Fracking ban, county Loveland office, school board top local Nov. 5 vote

Fort Collins voters on Nov. 5 will weigh in on a proposed moratorium on hydraulic fracturing while voters within the Poudre School District will decide one contested race for the board of education.

The citizen-initiated measure would impose a five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing within the Fort Collins city limits or city owned properties beyond.

Hydraulic fracturing, typically known as fracking, is the procedure of injecting water and chemicals deep into wells to release oil and gas for recovery.

Opponents to the ban insist that fracking is a proven procedure presenting no health and environmental hazards. Proponents question that contention, however, and maintain that more studies are needed to determine the effects of fracking on health and property values.

Fracking already is forbidden in the city limits save for one current operation grandfathered in.

Voters countywide will decide whether to allow the county to use funds already collected to build a new office building in downtown Loveland.

A 0.2 percent sales and use tax was approved by voters in 2007 to renovate or expand six county buildings. The tax lapsed early in 2012 when the projects were completed.

Issue 1A seeks authority to use funds already collected and remaining from the 1997 tax issue to build a new Loveland office building. No tax increase would be required.

The new building would replace what county officials maintain is the cramped and inadequate current facility.

Voters also will elect one new director to the seven-member board that sets policy for the Poudre School District, which educates some 27,000 students.

The only contested race is between Mel Hilgenberg and David Trask representing District C encompassing northeast Fort Collins.

Trask is a retired college history teacher. Hilgenberg is a community activist with has a long-standing interest in education. The seat came open with the departure of former director Jim Hayes, who served two terms.

Nicholas Holian is uncontested in pursuit of the District E seat encompassing Wellington, unincorporated Larimer County and portions of north Fort Collins. Director Patrick Albright did not seek re-election.

Christophe Febvre is unopposed in his quest for the District D seat comprising northwest Fort Collins. He will fill a full term after being appointed to fill the vacancy created by the January resignation by former director James Ross.

Voting is at-large but directors must reside within their respective districts.

Electors statewide also will decide two issues dealing with school financing reform and taxation of marijuana.

This will be an all-mail election. All active voters receved a ballot mailed the week of Oct. 14.

Ballots can be returned by mail at a cost of 66 cents for postage. They also can be dropped off at the citizen information center at the county office building, 200 W. Oak St. in Fort Collins. Voter services also will be available there.

Additional drop-off sites will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 1 and Nov. 4 at the King Soopers stores located at 1842 N. College Ave. and 2602 S. Timberline Road, as well as Safeway stores located at 2160 W. Drake Road and 1426 E. Harmony Road.

All ballots must be returned by 7 p.m. on Nov. 5.

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