Town board approves 2021 budget
At Tuesday night’s regular meeting of the Berthoud Board of Trustees, once again conducted virtually via Zoom conference, the board approved the 2021 budget in a series of unanimous votes.
Town Administrator Chris Kirk presented the final draft of the budget on Tuesday night and it was received positively by the seven trustees, all of whom complimented Kirk and town staff for their extensive work on the budget.
“We’re excited about the fact that the budget is balanced, we’re able to do a whole host of meaningful projects, infrastructure projects, infrastructure maintenance, parks and trails and recreation some major planning efforts are still going on, all kinds of stuff,” Kirk told the Surveyor on Tuesday afternoon prior to the meeting. He commented “life is moving steam ahead in Berthoud” and the town is in very good financial shape but also budgeting conservatively. Kirk stated the pandemic did not have a negative impact to the town financially. “We feel the budget represents another step big forward for us in terms of overhaul enhancement for the community,” he said.
Kirk made note that over $1,000,000 has been budgets for streets and sidewalks for 2021, the third consecutive years that $750,000 or more has been allocated for transportation infrastructure. “We’ve done miles and miles of asphalt rehabilitation over the last few years and this year we’re adding a whole significant chunk of money for sidewalk rehabilitation, bike lane construction and asphalt maintenance,” Kirk said and reiterated an important point he made at the last meeting, confirming that residents will not see any utility rate increases in 2021.
After approving the budget, Berthoud Community Development Director Curt Freese presented the board with a proposal for a land annexation on the southern portion of Berthoud Parkway, near the Rose Farm development south of Spartan Avenue. Property owner Berthoud 160 LLC, with Jim Righeimer serving as agent, is petitioning for annexation for two properties – PK Berthoud No. 1 at 4.47 acres and PK Berthoud No. 2 at 35.82 acres – the properties are to the south of Rose Farm, Harvest Ridge is to the west and adjacent to undeveloped county properties to the south and east. The R-1 Single-family residential zoning is proposed for both properties. The board voted 6-1, with Mayor Will Karspeck casting the lone vote against, to hold a public hearing about the annexation at the board meeting on Jan. 12.
Freese made a second presentation to the board regarding the potential for re-zoning in southwestern portion of the Hammond Farms development. The parcel of land was originally zoned for light commercial use but the developer does not believe commercial in that location to be viable at this point in time, considering the proposal for on/off ramps at Hwy 287/ CR 10E, is currently stalled due to several factors, one of which being that CDOT will not fund the project.
“Commercial is tough right now,” Freese noted and stated town staff is supportive of the rezoning. Kristen Turner of TB Group stated her firm has been speaking with town staff about the potential rezoning, expressing a desire to erect townhouses on the land instead. Some trustees commented their belief that light commercial in the area could be viable and referenced some Boulder County developments as potential models. The board will have the chance to offer feedback on the proposals in the future as both preliminary and then final plats are presented.
Lastly, the board gave the go-ahead to Walt Elish, Berthoud Economic Development Director, to allocate the remaining CARES Act funding the town received, which is “about $25,000,” according to Elish to Berthoud Area Chamber of Commerce for continued assistance to local small businesses.
Elish highlighted the Berthoud Bucks program, developed by Berthoud Chamber Melissa Feldbush as “one of the easier and most efficient ways to support (local businesses) and suggested a prioritization for the funding be for “restaurants and food and beverage related establishments,” given the current “Level Red” county health orders which have dealt a serious blow to restaurants, bars and breweries throughout the county.
Feldbush told the Surveyor on Wednesday morning that shoppers looking to use the Berthoud Bucks program can go to the Chamber’s website at berthoudcolorado.com/berthoudbucks/ to schedule a time to submit requests and collect Berthoud Bucks as a means to prevent multiple people from congregating in the Chamber office. Feldbush also said she will attempt to have a presence in the office on Saturdays to help those who busy schedules during the week.
The next regular meeting of the town board will be held on Dec. 22.
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