Board approves engineering and infrastructure requirements hears presentation on 2022 budget
At Tuesday night’s regular meeting of the Berthoud Board of Trustees, new engineering requirements for infrastructure in new developments were approved and the board got a detailed overview of the 2022 proposed town budget.
The board also approved Berthoud residents Amy Lentz and Lynn Larsen for two-year terms on the Tree Advisory Committee and also appointed Larsen for a two-year term on the Local Licensing Authority.
Town Administrator Chris Kirk provided the board with a lengthy and detailed presentation of the proposed town budget for 2022. Kirk stated the town is in good financial condition with total general fund revenues of $10,477,413 and total operating expenses of $10,249,905. In news that should be welcomed by town residents, Kirk stated that the town will not be increasing utility rates for the fourth consecutive year and added, “we may be able to keep it flat for another year or two.”
A couple of other highlights include the fact that the town will be installing electric vehicle charging stations at the Waggener Farm Park recreation center with the hope that more can be installed at other locations in town, including possibly at the town hall. Kirk also informed the board that the town fleet will be transitioning to hybrid vehicles and hopes to have solar power-covered charging stations for the electric-powered Ford Lightning trucks.
Kirk explained to the board that the operating costs for the recreation center will be $1,840,755 and the debt serving on the COP expenditures will be an additional $1,132,400 bringing the total costs to $2,973,155 in 2022. The revenue from the 1% sales tax measure approved by voters in 2019 for all town recreation is $1,987,375 and the center is expected to earn revenue through memberships and use fees of $884,380 to bring total revenue to $2,871,775.
Kirk confirmed that over 300 memberships have been sold for the recreation center as of Tuesday stating, “we are budgeting a pretty conservative number,” regarding revenue and added, “people are very excited … when people walk in, they will be blown away.” Kirk stated estimates are made using an average of 80 daily visits by non-members. The recreation center will open to the public on Nov.20.
Following a detailed presentation by Curt Freese, Community Development Director, the board voted unanimously to approve Ordinance No. 1296 which pertains to engineering and infrastructure requirements. According to the information provided, “the town has never had specific engineering standards for the design of infrastructure (sewers, water lines, etc.), but has instead relied on a collection of other jurisdiction’s standards (Larimer County Street Standards, Denver Water and Sewer Standards, etc.). In 2021, the Town Engineer Noah Nemmers with Baseline Engineering, and the Community Development Department restarted the project and made additions to ensure that the foundation of Berthoud’s infrastructure is resilient and installed properly.” These new codes align town policy with the goals outlined in the 2021 strategic plan.
The specifications are broken down into five main categories (streets, sanitary sewer, water utilities, storm utilities and drainage and dry utilities) with detailed construction plan requirements, construction requirements, including design diagrams. The requirements now provide developers with exact details on how the town desires their infrastructure to be designed and built, instead of many times relying on a project-specific design proposed by the developer’s engineering team.
Lastly, the board held a public hearing regarding a potential ordinance that would require any contractor working in Berthoud to be licensed and pass a test that certifies the competency of their work. According to the presentation put forth by Freese, the ordinance would apply to contractors doing work mostly on existing homes, not homeowners doing a repair or upgrade or to most general “handyman” type work. The town receives a substantial number of complaints regarding shoddy work being done in town and this proposed ordinance attempts to rectify the problem.
The scope of the ordinance is intended to include projects such as building an addition to a preexisting structure and would conform with statutes in place in other municipalities in the area. “The ordinance requires a yearly license, which includes a test of general competency in the related construction field to pull a permit in Berthoud. The ordinance does allow the contractor to obtain this license through evidence of passing a similar test in a surrounding jurisdiction with a similar testing requirement instead of passing such a test in Berthoud,” according to the presentation.
An example was provided to the trustees that read, “Example. Joe an HVAC contractor in Loveland who has passed the test and obtained such a license in Loveland, would be allowed to obtain a contractor’s license in Berthoud with proof of said Loveland license.” The presentation stated the proposed ordinance is common and was modeled after similar codes used in other municipalities in this region as a template.
The board will take up action on the proposal at their next meeting on Nov. 23 and, if approved, the ordinance will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.
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