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Contentious GID meeting

by Brian Orr

NORTHLANDS- What was supposed to be a feel-good sales job on the benefits of joining the Northlands General Improvement District (GID) quickly grew acrimonious on Thursday, Mar. 27.

    Orchestrated by the Northlands GID Board of Directors, the event was hosted by Tom Cave of Accurate EngiSurv, Susan Blake of Legends West Realty and property owner Bill Shepard.

    To ease the annexation into the City of Walsenburg, the GID needs to get everyone affected by the incoming City sewer line to sign an agreement.  They already have all the property owners in the Northlands on board- or so they thought. 

    The informational meeting on the 27th was to bring the residents of Wahatolla Hills on board as well.  Although this subdivision is technically part of Walsenburg, the homes there rely on septic systems. 

    While munching on chips and buffalo wings, the crowd listened as Cave began outlining what the goals of the GID were. Questions thrown out by the audience however,  quickly bogged the process down.

    Tom and Sue Powell, property owners from the Northlands who heretofore had been supporters of the annexation process,  began asking questions and arguing with Cave about various future expenses and who would be responsible for paying them.  Cave told the Powells at one point their property could be excluded from the annexation if that’s what they wanted.  The exchange grew so heated that a break had to be called. 

    In this atmosphere, Cave was not even able to complete going through the powerpoint presentation. 

    After tempers cooled however, the message that Northlands was giving sank in, and of the five landowners present at the meeting, four of them signed off on agreeing to the General Improvement District.  There are fourteen homeowners in Wahatolla Hills that need to sign off on the process.

    “People asked tons of questions,” said Blake about the meeting.  “We were there until about nine pm.”  The next step is to go out and start knocking on doors in the Wahatolla Hills area.  “We just need to get out and start educating people,” Blake said