The Town is seeking help with pursuing and writing grants to help fund projects. “We are deeply committed to the process of grant writing,” said Town Administrator Jim White during a discussion of the matter at the Tuesday, May 5 board meeting. “We’d like to regroup on our strategy and what we need to focus on.”
Mayor Tom Patterson pointed out that although White and others on the Town staff have experience with grants, the time they have to spend on them is limited because of their primary responsibilities. The trustees agreed that hiring someone on a part-time basis would be beneficial.
White said that traditionally the Town has gone after grants to help fund anticipated projects, such as one on Mountain Avenue. Trustee Michael Patterson pointed out that there are grants available not tied to specific projects that could be beneficial to the Town. While helping write a recent grant proposal it was discovered the Town was not eligible, Patrick said he learned of another opportunity with the USDA that appeared viable for businesses.
“We need to rent or buy a grant writer,” said Trustee Glen Buckingham.
Roundabout Design Presented
A design for the roundabout at the First Street entrance to the Town includes a 40-foot windmill, a sign with electronic messaging capabilities and extensive landscaping. While presenting his plan to the Town Board on May 5, Jim Birdsall of The Birdsall Group said the intention is to create an inviting landscape to reinforce the Town’s garden spot theme and to offset the loss of large old trees that will be removed for the project.
The planned Welcome to Berthoud sign at the roundabout includes lengthy area in which electronic messages could be placed, if approved by the Colorado Department of Transportation, which is reviewing the plan. The sign also would have downward directed lighting so it can be seen at night. Town Administrator Jim White said that during a staff meeting about the design, he learned that CDOT prohibits electronic signs at roundabouts.
Trustee Glen Buckingham thought the sign should have lighting, shouldn’t look “cheesy,” and Trustee Dick Shepard also thought the windmill should be made of stainless steel for durability.
The Town Board is planning to pass a resolution supporting the roundabout plan at a future meeting.
BERT Deliverables Reviewed
Trustees discussed a list of deliverables submitted by the Berthoud Economic Resource Team during the May 5 meeting. The 22 projects that set goals for the Town include emphasis on grant acquisition, a water and sewer policy to attract primary employers, and a formalized fast track review process for commercial development.
Town Administrator Jim White said that department directors had started working on the list and coming back with explanations about what could be accomplished.
The board also discussed the Utility Advisory Board’s role in setting water and sewer policy and its relationship to the Town’s present one. Speaking in behalf of BERT, Scott Banzhaf said that the Town could use its water resources as a bargaining chip to entice primary employers.
As part of the marketing plan, the BERT marketing team is also planning to develop a Web site with information for potential developers.