Board approves additional revenue from mineral rights
By Becky Hemmann
Tuesday evening’s town board meeting had a full agenda and was dispatched in an unusually small amount of time. The trustees spoke with Dr. Marc Schaffer, superintendent of Thompson School District, regarding the upcoming mill levy and bond that will be on the ballot in November. Also present to take questions were Dave Levy, Berthoud’s representative on the school board, and Gail Kness Schumacher, campaign co-chair of the Vote Yes committee. After some discussion the board approved a resolution unanimously supporting the bond and mill-levy initiatives.
Aztec Exploration presented a new oil and gas lease proposal for additional mineral interests held by the Town of Berthoud. Tony Lopez, who serves as landman for Aztec, has located additional mineral acreage held by the town beneath and around Berthoud Reservoir, Waggener Farm Park, and several other smaller sites, approximately 198 acres, owned by the town as described in their proposal. The proposal is for mineral rights only. This new lease would also include previously negotiated/approved terms that benefitted the town, including “no surface operations,” “no (underground) storage rights,” “no warranty of title,” and “no disposal/injection wells.”
The total revenue to the town would be $178,422.30. The town had the option to accept the proposal or be pooled with other property owners, which would take away the ability to negotiate a better deal. The trustees voted unanimously to approve the resolution which authorized the town attorney to further negotiate the terms of the oil and gas lease for mineral interests held by the town.
The board also unanimously approved Resolution 2018-30, adopting reduced fees for smaller dwellings and lots. At the Sept. 11, 2018, board meeting, staff and consultants from Raftelis presented the analysis regarding impact fees for small homes. More specifically, reduced impact fees for homes of two bedrooms or less, and 1,250 square feet or less, are proposed for roads, park land, park improvements, public facilities, and wastewater. A reduced water impact fee is also proposed for homes of two bedrooms or less, 1,250 square feet or less, and that are placed upon lots of less than 3,500 square feet. Upon review and direction from the board, a resolution was drafted to implement the fees and make the application of the fees retroactive to Sept. 11, 2018.
The following impact fee reductions shall apply:
Roads (per dwelling unit) – 33 percent
Park land (per dwelling unit) – 37 percent
Park improvements (per dwelling unit) – 37 percent
Public facilities (per dwelling unit) – 37 percent
Wastewater PIF (per tap) – 30 percent
Water PIF (Per meter) – 55 percent
In other business, John Guthrie, organizer of the new Berthoud Main Street Program, requested a letter of support from the trustees for the new program and introduced Karen Fate, the new director for the Main Street Program. Main Street Program aids communities with improvements, using funding provided by state and federal programs.
In past years the Main Street Program brought $250,000 to improving storefronts on Mountain Avenue, adding the unique village-type street lights and the benches, planters, and $150,000 to beautifying the roundabout at First Street.
Guthrie also requested a representative from the board or town staff to be a director on the board of the Main Street Program. Town Administrator Christopher Kirk stated that Walt Elish, the towns economic development director, would be the best choice from the town. Main Street will have bi-monthly meetings at the library that will be open to the public. For more information go to the Berthoud Main Street Program website www.berthoudmainstreet.org.
The trustees unanimously approved an ordinance regarding junk and abandoned vehicles at the second reading and repealed Ordinance 1253 decriminalizing loitering for the purpose of begging, after the ACLU filed lawsuits against several communities citing First Amendment issues. Town Attorney Greg Bell explained repealing the ordinance was the best way to address the issue at this time and the town would be working with the Colorado Municipal League regarding the best way communities could pass ordinances for panhandling, loitering and begging in the future.
The trustees also approved amendments to various chapters in the Berthoud Development Code, and a Pavement Maintenance Project Change Order to add Longs Peak Avenue and Elm Drive to an already existing project.
The trustees went into executive session at the end of the meeting to discuss negotiations regarding water acquisition.
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