By Shari Phiel
Meeting for the first time since moving to their monthly meeting format, the Berthoud Economic Resource Team tackled a number of agenda items on Monday, Feb. 23 at Berthoud Town Hall.
Town Administrator Jim White noted that Aims Community College is continuing to development the Berthoud campus site and recently appeared before the Colorado House of Representatives in reference to House Bill 1079, which concerns annexing of adjacent municipalities to existing junior college districts. White added that the bill has cleared the Committee for Local Government and will now move the House for a full vote.
While also noted that Town staff have been talking with the property owner for the former Ball Aerospace location about future needs for sewer planning. Because site application costs with the state have increased “exponentially”, Town staff will proceed cautiously with their planning.
One particular item of good news White shared was that the Town has received a grant in the amount of $109,000 for the police building on Massachusetts Avenue. White noted the grant monies are “part of the efforts of historic preservation” and will likely be used for work on the façade and to stabilize the existing brickwork.
Another item of particular interest to Berthoud’s business owners was the news that new signage along U.S. Highway 287 north of Berthoud has finally been installed. Additional signs will be installed on other major highway points, some as early as later this week. Business owners and Town staff hope the new signs will direct passers-by not familiar with the area to stop in, do some shopping and grab a bite to eat.
Updates from the work groups started with the shovel-ready work group, which joined with the business attraction workgroup, and an update from Mina Cox who noted the group has made progress in several areas.
“We now have maps that we can provide to brokers, listing agents, that type of things, of all the different properties that we have identified for a primary employment opportunity,” said Cox.
She noted the properties are divided into different tiers, such as tier one, tier two, etc., to note their current state of readiness. The group has identified about a half-dozen properties with another four or five that are still filling out the documents necessary for the group to review. Cox added the group hopes to have the maps available shortly on the Town of Berthoud Web site.
The shovel-ready group has also been talking with CBeyond – an integrated voice-over-IP telecommunications company that primarily contracts with small businesses. CBeyond has expressed an interest in providing exclusive pricing to the Town and would put in new infrastructure as well.
The marketing team, as reported by Larry Leach, has created a “Pay-it-Forward” coupon and poster they will be rolling out to businesses. Volunteers are needed to help canvas local businesses and get the word out.
The team is also looking at ideas for a new Town logo to replace the “Garden Spot of Colorado” logo currently used. Leach noted that previous discussions about the logo indicate most people want to capture Berthoud’s history and agricultural beginnings and combine that would a look toward the future and new technologies.
The last item of the evening came from Berthoud Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Don Dana. The Chamber is conducting a “BERT Wants to Know” survey which can be completed online or printed out and mailed in. Copies of the survey will hopefully be available at local businesses soon as well. The survey asks what kinds of businesses or services would local residents like to see in Town and also what kinds of businesses or services do you have to go outside of Berthoud to get. For more information, visit the Chamber Web site at www.berthoudcolorado.com.