Trustees Travis Harless and Matt Michel joined Trustee Tim Singewald in the push to pursue legal counsel to address project costs, accounting discrepancies and transparency with the Boxelder Stormwater Authority and the associated Intergovernmental Agreement at their meeting on February 25.
“It’s become a two-headed serpent,” Harless said. “While we want to do something good for the community, it has come to the point we are held by our signature.”
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The three trustees voiced concerns that their requests for information are continuously denied. Unanswered requests for GiS maps, a lack of detail into how impermeable surface areas were calculated, along with billing discrepancies were among the issues the trustees wanted addressed.
Trustee Michel went on record to voice additional concerns with the fee collection process, saying those who were required to pay fees and those who were exempt were determined by those “who were politically connected.”
“It had to deal with who had fancier attorneys. You can see by this straight line,” Michel said, pointing to a document.
Town Attorney Brad March intervened, explaining that exemptions were granted to those who pled their cases and could be found in meeting minutes.
And while Mayor Jack Brinkhoff “appreciated” the trustee’s concerns, he asked the trustees to consider how they would feel if they entered into an agreement and were the last to receive benefits, only to have a participating member say, “This is not what we signed-up for.”
He reminded trustees that all project figures were estimated and that if they continue to pursue the legal route, he would like to see bullet points of what questions they want answered in an effort to keep legal costs down and to narrow the scope.
Brinkhoff also asked the trustees to consider the implications their requests and pursuit of legal counsel could have on the day-to-day working relationships with the other members.
“The Sheriff’s contract? Poudre Water? We don’t need that,” he asked.
Singewald countered. “Did they threaten that? I think that’s against the law,” he said.
The board approved the motion to allow an additional $5,000 to consult with legal counsel, which was confirmed to be the office of Lyons, Gaddis, Kahn, Hall, Jeffers, Dworak and Grant. The motion was passed with a vote of “yes” by all trustees. Brinkhoff was the only board member to vote “no,” and requested additional questions be addressed in a work session.
The board also revisited the water tap fees. When comparing Wellington to towns such as Milliken, Eaton and Firestone, the codes were confusing and difficult to interpret, said Finance Director Mike Cummins. Though some towns made a distinction on landscaping and potable and non-potable water sources, water costs ranged from $103,000 to $245,000. Each town did express flexibility with development, and would consider fee negotiations for multiplex units if approached by a builder, Cummins said.
The board approved the Final Plat and Zoning, Ordinance 3-2015, with the condition that all of March’s concerns be addressed. The main items holding up the full approval are ensuring street names are compliant with Larimer County’s naming criteria, and determining whether Diamond Street is a privately maintained road or a public road.
The board approved a disbursement of $6,000 for the Concert in the Parks Series. The event will be a partnership between the Wellington Main Street Program and the Farmer’s Market. It will cost about $10,000, which will be split between the two organizations and will include fundraising and volunteer efforts. The concert series will feature FACE, a local Rockapella group featured on NBC’s the Sing Off, along with Girls on Top, a female group covering songs from the 70s and 80s.
Mayor Brinkhoff presented Teresa Cagno, 17, with the Youth of the Year award recognizing the teen for her volunteer work and involvement with the Boys & Girls Club. Theresa began volunteering at the age of 12 before becoming a Junior Staff member at 14. Teresa was recognized for overcoming obstacles, which included being removed from her home and being adopted by her brother and his wife. She plans to study English and law when she attends college. Teresa won the award three years in a row, Brinkhoff said.