We Succeed When We Collaborate

Headshot of Jody Shadduck-McNally. Photo courtesy of Larimer County.

By Jody Shadduck-McNally

Larimer County has a long, proven track record of partnership and collaboration nationally, state-wide, and regionally.

Across our county, we have outstanding partnerships with towns, municipalities, businesses, nonprofits, and organizations. We know teamwork is essential to progress towards a common vision or goal. Our ability as your commissioners to bring our partners together to direct individual accomplishments toward common objectives is an important role. It’s the fuel that allows common interests to attain uncommon achievements.

For example, from a regional partnership between Larimer County, Loveland Pulse, and Fort Collins Connexion, Larimer County has approved additional funding of several million dollars to further expand the existing municipal broadband fiber service into high-priority, underserved areas of the county. This unique partnership has already ensured high-speed connections for communities in the county. The Lago Vista Mobile Home Park in Loveland, and the mountain community of Drake, are now connected to the City of Loveland Pulse through funding provided by the county and Thompson School District. We’re also collaborating with the Poudre Rural Electric Association and Fort Collins Connexion to bring fiber to the Red Feather Lakes Community. These positive outcomes include digital equity, increased public safety, increased access to educational opportunities, and more.

Another growing partnership between Larimer County and Fort Collins resulted in some action steps. The Board of Larimer County Commissioners and Fort Collins City Council recently committed to solving our shared air quality issues. The health and welfare of our residents is a common goal for all, and these issues do not follow jurisdictional boundaries. The county and city pooled money to purchase an infrared imaging camera for detecting leaks and toxic emissions and as an educational tool. We are also putting funding into another program as an incentive to buy electrically powered lawn equipment. When we work together, we can leverage our funding, staff expertise, and resources.

Larimer County and the Town of Estes Park collaborated recently to develop a new comprehensive plan for this special area in our county. I am proud of the work we are doing to include many voices and develop a new plan that has not been revisited for over 20 years.  Larimer County has contributed financial resources, staff expertise, and consulting to partner with the town toward a forward-thinking plan. The Town of Estes Park has been a positive, active partner in this endeavor and other matters in this region.

At the National Association of Counties national conference in Colorado this month, our Office of Emergency Management staff will be recognized for its innovation and collaborative work. We celebrate this work of connecting residents for stronger, more resilient communities.

It’s my desire, as a county commissioner, to be a strong and reliable partner to you and our Larimer County community. Projects that mitigate damage from potential flooding, recovery from wildfires, building resiliency, providing behavioral health services, expanding broadband, protecting our natural resources, protecting our air and water, and finding housing solutions are of particular interest. Let’s get to work on more solutions together.

Jody Shadduck-McNally is a Larimer County commissioner representing all of Larimer County.

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