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Downtown Capital Improvements - Not
Plus Centerra Fire Station In Doubt
Loveland, June 23, 2009

In an appalling about face, a majority of Loveland's City Council took aim at future funding for downtown
capital improvement projects when staff presented CEF (Capital Expansion Fees) funds shortfalls to
Loveland's City Council this evening.

Mayor Pielin lead the charge to minimize the various downtown projects planned by asking they be grouped
into a single line item called "downtown" that can be later changed, reduced or indefinitely delayed.  City
Manager Don Williams complained that is what staff had done originally until council asked that specific
projects be itemized in the budget so a start date and funding source could be identified for each project.

Klassen made an emphatic appeal that Loveland appoint an official city "
envoy" (presumably Councilman
Klassen himself) to travel to McKinley Texas to study their downtown revitalization program.  Klassen stated
he had watched the town for years while visiting his brother who lives in the area and declared, " has the
most successful downtown revitalization in Texas if not in the United States."  Klassen compared the town
with a neighboring community in Texas he said had a failing downtown project due to money being invested
in a parking garage.  He urged the council to abandon plans to construct any facility in downtown Loveland
to provide public parking.

Councilman Walt Skowron reminded his colleagues about a suggestion made to them by McWhinney
employee Jay Hardy not to fund improvements downtown with city money unless local businesses can match
the spending with their own funds.  Skowron also eluded to a future reduction in CEF (Capital Expansion
Fees) that McWhinney has already once requested and is likely to bring again before council.

Loveland Future Capital Funding At Risk
Even without any cuts in the CEF's charged to new developments the City of Loveland cannot fully fund the
projects planned for future Capital Improvements as currently scheduled.  

Staff presented council with sobering numbers and statistics that indicate revenue will remain flat or declining
while capital improvements further stress the operating budget in the general plan with new costs to maintain
projects once they are built.  In addiiton, Loveland has already begun quietly cutting services to residents
without any notice by the local media.  
(One example is the decision to pull the dedicated Loveland Police
officers from their routine presence at the city's high schools.)

“Bringing on these additional operating costs will have an impact on the budget that requires you reduce
spending elsewhere," was an unwelcome comment by the city's budget director who told the council he
wanted to discuss timing for the new projects they have planned.

In a detailed presentation to the council regarding the Capital Improvements budget staff concluded they
don’t expect city revenues to recover to 2007 levels for at least another 7 years or by 2013 or 2014.  
Whether or not that projection accounts for inflation was not disclosed but either way it paints a grim picture
for the future of Loveland's municipal finances.

East Fire Station Cancelled but Still Planned
Councilman Cecil Gutierrez asked about the new east fire station ( for Centerra area) and whether it will be
built as planned in the documents presented to council.

City Manager Don Williams responded, "The plan says it will be there but the answer is no.  It will not be
viable.....for lack of funds .  He added "they are looking at the plan now anyway to amend the plan and
maybe increase the spacing between stations."  

In 2007 the former city council on advice from Williams depleted the funds established through the CEF's
collected to build a fire station in east Loveland.  Now a possible greater spacing between future stations and
a longer delay in the city's ability to construct fire stations means a reduced level of public safety for the
community.  Below is a blog comment and response from Councilman Rousey on LovelandPolitics from
2007.  Former councilors Steve Dozier and Jan Brown were among the parties responsible in allowing the
city manager to raid the funds generated from fees on developers to build a new fire station to cover east

November 26, 2007 LovelandPolitics Blog stated:

"The lame-duck City Council knew by 7:30 PM on November 6, that at least three members would
not be returning to vote at their next meeting.

The City Manager, in complete disregard for the public process, rushed through the final passage
of two major property purchases by the city for millions of dollars not previously budgeted that will
tie the hands of the new city councils for the next ten years.  One, a 98 acre parcel on I-25, is
completely without precedent and puts the City of Loveland into the land speculation business.

Councilman Walt Skowron attempted to better understand the 98 acre deal and asked pertinent
questions regarding the funding, process and need for hasty action.  Instead of answers he
received personal insults and mocking by his colleague Larry Heckel.  The videos tell the entire
story and also show the city manager trying to downplay or obfuscate the fact $3 million of the $4
million being appropriated was coming directly from fire safety funds."

Here is how Councilman Glenn Rousey responded in 2007 to this posting and other comments -

I have been in favor of this land purchase since the beginning. I believe that it will be a good
thing for the city in a few years.

Ask Walt (Skowron) if he is upset with Larry or me....the answer is no.

As to me not having courage...not sure what Walter means. If I like the land purchase, why would
I argue against it?

If I believed it would, in any way, hurt the fire department, I would have objected. Remember that
the fire service is where I came from. The money will go back to the fire department CEF funds.
There is nothing currently pending for the those CEF's that were borrowed from the fire
department fund and in no way hurts 'fire safety'.

Williams concluded during the June 23, 2009 meeting, "It would be like fire station 14 in poudre where the
station was built 2-3 years before they could staff it" in an attempt to divert the conversation away from the
more critical point that his previous land speculations have ended in Loveland owning 98 vacant acres worth
less than they paid and no new fire stations being built in the community to compensate for the previous
growth.  In other words, developer fees collected to compensate for the growth were instead squandered on
fruitless land speculations.
Go to LovelandPolitics Real Estate Page
Mayor Gene Pielin
"I guess I am going to
say something and will
probably get thrown
out of the door for
saying it but......"
"I don’t know what is
going to happen
downtown and we may
need it [money]
somewhere else"
Daryl Klassen
Compared Loveland to
two towns in Texas.  
Said one town's
revitalization failed
because a parking
garage was built.
"....what would happen
if we just removed the
parking garage – it
would be more
comfortable wouldn’t it?
David Clark
Blamed the downtown
team for not coming up
with adequate
information for council
to make a decision.  
"I also support the
downtown as well but I
also agree with
everything you just
said." (in reference to
Pielin's comments)
Cecil Gutierrez
"One critical part to
downtown is for
developers to know
the city has some
priority in revitalizing
“That is the wrong
message to be sending
out there right now to
the development
Walt Skowron
Quoted Jay Hardy of
suggestion that the
council not commit
funding until locals can
match it.
" I think there will be an
avalanche of requests
to reduce CEF fees.  
Have you factored that
in as well.?"
Carol Johnson
Nodded in agreement
with Pielin's comments
Only made one short
statement in support of
the Mayor's comments
June 23, 2009
Loveland City Council Study Session