No second reading needed for recreation center funding
By Rudy Hemmann
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.
Kyle Thomas, who is a senior vice president with the underwriter, D.A. Davidson, presented the trustees with the schedule and stated the town would receive project funds by the end of March. Town Administrator Chris Kirk said the funds may come in sooner because the board passed the ordinance on a first reading instead of waiting until the next board meeting for the second reading of the ordinance which he and some trustees felt was not necessary. “The vote to move forward with the funding of Waggener Farm Park and recreation center creates an exciting opportunity for our town. We are confident that development of these trails, aquatics facilities, athletic fields, community gathering and play spaces will enhance the quality of life in Berthoud for years to come, Kirk said.
A certificate of participation is a type of financing where an investor purchases a share of the lease revenues of a program rather than the bond being secured by those revenues. A lease-financing agreement is used by a local government to acquire real property. Under the agreement, the local government makes regular payments over the annually renewable contract for the acquisition and use of the property. Certificates of participation do not require voter approval and can be issued more quickly than referendum bonds. The payments the Town of Berthoud makes toward the debt will be paid for by the 1% sales tax revenue passed in November 2018.
A special election was held in September 2019 that would have limited the town board to issuing debt to under $2,000,000. That election failed by two votes. In November 2018, voters rejected a $30 million bond to construct a recreation center but approved a 1% sales tax to be used for recreation amenities including a recreation center.
Before the vote, Mayor Karspeck said, “I have problems with the process and the manner of which we got here, nonetheless, we’re here and going forward. I think we need to be all-in on making sure this is a success in welcoming this huge, transformational facility.”
According to an information sheet the estimated project cost are:
Construction costs: $28,205,883
Soft costs: $2,200,000
Total cost: $32,838,354
Includes: design fees and reimbursables; fixtures, furnishings and equipment; off-site construction costs; construction, materials, soils and environmental testing; energy analysis and commissioning; owners representative services and site survey and traffic study.
It also includes a 5% owner’s contingency, 5% contractor contingency, and 5% design contingency. If these contingencies are not sufficient, the Town will utilize existing reserves through an internal loan from the General Fund Additional Staff. The Town is planning to hire additional staff members to operate the recreation center and to maintain the fields and landscaping at the park. This includes a recreation center manager, recreation coordinators, cashiers, gym supervisors, facility manager, lifeguards, parks maintenance personnel and others. These positions have been addressed for future budget planning.
To read the entire ordinance go to Page 9 of this edition of the surveyor or https://www.berthoud.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15622
Other actions taken by the trustees included approving the service agreement between the Town and Berthoud and Golden Links/Rural Alternatives For Transportation (RAFT).
Previously the Town provided RAFT with $5,000 annually but with an increased demand for services provided to in-town residents, RAFT requested an increase in payment under their agreement. The trustees increased the budgeted amount for RAFT to $22,000. It was approved unanimously.
The board approved, on second reading, an ordinance amending Chapter 30 of the town’s development code to include the Mountain Avenue Overlay District.
The board also saw fit to approve a resolution brought forward by Trustee Tim Hardy which recognizes the importance of protecting and supporting pollinators in town and declares February as Pollinator Appreciation Month in the Town of Berthoud. This is designed to encourage all residents to recognize and celebrate the important role pollinators play in our environment and actively work to support and protect pollinators of all kinds in the Town of Berthoud.
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