By Shari Phiel
Monday’s bitter cold clearly had an effect on the turnout for the Berthoud Economic Resource Team’s biweekly meeting in the Town Hall boardroom. Luckily, the team had a relatively short agenda to tackle.
Town Administrator Jim White got the meeting rolling with a few updates. Town staff was recently contacted by a property owner in the Interstate-25 area. The owner is in discussions with a solar energy company and may need to develop the property further sometime in the future. White also noted the Town has received a referral from the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation which will be explored further.
BERT Chair Becky Justice-Hemmann recently contacted Meryl Hart, owner of a now-closed gallery on Mountain Avenue, about using the location for an artist co-op. Hart did express an interest in either selling or leasing the location for such a use. Although discussions are in the very early stages, previous discussions about the benefits of opening an artist’s co-op were very favorable.
A new workgroup has been created to better fit with the team’s workflow and help reach goals for 2009. The new group is called the business attraction team and joins the shovel-ready workgroup, the marketing workgroup and the business retention workgroup.
Another change coming to BERT is the frequency of their meetings. Rather than meeting every other week, the individual workgroups will regularly meet each week, providing frequent updates to the entire group, and a group meeting will be held on the third Monday of each month.
Stephanie Salazar, who was unable to be at the meeting because of inclement weather, provided comments on the new team prior to the meeting. “These meetings are a great arena to deliver progress reports, identify areas of progress, test big picture ideas and define team recommendations to be delivered to the board.”
BERT team members present at the Tuesday meeting were also given the opportunity to move to other workgroups that might better suit their needs or interests, several of which did move. Team members not at the meeting will also be given the opportunity to move workgroups as well.
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Don Dana informed the group they have received a request from Realities for Children to add Berthoud as a stop on their Memorial Day weekend Joker’s Wild Realities Run. The May 24 motorcycle fundraiser would draw 3,000 motorcyclists into Berthoud creating a much-needed revenue opportunity for local businesses.
Dana noted joining the event would require a serious commitment from the Town, business owners and the community. Along with the increased traffic and revenue, Berthoud would need to provide entertainment, beer stands, restroom facilities and other items for the day.
Berthoud Day, which will use many of the same resources needed for the poker run, will be held the following weekend and may be able to offset some of the additional expense. Dana will be working with Chamber and Town staff to look into this further.
Last but not least, Director of Planning Tim Katers provided an update on the Planning and Zoning Department’s recent efforts. Katers distributed a new zoning map noting “If you’re not in the older part of Berthoud, you’re a P.U.D.” Katers added that outside of showing which areas fall under the Planned Unit Development zoning, the map “doesn’t tell you anything else.”
Although noting it was important to update the current zoning map, Katers is also working on a more detailed map, somewhat similar to a comprehensive plan map, which will provide more information of what is occurring inside specific developments and areas.
The next BERT meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the Town Hall boardroom. Anyone interested in learning more about the group, specific activities or just Berthoud’s overall economic health is encouraged to attend.