By Shari Phiel
Perhaps the most salient announcement at the Tuesday, Sept. 14 Berthoud Economic Resource Team meeting came not at the beginning meeting but at the end. That announcement — Becky Justice Hemmann, who has served as the group’s chair since its formation in July 2008, was stepping down from the role.
Although Hemmann resigned, she will continue to serve as a regular BERT member until the end of her term Aug. 31, 2010. “The Town of Berthoud means a lot to me, and I don’t want to not be involved in BERT.”
In addition to opening up the discussion to nominations for a new chair, Hemmann also suggested the position be limited to a one-year term. She made the suggestion to ensure no one person is overwhelmed by the responsibilities of the position for an indefinite period of time.
“It’s pretty common, I think, in groups like this, to have a one-year rotating chair,” said Trustee Jeff Hindman. “I think that’s good. It’s new blood, new energy.” Hindman also noted that having a one-year term for the chair position would allow more people to contribute to the group’s leadership.
While several individuals were discussed as possible replacements, Berthoud Inn and Events owner Mark Chaffee was nominated for the position, which Chaffee accepted. As the ordinance passed by the Board of Trustees in May 2008 creating the BERT group does not specify the chair or vice-chair roles, no changes to the ordinance are required.
Another topic of discussion at the meeting was the special joint meeting consisting of the Board of Trustees, Planning and Zoning Commission, Utility Advisory Board along with the BERT group to be held Tuesday, Sept. 15 at the Brookside Gardens, 619 E. Highway 56.
The special meeting was arranged by BERT and will feature guest speakers Mike Masciola from the Northern Colorado Economic Development Council and Daniel Kah of Greyhill Advisors, a national site selection company. The primary focus of the joint meeting will be to look at how Berthoud can attract primary employers to the area.
This meeting is open to the public, as are all regular and study-session BOT meetings, and begins at 7 p.m. Business owners, residents, developers and anyone interested in learning more about how primary employers can impact Berthoud’s future are encouraged to attend.
Salazar Welcomed Back
BERT welcomed back economic development consultant Stephanie Salazar who recently signed a four-month contractor agreement. Included in the contract’s scope of services are: a revised list of deliverables due by Dec. 31, recommendations for a BERT budget due next month, refinement of the list of “shovel-ready” properties, marketing projects, and a business retention and expansion program.
The total amount of Salazar’s contract is $26,000, which equals $6,500 per month. Although this is approximately 30 percent greater than the $5,000 per month Salazar received when she previously worked with the Town, interim Town Administrator Gary Suiter noted Salazar had initially discounted her fees.
The next regular BERT meeting will be Monday, Oct. 12. Monthly BERT meetings begin at 5:30 p.m. and are held in the boardroom at Town Hall. For information on the Business Attraction, Business Retention or Marketing subcommittee meetings, go online to www.Berthoud.org/econdev.php.