Trustees begin planning to build new service center
The Berthoud Board of Trustees held a regular business meeting Tuesday evening.
The trustees heard a presentation by Town Administrator Mike Hart regarding a new service center facility for the maintenance and storage of equipment used by the Streets Department and Parks and Recreation.
An information sheet provided by town staff states, “The current facility housing the Streets Department is in extreme disrepair. Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency (CIRSA), the town’s insurance company, has cited it as a problem area the past several years. Not only is the building and parking area becoming hazardous, there is no room to work or store their large vehicles. The current facility housing our Recreation and Parks Departments does not currently have the room to store their vehicles and equipment. We are proposing a new Service Center in the 2018 budget. This will house the Streets Department entirely, and some of the larger vehicles and equipment for the Parks and Recreation Department.
The first consideration for a new facility was the selection of a site. Within the past year the town has purchased a property which lies adjacent to the east side of Berthoud Reservoir and the water treatment plant. Hart stated this would be an ideal site for a service center due to it being just north of Larimer County Road (LCR) 10E, which offers access to the Berthoud Parkway, formerly LCR 17, and north First Street.
Hart stated Berthoud’s share of the service center funding would come from the public facilities fund along with approximately $400,000 in grant funding available from the state. Hart stated that preliminary estimates of the total cost for the building would be in the neighborhood of $1 million. He stressed the final cost estimates would be firmed up before the final budget was offered for approval by the board and the $1 million figure was just a place holder at this time.
Hart stated the service center proposal brought forward by staff was being brought forward now and is to be formally presented as part of the 2018 proposed budget.
The trustees held a discussion concerning the cemetery fund which will need an infusion of general fund monies to stay “in the black” if the rates for interment are not raised.
An information sheet provided by Senior Accountant Cindy Leach states, “If the fees are not increased in 2018, the cemetery fund will have a negative balance in 2019 and will require a supplement from the general fund of $25,000 per year. (Town Staff is) providing two options to balance the cemetery fund budget. The first option is an increase in (burial) fees and an increase in perpetual care fees. At the current rate of activity, this option will eliminate the need for general fund supplements. The second option is an increase in (burial) fees, and no additional perpetual care fees. This option will sustain the current annual expenditures, but will require a general fund supplement in the years that equipment or a columbarium needs to be purchased. The proposed increase in fees overall is approximately 55 percent without the perpetual care fees.
Following discussion, the direction given to town staff was to adopt option two with the following changes; raise the rate for out of town residents to $1,750, raise the fee for an infant plot to $500 and raise the fee for interment in the columbarium to $500 for in-town residents and $600 for out-of-town residents. Also to be considered for an increase are the perpetual care fees.
The board also heard from the town’s Water Attorney, Paul Zilis, regarding minor revisions to the town water dedication requirements. Zilis read through the changes contemplated and the trustees agreed by unanimously approving a motion to adopt the new code language as presented.
Discussion of the proposed 2018 budget included a formal request by the Berthoud Historical Society (BHS). Four to six weeks ago the BHS had issued a verbal request of the board to approve payment (or waiving) of their yearly water bill which amounts to approximately $3,000. The formal request submitted by the BHS included several other items, such as a portion of their insurance ($4,500), remove and replace 6 ash trees ($12,200), treatment (against Emerald Ash Borer) of six remaining ash trees and the annual pruning and care of trees ($800). In all, the requests by BHS amounted to 22,150 for 2018.
The trustees struck a compromise by directing staff to enter a line item for a contribution to the BHS of $10,325, with the provision that BHS pay for half the cost of the tree maintenance they requested in their submittal.
Discussion was held concerning the reporting structure of information from the advisory committees. It was acknowledged the advisory committees need to work through town staff. There is confusion on the committees regarding the role of the committees, the role of board liaisons and how the budget process works.
The board directed town staff, by way of a motion, to enter into negotiations with Extraction Oil and Gas, on behalf of the town, concerning bonuses and royalties to be paid to the town.
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