Trustees to enact a ban on puppy mill pet sales

By Rudy Hemmann

The Surveyor

The Berthoud Board of Trustees took action on a wide range of issues during the board meeting held Tuesday evening.

Following the recommendation of staff, the trustees awarded the contract for the Weld County Road (WCR) 7 pavement replacement project to Kehn Construction. According to an information sheet for the item, Kehn was the low bidder for the project, with a bid $1,098,127.71. Other firms which placed bids, and their bid amounts for the project are Mountain Contractors ($1,154,105) and Duran Excavating ($1,374,735).

In her assessment of Kehn Construction, Town Engineer Stephanie Brothers noted Kehn is in a position to begin the project and get it finished in a reasonable amount of time, and the town has worked successfully with Kehn over the past 12 years. She also indicated the firm has been working on paving projects in some of the newer subdivisions in town.

Brothers reported other financial contributors to the project are Extraction Oil & Gas, ($250,000) Department of Local Affairs (Dola), ($400,000) and Weld County ($100,000).

Following brief discussion by the trustees a motion authorizing the town administrator to award the 2019 WCR 7 pavement replacement project to Kehn Construction was made, seconded and passed unanimously.

Dan and Rudi Taylor proposed the trustees enact on an ordinance prohibiting pet stores “from selling, bartering, auctioning, or otherwise disposing of dogs born or raised in inhumane commercial facilities (puppy mills) and to promote the adoption of rescue animals.”

Rudi stated she and Dan became aware of the issue and they traveled throughout the Midwest rescuing puppies from inhumane conditions.

During board discussion some of the trustees stated a desire to include “companion animals” in the ordinance. Town Administrator Chris Kirk noted the ordinance as written was limited to dogs but offered staff could rewrite the ordinance and insert “companion animals” wherever the word “dogs” appeared and present the revised ordinance at a future meeting.

Jim Hinkle of Hinkle and Company presented the 2018 audit of the town’s financials to the board.

During his presentation he reported no substantial issues with the methods and practices being used by town staff.

Two minor issues are:

The following internal control weaknesses and other recommendations were reported in past years but have not been implemented.

Building permits and fees

A manual spreadsheet is used in the planning department to track the fees owed once building projects are completed. We recommend that the town explore the possibility of using the accounting system to account for the building-related fees. This would allow for better internal controls and a more efficient accounting process. We understand new software was installed subsequent to the year end and is currently being implemented.

The way reimbursements are being handled was the second minor issue.

Hinkle reported there were no disagreements with management and no difficulties encountered in performing the audit. Staff was helpful and acted in a professional way throughout the audit process.

A motion to accept the results of the 2018 audit was made, seconded and passed unanimously.

An ordinance establishing street-tree work permits and street-tree replacement program were considered by the board. Brief descriptions of the work permit and the replacement program follows:

Street Tree Work Permit

The Street Tree Work Permit is for all trees located in the town’s street rights-of-way.

Implementing a work permit program would require Berthoud property owners to apply for approval from the Town of Berthoud to conduct any type of work on trees located in the

street rights-of-way or tree lawn. Requiring property owners to apply for a permit before

allowing work would give town staff notice to regulate removals and inadequate

pruning/maintenance of street. Doing so will allow staff to more effectively manage the

trees in Berthoud’s urban forest.

This application process and future permitting will provide timely oversight for any trees removed, maintained, or treated within street rights-of-way with good cause and inspection from the town forester.

Street Tree Replacement Program

The Street Tree Replacement Program is intended to assist property owners in replacing

lost and/or removed trees within street rights-of-way. With the emerald ash borer slowly

spreading throughout Boulder County, the Town of Berthoud should prepare for its arrival

in the community. Removing and replacing small diameter ash, unhealthy ash, and poorly

located ash is a vital part to the town’s EAB Management and Response Plan, which is

currently in place for staff to use.

This ordinance would add all species of trees and any unforeseen tree epidemics into the

newly drafted application process to include all trees in rights-of-way. This application

process and future program will provide replacement trees for any trees removed within

street rights-of-way with good cause and inspection from the town forester.

A motion approving the ordinance was made, seconded and approved unanimously.

Next week a report concerning water issues by Paul Zilis.

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