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Wellington Board of Trustees 12/12/23

by Nanci Wendland

For more information see the full notes document here.*

View the meeting agenda and packet.

A video recording of the meeting is available here.

From the Town of Wellington website: “The purpose of this board is to provide outstanding municipal services for the community of Wellington both today and tomorrow.” 

Key Points from the Dec. 12, 2023, meeting

Darin Roberson, Sage Farms developer, wants to swap some land as he continues to design his 25-year residential and commercial development plan for Wellington. 

Continued Ordinance No. 51-2023 for annexation of Sage Farms and Village at Sage Farms has been continued to the January 23, 2024, meeting. Sage Farms and Village at Sage Farms is a 25 year, 300-acre residential and commercial PUD (planned unit development) approved in Sept. 2023. Roberson, the developer, needs additional time to resolve water rights and wells for the project but he found a small plot, 13 acres west of Ridleys Supermarket, and is asking to swap 13 acres from the Sage Farms project on the NE corner of Hwy 1 and County Rd. 58 to develop this small plot right away. The 13 acres is currently a floodplain with railroad easements. Roberson said he can develop this small plot quickly in 2024 and plans to put in a park with tennis and pickleball courts closer to downtown. 

The board unanimously approved the land swap and moved further annexation plans of Sage Farms and Village at Sage Farms to the January 23, 2024, meeting. 

The Wellington 2024 budget has been adopted but the board is conflicted on potential new hires. 

Interim Town Treasurer and Finance Director, Don Rhoades summarized changes to the budget draft.

  1. The reduction in property tax revenue will be approximately $137,000 and is already accounted for in the budget.

  2. General Fund expenses have been further reduced by approximately $132,000.

  3. Special projects in the water/sewer fund have been pushed out another year. 

  4. A splash pad renovation at the community park will finish in 2023, so the parks fund won’t have to realize that expense in 2024. 

  5. The total operating budget for 2024 is $68.6 million. Rhoades said the bottom line of all town funds meets what the board said it will allow.

Director Rhoades recommends a financial review at the close of Quarter 1, and another review mid-year to make sure the town is on track financially. The trustees reviewed wage and salary increases again with no resolve. 

Trustee Gaitor proposed amending the budget to remove all new positions available for town staff, to be re-evaluated and added later if agreed, potentially after April 9. A board vote did not approve the amendment: Yes – 3, and No – 4 (Mayor Chaussee, Mayor Pro Tem Macdonald, Trustee Daily and Mason voted no).

Trustee Tietz proposed an amendment to the budget for an additional $100,000 to hire an Economic Development professional. This person would assist in bringing additional business to Wellington, increasing sales tax revenue, and helping any budget shortfalls. Most trustees think this is a good idea but want additional information and agree to bring this subject back later in 2024. The board did not approve the amendment: Yes – 3, and No – 4 (Mayor Chaussee, Trustee Daily, Gaitor, and Mason voted no).

A final vote to approve the 2024 budget as is passed: Yes – 4, No – 3 (Trustees Gator, Weigand, and Tietz voted no).

Wellington Town Attorney resigns from current legal firm and starts his own business.   

Resolution No. 55-2023: A resolution to approve a contract with Poudre Legal Advisors, LLC. March & Olive, LLC have provided legal services to Northern Colorado for the past 75 years. Sapienza joined as a partner and has served Wellington for decades. March & Olive are not renewing their contract with the town for 2024. Attorney Sapienza, who is very familiar with Wellington business resigned from March & Olive, and opened his own law firm, Poudre Legal Advisors, LLC.

Sapienza spoke to the board about his interest in continuing legal work with Wellington. He said he enjoys working with the town and its businesses. 

The board voted unanimously to approve: Yes – 6 and No – 0.

The board approved the 2024 Statement of Work and budget agreement between the Larimer County Sheriff’s department and the town of Wellington.  

Resolution No. 53-2023: A resolution considering the 2024 statement of work and budget agreement by and between the County of Larimer and the town of Wellington.  Sheriff Feyen presented their scope of work, which isn’t changing, and a $1.98 million dollar budget to protect the residents of Wellington. Mayor Chaussee said the sheriff’s culture in Wellington has been incredible. They aren’t there to just write tickets and increase revenue. The board likes the way the sheriffs have become a part of the community with their outreach services.

Public Comment 

Lisa Chollet, Chair of Safe Routes to School non-profit group said her organization received approval for 1 of 4 grants. This grant will provide $10,000. The group plans to prioritize infrastructure and she’s looking forward to working with Director Bird on design plans.   

The meeting was adjourned at 9:58 p.m. 

Next Meeting: Jan. 9, 2024 @ 6:30 p.m. The Leeper Center, 3800 Wilson Avenue, Wellington, CO


What special projects from the 2024 water/sewer fund will be pushed out to 2025 and what’s the risk?

What infrastructure will be built to increase safety for safe routes to school?

*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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