The following is a review of the Debt Authorization Ballot Issue and includes a condensed explanation of frequently asked questions. Please read the complete FAQ on the NDDA website for further information. There will be a board meeting, with time reserved for public comment, held on March 16, 2016 regarding the Master Plan.
By March 4th all qualified electors, property, and business owners in the Nederland Downtown Development Authority District should have received a letter notifying them of their eligibility to vote in the NDDA Election with instructions included. If you have not received a letter by the end of this week and you feel like you are qualified, check out the Ballot FAQ for more information on qualifications and how to receive a ballot.
The April 5th Election is an all-mail in ballot and ballots will be mailed to voters on March 14th. Ballots must be received at Town Hall before 5pm on April 5th. Qualified NDDA electors have until 5pm on April 5 to return their affidavit and ballot. (In a previous email it was mistakenly stated that you also had to be registered to vote. This is not true, but you must be able to prove you are a qualified NDDA elector).
About the Debt Authorization
In April, the Nederland Downtown Development Authority (NDDA) is asking for approval from commercial property owners and business lessees within the DDA district to allow the NDDA to borrow up to $2.924 million for improvements to infrastructure and economic development programs. Repayment will come from the Tax Increment Funding (TIF) portion of NDDA revenue.
TIF revenue allows the NDDA to borrow money against the anticipated increase in district property taxes as property values go up. TIF financing does NOT increase property taxes. TIF revenue, collected from within the district, is used to target investment and improvements to infrastructure as well as promote economic development in the downtown. As infrastructure and business improves, property values increase and the NDDA receives the portion of the property taxes realized from the 2005 “base” property values to the increased property values. The amount of TIF revenue is currently over $150,000 per year and has steadily increased since 2005. Because TIF will be in place until 2035, a predictable income stream is available for repayment of the proposed debt.
Passing of the Debt Authorization gives the NDDA permission to ask for project and program funds. The NDDA will develop detailed projects, programs and budgets, and per state statute, ask the Board of Trustees to borrow the money from the TIF revenue. The public, and particularly members of the district, will have the opportunity to weigh in on these projects.
A major component in financing NDDA projects is partnering with local entities and regional partners. By leveraging funding from government departments, the value of the TIF can increase. NedPeds costs about $1 million, with only $340,000 or about 1/3 coming from TIF.
Another important consideration for the Debt Authorization is that the NDDA will not be borrowing $2.9 million at once but over the next 5 to 7+ years. Cost of interest will vary.
The NDDA looked at the 2016 Master Plan and determined what could be completed or planned in the next 5-7 years. Some of the projects and programs being considered include:
Lakeview intersection project
Underused Parking Lot and on-street parking improvements
1st Street Loading zone and Pedestrian/ADA walkability
2nd crossing at Middle Boulder Creek
River pathway (design only)
Mitigate storm water and water quality issues for Middle Boulder Creek
Business improvement loans, grants, and rebate programs
Improve vehicular and pedestrian signage/wayfinding
Business Incubation (bank office space and property purchase)
Beautification (public art installations, pocket parks, native planting and landscaping)
Visitors Center (operation)
Bury 1st Street utility lines
Successful passage of the Ballot Issue will mean that the NDDA can start projects this summer such as a traffic study, wayfinding and signage, cleaning up downtown, and Visitors Center operations. For larger capital and construction projects, planning and design can be done this year so that funding for implementation and construction can be arranged through grants and partnerships. As funding is identified and secured, larger infrastructure projects can be scheduled quickly.
Questions on the election can be answered by the Nederland Town Clerk or NDDA Chairperson or other NDDA Board Members.
You can download the 2016 Master Plan final draft or pick up a hard copy at Town Hall. The next public comment opportunity will be at the NDDA Board meeting March 16. The meeting starts at 6:30pm at the Community Center in the Multi-Purpose room.
The next NDDA Board meeting will be March 16. The meeting starts at 6:30pm at the Community Center in the Multi Purpose room.
DDA Debt Authorization Ballot FAQ
On April 5, 2016, the eligible electors in the Nederland Downtown Development Authority will vote on a ballot question that will influence the future of the DDA. The answers on this page are governed mostly by Colorado election law, as outlined in statutes, regulations, and court cases. Please read this page thoroughly and carefully. Any additional questions should be directed to the Town Clerk firstname.lastname@example.org, at 303.258.3266.
Question 1: What is the issue on the DDA ballot?
Answer 1: The DDA is asking the district voters for authorization of debt to cover projects to be undertaken by the DDA and paid for by its Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds.
Question 2: Who will receive a DDA ballot?
Answer 2: On April 5th, most Nederland residents will receive and vote only on the regular municipal ballot, which will contain the slate of candidates running for Mayor and Board of Trustees and a single ballot question concerning de-Brucing (permitting the Town to keep and spend Town revenues outside of TABOR’s growth limitations – the Town would still have to obtain voter-approval for any new taxes in the future)..
Only “qualified electors” in the Nederland Downtown Development Authority will receive and vote on the DDA ballot. “eligible qualified electors” for the DDA ballot are natural persons or corporate entities who are commercial property owners or commercial leaseholders in the DDA. Residential property owners or residential leaseholders are not eligible to vote. If a commercial property owner or commercial leaseholder is a corporate entity rather than a natural person, that entity will have to appoint a natural person to vote on its behalf (more information on this below).
The Town Clerk and election judges will have a list of electors and returned affidavits with which to validate ballots on Election Day. You can be qualified to vote up to, and including Election Day, and ballots and affidavits may also be dropped off, up to and on Election Day.
Question 3: How will the Town determine whether a property is commercial or residential?
Answer 3: This determination will be based on the Boulder County Assessor’s Office designation for the property for property tax purposes. For example, a residential property owner who is leasing his or her property to a commercial entity will not be eligible to vote, but the commercial business owner leasing the property will be eligible to vote. In commercial mixed use properties, only the property owner and any commercial tenants will be permitted to vote on the DDA ballot. Residential tenants will not be eligible to vote.
Question 4: How will I know if I am on the list of qualified electors to vote on the DDA ballot on Election Day?
Answer 4: The Town Clerk will be compiling and maintaining a list of qualified electors for the DDA ballot. This list will start with a list of commercial property owners and commercial leaseholder tenants in the DDA, as provided by the Boulder County Assessor’s office. Everyone on that list will be mailed a legally-required notice of the DDA ballot questions, along with a letter notifying them that they have been tentatively identified as an qualified elector for the DDA ballot. The letters will require additional action on the part of the recipients. All letter recipients will need to sign and return to the Town Clerk the enclosed affidavit, affirming, under penalty of election fraud charges, that they are, in fact, a commercial property owner or commercial leaseholder in the DDA. Unless a signed and notarized affidavit is returned to the Town Clerk’s office, the letter recipient will not be eligible to vote on the DDA ballot on Election Day.
Commercial property owners or commercial leaseholders that are corporate entities will also receive, along with their letter and affidavit, a form that will allow the corporate entity to appoint a natural person to vote on its behalf on Election Day.
One person = one vote: Each corporate entity may appoint a natural person to vote a ballot on its behalf, but each natural person may only cast one vote. Therefore, if multiple corporate entities all appointed a single natural person to vote on their behalf, that person would only be entitled cast one vote total. He or she could not cast multiple votes on behalf of the multiple entities that had appointed him or her.
One owner, one corporate entity name, multiple properties = one vote: A person or corporate entity that owns multiple properties under one corporate name may only designate one person to vote on behalf of that corporate entity, even if that person or corporate entity owns multiple properties
One owner, multiple corporate entity names, multiple properties = multiple votes: A person or corporate entity that owns multiple properties under multiple corporate names may appoint multiple natural persons to represent the individual interests of those multiple properties.
Question 5: What if I’m not on the list of qualified electors for the DDA ballot but believe that I should be?
Answer 5: If a commercial property owner or commercial leaseholder feels that he or she is eligible to vote but has not received the letter and notification from the Town Clerk by March 1, 2016, he or she should contact the Town Clerk as soon as possible prior to the election. Property owners will be required to present a valid deed for the property in question and the Town Clerk will confirm the commercial designation of that property with the Boulder County Assessor’s office. Leaseholder tenants will be required to present a valid commercial lease for a property in the DDA. Voter eligibility determinations made by the Town Clerk are final and appealable only to the District Court in Boulder.
Question 6: Why is the procedure for confirming your status as a qualified elector for the DDA ballot so cumbersome? Why can’t the Clerk just use the County lists?
Answer 6: The lists of commercial property owners and leaseholders obtained from Boulder County were incomplete for some property owners or leaseholders, duplicative for others, and, most importantly, did not indicate which individual was authorized to vote on behalf of a given legal entity that owned or leased property. For instance, the County lists might have identified ABC, Inc. as a property owner. State law permits corporate and legal entities to vote in elections, but requires that they designate a “natural person” to vote on their behalf. The County lists do not provide that information, and such designation may change from election to election. Additionally, because of the “one person, one vote” law, we had to confirm that no one person was planning to represent multiple entities at the ballot box. By requiring all potential DDA voters to submit affidavits confirming their eligibility to vote in the DDA election, the Clerk was able to compile a complete and clear list of natural persons who are eligible to vote on the April 3rd DDA ballot. This way, the election judges need only reference the DDA voter list, just as they would the Nederland registered voters list for the municipal ballot; they will not be required to make a subjective, off-the-cuff determination of whether a particular individual is truly authorized to vote on behalf of ABC, Inc. By use of this affidavit mechanism, we can insure that votes are cast only by those authorized to cast them, only by one natural person per corporate or legal entity, and each natural person will cast only one DDA ballot.
This method – the affidavit method – was used recently by Longmont for its DDA election. It was determined to be the least intrusive, expensive, and time-consuming method of ensuring that only those who are truly eligible to vote on the DDA question are permitted to do so. It may seem like an unnecessary ‘extra step,’ but the goal of a legitimate, legal, and fair election is paramount.
Anyone with questions or concerns about the election policies or procedures should contact the Clerk’s office at 303.258.3266, ext. 23.
Question 7: Why did the Clerk distribute the list of DDA qualified electors to members of the public?
Answer 7: Voter registration lists, along with most election materials (except for ballots, of course) are considered public information and subject to Colorado’s Open Records Act. It would be illegal for the Clerk to refuse to divulge those lists to members of the public making a request. The Clerk is permitted to – and does – redact all personal identification information from both the DDA lists and the Nederland voter registration lists, including social security or tax ID numbers, driver license numbers, birthdates, etc. As a matter of course, the Clerk also does not release individual information on party affiliation, although that information is available through the County Clerk’s office.
Question 8: Does the Clerk’s office sell the lists to vendors or other paying customers?
Answer 8: Neither the Clerk’s office, nor any other Town office sells any information to vendors or other paying customers. Information that is public is made public to anyone making a formal request. Private, privileged or confidential information is only released subsequent to court order.