Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy

County places hold on incentive program


March 29, 2018

Boulder County Transportation Director George Gerstle announced last week that the county has suspended the subdivision paving incentive fund.

The reason, he said, is due to issues with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Specifically the timeliness, frequency and amounts of reimbursements the county will receive as a result of the 2013 flood.

“Until we have a better handle on how we’ll be reimbursed we want to make sure we’re not over-committing the county budget,” Gerstle said. “We’re trying to be conservative and make sure we’re not going into projects that we can’t follow through on.”

The incentive program was established in 2015 and involves the county setting aside $1 million annually as a match for subdivisions who are not eligible for reconstruction.

This was most recently used by Burgundy Park residents, who passed a Public Improvement District in November of last year.

That project, all others that have already started, those that county is contractually obligated to begin or projects needed for safety concerns will continue as planned.

The incentive program is not the only thing on hold. While most flood recovery projects will continue, there will be no new work starting. This includes repaving and reconstruction of 95th Street between Lookout Road and Longmont, repaving East County Line Road and several minor structures over creeks that need to be replaced.

“Well have a better sense over the next few months on what things will look like,” Gerstle said. “Until we make further progress on the conversations with FEMA, it just makes sense to not over-commit and put things on hold until we know more.”

As for the incentive, Gerstle said that several subdivisions in the Niwot and Gunbarrel area had inquired about the program such as Lake Valley Estates.

“Those were just initial conversations so there’s nothing specific that was proposed for the next year,” Gerstle said.

The county is making this decision based mostly on speculation of FEMA’s timeline for reimbursements, Gerstle said. The county is also looking at the regulations for reimbursements and how they are applied to projects.

“It’s an ongoing conversation we’re having with (FEMA) to make sure we’re all on the same page,” Gerstle said. “We want to know what we can expect and how quickly.”

Basically, the county is holding any new projects until they have a better understanding of FEMA’s plans and schedule.

“We’re just trying to be careful with the money we have and make sure that we’re spending it wisely,” Gerstle said. “Sometimes you need to take time to work through issues before you make commitments, and that’s where we’re at.”


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