Larimer County Commissioners send open space, animal control facility questions to Nov. ballot

The Board of Larimer County Commissioners approved two ballot measures on July 29 for the November 4 election. One resolution extended and amended the Help Preserve Open Spaces sales tax initiative and the other resolution referred an issue to the November’s ballot for a county wide sales and use tax to finance a new animal care and control facility.

If approved by voters in November, the Help Preserve Open Spaces sales and use tax of ¼-cent will extend for 25 years beginning January 1, 2019 when the current sales and use tax sunsets. The amended issue changes city/county revenue splits to an even 50-50 and entities will continue to spend their portion according to their individual master plans. Additionally, the measure calls for the internal, Larimer County only, portion of the revenue to be realigned to reflect the County’s maturing program at the current level of service while purchasing and maintaining new open spaces.

To date the County’s portion of the current tax has conserved about 33,000 acres in both fee title and conservation easements, as well as 83 miles of trail. The County’s most popular open spaces include Devils Backbone, Hermit Park, Red Mountain and Horsetooth Mountain.

The BOCC also certified a measure for November’s ballot for a county-wide sales and use tax to finance a new Animal Care and Control Facility. A citizens’ petition collected signatures to bring the measure forward. The new facility would be built on land owned by the Larimer Humane Society. The 0.1 percent sales and use tax begins January 1, 2015 and ends when the debt is paid or by December 31st, 2020. The current Larimer Humane Society shelter was built in 1974 and Commissioner Chair Tom Donnelly echoed that this facility has outlived its usefulness, “The current facility doesn’t speak well for Larimer County. The Humane Society has gone above and beyond to provide good services.”

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