(This is obviously an April Fools joke. But that doesn’t make it a bad idea)
LONGMONT – An idea that many in Longmont say is long overdue. A City and County of Longmont? Not exactly.
Longmont’s Mayor Bryan Baum and Firestone’s Mayor Chad Auer, along with administrators from Mead, Dacono, Lyons, and Frederick are in talks of creating a new county – with the working name “St. Vrain County”.
It would encompass those cities plus extend westward to the Grand County line to include the Eldora Ski Area, which has complained for decades of living under the “iron fist of Boulder County”.
“We see this as a great opportunity to expand our resort and make it the premiere ski attraction on the Front Range”, said Eldora Resorts manager Jeff Johnston.
The proposed county would also closely resemble the school district that shares it’s name – the St. Vrain Valley School District, one of the largest in the state. “This would help us streamline our operations and cut down on costs, which is at the front of everybody’s minds right now,” said Superintendent Don Haddad.
The news comes on the heels of a Daily Camera report of a Blue Ribbon Commission that ripped Boulder over its budget process, dedicated funding, and managing of city assets. Boulder has been requesting Longmont join the rest of the county in revenue sharing, as its own revenues continue to plummet. Recently the Longmont City Council again denied this request, which many believe was due to the behind-the-scenes meetings at forming a new county and leaving Boulder and the remaining Boulder County cities – Erie, Superior, Lafayette, and Louisville – to deal with their own shortcomings and mismanagement.
Besides Eldora Ski Resort, there were two other entities that were excited to hear this news: Rocky Mountain Christian Church and LifeBridge Christian Church, both of which are in the middle of legal battles with the county, Longmont and Firestone. As part of the agreement between the two cities, LifeBridge would be annexed into Longmont and Firestone would get some of the water rights to Union Reservoir, along with some of the sales/use tax revenue from the new Super Walmart at Hwy 119 and County Line Road.
Mayor Baum and Mayor Auer agreed this was the best possible deal for each city and looked forward to being good neighbors in the future. Talk of revenue sharing between municipalities broke down when Lyons proposed a toll booth for traffic bound for Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, which would not be part of the new county.