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Larimer County Board of Commissioners Administrative Matters 1/9/24

by Lee Thielen


For more information (including members in attendance) see the full notes document here.*


View the meeting agenda and packet.


From the Larimer Board of County Commissioners website: Larimer's three-member Board of County Commissioners is the main policy-making body in the County and works to represent the interest of the citizens of Larimer County at local, state, and national levels. Commissioners are elected at large from one of three geographic districts for four-year staggered terms. In Larimer County, Commissioners are limited to serving three four-year terms.


Major Points 

  • Citizen concern over raising of property taxes 

  • 4-H members disappointed in restriction of homemade goods at the Ranch

  • Public documents now searchable online for citizens opting in


Present 

Commissioners Stephens, Kefalas, and Shadduck-McNally

Staff: County Manager Volker, staff from County Commissioners Office and Clerk and Recorder


Public Comment

Twelve people presented during the Public Comment period about two issues:

  1. The increase in property taxes due to assessments showing large increases.

  2. The decision by the Director of the Ranch that homemade food could not be sold at the bake sale at the 4-H annual carnival and auction.


Speakers stated: The increases should be kept to no more than 4%; the BOCC should clarify budget numbers; the BOCC should reduce the anticipated salary increases for county staff; there should be a permanent cut of 3.5 mills on property; municipalities should be better stewards of our money.


Speakers addressing the 4-H request stated: The bake sale has been part of the tradition since the carnival began 65 years ago; the Larimer Department of Health and Environment has not required a food service license; the decision by the Ranch Manager shows a lack of support for the 4-H Foundation and clubs; youth learn by doing (including making baked goods); the 4-H programs are treated as an afterthought by the Ranch.


Commissioner Stephens addressed both issues.  She said the BOCC are offering a mill levy credit. Also, employees are paid based on studies that align salaries with the market. She said municipal taxes are not under the Commissioners purview. Regarding the 4-H issues, the 4-H Foundation was given a notice a year ago that this would be the practice in 2024. It is a food safety issue.


Commissioner Shadduck-McNallly stated that the 4-H program is not expected to make money for the Ranch. The County has invested $17,000,000 in a new building for 4-H. She promised commissioners would look into the Health Department approving the sale of homemade food. Food allergies are an issue. Regarding the mill levy, Shadduck-McNally said that we did not raise taxes; assessment went up. The state legislature has added some uncertainty to the revenue issues, but, she claims the commissioners are working at being transparent about the county budget and taxes. Larimer County is a high-risk county that has experienced big delays from reimbursement from FEMA. Thus, she said, there is a need for a fund to cover disaster and recovery costs. 


Commissioner Kefalas stated that a public meeting on Monday, Jan. 10, 2024 at 3:30 p.m. will discuss the decisions on mill levy credits. He also invited people to attend the Wellington Community Conversation on the first Thursday at the T-Bar where Ranch and extension staff will be present. This will be on February 1 at 7:30-9 a.m.


Consent Agenda includes an agreement for joint funding of traffic signals in Loveland with both parties paying $104,000. 


Citizens can search public documents.

Clerk and Recorder Tina Harris presented regarding a new service which will allow people to do on-line searches of their public documents. It is called Recording Activity Notification. It is an opt-in service. 


Express lanes are free, but not for long. 

The Commissioners noted that the express lanes are open in segments 6-7-8 on I-25 and are free until spring. They noted that people must not cross the double lines on the road. 


Counties aim to cooperate on transit issues, oil and gas, and high ozone days.

The Commissioners are working with Colorado Counties Inc (CCI) and Counties and Commissioners Acting Together (CCAT) on legislative priorities which may include proposed regulation of oil and gas operations, passenger rail, a statewide transit pass, and high ozone day restrictions.


All three Commissioners will march on Monday at the Martin Luther King public event. 


The meeting adjourned at 10:41 a.m.


Next Meetings:

Administrative Matters, Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 9 a.m. 201 Laporte Ave., Fort Collins 80521

Also,

Public meeting on Mill Levy Credits, Jan. 10, 3:30 p.m., same place.

Wellington Community Conversation, Feb. 1, 7:30-9 a.m. at the T-Bar, 3803 W. Cleveland Ave., Wellington, CO 80549


*Citizen Observers further the commitment of the League of Women Voters to its principle of Citizens Right to Know, however, we are not acting as journalists. Omissions and errors are possible. It is assumed that users of this information are responsible for their own fact-checking. This could include contacting a government clerk, conversing with an elected official or staff, and/or asking us to speak to the Observer who attended.

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