Loveland Bike Trail
 

LARIMER COUNTY OPEN LANDS ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

MINUTES

Thursday, June 23, 2005 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Loveland Library Multipurpose Room

 

The mission of the Larimer County Open Lands Program is to preserve and protect significant open space, natural areas, wildlife habitat, develop parks and trails for present and future generations.  These open lands provide opportunities for leisure, human renewal and protection of our natural and cultural resources.

 

 
 

 

 

 

 


Present:

Open Lands Board Members:

Brian Hayes

Duane Pond

Peter Kast

Bob Streeter

Bill Newman

Jean Carpenter

Sue Sparling

Mark DeGregorio

 

Staff

Dannielle Chenoweth

Jerry White

K-Lynn Cameron

Greg Good

Gary Buffington

Kerri Rollins

James Voorhies

Ernst Strenge

Glenn Gibson

 

 

Absent: 

Ben Manvel

Lori Jeffrey-Clark

Ted Swanson

Jim White

 

Chair, Peter Kast called the meeting to order at 5:15 p.m.

 

Duane Pond motioned to approve the minutes of May 2005; Jean noted that she was inaccurately listed as having attended the meeting.  The motion was seconded by Bob Streeter with the change of Jean's attendance to be amended.  The motion passed unanimously. 

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

No public comment

 

INFORMATION ITEMS

·  The Open Lands Program is fortunate to have a full house of interns and fellows this summer.  Greg Good is sponsored by a fellowship from the Colorado Conservation Trust.  Danielle Chenoweth and James Voorhies are interns studying at CSU.  The new staff introduced themselves.

·  Eagle’s Nest Open Space was dedicated on a beautiful blue sky day on Saturday, June 11.  Over 80 people turned out for the opening.  The guided hikes before and after were full.  It was a great day and thanks to everyone who worked so hard to get the open space open to the public!

·  Driving tours to Soapstone Natural Area and Red Mountain Open Space will be offered to the public by the City of Fort Collins.  For information, contact Pat Hayward at 219-0609.  In addition, Larimer County will offer a combination of driving, hiking & horse tours (to existing horse organizations only).

·  The Open Lands Board Picnic at Red Mountain Ranch on July 31st.   Reserve the date.  For those  interested, we will offer hikes &/or drives both before & after the picnic lunch. Jean, Bob, Duane, Bill, Brian and Mark RSVP'd.

·  COSA:  K-Lynn asked for a board member to participate in the COSA conference 9/15 - 9/16, expenses paid.

·  The City of Fort Collins and Larimer County were named as the nation's top "nature friendly communities" in Outside Magazine, in part due to their proactive land protection programs.

·  The golden eagle release at Fossil Creek has been changed from 6/22 to 6/24.

·  Kerri circulated information about our new Blue Mountain Conservation Area public tours, including a new full color Chimney Hollow brochure developed by Larimer County and the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District.

 

PRESENTATION

Ø  Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) – Brian Werner of Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District.

NISP evolved out of the old Poudre project and is also called the Glade Reservoir project.  Project is in midst if an environmental impact statement (EIS). Public scoping was done over the last year.  Over 700 comments received.  Glade Reservoir is currently the preferred alternative over the other location options. Comments received have mostly regarded relocation of Highway 287.  Draft EIS is being reviewed by the Army Corp of Engineers and should be issued early 2006.  Preble’s meadow jumping mouse has not been successfully trapped and is not an issue in this location option.  There will be some wetland mitigation if the Glade Reservoir option is chosen. If Glade were already built it would be about 1/3 full now.

 

Brian reviewed a map in the packet that showed the relocation options for Highway 287 that CDOT is working on.  About 4 ½ miles of the current Hwy 287 will be inundated by the 177,000 acre foot reservoir.  Horsetooth is 156,000 acre feet by comparison.  The new highway section will be about 7 miles long.  Glade will also fluctuate less than Horsetooth because it is a drought storage reservoir.  Horsetooth is based on demand. 

 

There are 15 current participants in the project, though Frederick and Firestone are proposing to merge in.  Water would be diverted from the Poudre (about 1,000 cfs) and located just inside the canyon.  A pump station will transfer the water to Glade.  The earliest this project could be started is 2009-2010.  The first water storage would occur in 2013, earliest.  Cost about $350 million total.    This would be a two phased project, but if need and funding were optimal both phases could be completed simultaneously. 

 

Brian also answered questions on drip irrigation, working with farmers on water conservation (surge vs. center pivot vs. drip ), and transferring water back and forth between the proposed Glade Reservoir to Horsetooth Reservoir.  Bill asked about losing capacity with sediment settlement.  In reference to Glade, there shouldn’t be a problem as it will be taken out and pumped up from a station located on the Poudre.  Bill asked about flow through Fort Collins.  As NCWCD has junior water rights, there will only be reduced flows in the normal peak times as it flows through Fort Collins.  Sue asked about the Ogallala Aquifer.  Brian said it is definitely going down, and that is affecting well drilling and farming in states like Kansas.  Jean asked what the electrical demand will be for the pump station.  Brian will have to get back to her.  Danielle asked about recreation on the reservoir.  Brian said he is working with Gary on this.  They prefer to work with existing partners.

 

Brian invited the board to see NCWCD's new offices and tour their 40 acres of xeriscaped land, complete with several acres of agricultural demonstration/research areas.

 

BOARD COMMENTS

·  Bill Newman – Discussion with Larimer County cities and towns regarding the use of the County open space sales tax.

 

K-Lynn and Bill met with the Town of Estes on how they use the HPOS tax dollars.  It was the first visit of others planned with all cities and towns within Larimer County that receive HPOS dollars.  What came out of the meeting is that the Town should and is willing to do more public relations on how the dollars are spent and letting the public know where the dollars come from. This will also be important when it is necessary to go back to the voters to extend the HPOS initiative.  It was also evident the Town really needs and appreciate these HPOS dollars in completing their trail and open space projects.  Mark asked if we receive an audited finance report from each entity as to how they spend their sales tax dollars.  K-Lynn said no, we ask for a list of projects they’ve completed but no official financial report.  The ballot language says that there must be a public report each year as to how the sales tax dollars are being spent.  Brian noted that Loveland’s newsletters provide that information and K-Lynn affirmed that they do, as does our Annual Report.

 

Discussion Items

·  Open Lands Program cash flow – Lori said our interest is up $32,000.  We saved some dollars on Fossil Creek and other costs are down, hence we have $400,000 - $500,000 more than budgeted.

·  Financial Committee Report – Peter referred to the enclosure in the packet, the last Finance Committee’s agenda.  The committee posed 3 questions to staff that they needed answers to, to be able to move forward with discussion (see packet).  The committee is currently only focusing on the Open Lands Program, not the cities that also benefit from the ¼-cent sales tax, nor the possibility of including dollars for the Parks Program.  Currently of the .25% tax, the county receives 1% and the cities get 1.5%. 

 

K-Lynn and peter summarized the packet information.  It is estimated we need .083% of the tax to manage costs of existing lands for an additional 25 years until 2043.    Currently we spend .03%.  Looking to fund management costs, there are multiple scenarios according to inflation and length of years for management.  User fee’s are proving to have little impact on the overall budget and the committee has chosen not to pursue that option.  K-Lynn estimates we have about $66 million in acquisition projects that we anticipate needing funding for.

·  Open Lands Program processes – Jerry reviewed the Acquisition Process handouts (flowchart and narrative) adopted by the Larimer County Commissioners in 1997 and revised and adopted in 2001.  Jerry said he and K-Lynn reviewed it and it still tracks very closely with the way we go about acquisitions.  Glenn commented he would like to see not a stop/go process but a stop/go further research option.  Bill asked about baseline documentation and when that is done.  He has been advised by CCLT that for land trusts working on easements that a baseline is completed before closing and not after.  Right now Larimer County completes them within 6 months after closing, as also required by GOCO.  K-Lynn said she will look into this further.  Bob asked if the field trip could happen before step 6.  Jerry said that is a good idea though it may delay the process, which is totally acceptable.  K-Lynn said maybe we can better show this in these documents.  Sue asked how often we use the fast track option.  Not very often is a project that urgent. 

 

Jerry reviewed some minor changes that he would like to see.  Staff will make the changes suggested by the Board as well as the changes reviewed by staff and bring a revised copy to the board for adoption.

 

·  Fossil Creek Reservoir Open Space Issues

·  Fort Collins Growth Management Area (GMA) and Annexation proposal:  Fort Collins intends to expand their GMA and annex lands out to I-25 at the Windsor exit interchange.  This expansion would add about 600 acres to the GMA.  This will include our Fossil Creek Open Space.  In the current intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Fort Collins, it is stated that if the open space is annexed then Fort Collins would take over the management of it.  Staff are working with Fort Collins to change the language to state that management could change when both parties are mutually agreeable.  Future plans for the interchange could include development on the west side of the interchange.  Any development would likely include reconstruction of the interchange. 

·  392 Environmental Overview Study:  Four alternatives are being considered for expanding CR 32.  1) no action 2) re-route to just south of Duck Lake 3) re-route to further south of Duck Lake 4) go through Duck Lake.  Ernst is on the list to continue to monitor this road project.

·  Fort Collins/Loveland Airport Master Plan:  Ernst met with Dave Gordon of the airport to discuss their Master Plan update.  They are looking at four alternatives for expanding their runway 1) no action 2) 1000 ft to south 3) 800 ft to north 4) both 500 ft to north and south.  Airport officials are meeting with both Loveland and Fort Collins, and will go to the FAA for final approval.  K-Lynn said they would have to relocate CR30 to extend the runway to the north.  If that happens it could be rerouted in to our easement, which does not allow for paved roads.  Because of this, this option may not be as favorable for airport officials. 

·  South Fort Collins Sanitation District Sewer Easement:  The Sanitation District has a sewer easement across our Fossil Creek Open Space where an underground sewer line passes between the building and the outdoor classroom.  They want to move it north of our building, away from the concrete plaza – but it would cross under one of our concrete trails.  Anything damaged in replacing this sewer line will be paid for by the Sanitation District.  They hope to complete this project this year, but delays may push it back to next year. 

·  Fossil Point Development Proposal:  This proposal is for residential and multi family residences as well as commercial development proposed on just over 46 acres east of Fossil Creek Reservoir.  Ernst, K-Lynn and the City of Fort Collins will be meeting with the developer to discuss options. 

 

DIRECTORS REPORT

No report was given.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION:  Duane moved to go into Executive Session as provided by (24-6-402(4)(a) C.R.S.  The motion was seconded by Sue.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

The meeting was adjourned by a motion from Duane and seconded by Sue and carried unanimously.  The meeting concluded at 8:05 pm.

 

 

Background Image: Loveland Bike Trail by Sharon Veit. All rights reserved.