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By 2050, one in 12 people living in Colorado will call Weld County home

Posted on 02/26/2018
By 2050, one in 12 people living in Colorado will call Weld County homeby Weld County Commissioner Chairman Steve Moreno

It’s no secret, Weld County is growing. Sure, we are growing most rapidly in the south and in the west, but the county overall is seeing an increase in population, which is leading to an increase in traffic. We see it in our towns, and we see it in our commutes. And it was reinforced in a November 7, 2017, Denver Post article in which the State Demographer predicts, “Weld, which now has about 50,000 fewer people than Larimer, catches up by 2025 and then races ahead, gaining 191,000 more people by 2050. About one in 19 Coloradans currently lives in Weld County. By 2050, one in 12 will.”

So how does county government prepare for what we know is coming, while still trying to maintain the very reason people live here in the first place? By proactive strategic planning. By working not only on projects for this year or next but also for five and 10 years down the road. It is the duty of those of us elected to represent the people of Weld County to make sure we accomplish that task; that we make the decisions that need to be made to keep the county on course for success.

The process of government and how these decisions are made is relatively simple and is the same for most every decision an elected commissioner makes: staff researches and recommends a course of action, working groups are set up, public meetings are held, public input is gathered, a course of action is voted on.
In short, these decisions aren’t made in a vacuum. Weld County government has a long history of collaborating with other agencies and municipalities to work on plans and solutions that work for the majority of those impacted.

Such is the case with the Weld County Road (WCR) 29 Access Control Plan (ACP). In October 2015, the commissioners expressed the desire to work with the towns of Severance, Eaton, Ault, Pierce and Nunn on a planning effort regarding WCR 29. This planning effort would result in a planning document to which the aforementioned communities agreed would be the guidelines as to how they would like to see that road grow in the future. Every community – Ault, Severance, Eaton, Nunn and Pierce – adopted the plan in 2016.

Strangely, just prior to Weld County adopting the plan, members of the community along that road, some of whom received misinformation about the what the plan is and does, came forward to the county with questions. The county addressed the misinformation and agreed to hold two additional public meetings to further answer questions and concerns, most of which did not pertain to the ACP.

During Monday’s Board meeting, elected representatives from the five communities involved in the ACP process all expressed continued support for the ACP and understood its importance in regard to the safety and the integrity of the road. They all published meeting notifications prior to their adoption of the ACP, and hey all invited public input at public meetings regarding this planning document.

Weld County Government as well held numerous public meetings and even extended its approval process by six months in order to address public comments and questions as well as to battle misinformation and unfounded allegations. Today, the Weld County commissioners adopted the ACP, the last entity of the group to do so, and by their action did what the people of Weld County elected them to do – to make the necessary decision to ensure the county, in collaboration with its municipalities, is planning for the inevitable growth headed our way.