committed, and enjoy our work with the geriatric population we serve.

The therapy team works with in-house residents and those who come to Lemay Avenue for outpatient therapy across a wide variety of diagnoses ranging from post-operative orthopedic to traumatic orthopedic, Parkinson’s disease to Stroke, and paraplegia to simply overall weakness.

In addition, we have therapists on staff that are certified in LSVT Loud and Big, specialty-trained in swallowing or dysphagia interventions, and routine applications such as Kinesiotaping.

Physical therapists (PTs) address strengthening, pain management, balance, and gait training to increase safety and decrease risk for falls. PTs also work with clients to help to prevent future injury and allow an individual to achieve optimal quality of life.

Occupational therapists (OTs) focus on upper extremity strengthening, pain management, energy conservation, and activities of daily living to maximize independence and safety. OTs are trained in wheelchair management and fitting, and provide home safety assessments, if needed.

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) focus on the treatment of difficulties in speech, language, auditory comprehension, cognition, and voice. SLPs have experience and training with swallowing disorders or dysphagia.

The goal for each of these therapy modalities is to maximize a safe discharge and resumption of higher-level activities of daily living once a person returns home.

The therapy team works closely with the entire staff at Lemay Avenue Health & Rehab to provide comprehensive and integrated care to progress clients to allow for the highest level of independence and quality of life achievable.

Kate Connell, MA, CCC-SLP, DOT
Columbine Therapy Services
Lemay Avenue Health & Rehab
4824 So. Lemay Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970)482-1584


Insurance

Preparing for Colorado’s Long & Cold Winter

For most Coloradoans, we understand that this time of year autumn can change quickly and bring extremely cold and snowy weather conditions throughout the long winter months. It is important to be prepared for severe weather at work, home and on the road. There are several steps you can take to prepare for the upcoming weather conditions that can protect your property from damage and/or loss.

Below are a few winter weather preparedness tips to keep you safe and warm throughout the season:

· Frozen water pipes can burst and lead to flooding in a basement or main level of a home. It is recommended to add insulation to pipes during the fall to help prevent freezing.

· Remove debris from gutters to help prevent overflows and ice damning.

· Drain and disconnect hoses and turn off outside water valves.

· Winterize vehicle(s). Ensure tires have enough tread, top off all necessary fluids and store an emergency roadside kit in trunk, containing: blanket, gloves, bottled water, flashlight, small shovel and cell phone charger.

· At the office, create a severe weather emergency plan and properly train all employees on the procedures.

· Walk carefully & cautiously in icy conditions. Wearing proper non-slip footwear can help prevent a slip or fall.

Consult with your insurance agent or broker for coverage advice and policy service. Reviewing your homeowner and/or business policies could help in the identification of possible exposures.

Lynda Mitch, CIC, AAI
Personal Insurance Account Executive
Phone: (970)356-0123
Email: LMitch@floodpeterson.com


Energy Savings

Ram’s Village Leads the Way in Energy Saving Efforts

At Ram’s Village, we are very invested in energy conservation and have worked hard to make our buildings efficient. Large investments have been made on the property over the last five years, such as LED lighting, low-flow showerheads and lower flush toilets have had an impact on our bottom line and utility bills.

In June 2017, we attended a meeting hosted by the Northern Colorado Rental Association and Fort Collins Utilities, where we heard about the Building Energy Scoring (BES) initiative. After we learned what BES had to offer, we volunteered to be a test case using the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager tool. While we were confident in the improvements we had made, we were curious to learn how our 30-year-old buildings compared nationally and what our energy score would reveal.

Our staff worked with the Fort Collins Utilities team to enter our information and we received an initial score of 98 out of 100.  An outside engineer verified the initial data and score. We then submitted our application to ENERGY STAR and received our certification, proving we were, indeed, making the right improvements.

This was important to Ram’s Village because we need to remain competitive in the campus housing market, which has new green and efficient developments. We also needed a reasonable return on investment for building efficiency improvements. Another benefit of having an ENERGY SCORE certification is that it allows us to showcase the efficiency of our units.

Building efficiency is also important to potential tenants as many Colorado State University (CSU) students are energy conscious and concerned about utility costs. Though the energy score and certification won’t impact rental rates, it does help us maintain a competitive advantage in the rental market.

While the ENERGY STAR score is based on gas and electric use, we also learned about other tools available from Fort Collins Utilities. For example, Ram’s Village now uses Utilities’ WaterSmart portal to monitor real-time irrigation system and building water use. We are aware of potential leaks and issues so we might initiate repairs faster.

Our goal is to take part in Building Energy Scoring and continue using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to maintain a positive reputation for efficiency in the rental market and be a good steward in the community.

Learn more about BES and other Utilities programs at fcgov.com/BES-feedback.

Kirk Longstein
Fort Collins Utilities Environmental Planner
970-416-4325
klongstein@fcgov.com


Technology

Phishing Attacks

As we approach the end of the year, it’s a great time to reflect on what technology challenges were faced in 2018 and which ones we will likely see in 2019. Clearly the number one topic on everyone’s mind is security. Every industry and every business have sensitive data being stored somewhere in their network. At the end of the day there is no way to guarantee your business will not be targeted or compromised at some point in the future. Understanding the challenges, risks, and the best practices used to mitigate those will be even more crucial going into the new year.

In 2018, phishing attacks conducted through email were an increasingly common method used by cyber criminals. Google recently reported a finding of 10,037 different phishing kits and about 3.8 million credentials that belonged to victims of the kits. The top phishing kits impersonate many brands including file storage services (Dropbox, Office 365), webmail providers (Gmail, Workspace Webmail, AOL), and business services (DocuSign, ZoomInfo). The basic concept is to create an email that looks legitimate and trick the end user into either entering credentials (ex: banking websites/email portals) which are then forwarded to the phisher or getting the end user to take an action that results in the criminal benefiting financially (ex: fake wire transfer requests). Another way to steal credentials and other data is to send an email with exploit kit or malware attachments. The malware may include a keylogger or other type of malicious software that tracks every keystroke of the user, sending this data to the phisher. Once compromised, hijackers will often search the email history of accounts for financial data and use the accounts for spamming/phishing their contacts. They also searched inboxes for financial records and credentials related to third-party services or vendors.

Multifactor Authentication for example is a great way to combat those kinds of attacks. Unless the user has both methods of authentication compromised, the attacker cannot gain access to that users’ information or data, even if the primary set of credentials is compromised. We recommend it as a default best practice for both personal and business accounts. Tools, education, and good processes can go a long way in protecting your company’s critical data. Connecting Point believes in helping our clients understand the IT security landscape, how it applies to their business, and how to navigate through it.

Jesse Rosales
Director of Managed Services
Connecting Point
2401 17th Street
Greeley, CO  80634
(970) 356-7224   Main line
(970) 395-2320   Direct line
jrosales@cpcolorado.com | www.cpcolorado.com


Payroll & Workforce Services

Implementing lean in the back office

• Paper checks: the time involved to receive, hand out paper checks can be a full Friday afternoon, if one is missing, it may take hours to remedy. Pay-cards are a great solution for team members who will not switch to direct deposit.

• Scheduling: are employees still calling up asking what the schedule is that week or day? Online scheduling allow you to set it once, everyone can login and view, Employees can request time off or a change online.

• Time Clocks: if you do not record time now, start. accurate reported time can potentially save the employer thousands per year. Utilize cloud based clocks which allow for GPS punch.

• Portals: Do your employees ask you for paystubs, W2s and to update their W4 info? Online portals get owners and managers out of the loop and enable employees to service themselves.

• Workers Compensation: Standard workers comp wastes time with mailing of checks, yearly audits and expensive adjustments. Integrating pay-as-you-go workers comp, make the process run on its own and in most cases, save you money as well.

Zane Glover
325 Cherry Street, Suite 110
Fort Collins, Colorado 80521
970-924-1011
www.payrollvault.com