Busy evening for the city council

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Tuesday’s regular meeting of Berthoud’s board of directors took place later than usual as trustees heard several project proposals in town, received overviews of new architectural standards and individual guidelines, approved at unanimously passed the 2021 version of the International Property Maintenance Code and got a look at the 2022 draft budget.

During the public participation segment of the meeting, which lasted nearly an hour, several residents of Berthoud came forward to defend administrator May Soricelli who, as published in a letter to the editor of this publication on Oct. 7, was itself the subject of an email sent by administrator Jeff Hindman that was sent to the Thompson School District Education Council (TSD). The correspondence, which was printed in its entirety in the October 7 issue of the Surveyor, contained several personal attacks and falsely represented statements made regarding Soricelli’s public involvement as a parent of three TSD students at two council meetings. school in September.

Berthoud resident Scott Slaugh, who spoke in favor of Soricelli, called for Hindman’s resignation, “for the sake of the city,” citing the correspondence in question as well as other issues of the past and ” the dispute continues ”.

Following public comments, Mayor Will Karspeck spoke up for Soricelli, saying: “I didn’t get the impression that Administrator Soricelli was giving the impression that she was speaking on behalf of the board. (from the city of Berthoud) during meetings (TSD).

Soricelli reiterated his claim that while speaking to the TSD board, his attendance at said meetings was in the role of a parent of TSD students. Hindman, who has no school children in TSD, defended the email by saying it was on the public record as well as its actions throughout his 15 years on the board, cited his support to the TSD’s mask warrant and claimed that he had been personally attacked by Soricelli in the past.

The council heard presentations from two artists, Tim Upham and Joshua Weiner, who submitted design proposals for large art exhibitions at the roundabouts that will serve the east and west sides of Highway 56 and the I-25 interchange. The board was very positive about the two proposals which fell under the $ 350,000 budget and, recording their preferences on scrap paper, the vote was 5-2 in favor of Upham’s design. The board of directors then officially voted unanimously, 7-0, to allow city staff to contract with Upham for the project.

The board received a presentation from Mike Schroetlin of Schroetlin Custom Homes, LLC, regarding the Old Town Hall building and the adjacent grocery store located at the intersection of Massachusetts Ave./Third Street. The city wants to sell the property, the zoning of which allows residential type townhouse properties as well as light businesses, to a developer.

The city has set out several guiding principles, including the design concept which includes an open-air plaza, two to three stories high, preserves the old bank building at the east end of the property, including including light retail and / or food / beverage establishments and remain consistent with the ‘artistic / creative uses that are currently located in this area of ​​town’.

Schroetlin’s proposal calls for the purchase of the property for $ 250,000 and calls for all building permits, impact charges, water, sewer charges and sales taxes to be waived. The presentation read in part: “Without incentives and reduced selling prices, we don’t think the numbers make sense to undertake a speculative project like this here. The lower price and the incentives would help us compensate for potentially longer than normal rental periods. “

The initial design concept envisioned a flexible two-story retail space, with an alfresco plaza on the south front with four three-bedroom, 2,200-square-foot townhouses with detached two-car garages with access to a lane on the north side of the property.

The trustees only seemed lukewarm, but at the same time sympathetic, to the inclusion of the townhouses on the site but, according to Schroetlin, the sale of the residential space will go a long way in ensuring that the development of the site is financially beneficial. for the company . The board voted unanimously to discuss further details on the design concept and provide feedback at an executive session next week.

The board of directors voted 7-0 to approve Berthoud Ballot Issue 6B, which would increase property taxes in the community library district of Berthoud by $ 1,275,000 per year from 2022 with small increases equal to the inflation plus annual local growth to build a new, larger library.

City administrator Chris Kirk brought good news to the council regarding the city’s finances while also giving the first look at the 2022 budget proposal. Kirk explained: “From a global perspective, all of our funds are in good condition. Our revenues this year exceed our budget figures quite significantly. Kirk said the city will budget conservatively, but that priorities set by the board of directors, such as aggressive budgeting for street and sidewalk maintenance and the pursuit of continuous improvements to parks and amenities. hobbies, seem achievable.

The next ordinary meeting of the municipal council of Berthoud will take place on October 26.

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