Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Kim Glasscock

NCA to hold candidates forum


September 15, 2016

The Niwot Community Association plans to hold a candidates’ forum in early October for the four candidates for two open seats on the Boulder County Board of Commissioners.

Democrat incumbent Deb Gardner of Longmont is being challenged by Republican Paul Danish of Longmont. Republican Kevin Sipple of Eldorado Springs is running against incumbent Democrat Elise Jones of Boulder. Commissioners are elected by all Boulder County voters but represent districts where they reside while on the board.

The forum will be informational and not a debate, the NCA board of directors agreed at its September 7 meeting. An NCA moderator will read questions to the candidates, and each will have an opportunity to respond. Questions and topics will be gathered from NCA members through the NCA’s website at Niwot.org. There will be a posting on the website asking for questions soon.

“We don’t expect to have any direct interaction between the audience and the candidates during the forum, so it is very important that people submit their questions and issues to our website,” NCA President Dick Piland said.

The date for the forum will be announced as soon as it is set, Piland said. Organizers are planning to hold it in the Left Hand Grange in Niwot.

Roads Tax Ballot Issue

NCA board members agreed to serve only as a community resource for information about the proposed Boulder County property tax increase on the November ballot, and to not take a position on the issue.

The ballot measure calls for increasing property taxes on all county property owners by 0.785 mills for 15 years, which equates to about a $25 yearly increase in property taxes on a house valued at $400,000 and $65 a year on a $1 million home.

If approved by voters, the proposal is expected to generate about $5.5 million each year for the county’s road and bridge fund. Boulder County municipalities would receive about $2.3 million yearly and the remaining $3.2 million of the yearly tax funds would be used by the county to rehabilitate unincorporated subdivision roads.

There are about 150 miles of unincorporated county subdivision roads with about 30 miles classified as “community use” roads by the county. Commissioners have committed to continue using current funds for rehabilitating those roads, regardless of the outcome of the property tax increase. The revenues raised through the current ballot proposal would fund repairs on the remaining 120 miles of roads.

County transportation officials estimate that it costs about $450,000 a mile to reconstruct poor condition roads, $300,000 a mile to mill and overlay roads in fair condition, and $225,000 a mile to overlay roads in good condition. If approved by voters, the proposed tax revenues would fund improving all unincorporated subdivision roads in about 13-14 years, transportation officials say.

“This tax increase proposal has both upsides and downsides,” Piland said. “Do we want to endorse it, oppose it or just provide information about it?”

“We are usually politically neutral on most issues,” Area 2 Representative Craig Rahenkamp said. “I suggest that we remain that way on this tax issue.”

“It would be good to serve as a community resource for information on this ballot question,” NCA Secretary Lance Goff said. “We could post clear and succinct information on our website about the pros and the cons of the tax proposal.”

“We want people to vote as informed citizens,” membership chair John Barrett agreed. “I see our role as information providers.”

In other matters, the board agreed to support Niwot Elementary School by placing an ad in the school directory put together by the Parent Teacher Advisory Council (PTAC).


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