Business Briefs – 8/15/2008

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Spread the gift of reading

The Children’s Literacy Center needs volunteers to provide one-to-one tutoring in reading.
Volunteers will tutor one child, two hours a week. Orientation and training sessions are scheduled for 5:30 to 8 p.m. Aug. 26, 27 or 28 at 2928 Straus Lane, Suite 100.
For more information, visit www.peakreader.org or call 471-8672.

ESM offering free GED classes

Ecumenical Social Ministries is offering free GED training classes for low-income participants, with the exception of a $30 placement test fee.
Classes are held from 9:30 a.m. to noon Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students are expected to attend the class until they are referred by the instructor to take the GED test.
For more information, or to register, call 228-6786 or 228-6794.

Cheyenne Mountain nets restaurant association award

For the second year in a row, Cheyenne Mountain Resort has received the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Neighbor Award for Colorado.
The award recognizes companies for outstanding community service programs.
Among the social service organizations that the resort is committed to is the Marian House, a soup kitchen that serves about 500 every day.

CSPD reaccredited

The Colorado Springs Police Department has been reaccredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
The three year award is the sixth accreditation for the department.
There are about 900 agencies in the United States that are accredited.

Grants available for farm energy projects

The Advancing Colorado’s Renewable Energy program has $500,000 available to help pay for agricultural energy related projects.
Grants will be allocated in three categories: feasibility studies, project participation and research. Applicants must provide matching contributions of at least 10 percent of the total project budget and grant money may not be used for paying current debt, general administrative expenses or indirect institutional overhead costs.
Applications and a $50 nonrefundable application fee must be received by Sept. 17.

High-speed rail study begins on I-70 and I-25 corridors

The multi-jurisdictional Rocky Mountain Rail Authority has begun a year-long study to determine whether inter-city, high-speed rail is technically, financially and economically feasible for Colorado’s Interstate 25 and Interstate 70 corridors.
If, when the study is complete in mid-2009, it determines that high-speed rail is feasible in one or both of these corridors then the corridor will be presented to the Federal Railroad Administration for potential designation as the nation’s eleventh High-Speed Rail Corridor, establishing eligibility for specially targeted federal funding.
In addition, if the study identifies one or more feasible alignments, future studies would evaluate specific alignments, station locations, crossings, etc. Funding for this $1.5 million study has largely been provided by the Colorado Department of Transportation with the RMRA member jurisdictions contributing.
The High-Speed Rail Feasibility Study will collaborate with ongoing planning studies and projects in both corridors, including the I-70 Coalition’s land-use planning study, CDOT’s Railroad Relocation Implementation Study and RTD’s FasTracks program.
In addition, RMRA is working closely with governmental agencies, the freight railroads and other strategic partners in each corridor to gather input on various aspects of the potential projects.

Hydro power loan program

The Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority has $10 million available to help governmental agencies with the installation of small hydropower units at their water facilities.
The loans have a term of up to 20 years and an interest rate of 2 percent. The maximum amount is $2 million.
The authority’s board also approved a $150,000 matching grant program to help local governments with the evaluation and development of small hydropower projects. Grants will be available up to $15,000.
The deadline to apply is Oct. 15. Visit www.cwrpda.com/Programs/SHLP for more information.

Agriculture grants available

The Colorado Department of Agriculture is accepting grant applications from companies that research and develop new uses and markets for food and agricultural products that are grown, raised or processed in Colorado.
Projects eligible for funding include feasibility studies and technical projects such as assessing the potential of establishing an agricultural value-added business project, and marketing and promotion projects such as first-time participation in trade shows, new product launches and promotions supporting the development of new sales channels.
About $100,000 is available, and the maximum award per project is $20,000.
A matching contribution of cash and in-kind resources equal to at least 50 percent of the total project budget is required. Applications may be submitted any time and there is no deadline to apply.