Despite the fact that there are more than 2,500 metro districts throughout the state, many policymakers and community members don’t know much about them. That’s why the Metro District Education Coalition (MDEC) launched its inaugural “Dirt to Done” tour last month, guiding more than 40 participants through three distinct metro districts in Northern Colorado.
Sponsored by Western Alliance Bank, this tour marked a significant milestone for MDEC, showcasing the design, build and maintenance of public improvements in the following metropolitan districts: Kitchel Lake (Timnath,CO), Raindance (Windsor, CO) and Kinston Centerra (Loveland, CO).
“The purpose of the tour was to help educate policy makers and community members on what metro districts do to create community, and I think we did a great job with it,” said Kristi Pollard, Executive Director of the Metro District Education Coalition.
MDEC is a non-profit organization that educates on the role of metro districts across the state in financing and maintaining the public infrastructure like roads, sewer, and storm water that communities need and amenities like parks, trails, and paths that people want. Metro districts play an important role in creating more affordable housing options and providing homes for millions of people in Colorado.
The purpose of the tour was to share information about how metro districts operate. From financing, to governance, to elections, and more, guests gained a good understanding of the tool while viewing the diversity of three communities that are using the tool to meet the specific needs and wants of their community.
Attendees of the Dirt to Done Tour embarked on a passenger bus through three vibrant, ever-growing communities, garnering insight through showcased presentations and networking opportunities from industry leaders within the field. Public improvements that were highlighted included community gardens and a golf course at Raindance, the pre-development stage at Kitchel Lake, and co-working space, ecological preservation and the intersection of commercial property and residential property at Kinston Centerra.
The objective of visiting the undeveloped community at Kitchel Lake was to show all the stages of the development process and the potential for each district to create its own character.
“We showed the people on the tour [of Kitchel Lake] what it looks like before you build a single home,” Pollard said. It was an opportunity to discuss the financing and other considerations that must take place early in the planning process.
“Raindance appeals to a diverse demographic, so they designed an array of amenities that are attractive to all of their residents,” Pollard said. Raindance is also expanding its community to include a sled hill for kids that can also be used to ride bikes down during the summer months.
Industry professionals and policymakers who attended the tour offered positive feedback and appeared interested in learning more about the innovative future of new housing and community enhancement that comes from developing metro districts. MDEC is planning future tours and seminars.
MDEC would like to give a special thanks to the following individuals for hosting the Dirt to Done Tour:
· Kim Perry, Vice President of Community Design & Neighborhood Development, McWhinney (Centerra)
· Gary Kerr, CFO, The Water Valley Company (Raindance Community)
· Jim Righeimer, CEO, Arbor Capital Partners (Kitchel Lake Community)
For more information on the Metropolitan District Education Coalition, please contact Executive Director Kristi Pollard at: firstname.lastname@example.org