St Vrain Lakes Metropolitan Districts Summary
The St. Vrain Lakes Metropolitan District Nos. 1-4 (“Districts”) are governmental entities and political subdivisions of the State of Colorado, designed to operate as quasi-municipal corporations each run by an elected five-person Board of Directors. The primary purpose of the Districts is to finance infrastructure and parks to the Barefoot Lakes Service Area and to provide an on-going governmental structure for the operation and maintenance of signage, park, recreation and landscaping facilities.
The primary benefits of utilizing a Colorado Special District rather than a homeowner association are:
- Minimization of overhead costs, due to a single District/HOA management entity;
- Limited liability through the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act; and
- The ability to use, among other sources of revenue, the power of taxation to collect the cost of service and development enhancements on an equitable basis, through income tax deductible means
The Service Plan for the Districts was approved by Weld County in 2006 and the related organizational questions were approved by the voters of the Districts in November of 2006. The mill levy assessed on the District are used to fund the operations and maintenance of the facilities (entryway, monument signage, landscape, fencing, recreational facilities, etc.) the District will continue to operate and maintain. 5 mills are used to fund the Intergovernmental Agreement with the Town of Firestone for the maintenance of regional parks, regional trails and public streets. Additional information regarding the current mill levy can be found here.
The Districts retain the authority to implement fees to support on-going operations and maintenance activities. The current fees include a general operations fee, development fee and administrative setup fee for the purposes of recovering the infrastructure costs and the on-going costs of operation. Additional fee information can be found here.
The Service Plan for the Districts provides the Districts with the ability to finance the construction, acquisition, installation and provide services to the public improvements needed within Barefooot Lakes. It also authorizes the Districts to provide for ongoing operations and maintenance of the signage and monumentation, park and recreation facilities, irrigation water systems and landscaping services. The Districts have also been granted powers of covenant enforcement and design review. The Districts’ Boards have chosen to have the Districts provide covenant enforcement, design review, and any homeowners’ association functions permissible under Colorado law and eliminate the necessity of a separate homeowners’ association and a separate homeowners’ association fee.
How to Calculate the Assessment
The Districts’ mill levy is included in the annual Weld County Property Tax Bill to each homeowner.
Each property is assessed based on the following formula:
- Actual Property Value multiplied by 7.2% (assessment rate) = Assessed Value
- Property tax: Assessed value/ divide by 1,000 (mill levy applies to every
$1,000 in value) x 71.861mills = annual property tax for District portion only.
The assessment rate may change every other year and is set by the Colorado State Legislature in accordance with certain requirements under the Gallagher Amendment.