Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Board approves road maintenance agreement with CDOT

By: Dan Karpiel | The Surveyor | August 13, 2021 | Local News

It what was a relatively uneventful meeting of the Berthoud Board of Trustees on Tuesday night, the board did approve an agreement between the town and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) for road maintenance on a section of U.S. Highway 56/Mountain Ave. and voted unanimously to remove the historical designation of a downtown property at the request of the homeowner.

Mayor Will Karspeck also read and approved two symbolic proclamations for the town. The first was to declare Sept. 26, 2021 as “Puppy Mill Awareness Day” in Berthoud and the second declaring Aug. 28, 2021 “Lemonade Day” in town. Both proclamations enjoyed support for the board as they seek to raise awareness about animal cruelty mitigation efforts and champion small business and entrepreneurial education for Berthoud youth.

During public comment portion of the meeting, several residents addressed the board regarding heavy traffic and suspected speeding along Fourth Street. The residents submitted a petition with 26 signatures from those living on or directly adjacent to Fourth Street to the board requesting some form of action be taken to enhance the safety of the street.

Suggestions were made along a number of potential methods including more regular and frequent patrols by the Berthoud squad of the Larimer Sheriff’s Office, adding striping to the road which is currently absent by painting a centerline and bicycle lanes on the shoulders and adding a stop sign at the intersection with Franklin Avenue.

Town Administrator Chris Kirk explained the street itself serves as more of a collector roadway than a residential street, given both its width and its lengthy extension from County Road 10 in the north to Mountain Avenue in the south, and stated that striping can be completed and he has no problem installing the suggested stop sign at Franklin.

The board subsequently moved on discussion regarding a request from Berthoud resident and former town trustee Brian Laak regarding the revocation of historical designation of the Arndt House located at 706 7th St.

According to information provided, the house was originally approved for historic landmark status by the town board on Aug. 22, 2017. Laak, in 2021, subsequently requested revocation on the home, stating he was unaware of the limitations the historic landmark designation placed on the property.

The information packet provided to the board further stated, “The property owner has also made staff aware of their desire to not have to seek out the extra approval needed to do any exterior work on a landmark home and would like to have their home removed in order to make any future improvements to the home be as streamlined as possible.”

On July 19, 2021, the Berthoud Historical Preservation Advisory Committee (HPAC) voted 6-0 to deny Laak’s request for revocation as committee members, felt that the property owner knew what he was getting into when he voluntarily listed his property and believed that continuing the historic designation was the best way to protect the integrity of one of Berthoud’s historic homes.”

After lengthy discussion, during which Laak claimed his family needs, “every penny (they) can get,” after caring for an ill relative. The trustees discussion went in several different directions, including respect for private property rights as well as making the rules pertaining to historic designations “more black and white.” Ultimately, the board voted 6-0 with one abstention to reverse the decision suggested by the HPAC and remove the historic designation of the Arndt House.

Lastly, the board heard a presentation from Economic Development Director Walt Elish regarding the Open For Business grant application. “The Main Street Open for Business Façade and Energy Grant Program awards money to eligible entities (municipalities, counties, and councils of government), to provide incentive programs for local business owners to improve the energy efficiency and/or aesthetics of commercial buildings within traditional downtowns,” according to the information provided.

The board thanked Elish for his work on the program and voted unanimously to approved the resolution allowing for $5.97 million in grant funding to be distributed by town staff for Berthoud businesses.

The next meeting of the town board will take place on Aug. 24.

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