Paving Paradise

My homestead sits in Berthoud. A ten acre alfala crop streaches up the south side dam on Loveland Lake and Ditch Resivior. I am a Stockholder of one share of LLD water. At full capicity, when the lake is asessed in the spring, one Share of stock can be set to as much as 7 acre feet of water per share. This is water that can only be used for agriculture and the stockholders own the real property in where it sits. However, company bilaws are set that there is no possibility of a "majority" stock holder and that no one would ever have controlling interest in the nonprofit irrigation lake that sits off what used to be the end of town. It used to provide water for 1000's of acres of farms that used to surround the small town of Berthoud.

If anyone knows Handy Ditch, they know they run the water around here! In many of cases ol' Farmer;s from around here, In addition to thier LLD shares also oun a fair share of Handy water as well. My best educated guess would say that there is 5 to 7+ farms left on LL&ditch system, That stiil depend on Loveland Lake and Ditch. From small to big, grass & alfalfa, corn and beets and barley.

The River Commissioner, He sure gets to us when he can, our small lake is not high on prioity. Other buch bigger lakes in the aera need filled first and the running season is short. Handy ditch runs right along the high ground on the west side of our lake. And quite often we move Handy Water right through our headgates. It creates and additional running charge fee for the Farmer but LL&D is a non for profit lake that belongs to the stockholders. We should not use this water to water the grass of our lawns our new recreational purposes and developement. We Farm.

Our town of Berthoud was Donated 80 acres known now as "Waggner Farm Park" The owner of the land was lost to cancer as a young man, huspand and father around 20 years ago. He had a vision for the community as a great open space, an education place or most definatly as he put it, "A place for the kids". Maybe a Rec. Center. and from what i understand he gifted this 80 acres to the town of berthoud thats sits just west of the elementery school.

I suppose, as any project planner would do in a town council board room, They Idea glorified and the project is now underway. I encourage anyone to look at the google results of Waggener Farm Park in Berthoud Colorado. My farm is right between them, and the lake. The construction has Begun on quite a large scale for my new neighbors right across the street. A family that one lived on a quiet N county Road is now the Ave of what has been changed to Berthoud Parkway.

I recent years past LL&D water stock has been bought and sold. By and large I believe that the town of berthoud now owns 49% of the stock if not close to. Rumor has it they would really like to buy more shares but that would disrupt or stockholder bylaws reguarding controlling interest, and a non for profit ideology. Also, the remaining intention of Agriculture supply water only, for the rest of the stockholders.

I would like to add, I think the town of berthoud was told, before they started building this complex recreation center that they can't use this lake stock for recreation. The main Water Pump, is on my property, in my well where this ol' homestead has always drawn their water. Well I mean the big big pump, that goes across the street! Ya see' the headgate and the outlet, are also on my property. The ditch, runs through my property and even before, my family bought this farm, the homesteader had always made agreements with ol' farmer Mike Waggner, that "he could use that ol' pump house," just run a pipe under the road and you can flood that whole 80 acres of crops!"

It does'nt make much sence to me now, why berthoud would want an 80 acre cash crop in the middle of town? Its always sad to see agriculture moving out. I am still friends with Mike Waggners last wife and on her behalf, I think It's kinda' sad to see what a town can say to a project planner; and the wishes they agreed to with a dying honest man.

Now, how about that water.

TimJ Nolting

mholcomb almost 4 years ago
Thank you for the beautiful slice of history Tim. Its certainly hard to watch open landscapes change to hardscapes between our front range communities - a challenging aspect of a growing population locally and worldwide. Have you ever had an opportunity to show your 10 acre homestead to local Berthoud families or the neighboring schools? The proximity of small farms to more urban spaces could be an incredible opportunity to get more kids interested in working with the land!