Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley

LID board tackles busy agenda at June meeting


The Niwot Local Improvement District advisory committee held its monthly meeting on June 4.

Treasurer Bruce Rabeler presented the LID’s latest revenue report from Boulder County, which showed that the district earned $16,406 in March, the highest total this year and the highest total for March in at least the past five years. Noting a similar total from February 2018 that is still in dispute, Rabeler speculated that this might be another case of a mistaken or misdirected deposit by the State of Colorado, and advised the committee that the March 2019 figure could be revised downward.

Rabeler reported the LID has approved $94,695.79 in expenditures through May, most of it for marketing and advertising.  He projected expenses through the end of June of $119,695.79, or about 90 percent of the LID’s annual $132,854 budget.

Boulder County liaison Joan Barilla then addressed the LID’s year-end reserve fund.  As of May 2019, it is estimated to be $131,384, after a 2018 revenue surplus of $22,384 (the difference between collections of $180,823 and expenditures of $158,439). Barilla said that this number too is subject to revision, since there are still outstanding 2018 invoices, but it would likely go up rather than down.

Tony Santelli appeared on behalf of the Niwot Business Association with the month’s sole funding request—for $25,000 to fund the salary for Niwot’s Economic Development Director, Catherine McHale, for the 12-month period from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. Ultimately, the request had to be amended to $12,500, due to new county rules that prohibit approval of funds from a future fiscal period. A motion to fund the position through December 31, 2019 was approved unanimously, and the NBA was advised to return in January 2020 with a request that spans a single calendar year.

“She’s really, in my humble opinion, finding her stride in terms of what it takes to represent Niwot,” Santelli said of McHale, who is in her second year as the town’s EDD. He noted several of her recent initiatives on behalf of the business community, such as the broker’s luncheon in March. He also announced that McHale has reached an agreement to bring the popular weekly event “Dancing Under the Stars” to Niwot, after a conflict with the City of Boulder forced the organizers to find another venue.

There was no new business, but in old business, Barila updated the committee on her meeting with the county attorneys’ office regarding sidewalk repairs in Niwot, which came into question after an incident involving an injury earlier this year.  It was unclear to the LID board whether district funds should go toward this expense, or whether county transportation should pay.

Unfortunately, she didn’t come back with the news they wanted to hear.

“In the county attorney’s opinion, the LID has the authority to use the fund to pay for the maintenance of these brick pavers, and it was their suggestion that the LID pay for that maintenance of those pavers. [County transportation engineer] Mike Thomas agreed to assist with the requirements, what the process would be, but transportation would not be able to be the project manager of that particular maintenance.”

“I don’t think there’s any question the LID could pay,” member Biff Warren rejoined. “My question is whose responsibility is it. It’s the county right-of-way.”

Barila then noted that the pavers, which she termed “custom improvements,” were originally installed at the request of the LID and paid for by LID funds back in the 1990s. However, the LID does not have liability in the event of a lawsuit.

After further discussion, the board agreed to look further into contracting for the repairs.

Warren then reported that a request by Left Hand Animal Hospital to be added to the boundaries for the Niwot LID will be heard by the Board of County Commissioners on June 18. He expects approval.

Old Business wrapped up with discussion of the annual meeting between the LID board and the BOCC, which was confirmed for August.  However, many members expressed ambivalence, after the contentious moratorium that concluded in April. On that note, Santelli announced that the NBA has decided to formally explore incorporating Niwot, and will launch a study to determine whether such a move is feasible for the town.

“Up until Sept. 20,2018, no one was a fan of incorporating Niwot.,” he said. “We felt we had the ideal situation with the relationship we had with the county. But given the situation that exists now, there may be an opportunity to do something.”

The Committee will meet next at 7 p.m. on July 2 at the Mountain View Fire Station.



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