Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Town board approves water purchase, votes to limit meeting time

By: Dan Karpiel | The Surveyor | May 13, 2022 | Local News

At Tuesday night’s regular meeting of the Berthoud Board of Trustees, the board voted to approve a bulk water purchase, voted unanimously to limit the length of board meetings and heard from former trustees and others regarding a proposed bicycle park located at the proposed Richardson Park development.

The board voted unanimously to approve a measure put forth by Trustee May Soricelli that limits the length of town board meetings. The measure calls for regular board meetings to conclude by 9:30 p.m., limiting the length to a maximum of three hours (board meetings begin at 6:30 p.m.).

The board did, however, agree to a change to the initial measure put forth by requiring only a simple majority, rather than unanimity, to vote to extend a meeting should the situation warrant. Under the newly approved measure, if an agenda item or items have not been taken up by the board by the 9:30 deadline, absent a majority vote to extend the meeting, those measures will be delayed until the board’s next meeting.

Asked about the impetus for the new measure, Trustee Soricelli told the Surveyor, “While it may seem like a trivial notion, having a set time for the board meeting to end is paramount. This resolution by the board will promote more effective timely meetings. In the past, meetings have gone well past 10 PM sometimes nearing midnight, which does not facilitate strong and sound decision making.”

Soricelli believes that by limiting the meetings, “the board and staff to be more thoughtful about their input, more prepared, and more considerate of the presenters and the community who is participating. This has been a long time coming. What I’m most excited about is that by having a set time for meeting duration is that it will likely increase community participation, making it more palatable for our citizens to attend, to listen, to review, and to participate in important topics that pertain to them.” The measure was well received by the rest of the board with Mayor Will Karspeck saying, “Great job, May.”

The board also voted, unanimously, to approve the block purchase of 50 units of water in the Colorado-Big Thompson Project (CBJ). Following a brief presentation, town staff strongly recommended the board agree to the purchase, which is up for sale from the Thompson School District.

Information provided to the board stated, “although town staff is not actively seeking purchases of additional C-BT Units at this time, this offer presents a rare opportunity to secure a substantial block of C-BT Units in a single transaction and will be a valuable addition to the Town’s water resources portfolio. The purchase of the additional C-BT units will be fully funded by Raw Water Fees paid by local developers.”

The 50 units approved for purchase increase the town’s total amount of C-BT water to 1,038 units, or enough to supply over 1,500 homes.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, the issue of the proposed bike park development on the northwest side of town elicited some feedback from members of the community.

For background, at a prior meeting of the board, the trustees heard a presentation from Deputy Town Administrator Jeremy Olinger regarding the design concept for a large bike part at the proposed Richardson Park area, located north of Loveland Reservoir between Berthoud Parkway and Highway 287. The project is included in the approved 2022 budget for $950,000 but the plan now calls for some additional amenities and has increased the estimated cost to $1,755,136.

In addition to the cost increase, several residents from Matthews Farm and neighborhoods adjacent to the park spoke before the board expressing concerns about some aspects of the park including noise, parking, increased traffic and the potential for crime.

At Tuesday’s meeting, two former trustees addressed the board in an effort to rebut some of the concerns expressed by residents, arguing that the park was approved and (partially) budgeted for and is a park of the town’s parks and recreation master plan. No action was taken on by the board regarding the bike park at either the April 26 or May 10 meetings, with trustees agreeing to more thoroughly examine the proposal at future meetings. The Surveyor will continue to report on the bike park project as developments warrant.

The next regular meeting of the Berthoud Board of Trustees will take place on May 24.




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