It’s Monday, Nov. 6, 2023.

And here we are at Monday, Boulder. Another week, though this one has an election in it, so that’s neat.

Because Election Day is tomorrow, and because we’re a news organization, it seems pertinent to provide an outline for how we’re planning on covering things. If you’re receiving this email, you’re already in good shape, as we’ll be sending result updates to this list. If you have a friend who wants to stay informed tomorrow and beyond, forward this email and tell them to subscribe here. We’ll also have a live blog on the homepage of our website. Below, you’ll find essential reporting we’ve put together over the last several weeks.

Meanwhile, last week the current city council wrapped up its two-year housing agenda. By adjusting the “cash-in-lieu” payment structure for new developments, city council could be encouraging the construction of more reasonable houses in Boulder.

And, I have a story on the South Boulder Creek flood mitigation project. Though not part of this year’s election, it’s worth checking in on the project a year after voters again gave the city the go ahead to annex the CU South property into Boulder. Part of that annexation agreement included land set aside for a massive flood mitigation undertaking. As of now, the project is still on track to break ground in late 2024, though there are several approvals and permits that the city has yet to get.

Have a wonderful day.

— Tim

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South Boulder Creek flood mitigation project moves forward, but faces permitting and open space allocation challenges 

City staff will need the approval of the Open Space Board of Trustees to “dispose” of about five acres of open space for constructing the South Boulder Creek project’s flood wall. The project, more than two decades in the making, is the top priority in the city’s effort to protect residents from catastrophic flooding. Continue reading…

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In other news

Pleasant week with a touch of wet

Temps bounce among 60s, 50s and 40s this week with a spot of snow possibly coming mid-week. A spot of snow to go with your spot of tea. Perhaps with a touch of jam on your nibble of crumpet? Delightful.

Take a look at BRL’s essential election reporting as we head toward Election Day

City council endorses intergovernmental agreements with new library district

Councilmembers last week directed city officials to enter into two proposed intergovernmental agreements with the Boulder Public Library District. The goal is to finalize the agreements by Jan. 1, 2024.

Voters in 2022 approved a ballot measure to create a property-tax funded library district across much of Boulder County. The change means a seven-member Library District Board of Trustees will manage the city’s libraries rather than the City of Boulder. The terms and conditions of the intergovernmental agreements are a key component of this transition.

Rather than sell the city’s libraries to the district, the city will lease the buildings for 20-year terms essentially for free, according to the proposed agreement between the city and the district. The city will also donate all library property — books, shelves, computers — to the district.

Meanwhile, a separate agreement between the city, county and district sets out a process for appointing new trustees. It includes using a selection committee made up of two councilmembers, two county commissioners and two non-voting trustees. Any nominations will have to be approved by both the Boulder City Council and Board of County Commissioners.

The district’s board of trustees has already been meeting regularly to get the new organization up and running by the start of next year. This includes setting up an IT system, releasing a benefits guide, publishing an employee handbook and adopting a $38.6 million 2024 budget. The budget includes two years of operating costs. The district will pay back the City of Boulder for 2023 operating expenses.

Apply for a Boulder County fire mitigation grant

If you’re an entity that has a hand in reducing fire risk on land in Boulder County, now’s your chance to get some money to support your efforts.

A series of new strategic fuels mitigation grants will be available to those eligible. Applications close Dec. 11, and it’s not just municipalities that will be selected. According to the county’s website, homeowners associations, nonprofits, water providers and ditch companies can also throw their hats in for some money. Some $2 million is budgeted for the first round of grants.

The money comes from the countywide fire mitigation tax that passed as ballot measure 1A in Nov. 2022. Grants can be used for everything from funding grazing efforts to establishing and maintaining fire breaks.

“Mitigating the risk of wildfire is a key priority for the Boulder County Government and Boulder County residents,” said Commissioner Ashley Stolzmann. “The voter-approved wildfire mitigation sales and use tax has enabled county staff to build on their community partnerships to tackle this crucial work.”

Boulder Shelter for the Homeless gets more county funding

Boulder County commissioners announced they’ve allocated an additional $900,000 annually for the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, a nonprofit organization and the city’s largest shelter. It has already received $1.156 million this year from the county. The increase in funding will start in 2024.

The county says the shelter has seen an increase in people needing its services, leading to a funding gap for staff, utilities and food. Data show there has been a notable increase this year in homeless people living in Boulder County compared to prior years.

“Boulder County continues to work with partners to create long-term solutions to help individuals and their families obtain stable housing,” said Commissioner Claire Levy. “Boulder Shelter provides an essential service in providing short-term support for people experiencing homelessness while also providing a place for people to access services and strategies that will help them find permanent housing.”

Lafayette’s process for filling council vacancy

After the unexpected passing of councilmember Tonya Briggs, the Lafayette City Council requested applications for those who thought they would be a good candidate to fill the seat. Now that that window is closed, starting Nov. 6, the council will review those applications and choose who to interview. Nov. 13 will be the interviews along with a public input session immediately after. Ideally, an appointment will be made that evening, but they have until Nov. 17 to do so.

Downtown Louisville ice skating rink returns

The City of Louisville announced that its downtown ice skating rink will be returning for the 2023 holiday season under a new name and management. Formerly known as WinterSkate, the city says the Old Town Skate will offer a “revitalized and enhanced” experience.

“For two decades, residents and visitors have cherished the seasonal tradition of ice skating in the historic heart of Old Town Louisville,” Louisville Revitalization Commission chair, Lexi Adler, said in a statement.

The city says that under the new management, Old Town Skate will see several upgrades including a wider variety of music, new concession options, lower pricing and more.

The Old Town Skate will open on Nov. 18 and will operate through February 2024.

Car crashes into Noodles & Company

On Nov. 4, a car drove into the front of Noodles & Company in its North Boulder location at Broadway and Balsam. Boulder PD said there were no injuries. The cause is yet to be released.

Courtesy of @bikeboulderbike on X

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Tim Drugan is the climate and environment reporter for Boulder Reporting Lab, covering wildfires, water and other related topics. He is also the lead writer of BRL Today, our morning newsletter. Email: