Thursday, July 18, 2013

Nederland EcoPass Moves Forward

Location: Nederland, CO 80466, USA
Nederland Utilities Coordinator, Nicole Bratsos
assembling 371 signatures for the EcoPass

At our May 21st Board of Trustees meeting, Boulder County Transportation gave a presentation on the results of the Nederland EcoPass program and discussed a few options for continuing the program in 2014. The details of these options can get a bit complicated, so we scheduled a worksession with county experts on June 27.

We examined several scenarios in the worksession, such as small fees, or changing the size of the district. The board agreed that the best option was to place a Public Improvement District on the ballot to maintain the program's existing boundary, including all residents within the Nederland Community Library District. It is the least expensive for our citizens and a good representation of the allusive "Greater Nederland Area" within Boulder County.
"BUT ... we had to act fast, and accomplish two tasks in a week, in order to keep this option on the table."

First, we had to approve a resolution supporting the program three working days later. So, at our next board meeting, on July 2nd, The Board of Trustees (BOT) approved Resolution 2013-07, Advocating Support for Placement on the Boulder County Ballot a Question Regarding the Creation of a Public Improvement District for the Provision of EcoPasses. Special thanks to Alisha Reis and town staff for pulling this together in short order.

Next, we had to assemble approved ballot petitions and obtain 300 valid signatures from registered voters in the Library District. I posted details on the NederMayor blog, and within an hour, voters arrived at Town Hall to sign the petition, and volunteers took the petitions to the streets.

Volunteers went door to door, cruised local businesses, and hung out at the Park-N-Ride. People lined up to sign the petition after the Backdoor Theater show. We carried petitions around during the 4th of July events, the First Friday Art Tour, even the wine tasting at Peak Wine and Spirits. 

When all was said and done, we had 371 signatures by the deadline. Eva Forberger, our Town Treasurer, delivered the signed petitions along with our resolution, down to the Boulder County Clerk for verification. Special thanks to Betty Bass and her family for bringing in 80 signatures.

I have described some of the benefits of the EcoPass here, and you can find other information on the town's website EcoPass Update Page. We will be issuing a 'fact sheet' with details about the EcoPass program in a month or so. In the mean time, I can say that it will be approximately $14 property tax, for each $100K of your home's assessed valuation. About $28 if your home is valued at $200K - $42 if your home is valued at $300K and so forth. The EcoPass would normally cost $1,936 each.

Next Steps:

We will need to sign an Intergovernmental Agreement with Boulder County for participation in the 2013 coordinate election. Several procedural operations will happen, like verifying petition signatures confirming the ballot language, and district boundaries. Ultimately, the next thing for our residents to do, is vote in the November Election.

[Here is a Video Valediction] This is Lotte Nobelen, from the Breda Area of the Netherlands, covering Stevie Wonder's Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours at a small musician's bar called 't Oude Pothuys in Nederland. [What is a Video Valediction?]
BONUS: [Here is a Video Valediction] Check-out the back-up singer on the left, Eveline Vroonland performing Safe And Sound. 
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