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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Commissioner Donnelly Citizen Meeting

County Commissioner Tom Donnelly held his monthly citizens’ meeting at Grace Place on Wednesday, Jan 27. Special guest, Commissioner Steve Johnson, joined Donnelly for the meeting. Seven people, including Town Administrator Hart, attended the session.

Donnelly said he had no prepared topics this month and opened the floor for input.

First to speak was Becky Hemmann who had questions about the assessment on her office space. She asked how they could arrive at a value when there had been no sales for comparables in recent years.

The commissioners explained the period used for making assessments and advised her to contact the assessor’s office.

The commissioners were asked about the county budget and what they do when they run out of money. Commissioner Johnson pointed out that many county services are mandated and when money runs short that non-mandated programs have to have funding reduced.

The commissioners addressed the issue of the fair grounds buildings. Due to a flaw in the design program, the buildings are not adequately built for roof loads. Reinforcing the roofs would add additional weight that the foundations are not designed to take. The solution was to raze the building and rebuild from the ground up. The First National Bank Building will be the first project. The plan is to have it completed before the fair.

Insurance will cover the cost of reconstruction. The County will lose some revenue for events that would have been booked at the facility. The building will be rebuilt much as it looks now as that is what the  insurance covers.

The other issue that was addressed was the Horse Facilities Study. This issue addresses the boarding of horses. While county regulations permit two horses per acre, this has not applied to boarded horses, which have a limit of four per property unless a special review has been done.

Commissioner Donnelly said that there are many small horse operations around the county that were unaware of the requirement. These boarding facilities are important parts of our economy and support 4H and other youth activities. Unfortunately, the special review can cost in excess of $20,000, a sum that would put most of these facilities out of business.

Former Commissioner Rennels spearheaded the effort to get a reasonable, enforceable code that would not be onerous to the small operators. The working group for the policy consists of both large and small stable owners, neighbors, representatives from horse associations, a boarder and a realtor. You can read more about the Horse Facilities Study on the Larimer County Web site.

The Commissioners both stated that they do not want to do anything to jeopardize the stable owners.

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