Trustees bugged by mosquito question

By Rudy Hemmann
The Surveyor

The Berthoud Board of Trustees held a regular business meeting Tuesday evening. Soon after beginning the meeting the board became mired in the annual discussion concerning the best methods to control mosquito populations in town.

Berthoud Parks and Recreation Director Jeremy Olinger, Northern Colorado Operations Manager for Colorado Mosquito Control (CMC) Broox Boze, and Katie O’Donnell, public information officer for the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, took turns answering questions and giving the board members information regarding mosquitos.

Olinger deferred to Boze and O’Donnell regarding any technical commentary or to answer questions of a technical nature from the trustees.

Boze informed the trustees that the first Berthoud trap inspected by CMC this year contained 2,100 mosquitos compared to 427 in the first count last year. She said trap counts were abnormally high this year statewide due to the recent heavy rains and warmer temperatures. She speculated that many of the trapped mosquitos came into town from agricultural areas outside of town.

O’Donnell stated CMC had not yet begun testing trapped mosquitos for West Nile Virus. She also noted during discussion, mosquitos can travel as much as 10 miles a day.

The mitigation method used exclusively by the town is the distribution of larvicide in areas of standing water within the town limits. Boze stated it was often difficult to gain permission to treat agricultural areas adjacent to the town.

Mayor David Gregg allowed a period of public comment with four residents taking the podium to speak on the issue of mosquito control. Two spoke for allowing fogging and two spoke against the issue.

Similarly, battle lines have apparently already been drawn within the town’s population, with one contingent ready to call for fogging and the other being against any fogging at any time; relying exclusively on the larvicide and personal protection (clothing which covers exposed areas, insect repellant, etc.)

Boze and O’Donnell informed the board, counts from traps in Berthoud have typically been much higher than in surrounding communities.

The trustees eventually agreed to use the county’s trigger of a West Nile Virus health emergency as the trigger for the town to begin an emergency fogging program. Boze stressed in the event fogging were to begin residents would no longer be able to “opt out” from being fogged.

Boze and O’Donnell agreed to assist staff in developing a resolution concerning the above issue the board could review and vote on at a meeting in the near future.

Hoime plan approved

The trustees approved a concept plan and zoned a property referred to as the Hoime Development. According to Sherry Albertson-Clark, the tract in question consists of approximately five acres north of Larimer County Road (LCR) 10E between LCR 17 and North Fourth Street.

The owner/developer of the property, Alex Hoime, requested R-1 zoning for the tract.

The concept plan presented by Hoime indicates he intends to subdivide the property into 11 lots approximately .25 acre each in addition to a 1.03-acre lot which contains his residence. The development will be accessed by a single street which runs north from LCR 10E and ends in a cul-de-sac approximately 566 feet to the north.

During a public hearing, one resident of the adjacent Berthoud Lake Ranchettes development, which was developed to county guidelines 25 to 30 years ago and remains in the county, took the podium to speak against the Hoime proposal. The primary objection voiced by the resident was lot size, since their lots approach a half acre in size.

The trustees unanimously approved both the zoning request and the concept plan.

In other action:

Trustees heard a presentation by Del Hunter, the town’s technology consultant, regarding his estimate of the cost to bring the town hall audio/video systems into the 21st century. He estimated anywhere from $45,000 to $80,000 and was seeking direction from the board.

Following a brief discussion the trustees authorized staff to develop a Request for Proposal (RFP) and to circulate the RFP among qualified vendors.

Trustees heard a presentation by Senior Accountant Cindi Leach regarding the April 2015 financial report. Following comments concerning the specific information the trustees would like to see as a part of future reports, a motion to accept the April 2015 financial reports was made, seconded and approved unanimously.

Heard a report concerning the 2014 audit of the town’s books by Wendy Swanhorst of the audit firm Swanhorst & Company LLC. She indicated the town easily passed the audit. A motion to accept the results of the 2014 audit was made, seconded and unanimously approved.

During reports, Albertson-Clark reported the number of roofing building permits due to last July’s hail storm stands at 772 as of May 31. She also reported the number of permit-ready lots is at 70, with another 25 lots soon to become available in the PrairieStar project.