Wastewater rates to decrease

Rudy Hemmann

The Surveyor

At Tuesday evening’s town board meeting, Senior Accountant Cindy Leach presented the final draft of the proposed 2018 budget. She noted this would be the last time for the trustees to request changes be made to the proposed budget.

The highlight of her report was the revelation that wastewater rates would be decreasing by seven percent, while at the same time water rates will be increasing just three percent. The changes in water and wastewater rates are supported by rate studies conducted this year.

Town staff requested four supplemental appropriations to the 2017 budget. An information sheet of the item states: “There are four items that were not in the 2017 budget that need to be completed in 2017. These items did not have funds appropriated for their purpose and we request funds be appropriated now to allow completion of these projects.

  • “We (town staff) have previously discussed the desire to retire two of the wastewater bonds. This retirement would reduce the accrued interest by more than $150,000 over the next few years. The appropriation amount needed to retire these two bond debts is approximately $1,049,000. This would include a principle payment of $995,000 plus accrued interest. These monies would be appropriated from the Wastewater Capital Investment Fund.” (It is the early retirement of these two bonds that allows the wastewater fees to be reduced by seven percent.)
  • “We (staff) are requesting an additional $750,000 be appropriated from the Source of Supply Fund to allow for water-share purchases. The 2017 budget approved $500,000 for water purchases. The additional $750,000 would make the total appropriation $1,250,000.”
  • “The bridge on Weld County Road 44 was approved for construction management and construction at the board meeting of Sept. 26. The supplement for this project was not properly advertised at that time. Advertising for the supplemental appropriations has been done, so we are requesting this supplemental appropriation for $1,300,000 from the Road Impact Fund be approved.”
  • “The 2018 proposed budget included $1,000,000 for a service center. Discussion from the Board of Trustees during the presentation resulted in requests for site plans and design options. We are requesting $75,000 be appropriated from the Public Facilities Fund to allow procurement of a consultant and architect to obtain these plans.”

A motion to approve a resolution authorizing the supplemental appropriation of funds was made, seconded and unanimously approved by the board.

Beginning in 2009 the trustees seated at the time took measures to increase residential development in Berthoud. These measures included changing the timing of when some building permit fees were collected while other permit fees were reduced and, in other instances removed altogether. These steps were taken to entice developers to revisit the town.

The development community has found Berthoud once again, and town staff believes it is time to begin charging the full amount for residential building permits and collecting all fees up front rather than postponing a few until a Certificate of Occupancy is issued.

The trustees directed staff to draft an ordinance rescinding earlier ordinances which changed the timing or the amounts of permit payments, with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2018.

Public Works Director Stephanie Brothers briefed the trustees regarding the town’s five-year street pavement plan. Each of the streets within the town limits is given a grade and it is that grade which helps to determine when a street needs attention, as well as the level of attention. She stated some streets in town receive a failing grade due to asphalt being too thin. Brothers stated the streets would be evaluated again in the spring after the freeze/thaw cycle ends and the plan spreadsheet will be updated.

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