The Board of Larimer County Commissioners today approved a ballot issue for November which asks voters to allow the county to build a new County Offices building in Loveland instead of remodeling the old one at no additional expense to the public.
The current building at E. 6th Street in Loveland is crowded, inefficient and is a bad fit for today’s technology. Parking for citizens accessing services is inadequate. In 1997 voters approved a ballot issue that included funding to remodel this and other buildings. That sales tax expired last year. Multiple remodels and updates have occurred over the years to try and keep the building functional, but these band-aides are not addressing the real problems.
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A new 45,000 square foot building will cost approximately $12 million. Financing would come from an $8.7 million dollar sales tax fund set aside for the initial remodel (the expired sales tax) with the remainder of the funds coming from county reserves. Those funds would be repaid using rent from the grant-funded Workforce Center and operating savings as a result of new efficiencies. The Workforce Center would move into the new building, relocating from leased space elsewhere in Loveland. The County prefers to maintain a location in downtown Loveland and is collaborating with local partners to make that happen.
Commissioner Tom Donnelly says endless remodeling is not the answer, “If the ballot measure fails and the County cannot repurpose the money already collected, the endless remodeling process will continue. Aggressive remodels cannot properly accommodate new technology, adequate energy efficiencies nor create additional parking for customers. It is too expensive to operate a 40+ year old building. The new building would be less expensive to operate and would include adequate public parking.”