Trustees approve annexation petition

By Rudy Hemmann
The Surveyor

The Berthoud Board of Trustees heard a presentation by Kathay Rennels concerning the importance of agriculture to the overall economy of Colorado at their Tuesday meeting.

Rennels, who holds the position of assistant vice president of community and economic development at Colorado State University (CSU), gave a very brief overview of an executive summary titled “The Value Chain of Colorado Agriculture.”

The document, which is the result of a series of related studies to gauge the impact of all phases of agricultural enterprises on the statewide economy, is authored by a team of professors and post graduate students associated with the CSU Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics and the Office of Engagement.

An information sheet provided by town staff states, “A sometimes overlooked aspect of regional economic development is the (Berthoud) area’s rich history in agriculture.”

With that history in mind Town Administrator Mike Hart stated there are many areas in which Berthoud is unable to compete with Loveland and Longmont, but with respect to agriculturally-based businesses Berthoud has the advantage.

Rennels pointed out that Berthoud is well positioned within a large area that is recognized both locally and nationally as a region in which entrepreneurship and innovation flourishes. Hart echoed that statement and noted the town is also centrally located to three major university campuses.

Rennals presentation was well received by the board.

The next order of business received unanimous approval of a resolution finding a petition for annexation for a 130.85-acre tract (and associated right-of-way) located in the southwest corner of the intersection of Highway 56 and Interstate 25 to be in substantial compliance with state statutes, and set a public hearing date of Oct. 14, on the matter.

According to the staff report provided, the owners of the tract, M & C Real Estate, LLC, requested the annexation into Berthoud along with zoning the property to C-2, General Commercial.

The “associated right-of-way” referred to above amounts to 84 acres, which brings the total number of acres included in the annexation to approximately 214.85 acres.

This tract is the property subject to the recent Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between Berthoud and Johnstown which resulted in the “friendly disconnect” of the property from being annexed to Johnstown and opened the door for the annexation into Berthoud.

The trustees also unanimously approved an amendment to an IGA established in 2005 between Johnstown and Berthoud.

According to an information sheet provided by staff, a provision of the 2005 agreement would have allowed Berthoud to notify Johnstown of its intent to terminate a joint use agreement for a sewage treatment plant to be constructed downstream of the Highway 56 and I-25 intersection. Berthoud could have exercised the option to terminate the agreement in 2015. Per terms of a new IGA, which allowed for the “friendly disconnect” referenced above, the sunset option for Berthoud will no longer be permitted, unless agreed to by both parties.

During reports Trustee Chris Buckridge announced the Historic Preservation Committee had chosen Oct. 18 as the date for a hayride through the proposed residential historic district.

Interim Town Planner Sherry Albertson-Clark announced a geophysical testing company, Cougar Land Services, is approaching area landowners, primarily east of town, concerning permission to do preliminary testing as a precursor to oil and gas drilling in the area. At this time the testing involves the mapping of underground structures using soundings.

The company is interested in hosting an informational meeting in conjunction with the town to explain the exploration process to the public.

She also announced the building department staff had issues in excess of 300 roof replacement permits since the hail storm of mid-July. She also reported it was doubtful the town would issue 100 building permits for single-family residences for the year.