Event honoring former mayor, Richard Strachan, planned for Sept. 28

By Dan Karpiel

The Surveyor

The last few years have been a rancorous time in the town of Berthoud. Debates over various aspects of growth and development in the town have caused some fissures with the citizenry.

This weekend presents an opportunity for everyone to come together and honor someone who put Berthoud first for more than a quarter-century of his life. Former mayor, Richard “Dick” Strachan, will be honored at a ceremony and community gathering event at Fickel Park at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28. All living Berthoud mayors – David Gregg, Tom Patterson, Steve Mulvihill, Milan Karspeck and Will Karspeck – will be in attendance, alongside Strachan.

“This is an opportunity to honor former mayor, Dick Strachan, for his enormous contributions to Berthoud, his quarter-century of dedicated service on the town board, and the fair and even-handed leadership he provided throughout his term of service,” said Milan Karspeck, former Berthoud mayor who organized the event. “This will be a brief gathering. All living Berthoud mayors, current and former, have agreed to convene at Fickel Park to recognize him. There will be a few statements, a reading of the mayor’s proclamation in his honor, a presentation of a framed chart listing all of Berthoud’s mayors and their terms of service, and then a time for refreshments and conversations with Dick.”

Strachan is the owner of Quality Fabricators on North Second Street in Berthoud and worked for the Federal Aviation Administration as an air traffic controller in Longmont for much of his life. Earlier this year Strachan suffered a broken hip, and while recuperating at the Berthoud Living Center, Milan Karspeck approached him with the idea of holding a community gathering in his honor. Strachan gracefully accepted.

Strachan served as a Berthoud trustee for six years, 1974-76, 1986-88 and 2000-02 and as mayor from 1976-84 and from 1988-2000 for a grand total of 20 years, far exceeding any other mayor in the history of the town. As a citizen, Strachan served on a Recreation Committee and Swimming Pool Committee where he was instrumental in getting the swimming pool constructed at Berthoud Park in the 1970s. Under his leadership, the town was able to complete the paving of all the streets in town.  

During his decades of service, Strachan was responsible for making Berthoud what it is today. Strachan worked closely with Berthoud’s water attorney, Paul Zilis, to secure a decision by the Colorado Supreme Court that secured Berthoud’s water rights to the Big Thompson River, which remains to this day the central component of the town’s water portfolio.

Furthermore, Strachan was a major proponent of growing Berthoud, and established the town’s first development code. The Hillsdale, Mary’s Farm, Fickel Farm, Keep Circle, and Berthoud Heights East developments all either began or continued during his terms of service, and the Berthoud Tree Board and first Parks and Open Space committees were established under his leadership.

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