A plan to improve the Big Thompson River corridor through the town of Loveland comes with an expected price tag of around $53 million, but where that money will come from has yet to be decided. On Tuesday, the city council will consider two funding proposals to help get the plan started, but both include rate increases for residential stormwater utilities in the city.
In other matters, the board will take a second vote on the interdepartmental loan between Pulse and Loveland Power, discuss updated wording for recall elections and consider emergency supply rules to help keep a head start on accelerating costs.
Big Thompson’s Financial Plan
In June 2019, City Council voted to adopt the Big Thompson River Master Plan, a comprehensive project to improve “resilience”, alleviate flood conditions and improve water quality. water along the river corridor through Loveland.
Along with specific capital improvement projects, the plan also calls for increased annual maintenance and a dedicated municipal employee to oversee the management of the plan.
At the time of adoption of the plan, the total implementation costs of all projects were estimated at $53.3 million, of which 72% ($38 million) was for disaster risk reduction. flooding, with the rest going to parks and trails.
The estimate also included $1.5 million in “remedial maintenance”, to compensate for the lack of a dedicated river management plan for Loveland.
Left unanswered, however, was exactly how the projects would be paid for.
At two council study sessions since the plan was adopted, staff from the city’s public works department presented options for raising money using Loveland’s Stormwater Utility Enterprise Fund. After feedback from these meetings, staff narrowed the options down to two.
In the scenario recommended by staff, the city would issue $21.5 million in stormwater revenue bonds to fund maintenance costs, a feasibility study, and the US 287 upgrade project in short-term, with other long-term funded projects.
To pay the bonds, the city would create a “river fund” funded by a 27.4% increase in stormwater fees in 2022 and a 2.5% increase per year between 2024 and 2031.
For an average residential customer in Loveland, living on a typical 6,000-7,999 square foot lot, this translates to a first year fee increase of $4.14 to $19.21 per month. In 2031, this increases to $21.63.
In the second scenario, the city issues $20 million river fund bonds and pays for critical maintenance and the US 287 project, with future projects unfunded at this time.
To do this, the city would increase the monthly stormwater fee by 25.5% in 2022, then an additional 4.2% in 2025, with no further increases thereafter.
City Council will be asked to vote on these options, or may refer the matter to staff for further study.
Temporary Ordinance on Public Procurement
Also at the meeting, council will be asked to vote on a potential change to the City of Loveland’s procurement rules that allow for more “flexibility.”
Due to inflation and supply chain pressures, city suppliers are no longer able to honor long-term pricing contracts, leading to both price increases and shortages of critical infrastructure materials, including wires and cables, transformers and water meters and pipes, according to the city. Financial office.
City staff are seeking an emergency order to temporarily change Loveland’s municipal code for one year to increase the dollar amount required to trigger the bidding process to $300,000. This will allow the municipal department to obtain quotes for purchases below this amount, rather than going through a time-consuming RFP process.
There is also a non-urgent option which, if passed, will return to council for a second reading.
How to participate
Council will meet Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building, 500 E. Third St.
Comments from members of the public will be accepted in person as well as on Zoom.
Those wishing to join by Zoom can use ID 975 3779 6504 with a passcode of 829866, depending on the meeting agenda.
The reunion will air on Comcast Channel 16 and stream on the city’s website at loveland.viebit.com.
Tuesday’s agenda is available on the Loveland City Council website at lovgov.org.