Three hour meeting with mental health, water, impact fees and more on the agenda

By Rudy Hemmann

The Surveyor

Tuesday evening’s meeting of the town board was the first with the entire board seated and a full agenda before the trustees.

Mayor Will Karspeck read a proclamation establishing May 2018 as Mental Health Awareness Month. Following the reading, Laurie Stolen, director of the Larimer County Behavior Health Project thanked the board for taking the time to recognize and acknowledge the issue. Ann Marie Doolittle also thanked the board and spoke on the subject of teen-related dating violence.

The board heard a presentation by the town’s water attorney, Paul Zilis, concerning approval of two items; the first was a contract for capacity in the Southern Water Supply Pipeline II (SWSP II), and the second was for approval of an agreement for reimbursement for SWSP I.

Zilis gave a very brief overview of Berthoud’s water portfolio and a bit of the history surrounding the excellent water rights held by the town.

A staff report regarding SWSP I and II states, “The Town of Berthoud receives the majority of its water deliveries through the Colorado Big Thompson Project (CBT Project). The CBT Project is a large water project that consists of approximately one million acre-feet of storage; including Lake Granby, Carter Lake, Horsetooth Reservoir and Boulder Reservoir. The town was successful in negotiating a carriage agreement with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to take delivery of 7.2 cubic feet per second (c.f.s.) of water through the CBT Project. That water is delivered through the Carter Lake Outlet Works and the SWSP I to Berthoud’s pipeline, which can deliver water to both Berthoud Reservoir and Berthoud’s raw water treatment plant. The town’s water rights deliverable through the CBT Project consist of the town’s senior water rights on the Big Thompson River and its CBT Units.

On Dec. 12, 2017, the board of trustees approved an agreement to purchase Windy Gap units and capacity in the Carter Lake Outlet Works. Following is a brief explanation of that agreement and the additional agreements before the board for approval.

Windy Gap units are another source of water which can be delivered through the CBT Project. The town entered into an agreement with the Platte River Power Authority (PRPA) to purchase three Windy Gap units which are scheduled to close by July 1, 2018. As part of that transaction, the town also agreed to purchase three c.f.s. of additional capacity in the Carter Lake Outlet Works.

The intent of the agreement is to provide an additional water source to the town and to increase its capacity in the Carter Lake Outlet Works by approximately 50 percent to meet future water demands and peaking needs, and to increase the efficiency of its water delivery system.

The allotment contract for capacity in SWSP II will allow the town to access its additional capacity in the Carter Lake Outlet Works which it will acquire from PRPA. The pipeline is a large project with three other participants which will deliver water as far south as the City of Boulder. Berthoud’s participation in the pipeline would only be for approximately one mile to connect to Berthoud’s pipeline. It is truly a once-in-a-generation type of opportunity because it would not be feasible for the town to pursue a project of that magnitude on its own. The cost of the capacity would be $174,024 and, again, will increase the town’s delivery capabilities by approximately 50 percent with minimal investment by the town.

Agreement for SWSP II Participants to reimburse SWSP I Participants for Carter Lake Outlet Works modification. As a participant in SWSP I, the Town of Berthoud is eligible to receive a refund as a participant in SWSP I for its original pro-rata share in the Carter Lake Outlet Works.  That amount will be paid by the SWSP II participants that, unlike Berthoud, will be buying capacity in the Carter Lake Outlet Works as part of the SWSP II Project. As set forth above, Berthoud will purchase its additional capacity in the Carter Lake Outlet Works from PRPA, so it will not need to reimburse SWSP I participants for its additional capacity in those facilities. The town will receive a refund of $32,632.07 under this agreement.”

A motion approving the allotment contract for capacity in SWSP II and the agreement for reimbursement for SWSP I was made, seconded and passed unanimously.

The trustees heard a presentation by Chief Steve Charles of the Berthoud Fire Protection District (BFPD) during which he made a case for the fire district being able to receive impact fees from new developments in town. Charles stated BFPD had secured a consulting firm to do an impact-fee study. The information sheet for this agenda item states, “As a special district, organized in the State of Colorado, the district is permitted by state statute to assess an impact fee on new development to ensure that new development pays for an equitable share of its impact on the future capital needs of the district.”

He pointed out the impact-fee scenario was contemplated due to the fire district steadily losing funding. The majority of the revenue to support BFPD comes from property taxes, but this source of revenue is steadily eroding due in large part to the Gallagher Amendment.

The study conducted by the consultant brought the following results:

  • A single family residence $1,960.21 per unit
  • Multi-family residence $1,487.59 per unit
  • Commercial / retail $2.00 per square foot
  • Industrial $1.36 per square foot
  • Office / Institutional            $2.54 per square foot

The trustees approved an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the town and BFPD for the collection of the fire impact fee. Approval of the IGA was again unanimous.

The trustees did a first review of the 2018 International Fire Code and a first reading of the Retail Marijuana Regulation and Excise tax. Both items will be brought before the board at a future meeting to be acted on.

The trustees affirmed the selection of Laura Davis to a position on the Tree Advisory Committee.

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