Wellington assessed valuation increased in 2012

Things are looking up in Wellington, and the town’s budget for 2013 reflects the trend.

The Board of Trustees on Dec. 11 approved estimated expenditures of $23.326 million for the coming year, and expects to receive revenues of $29.665 million. This compares to the 2012 budget of $22.193 million and revenues of $28.329 million.

Although revenues are expected to rise, the mill levy of 14.24 remains unchanged. It has remained at that level since 2008, but this is the first budget that has seen the levy produce increased revenues.

According to Town Administrator Larry Lorentzen, this is possible because the Larimer County Assessor increased the valuation of property in town by $575,300. Taxes for 2013 will be collected on property assessed at $48.704 million, compared to 2012’s valuation of $48.129 million.

“For the first time in two years, the town’s assessed valuation has increased,” Lorentzen wrote in his budget message to the board. “Still not 2010 levels, but the trend of decreasing assessed valuation has ceased, at least as evidenced by the 2013 valuation for Larimer County.”

These property taxes will raise revenue of $693,552. Lorentzen wrote that the budget expects sales tax revenue to lose ground in 2013, although a similar expectation for 2012 did not occur.

The 2013 budget anticipates Wellington will issue building permits for 30 new homes. In 2012, the budget projected 15 new residential permits, while the actual number issued through early December was 67, with two commercial building permits as well.

“The building permit activity in 2012 was nothing short of stellar when compared to the previous four years,” Lorentzen pointed out. “This may or may not repeat in 2013.”

Land for Boys & Girls Clubs
The General Fund budget includes an expenditure of $150,000 for acquisition of 10 acres on the east side of Sixth Street between Interstate 25 and Wellington Middle School as a potential site for a new Town Hall and Boys & Girls Clubs facility. Trustee Jack Brinkhoff said negotiations with the owner of the so-called Thimmig property have been under way for some time, and if there are no surprises as the town completes its due diligence, he would expect closing to take place in early January.

In early December, Boys & Girls Clubs board member John Peden told the North Forty News that his organization was still evaluating a number of possible sites, and could give no timeline for construction. The club currently operates out of a building on Harrison Avenue provided at no cost by the town.

“We would have to raise the funds we need to finish the construction before we broke ground,” Peden explained. “We want to own the building, and we don’t go into debt to build new facilities.”

Both Peden and Brinkhoff said the ideal outcome would be a building that could be operated jointly as a new location for some of the community activities that now take place at the Leeper Center.

“A building for the whole community to use would be great,” Brinkhoff said.

At least one group of citizens would be pleased if the project included a swimming pool. In November, Lisa Steketee’s first-grade class at Rice Elementary sent a letter to the Town Board explaining why a community pool “would make Wellington a nicer place to live” and asked them to “think about adding a pool to our town.”

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