2020 Overview: Part 1
To say that 2020 was a year filled with challenges would be an understatement. The ongoing Pandemic saga has played itself out on the pages of the Surveyor on a weekly basis beginning in mid to late February. Since then there have been articles concerning the proper way to fight a Pandemic First our leaders told us we had to wear masks, then to stop using masks altogether because we weren’t using them correctly, and then, back to almost mandatory mask usage. It seemed that the people running the show were jumping from fad to fad. All that was accomplished was to get people angry and more distrustful than ever of the government.
And how about that Thanksgiving fiasco? We should stay at home, forsaking friends and relatives, however our leaders may travel as they please. (I’m sorry, You know, try as I might I was unable to find a virtual turkey at the local grocers.)
How about the poor restauranteurs? What do the leaders have against those poor people and other small businesses?
I have not even touched on local political issues. If you wish to find out more regarding local issues, read on.
As far as what is written above, all I can say is I am certain this is NOT what the Govern-Meant.
Regarding 2020, the door is over there – don’t let it hit you in the keister on the way out.
What follows is, in no particular order, a look back on the year 2020.
Drugs in Berthoud
A drug trafficking organization with ties to Berthoud was dismantled.
The Northern Colorado Drug Task Force (NCDTF) executed eight search-and-arrest warrants Tuesday morning, Sept. 10,
using SWAT teams in Arvada, Aurora, Campion, Denver, Fort Collins, Thornton and Berthoud. The large, coordinated effort, dubbed Operation Malverde, began eight months prior and became the primary focus of the task force following the May 2019
fatal heroin overdose of a 40-year-old man in north Fort Collins. The house that was part of the operation in Berthoud was located near the 900 block of Bruce Drive. Several residents reported on social media seeing heavy police activity and a SWAT team around the intersection of Bruce Drive and Ninth Street around 6:30 a.m., as commands were being given to individuals inside the home through amplification.
Bugs in Berthoud
Emerald Ash Borer detected near Berthoud.
National and state experts have confirmed the presence of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) — an invasive, highly destructive tree pest — only 3 miles from Berthoud. This detection represents the first-ever in Larimer County and the third confirmation of EAB in Colorado outside of a federal quarantine in less than two months. An estimated 15% or more of all urban and community trees
in Colorado are ash species susceptible to being killed by EAB. In Berthoud, ash trees make up around 22% of trees within the
right-of-way, public parks and cemetery, but it’s estimated a much higher percentage of these trees are on private property.
Cases of new coronavirus confirmed in the United States
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that a new strain of coronavirus, which shares many symptoms with the flu, has infected more than 500 people and killed nearly 20 to date in Wuhan, China. The illness made its way to the U.S. on Sunday carried by an infected man traveling from China to Washington state where he lives.
The outbreak, though not considered a pandemic yet, has health officials concerned and is being closely monitored. According to the CDC the outbreak began in early December 2019 and continues to expand in scope and magnitude. Global surveillance is in the early stages and officials expect more cases to be confirmed in China as well as a growing number of countries internationally.
A recreation center in Waggener Farm Park is closer to reality today as the Berthoud Town
Board approved Ordinance #1281, which authorizes an agreement between the Town and UMB Bank for the purpose of financing the construction of a recreation center.
The Certificate of participation (COP) amount approved is not to exceed $23,000,000 with an interest rate based on current rates between 2.96% and 3.11%, depending on the market at the time of sale. The ordinance was approved on a 5-2 vote with Mayor Karspeck and Trustee Tomassi voting no. The vote was held by the board following the first reading on the issue.
This morning (Wednesday) Trustee Peter Tomassi notified Mayor Karspeck of his decision to resign the position of town trustee effective immediately. He has returned his
digital tablet to the town and his town email address has been deleted.
Town Clerk Samora and Town Attorney Greg Bell are currently working out a plan for his seat going forward in light of the upcoming municipal election. There is no further information at this
Road widening project underway on Berthoud Parkway
It is as predictable as the sunrise that, come the warm weather months in Colorado, there
will be road construction. This spring and summer will be no different and a sizable project in northwestern Berthoud is already underway. Crews are currently working on a multiphased project on North Berthoud Parkway (County Road (CR) 17) between the Grand Market Avenue roundabout (just north of Highway 287) to CR 16, which is within Loveland city limits. The scope of the project consists of relocating overhead and underground utility infrastructure, a process that began after the first of the year and is currently ongoing, to make room for a widened roadway. The widening project will consist of constructing six-foot-wide paved shoulders on both sides of the road and adding a 16-footwide center turn lane between the
12-foot-wide north- and south-bound Lanes.
Berthoud Chamber seeking donations for local business support
The Berthoud Area Chamber of Commerce, under the leadership of Executive Director Melissa Feldbush, is working to drum up support for Berthoud businesses with a pair of new programs — Berthoud Bucks and the Cash Dash.
The Berthoud Bucks program is offering individuals a cash match of $5, $10, or $25 for monies spent at local businesses to spend further at local businesses. Feldbush created a specific account for this program and 100% of donations go directly back into local business.
The program is simple — for instance, a person spends, $10, at one of Berthoud’s coffee shops, they then bring their receipt to the Chamber office or submit it online and the Chamber will then cut the individual a Berthoud Bucks check for $10 for the local business of their choice, say one of the local craft breweries. The hope is that people will spend locally and receive the incentive of “free” money to spend locally again.
Berthoud Sheriff’s facing hostility but also tremendous support
The ripple effects have left no one untouched. On May 25, George Floyd of Minneapolis, Minn., died while in police custody. It was an unnecessary death. The effects of Floyd’s passing, which resulted in the arrest of officer Derek Chauvin on multiple felony charges, have been felt as far away as Berthoud.
“What one officer did, one officer in a different state, one, caused a ripple effect that hit every law enforcement office in the United States,” said James Anderson, Patrol Sergeant of the Berthoud squad of the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO). In a discussion with the Surveyor on Tuesday morning, Sergeant Anderson outlined the effects he, his staff, the LCSO and law enforcement professionals nationwide have felt. Anderson told stories
of a significant increase in residents flipping off the Berthoud
deputies when driving or walking by town hall, yelling ‘f*** the cops,’ and even calls for defunding and eliminating law enforcement altogether in town. One member of the Berthoud squad of the LCSO, at the urging of his family, opted to retire from law enforcement after seeing the riots and anti-police sentiment that swept the nation in response to Floyd’s death. The deputy was a 17-year veteran of law enforcement. Anderson himself even opted, albeit very briefly, to park his squad car in his closed garage while at home.
“In the beginning it was rough, a lot of the derogatory stuff,” Anderson said, adding the squad “really didn’t like all the negativity.” Not all the feedback was hostile, however. Anderson outlined multiple, productive conversations he has had with concerned citizens. Furthermore, there has been a tremendous outpouring of support from the Berthoud community, for which Anderson said the entire Berthoud squad is enormously grateful.
“We got a lot of support … an overwhelming amount of support; we’re getting cakes and cookies and letters,” the 31-year veteran of law enforcement said with a smile. “The support we’ve been getting from the people here in Berthoud, we will go anywhere and somebody will stop us and say ‘thank you, thank you for what you do, we back you’ and that has kept our morale up.”
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