Reprinted from the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor
Here’s some exciting news for for the Town of Berthoud! After a months-long process whereby the initial concepts were presented, public feedback, at times passionate, was received and amended plans were developed and presented, the board approved over $2.5 million, at initial cost projections, to build a one-acre bicycle pump track and associated amenities at a large-scale bicycle park in the area of U.S. 287 on the southwestern side of Loveland Reservoir.
Throughout the process, the town has received a great deal of feedback regarding the project – with the majority of those sharing their viewpoints expressing support for the project but objecting to the location and initial access points to the park; residents on and adjacent to Meadowlark Drive were concerned with increased traffic, parking issues, the potential for increased crime, loitering and littering, and the like.
Town staff made some amendments in response to public feedback and presented the board with three options – one with a large bike park that included a full slalom course and amenities, another that was more expansive and added a half-acre asphalt pump track and the final one, the most expansive, which included a one-acre asphalt pump track. Cost estimates ranged from $1.5 million to $2.5 million. The bids were, according to Deputy Town Administrator Jeremy Olinger, “hard bids that are for all intents and purposes as accurate as we can get them for this project.”
While the trustees were largely supportive of the idea of the project, there was some debate regarding the costs and how a project could potentially impact future budgetary decisions. With generations’ high inflation and an economic downturn that has the potential to adversely impact tax revenue, trustees questioned Kirk on the financial feasibility of the various proposals. Kirk stated the town budgets conservatively and has necessary funds for a broad array of recreation amenities, from both the 1998 and 2019 sales tax measures approved by voters, but that the board must prioritize.
Trustee May Soricelli argued that the town should prioritize the proposed enhancements to Town Park in downtown Berthoud, as well as the proposals for Richardson Park which will provide much-needed athletic amenities such as ballfields and multi-use fields for town sports programming.
Soricelli proposed an “option D,” which would build the one-acre, top-of-the-line, pump track, but only after the upgrades to Town and Richardson Parks, which she argued have more broad appeal, were assured. Soricelli’s motion failed for lack of a second and the other five present trustees voted to approve the $2.5 million measure in a 5-1 vote.