BoCo, briefly: Feb. 21, 2024

Local news at a glance

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City officials are seeking feedback on the future of Boulder's civic area. Courtesy: City of Boulder

Engagement sessions for minimum wage increases

BoCo cities are looking for feedback on minimum wage increases that could be coming in January 2025.

Boulder, Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville and Erie are “collectively exploring” minimum wage increases through community engagement sessions and an economic analysis by policy research org ECOnorthwest. The collaboration comes after unincorporated Boulder County raised its minimum wage to $15.69 an hour this year, resulting in conflicting wages throughout the county

A questionnaire and list of engagement sessions running Feb. 23 through April 15 can be found at bit.ly/engage
minimumwage
. The sessions are intended for specific audiences — business sessions for business owners and employers, and community sessions for low-wage earners, students and retirees — but anyone can attend any session. 

BoCo names new coroner

Boulder County Commissioners unanimously appointed Jeff Martin as the new BoCo coroner. Martin has been with the office since 2021 as chief deputy coroner and has led the office since Emma Hall’s resignation in January after an internal investigation found Hall was creating a toxic work environment. 

Voters will select the next coroner in the November 2024 general election, which Martin has already filed to run in, according to the county.

Martin delivered his appointment speech Feb. 20 at the commissioner’s weekly business meeting. 

Civic area open house

The City of Boulder will host an open house on the future of the civic area, which includes the green space surrounding the downtown library and parts of Boulder Creek, and is bordered by Canyon Boulevard to the north, Arapahoe Avenue to the south, 9th Street to the west and 14th Street to the east. The open house is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 24 in the outdoor space east of the library. Planning for the area began in 2012.

The City is proposing making a portion of the area a historic district (from the Penfield Tate II Municipal Building to 14th street), which adds a level of design review for exterior changes and new buildings through the City’s department of historic preservation, says Marcy Gerwing, principal planner for the department. Council’s first reading of the proposed district is March 21, with public participation welcome. The second reading and public hearing will be April 11, according to the City’s website. Council dates are subject to change. 

The proposed district includes Central Park and five buildings that are already designated as historic landmarks: the Penfield Tate II Municipal Building, the Glen Huntington Bandshell, the Midland Savings & Loan – Atrium Building, the Dushanbe Teahouse and the City Storage Building.

In other news… 

• Boulder City Council will not move forward with a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, council indicated at its Feb. 15 meeting. Councilmembers Taishya Adams and Lauren Folkerts were the only councilmembers who indicated they wanted to explore a resolution. 

• Boulder Valley School District’s Title IX Stakeholder Council recently made five recommendations that it hopes will improve the district’s sexual violence prevention and response, The Daily Camera reports. Those recommendations include getting an outside assessment of policies and practices, providing more support and outreach to students, creating a Title IX department and reporting Title IX statistics annually. 

• Colorado’s property tax deferral program is open for enrollment in Boulder County through April 1. The program, which allows deferment of paying property taxes, has traditionally only been open to seniors and active military personnel. 

In 2023, it was expanded to any homeowners whose property taxes grew by 4% or more over the past two years. The general public can defer a portion of the taxes up to $10,000, while seniors and active military members can defer the total property tax owed. 

Homeowners can check eligibility at colorado.propertytaxdeferral.com.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correctly reflect the bounds of the proposed Civic Area Historic District. A previous version of the article misclassified the historic district as the entire Civic Area.