Vote on 1265

On Sept. 10 residents of Berthoud will be asked to vote through mail-in ballot on ordinance no. 1265. Ballots should have been received in the mail. The following is a brief synopsis of what the ballot contains and a simplified explanation of what it means by voting for or against the ordinance.

“ORDINANCE NO. 1265 AN ORDINANCE OF THE TOWN OF BERTHOUD, COLORADO LIMITING THE AUTHORITY OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES TO INCUR FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS ON BEHALF OF THE CITIZENS IN EXCESS OF TWO MILLION DOLLARS WITHOUT AN AFFIRMATIVE VOTE OF THREEFOURTHS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND BARRING ANY FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS IF THE ELECTORATE HAS REJECTED A BOND ISSUE TO FINANCE THE SAME OR SIMILAR MATTER WITHIN THE PREVIOUS TWO YEARS.”

Last November Berthoud citizens were asked to vote on whether they wanted the town to purchase a bond for $30 million to be used to build a recreation center. The bond failed, as more voters said no, they did not want to take on that debt, than said they did want the town to take on that debt.

By December the town found another way for the recreation center to be funded and built, called Certificates of Participation (COP). Legally these do not require citizen’s vote of approval as the bond did. A simplistic way of understanding COPs is that investors put up the money for a project and lease it to the town with interest – projects like the rec. center – the town is essentially in debt to the lenders.

By voting yes to ordinance no. 1265 you agree the town of Berthoud’s board of trustees should have limited authority to incur financial obligations (any type of debt) in excess of $2 million without three-fourths majority of the board of trustees, or six of the seven board members, agreeing they should do so. The ordinance also says that, like with the rec. center, if the town has voted on the same or similar issue and rejected a bond to finance a project in the previous two years, other means of funding cannot be sought.

By voting no to ordinance no. 1265 you believe the board of trustees should not have limited authority to incur financial obligations for the town (any type of debt) in excess of any amount. It also means you agree that if the people of Berthoud vote on a bond, and it does not pass, other means of funding (debt) can be sought to accomplish the same project, as would be the case with the recreation center and pursuing the funding through COPs.

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