Resident Dorian Ryan asked the Town Board when citizens would have an opportunity to provide input about the proposed franchise agreement with Xcel Energy during the public comment portion of the July 21 meeting. Many people in the community are concerned about the increase in electric utility bills the franchise would create in addition to those anticipated from Xcel in the coming months, she said.
Trustee Glen Buckingham said the Town is not “fast tracking” this decision, but rather has had at least two meetings about the franchise agreement and presentations from power company representatives. He also said that meeting and public hearing notices are published in sufficient time for residents to learn about them.
A discussion on the franchise is scheduled for the July 28 Town Board meeting, Town Clerk Mary Cowdin said. A public hearing on the matter will take place when sufficient public notices have been published by Xcel Energy.
Trustees Review Ending Fund Balances
Town Clerk Mary Cowdin presented the Board of Trustees with information about ending fund balances in the Town’s budget at the July 21 meeting. The estimated balance for the general fund at the end of this year is $296,478—an amount that includes emergency reserves required by the state, she reported.
Cowdin pointed out that the Town’s reserve funds are down this year because of a decrease in revenues of approximately $200,000.
Trustees agreed that expenditures need to be watched closely, and that the budget for the coming year would have to be carefully planned.
“We are used to dealing with a tight budget,” Cowdin said.
Retail, Commercial Incentives Presented
Town Planner Tim Katers presented the Board of Trustees with suggestions for retail and commercial incentives at the July 21 meeting, which included an ombudsman and sales tax rebates for new businesses. During the discussion, Trustee Michael Patrick said it would be important not to negatively affect existing businesses with financial incentives for new ones.
Another proposal Katers presented for creating a special district such as a downtown development authority was supported by Trustee Glen Buckingham. He recommended that Katers refer the proposed incentives to the Berthoud Economic Resource Team for consideration.
Trustees also briefly reviewed the work that Katers and the planning and zoning commission have done on the development code revisions for the Town and discussed the necessity for full board review of preliminary plats and final development plans.