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  • Know Before You Dig

    Contact Colorado 811 Before Starting Any Digging Project

    State Labor Department and Colorado 811 join forces to promote safety when digging

    Beneath our feet lies an underground maze of different municipal and utility networks, including traffic signal and telephone systems, fiber optic cables, electric power lines, water, natural gas, oil pipelines and more. Hitting any of these buried lines during excavation work can result in service disruptions and subsequent repair costs and fines. More importantly, however, striking a utility line can be dangerous, resulting in injury or death.

    Whether the project is done by contractors or landscapers or is a simple homeowner project, such as planting a tree or installing a mailbox, excavation work has potential hazards.

    Preventing those hazards is the work of a non-profit organization called Colorado 811. Digging projects, no matter how small, should only begin after contacting 811. In fact, those doing excavation work are more than three times as likely to hit a buried utility line because they did not contact 811 before starting their project.

    Contacting  Colorado 811 results in the appropriate utility companies being notified and professional utility locators being sent to the site to mark the locations of underground lines with flags and/or paint.  It’s a simple first step that can result in avoiding a problem – or even a catastrophe.

    The April 2017 home explosion in Firestone, caused by a leaking uncapped gas flow line, underscored the need for enforcement oversight of excavation activities. Colorado’s revised One Call Law and Senate Bill 18-167 were enacted in 2018 to address the public safety issues surrounding underground facilities and excavation.

    2019 marks the beginning of a unique collaboration between Colorado 811 and the Department of Labor and Employment in assisting the new Underground Damage Prevention Safety Commission that was created through the legislation. The Safety Commission is a governor-appointed, 15-member group that reviews complaints of alleged violations of the One Call Law and develops best practices and training to enhance public safety.

    Homeowners and businesses who have questions about the new Colorado 811 legislation can visit colorado811.org, and anyone doing digging is urged to contact 811 at least three days prior to excavating.

    The Underground Damage Prevention Safety Commission and the Division of Oil and Public Safety are both working closely with Colorado 811 to help keep Colorado families, properties and communities safe.

  • Colorado Census 2020

    Census Day is April 1, 2020 - What is Colorado Doing?

    The 2020 Census is April 1, 2020, and the State of Colorado is working on efforts to ensure a complete and accurate count. This critical process ensures that Colorado receives fair representation in Congress and its fair share of federal funding. The data collected is then used by states for redistricting.

    “The Census is about so much more than a population count,” said Governor Jared Polis. “It’s also about making sure our state gets the resources it needs to support our communities and plan for the future. Funding from the census can go toward new roads, new schools, new emergency services and economic opportunities.”

    There is approximately $880 billion in federal funding allocated across the United States based on Census counts. In Colorado, this equates to approximately $13 billion annually or an estimated $2,300 per person according to a study by George Washington University. Some of the programs funded by Census dollars are Head Start programs; section 8 housing; Tier 1 grants for educational agencies and emergency food and shelter. 

    Colorado has formed a State Complete Count Campaign (CCC) that is focused on education, awareness and motivation to participate in the first-ever online census. The Census is also available in 13 different languages and can be filled out online, via the paper form or responding by phone. The new online format saves taxpayer dollars.

    The Census is safe and important; the answers are protected by law and are not shared with anyone pursuant to federal law, to include any other Federal Agency. While it is the Census Bureau’s responsibility to count everyone in the country, it is our local communities who will benefit the most by an accurate count. 

    “By obtaining an accurate count for Colorado, the critical investments through federal allocations will be possible in Colorado communities,” said Natriece Bryant, Deputy Director for the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and State Chair for Colorado’s Complete Count Committee.

    To learn more, visit the Colorado Census 2020 website Fact sheets and resources for use by communities and organizations are also available.

  • DORA Flood Insurance Reminder

    Tips about flood insurance and flood-prone areas due to wildfires

    Consumers have 30-day waiting period before flood insurance is effective

    In Colorado's summer months, flooding from thunderstorms and overflowing rivers is a real concern.

    Now is the time to consider buying a flood insurance policy, especially as flood insurance has a 30-day waiting period before it becomes effective. This is also particularly important if you live in areas that have been affected by wildfires such as the 2018 Spring Fire, the 416 Fire, the Lake Christine Fire and the Bocco Fire.

    Many homeowners do not realize that their basic homeowners insurance does not include protection from flood damage, and that flood insurance must be purchased as a separate policy. The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), offers these tips about flood insurance.

    Not just high-risk areas - floods also happen in medium and low-risk flood zones

    Floods can happen anywhere, anytime. They often accompany natural disasters such as storms, early or rapid snowmelts or rising rivers, but not always. About 25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from outside of high-risk areas.

    And, as the DOI noted in a consumer advisory last summer, wildfires create landscapes more prone to flooding. The fires leave the ground charred, barren and unable to absorb water, making conditions ripe for flash floods and mud flows. And the flood risk stays high for up to five years after a wildfire.

    To help people determine their flood risk and the need for flood insurance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers Flood Insurance Rate Maps, which are updated regularly. Homeowners can view the maps at www.floodsmart.gov.

    Buying flood insurance

    FEMA administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a federally subsidized program available to any property owner —homeowners, renters, condominium owners and associations — whether or not the property is in a floodplain. National Flood Insurance premiums vary depending on location and the type of coverage chosen. Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period after applying and paying the first premium for the insurance to become effective. Coverage choices include insuring only the structure of a home or also including its contents.

    Contact your insurance agent about buying flood insurance. If you do not have an agent or your agent does not sell flood insurance, contact the NFIP at 1-888-379-9531 or go to www.floodsmart.gov to get the name of an agent in your area. Know that to buy an NFIP flood insurance policy, your community must participate in the program, and according to floodsmart.gov, must “agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements to reduce the risk of flooding."

    You can find a list of participating communities on FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program Community Status Book.

    For more information, visit the DOI flood insurance webpage or the FEMA / NFIP website www.floodsmart.gov.  At floodsmart.gov you can also enter your address to get an estimated flood risk profile.

    If you still have questions, contact the Consumer Services team of the Colorado Division of Insurance at 303-894-7490 / 800-930-3745 / DORA_Insurance@state.co.us. Visit AskDORA.colorado.gov for more consumer tips and information. 

  • Western Region OneSource

    Western Region One Source

    Now Accepting Sponsorship & Service Provider Applications

    Western Region One Source (WROS) is now connecting veterans, military service members, and their families with service providers and resources to enhance their opportunities and quality of life.

    Located at 482 28 Road in Grand Junction, WROS is close to the Grand Junction VA Medical Center. This major veteran-serving medical facility is already a destination for about 15,000 veterans. WROS is slated to serve more than 40,000 Colorado service members, veterans and their families living in 24 counties along the Western Slope.

    The Colorado Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is accepting sponsorship and partnership applications. DMVA's goal is to raise about $250,000 through sponsorships to cover the cost of furniture and equipment. Community veteran service providers can rent space in the 14,000-square-foot facility.

    Help make this great resource even greater—become a sponsor or service provider!

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