Letter: Why no vote for Boxelder Basin Regional Stormwater Authority bonds?

It is voting time again, and voters once again have the opportunity to cast ballots on money issues like the Larimer County Jail tax.

However, if you are one of the more than 5,000 residential and commercial property owners drawn into the Boxelder Basin Regional Stormwater Authority (BBRSA) service (fee) area in 2008, you will have no direct say in allowing the authority to borrow tens of millions of dollars in your name.

The BBRSA was formed by an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) among Larimer County, Fort Collins, and Wellington with the intent of mitigating stormwater threats to the area.

These government “members” gave the BBRSA board of five appointees power to assess fees on property owners without TABOR restrictions and without a “sunset” provision on the authority. The fee obligations of property owners within its fee area live forever. It is arguable that many of the owners receive little or no discernible services or benefits from these fees. Most properties are not in a floodplain; many are not even close.

BBRSA is now working on plans to seek bonds for future property acquisition and construction projects. If the BBRSA board approves a borrowing request, it is required by the IGA to receive unanimous approval from the three member governments in order to proceed. No vote by the property owners on whom the debt will be placed is required.

Will our elected officials allow such a debt load to be placed on their constituents without their vote? Or is this the top-down type of government they favor? Why not ask them?

Jim Fry

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