Town of Fraser welcomes Barwick to board, reports improved financial outlook |

Town of Fraser welcomes Barwick to board, reports improved financial outlook

Town Clerk Antoinette McVeight swears in board members Andy Miller and Randy Barwick.
Sawyer D’Argonne/Sky-HI News

The Fraser Board of Trustees welcomed new member Ryan Barwick to the board on Wednesday evening, in an otherwise relatively uneventful meeting at the Fraser Town Hall.

What promised to be a busy night in the council chambers quickly turned quiet after the board removed more than half of the agenda items on tap. Most of the crowd sauntered out after a change in development plans negated the need for the board to discuss the Byer’s Peak Ranch filing.

Byers Peak Ranch, a new unincorporated subdivision proposed along Mill Ave. and the railroad by Cornerstone Winter Park Holdings, had been raising concerns about drainage and driveways backing up to Mill Ave. The county agreed to conditionally approve the plans if the Fraser Town Board did the same. Before the meeting, however, Mayor Philip Vandernail met with Cornerstone President Clark Lipscomb, who agreed to change the plans, according to Town Manager Jeff Durbin.

The more current plans back the development off of Mill Ave., and extend Norgren Road down the west side of the development.

There were also several appointments planned for the board meeting, though the board decided to push the appointments until the entire board could be present.

Swearing In

Ryan Barwick was recently elected to the town’s board in the April election, along with returning member Andy Miller. Both swore their oath of office, and at the demand of Town Clerk Antoinette McVeigh, promised to keep Fraser funky.

Barwick, owner of both MAD Adventures and Grand Adventures, narrowly won a four-year term in the April election with 110 votes. Miller also won a four-year term with 139 votes.

Financial Audit

Paul Backes, a certified public accountant for McMahan and Associates, gave a presentation on the town’s 2017 financial audit at the meeting. He lauded the town, saying that of all the government entities McMahan and Associates represents, Fraser is one of very few with virtually no debt on their books. The town was able to knock off more than $830,000 in debt last year, bringing their balance to less than $19,000. The town’s governmental fund balances increased by $185,064 in 2017, and the town’s general fund increased by more than $670,000, according to the analysis.

From a long-term perspective, which includes the depreciation of assets, the town’s net position increased about two percent, or $859,000, from $38,748,815 to $39,608,221. Net position includes both governmental and business (water and waste water fund) activities.

In all, Backes concluded that Fraser was in a good financial position, and at a good starting point to begin capital projects.

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