Tax on marijuana to be on November ballot

By Rudy Hemmann

The Surveyor

At Tuesday evening’s meeting, the Berthoud Board of Trustees considered a proposal brought forward by the town’s Public Works Director, Stephanie Brothers for expansion of the raw water treatment plant. According to an information sheet provided by town staff, the project is to be completed in two parts over two years, with the first phase to begin during the winter months of this year.

The plant needs to be shut down while the work is being done, so it was decided to take it off line in the winter months when water usage is comparatively low.

Phase two of the project will be done during the winter of 2018. Little Thompson Water District will furnish water to the town through a connection located north of the end of Meadowlark Drive.

The entire expansion project cost estimate is $2.8 million.

Town Administrator Mike Hart reported Deputy Town Clerk, Tamiko Brewster, will be resigning to take a better position. This will leave the town without a clerk and, by state statute, the town must have someone in the clerk position. The position is normally appointed by the town board. (Alisa Darrow, the appointed town clerk had also recently resigned from the clerk position.)

Following brief discussion the board gave authority to Hart to fill the clerk position, with a competent qualified individual, on an interim basis.

The board took on the question of whether to allow the town to charge a fee or a sales tax on transactions for retail recreational use of marijuana

Town Attorney Greg Bell informed the trustees that the date on which the draft of an item to appear on the ballot on November 7, 2017, is fast approaching. The draft allot question must be sent to the Larimer County Clerk before the next meeting of the board. Bell stated the town would have until September 25 to make changes to the draft and come up with the final language to appear on the ballot.

In order to streamline the process of coming up with a draft, Bell provided the board with four possible resolutions, with varying language regarding whether the town would be collecting an excise tax or a fee. He noted it made no difference if the question to be considered by voters was a tax or a fee since both are subject to TABOR (Tax Payer Bill Of Rights) restrictions.

The board unanimously approved a draft resolution charging a seven percent tax on the purchase of recreational marijuana sales and with the monies collected to be used for sidewalk and street maintenance, parks and recreation, and law enforcement.

The trustees approved a concept plan for the proposed Farmstead development. This 280 acre development is comprised of the former O’Malley Glen and Green Acres properties. The property is located south of Highway 56 and on either side of County Line Road. The portion of the property immediately to the east of the Mary’s Farm subdivision is platted and will be the first area to be developed.

Curt Freese, community development director, gave a description of the proposed development. Among other items he addressed the street layout and pedestrian trails. He also stated the proposed concept plan calls for 12 to 14 superpad sites each of which may be zoned differently in the future.

Jim Birdsall of TB Group, agent for Painted Sky, LLC, reported the Thompson School District has chosen a site for an elementary school on the former Green Acres property east of County Line Road.

Owner of Painted Sky LLC and President of Edwards Development, William Edwards, addressed the board and related that he has strong ancestral roots to the Berthoud and Estes Park area. He stated the development he is proposing could take 10 to 20 years to complete.

The trustees heard an economic development presentation by Business Development Manager Walt Elisch. He gave the board a rundown of the major business developments including the Love’s Travel Center site, the Berthoud Technology Center and Berthoud Common. He also gave an update of the leases signed, or that are expected to be signed, for space in the old town hall.

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