Town board gets update on Heron Lakes and changes to metro district proposed

Rudy Hemmann

The Surveyor

At Tuesday evening’s town board meeting Jim Birdsall, owner of TB Group and a principal of the Heron Lakes ownership group, gave the trustees an overview of the status of the Heron Lakes Project as well as the benefits the project brings to Berthoud. Birdsall explained that ostensibly the reason for  the update was to get permission from the board to allow changes to be made to the metropolitan district plan, which governs the district, to move forward with a district election in November. He went on to state that following the November metropolitan district election the Heron Lakes ownership group would be back before the town board to present a consolidated service plan which will include the original district, plus the two amendments to the district, along with a financial model for the district.

Birdsall informed the trustees the Heron Lakes Metropolitan District was formed in the fall of 2008. The first amendment was made to add the Bader property to the service plan. The second amendment would allow the addition of the eastern half of the Vantage subdivision and the marina property, recently acquired by the Heron Lakes ownership group, to be added to the Heron Lakes Metropolitan District. He went on to note whenever the boundaries of a metropolitan district are expanded, and the intent is to develop that portion of the district, it expands the amount of infrastructure eligible for reimbursement.

Public benefits of the Metro District:

  • Every amenity that is operated by the Metro District is permanently open to the public
  • Donation/sale of peninsula property, trailhead and trail corridor
  • Donation of 90+ acres of permanent open space/park space
  • 10.86 miles of trails including Colorado Front Range Trail connections to Larimer County and Loveland
  • Over 53 percent of the property is preserved as open space (Heron Lakes)
  • Public golf course
  • Public marina
  • Beach/public boating/fishing/restaurant
  • Public access to Lonetree Reservoir
  • Public parks and open spaces
  • Enhanced streetscapes
  • Clubhouse and pool
  • Site for future elementary school
  • Vantage Central Park
  • Trail connections to Berthoud Elementary School
  • Preservation of Osprey Nest
  • Preservation of Heron Rookery
  • Golf course is part of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program
  • Public benefits of golf course:
  • Opened for public play Labor Day weekend 2018
  • Over 1,700 golfers from the public have played
  • In 2018 we have hosted four tournaments
  • Anheuser Busch and their Colorado clients including the Denver Broncos
  • We have also hosted the Colorado Rockies and the Colorado Avalanche
  • Boys and Girls Club of Larimer County hosted the “Shootout before the Showdown” and raised over $60,000 to support the Boys and Girls Club
  • In 2018 we have hosted four tournaments
  • Spartan Invitational raised over$21,000 for the Berthoud High School boys and girls golf teams
  • TPC Colorado is now the home course for the Berthoud High School golf teams. The only teams that can make that claim
  • Chamber/Chicago Title Tournament raised $29,162 for Berthoud High School student college scholarships
  • We have donated an additional $24,000 to various Berthoud charities

Attorney Alan Pogue of Icenogle, Seaver and Pogue took the podium to address legal issues with the service plan and offered a fix to an oversight in the plan to Town Attorney Greg Bell,  to which Bell nodded.

During board discussion of the item some of the trustees mistakenly assumed they were approving a new service plan. Trustee Pete Tomassi spoke to that by stating, “We are not talking about looking at a metropolitan district service plan.” He went on to state the board is simply giving the group before them permission to go before a judge to get permission to hold a district election and to bring the results of that election back before the board.   

A motion in favor of a resolution approving the second amendment to the consolidated service plan for Berthoud-Heritage Metropolitan District Nos. 1 through 17 was made, seconded and passed unanimously.

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