OPINION – Letters to the Editor

To the editor:

Berthoud’s upcoming election on April 7 includes an important ballot measure number 1282. Here are a few important reasons why you should consider voting yes for ordinance 1282:

1. Leaving parks-and-rec funding on the table is a formula for ensuring our town stays behind the curve for maintaining, improving, and growing our fairly meager parks-and-rec assets, activities, and maintenance work
2. We should pace our parks-and-rec investment with our recent and anticipated town population growth. Berthoud is currently playing catch up in comparison to other towns with smaller population and lower growth forecast.
3. A healthy parks-and-rec program equals a healthier population, right?
4. Improved parks-and-rec financing leaves more discretionary funding available for other potential urgent projects and repairs.Please be a careful thinker, and do not be distracted by naysayers using dramatic language to appeal to invoke outdated TABOR measures.

Michael Dower

Berthoud

To the editor:

I would like to encourage all my friends and neighbors in Berthoud to return their ballots this week.  I would also like to express my thanks and appreciation to all the candidates that are running for mayor and trustee positions in Berthoud. Both are tough jobs that require hours of work and a commitment to uphold the greater interest of the citizens of Berthoud.   

I am supporting Jeff Hindman for the trustee position because of his experience and years of community service as a trustee, member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, Parks and Recreation Board member, a member of the Open Space Board, and the Larimer County Open Lands Advisory Board. Jeff has stood up and supported the welfare of the Berthoud community by supporting better building and development standards, and as one of the co-founders of the Berthoud Economic Advisory Committee.  Jeff is also an outspoken and strong supporter of recreational amenities and trails to help connect the citizens of Berthoud. With all his experience and continuous support for the citizens of Berthoud, I feel he has the ability to move us in a positive direction. Please join me and vote for Jeff Hindman.

Jim Russo

Berthoud 

To the editor:

I sit here working from home along with my three kids doing online high school and college work. Thirty more days have just been added to social distancing guidelines. I am trying to wrap my brain around many questions in these never before witnessed circumstances. How can I be most effective as a parent and in my occupation? How do we stay healthy physically? How can we maintain mental resiliency?

The National Institute of Health defines emotional wellness as the ability to successfully handle life’s stressors and adapt to change in difficult times. Now, more than ever, with increased screen time and other society factors I see the need for enhancing mental well-being of our Berthoud citizens through physical exercise and movement. We need places for our kids, families, and senior citizens to get out for a safe and accessible bike ride, walk or other activity.

Ordinance 1282 will decide if we cut funding for development of trails or if we keep the current level of funding. Being in quarantine, too much screen time and trying to get to a local safe outdoor space to exercise with my family brought me to the conclusion we are in desperate need of a Berthoud local safe trail void of traffic and cross walks.

The foundation work has already been done for our Town of Berthoud to create a unified trail that connects first our town parks and many of our residential subdivisions to then reach outwards to other town’s trails. From a grant received in 2015, the Town of Berthoud created the Parks, Open Space, Recreation and Trails (PORT) Master Plan. In 2018, the Berthoud Unified Trails and Master Plan was created. Here is the link for your review. https://www.berthoud.org/home/showdocument?id=8973

If we build upon and utilize this master plan, we will have access to over a hundred miles of interconnected trails with minimal road crossings. Cutting our funding available for trails will only delay this becoming a reality for Berthoud area residents. 

We will get back to business after the stay at home order. Will a 1 % sales tax versus a .08 % sales tax stop folks from patronizing our businesses and manufacturing? I do not think so. But it will mean a difference of millions of dollars over the years. The TPC Colorado Korn Ferry Tour is contracted for four more years and brings in over 17,000 patrons for a week in July. Trucks constantly fill the huge parking space at Love’s and buy tires, services and food. Let’s utilize this and other sales tax money for Berthoud’s wellbeing.

Being a local realtor of 13 years, I want to note that residential property values would benefit from the creation of a unified trail system. Voting no will result in a $54 one-time property tax credit. However, voting yes would help bring the creation of a unified trail to fruition and that will forever increase the market value of Berthoud residential property owners.
I urge Berthoud voters to vote yes on Ordinance 1282 in order to keep our current parks and recreation funding.

Best regards,

Christine Torres

Berthoud

To the editor:

In spite of the current lock down, Berthoud still has a very important election to decide. Ordinance 1282 will determine if we are going to cut spending from future parks, recreation and trails funding.his is up to you as a voter to decide. Voting yes will keep current tax and funding the same as last year.

Voting no would mean a one time $54 property tax credit to refund the extra $376,000 collected last year. The refund would only go to property owners and not those who originally paid the sales tax. No one will receive a check in the mail since it will only be a credit on our county property tax bill. This $54 will usually end up as a credit in the property owners escrow account.

In addition, state law requires that the 1% rate approved by voters be lowered to the rate that would have met the estimated cap, unless voters approve keeping it the same. Voting no will lower the rate to .8%. This would save customers twenty cents on a $100 purchase. It would also mean a loss of parks and trails revenue of over $300 – 400k every year in the future. The amount lost would increase as Berthoud continues to attract more new businesses and develop at I-25. This would mean millions of dollars less to build more trails and other new facilities. It means that out of town shoppers at Love’s and other businesses would pay less to support our parks and recreation even though they do not live here.

Berthoud residents, please join me in voting by mail ballot at our next election. Yes on Ordinance 1282 means no new taxes … and we can continue to support our current level of park funding.

You should have received your mail in ballot and they are due back at Town Hall by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7. There is a ballot drop box on the porch at Town Hall just east of Hays Market. Be sure to vote. Make your voice heard.

Sincerely,

Brian Laak, trustee

Berthoud

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