Letters to the Editor JUNE 2012
NO VOTE ON PID ADVISORY BALLOT
Dear Editor,In the June time frame, there will be a very important advisory ballot concerning whether to put a proposal on the November ballot to create a special taxing district (PID) in Niwot for street resurfacing. We believe this approach is ill advised and will cost Niwot residents considerably more in taxes than is reasonable.
In 2010, Boulder County offered property owners in unincorporated subdivisions a street maintenance plan at a cost of $130/ year for 15 years ($1,950 total). This proposal was rejected by a low-turnout close vote because, among other reasons, voters felt certain that the county had committed to provide the maintenance at no extra cost when they accepted the roadways as public streets.
While Boulder County Commissioner will not pay the cost of resurfacing streets in unincorporated Boulder County, they have committed to continue providing day-to-day maintenance services such as snow plowing and pothole patching. They have also committed to provide approximately $4.4 million dollars over 15 years to rehabilitate collector use streets that provide access to schools and churches and provide key connections that are used by more people than just subdivision residents. And they will help in other ways to reduce maintenance costs to subdivisions.
Recently, a Niwot Community Association representative approached the Boulder County Commissioners with a proposal to create a special taxing district (PID) in Niwot for street resurfacing. Unlike the 2010 countywide approach, this Niwot-only plan is a piecemeal and fragmented approach to a problem that requires a countywide solution.
This plan imposes a tax of 8.5 mils on property-assessed value for 6 years and 4.5 mils yearly thereafter. So if the assessed value of your house is $600,000 you would pay $510/year for 6 years and $270/year after that. In 15 years under this plan you would pay $5490 compared to $1950 proposed by the County in 2010.
Niwot property owners should VOTE NO on the advisory ballot, which they will be receiving in the mail soon. There are better ways to improve our streets at a much lower cost. First off, a countywide solution would cost residents considerably less and this approach can and should be revisited.
Furthermore, even though piecemeal, if each individual subdivision took responsibility (as the commissioners have authorized) for rehabilitating its own roads through creation of an individual local improvement district or some other payment structure the cost could be significantly less.
For example, the Autumn Ridge subdivision recently explored the cost of resurfacing Skyland Drive and found that the street could have full asphalt replacement for a cost of approximately $60,000, or $2609 per household, and would be expected to last 25 years. A chip and seal coating, which is expected to last 12 years, could be done for under $10,000 or $435 per household. Compare this to the $5490 cost under the current proposal.
So what should you do? Make sure your subdivision neighbors are aware of the facts regarding the proposed special taxing district (PID) in Niwot for street resurfacing and urge them to vote NO on the pending important advisory ballot.
By defeating this advisory ballot, we can then reengage the Boulder County Commissioners to reconsider a countywide approach or even explore the far less costly individual subdivision solutions.
DOGS ON TRAILS & OPEN SPACE
I think it is wonderful that we here in Niwot are blessed with a fantastic system of trails and open space. The views are undoubtedly among the finest in Boulder County, and to be able to walk our dogs and enjoy the fresh air is second to none.
The only problem are the lame idiots who take the time to bag up their dogs’ droppings, then leave this calling card by the side of the trail or tossed into the tall grass for someone else to deal with.
There are many trash containers available to dispose of these little bags of joy. You can even take them home with you and toss them in the trash or send them to your congressman to show them what kind of job they are doing in Washington for us.
Either way, don’t leave them along the trail, do the right thing, dispose of them properly, please.
John R Stobbelaar