Larimer County celebrates 2018 Innovation Awards

L-R: Tom Donnelly, Alexandrea Castino, Kerri Rollins, Lew Gaiter

Thomas Clayton

The Board of Larimer County Commissioners on Tuesday honored employees who have shown ingenuity, creativity, and improved processes at Larimer County with the 2018 Innovation Awards. One Grand Prize Winner and two Honorable Mentions were awarded in this seventh year of the Innovation Awards program. The awards were chosen based on resourceful, groundbreaking or novel approaches to providing Larimer County services to citizens.

Larimer County sets aside $5,000 for the awards. This can be given to one project or split up among projects.

Grand Prize: Sharing water to conserve the farm — Alexandrea Castino

Larimer County’s Open Lands Program in 2017 took a significant step forward to help solve the problem of farmland and water conservation in our arid climate. A first-ever water-sharing agreement with a municipal partner was accomplished using Colorado Water Conservation Board [CWCB] funding to preserve the historic 211-acre Malchow Farm in Berthoud.

The City and County of Broomfield, and Larimer County on August 30, 2017 were able to create the first perpetual agriculture-to-municipal water-sharing agreement in Colorado through an inter-governmental agreement after almost two years of negotiation and approval processes.

The agreement brought nearly $4 million back to the Open Space Sales Tax fund for additional conservation, about half of the initial purchase price. The success of the agreement has also created a catalyst for similar projects to move forward in Northern Colorado.

Grand Prize Award: $3,000

L-R: Tom Donnelly, Allen Masters, Gregg Turnbull, Jim Vogl, Lew Gaiter

Honorable Mention: The new website – Gregg Turnbull, Jim Vogl, and Allen Masters

Larimer County’s website,, was rebuilt after 20 years of service. Recognizing that many citizens engage with Larimer County online, it was redesigned with a customer-centered focus, and mobile technology tools enabling citizens to conduct business with Larimer County faster and easier than before. Larimer County departments also have a streamlined editing process which allows them to post or update content that is current and timely.

Honorable Mention Prize Award: $1,000

L-R: Tom Donnelly, Rita Trostel, Jennifer Corio, Lesley White, Lew Gaiter

Honorable Mention: Electronic Billing, and Waste Wizard at the Landfill — Lesley White, Ali Whitcomb, James Dreiling, Jennifer Corio, and Rita Trostel

Larimer County Solid Waste implemented new electronic billing and Waste Wizard. Electronic billing allows Solid Waste to email daily tickets and monthly statements to their customers. The system also gives customers more timely information about their account while allowing customers to reconcile mistakes or discrepancies quickly. E-billing has already reduced costs, the time needed to process statements or assist customers with questions. Waste Wizard also allows customers with a special RIFD tag to use an express lane to enter the landfill instead of waiting in line and backing up to Taft Hill Road.

Honorable Mention Prize Award: $1,000

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