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Larimer County Board of County Commissioners - 10/24/23

by Nanci Wendland

See the full notes document here.*



From the Board of Commissioners website: Larimer's 3-member Board of County Commissioners is the main policymaking 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.


Summary

A resident of Loveland offered public comment calling out Commissioner Stephens as being contradictory during a September meeting when she mentioned that the county will not keep increased property tax revenues while waiting for the outcome of Prop HH.

District III Chair Shadduck-McNally read a list of Consent Agendas (see list below) and all commissioners voted to approve.


Three discussion items were on the agenda with 2 items presenting awards: one award to UC Health and the other award to 2 District Attorneys (details below).


Public Comment about Prop HH

A resident of Loveland offered public comment by calling into the meeting. He called out Commissioner Stephens as being contradictory during a September meeting when she mentioned that the county will not keep increased property tax revenues while waiting for the outcome of Prop HH. He agrees the county will not keep the increase in revenues while waiting for Prop HH to be voted on: The county will spend it, he said. He suggested returning the potential $38 million windfall to residents by lowering the mill levy ahead of time. Don’t wait for Prop HH and de-Brucing to take place. The residents’ 3-minute speaking time was up, and he could not finish his thoughts.


Commissioner Stephens responded by assuring the resident that she was not being contradictory or underhanded about the situation. The county does have to wait for the results of Proposition HH. Commissioner Stephens said, “If Prop HH doesn’t pass, Larimer County will not keep the windfall from higher property taxes.”


Consent Agenda Voting

District III Chair Shadduck-McNally read 25 items from the Consent Agenda. The commissioners voted and approved all items (detailed on the meeting agenda).

  1. Abatement of Taxes: 1

  2. Agreements: 2 PID’s (Public Improvement District)

  3. Appointments: 10 appointments to various county boards, committees, and districts.

  4. Deeds: 1 dedication of right-of-way on personal property

  5. Legal action and stipulation of taxes: 4

  6. Policies: 2 internal HR policy corrections

  7. Resolutions: 5

Discussion Items

The 2024 Visit Estes Park Operating Plan approved, includes boost for housing and childcare for local workers

An annual operating plan for the program Visit Estes Park must be adopted and approved each year by the town trustees and county commissioners. Assistant County Manager Kadrich and CEO of Visit Estes Park Franker reviewed the proposed operating plan, including a proposal for workforce housing and childcare funding.


CEO Franker has been working on an operating plan that supports local businesses and increases the town’s sustainability. Her plan includes extending the tourist season by adding additional holiday events along with taking over Dead Guy Days in March from Nederland. CEO Franker shared her success with gaining national coverage of Estes Park by appearing on the Today show twice over the summer. She has a future appearance scheduled on the CBS network.


CEO Franker has been in her position for 2 years. During this time, she’s created digital advertising, data tracking, and in-person surveys that are better defining the Estes Park visitor marketing base. In 2024, she plans to increase AI use as a digital and virtual travel agent connecting visitors to the website with upcoming events, and even booking their trips and visits immediately for them if requested. This AI program is currently in the beta-testing phase.


Estes Park is the first city in Colorado to increase the lodging tax from 2% to 5%. These taxes are sent to the state but then refunded back to Estes Park. CEO Franker will use these tax funds to assist with housing and childcare costs for local workers struggling to live in Estes Park.


Commissioners unanimously approved the 2024 Visit Estes Park operating plan.


Behavioral Health Services formally recognized UCHealth Northern Colorado Foundation as the recipient of the 2023 Gary A. Darling Award, along with a $112,061 grant.


This is a very prestigious award acknowledging the work of UCHealth to bridge mental health and criminal response intervention. UCHealth pairs health workers with Fort Collins police officers when responding to distress calls. The UCHealth workers and police officers were present to accept a plaque. A picture was taken of the group with the commissioners and will hang next to the plaque at UCHealth Center.

Statewide awards were given to Chief Deputy Attorney Amanda Duhon, and Lyzni Maas, Deputy District Attorney.


Chief Deputy District Attorney Duhon was selected as Prosecutor of the Year, receiving the Robert R. Gallagher award by the Colorado District Attorney’s Council. Deputy District Attorney Maas was selected as Prosecutor of the Year by Colorado Drug Investigators Association. Together the attorneys have prevented 30+ fentanyl deaths in 2023 by finding and prosecuting the dealers. Gordon McLaughlin, District Attorney, presented their awards and a photo was taken with the commissioners.


The meeting wrapped up with a few County Manager updates and each commissioner reviewing their recent activity reports.


Meeting adjourned 10:47 a.m.

Questions to Consider

  • What areas of the Larimer County budget will be affected by win or loss of Prop HH in Election 2023?

  • How will UCHealth use the $100K+ from the DArling grant?

  • How soon might Estes Park show any improvement for workers as result of the boost in the area’s lodging tax?

Next Meeting


Oct. 31, 2023 @ 9 a.m. Hearing Room, 1st Floor, 200 W. Oak St., Fort Collins. Zoom attendance available.


*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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