The NCA board has received many requests from our membership for clarifications on what has been circulated about the possibility of Niwot incorporating into a town. To clear up one of the biggest misconceptions: the NCA did not initiate this current incorporation effort and has not endorsed the proposed plan.
This message and subsequent follow up messages are intended to share factual information to help the community be well informed on an issue that is important to the future of Niwot. In addition, the NCA will survey our membership to assess and report community views on the topic of incorporation. Please feel free to forward this and upcoming messages to your neighbors and friends. Information on this and other topics, as well as NCA membership details, are always available at www.niwot.org
Who is proposing that Niwot incorporate?
A small group of individuals formed the “Niwot Exploratory Incorporation Study Committee” (hereon NEISC) and created a website (www.NiwotStudy.com) with information about the possibility of incorporating Niwot into a town. Details on the individuals behind this effort can be found on their website: www.NiwotStudy.com/origin
This group is currently meeting with business owners, HOA boards, organized groups, and individuals to promote their ideas and to gather feedback. With the results of these meetings along with data collected by the questionnaire on their website, the NEISC will decide whether or not to move forward with efforts to incorporate Niwot.
What is the NCA doing?
Realizing the impact that incorporation would have on the community, the NCA formed a subcommittee in early 2019 that has invested hundreds of person hours to become well informed on the issues. Meeting with stakeholders, communicating with Boulder County departments, self-educating on land use and open space policies, and researching legal policies, a wealth of information has been collected.
This note is our first communication with you on this topic. In the upcoming weeks we will be publishing the results of our ongoing research and meetings. You will find some of the information provided by the NCA differs with what has been published by the NEISC. We encourage members to seek out multiple sources of information to reach informed conclusions on this topic.
The NCA board does not advocate or endorse any specific issue or candidate. Some may perceive this and subsequent messages as being anti-incorporation. This is not the case nor goal. The NCA itself has researched Niwot incorporation several times, the most recent study being in 2011 in an effort to find a solution to the subdivision road paving issue. This information is being provided to fulfill our charter as a conduit of information so that Niwotians can be well informed.
What is being proposed?
The process to incorporate Niwot into a town is not an exact science, so it is not possible for anyone to say exactly what steps will need to occur and how much it will cost. The NEISC has done quite a lot of work, and for that they are to be commended. The NCA will provide details from our own research that sometimes differ from the information provided by the NEISC.
Here is an overview what the NEISC is proposing:
What will change:
- Property tax increase of 7.50 mils, about 8%
- Sales tax increase of 3.86%, almost doubling the current 4.99% to 8.85%
- Dissolve the Niwot Local Improvement District (LID) which promotes the vitality of the Niwot business district.
- Niwot Historic District would go away
- Niwot Rural Community District (NRCD) and design review committee would dissolve
- An incorporated Niwot that will effectively replace Boulder County for all local services. It will include:
- Town manager
- Town planner
- Contracted services
- Public safety & Public works
- A plan to repair Niwot roads within 6 years
- Commercial and residential zoning, land use, and building permit decisions will be under the control of the Niwot town government
What will NOT change:
- Boulder County Sheriff
- Mt. View Fire Protection District
- Left Hand Water District
- Niwot Sanitation District
- County parks and open space
- Utility services:
- Left Hand Water
- Niwot Sanitation
- Xcel Energy
- Trash collection
- Roads still plowed: by town instead of county
- Community events will NOT be absorbed by town and will remain dependent on volunteers, and will need to seek new revenues to replace lost LID funding:
- Rock & Rails
- Easter egg hunt
- 4th of July
- Niwot Clean Up Day
- National Night Out
- Halloween party & parade
- Enchanted Evening
- Holiday parade
In the coming weeks, the NCA will report the results of our own findings. This will include costs, budgets, assumptions, policies, and road maintenance issues. On the NEISC website there are statements purported as fact that differ from the NCA research. The NCA will cite sources and list examples that will clarify matters.
You are encouraged to visit the NEISC website to familiarize yourself with the Niwot incorporation plan being suggested. On their website you are asked to submit feedback through their Community Input page. As the NCA believes more details are required to create an informed opinion, please consider waiting until the NCA publishes all the results of our research to provide feedback to the NEISC.
The NCA will be conducting community surveys of its own that will be open to NCA members and the general public and will be reported in two ways: first by confirmed NCA members, and secondly from
the public in general. We feel that the first version carries more weight because voters are verified and there is no multiple voting. Survey results will be openly reported and available to the public on our website.
Again, please feel free to forward this and upcoming messages to your neighbors and friends, and be sure to visit the NCA website for additional details on this very important topic: www.niwot.org