District 2 Candidate Barry Wilson

Insurance agent Barry Wilson is seeking a second four-year term to represent District 2 on the City of Windsor Board of Directors, challenged by estate agent Amy Kilcoyne.

He and his wife have lived in Windsor for 22 years and raised three boys in the community. Wilson holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Iowa State University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

The Coloradoan sent questionnaires to each Windsor candidate to learn more about their priorities and why they are running for office. Their responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Here are Wilson’s answers.

Central electoral office: What to know about the April 2022 elections in Windsor, Timnath, Wellington and Johnstown

Q: What qualifies you to hold a seat on Windsor City Council?

A: I have proven myself as an effective leader in Windsor over the past four years. I am available, accessible and attentive to voters. I believe the best way to understand and solve a problem is to actively listen and be empathetic. I listen to my neighbors and understand the needs of District 2 and all Windsor residents. I am well-prepared, attentive and engaged in city council meetings so that I can make the best decisions possible. I represent the residents of Windsor, not a developer, industry or political party.

I have lived in Windsor for 22 years and own a small business in downtown Windsor. My wife and I raised three children in Windsor who are now in college. I understand the needs of families and businesses. I will work tirelessly to improve the lives of my neighbors, maintain our small-town atmosphere, and manage our growth responsibly in the future.

Q: What are your top three priorities if elected?

A: First, public safety. Windsor is a safe city, but we need to keep it safe as we grow.

Infrastructure due to growth: roads/traffic, downtown parking, expansion of sewer station, etc.

Water Independence: Secure the water future with the Northern Integrated Supply Project and build our own water treatment facility.

Q: What are the top three challenges facing Windsor and what would you do to address them?

Maintaining our small town atmosphere is very important to residents of Windsor. It’s all about community: concerts in the park, farmers’ markets, harvest festival, youth sports, and more. Polls show that parks and trails are a top priority for Windsor residents. Neighborhood parks and neighborhoods connected by trails are also important for maintaining the small-town vibe we all desire.

When I ran for office in 2018, my goal was to connect District 2 to downtown Windsor with a trail/bike path and we did it. We added a pedestrian bridge over the Poudre River, a crosswalk crossing Main Street at Colorado Boulevard. The pedestrian bridge over Seventh Street also connected two major neighborhoods. Golf carts can cross the bridge, but middle schoolers can also get together safely without crossing a busy road.

I have served on the Parks, Recreation and Culture Advisory Board and the Poudre River Trail Corridor Board of Directors. If re-elected, I will maintain the small-town feel by developing our trail master plan and connecting all neighborhoods including the north side and west side of town.

Traffic Congestion: I will hold developers accountable for proactively making road improvements before homes are built in new developments. I will expedite our current road improvement plans since the revenue has already been allocated. I support reducing truck traffic on Main Street by rerouting Colorado Highway 257 along Weld County Road 19 north of Main Street to Harmony Road. I support the creation of a ‘Northern Bypass’ by extending County Road 70 west on the north side of Lake Windsor so people can travel east and west on an alternate route away from the street Hand. I want to partner with Larimer County and the Colorado Department of Transportation to put a stake in the ground to widen Main Street / Colorado Highway 392 to four lanes from the west end of downtown Windsor to Interstate 25 within 10 years.

Downtown parking: see my answer below.

Q: The proposed backlots project seems to be dividing the city, especially the business community. Where are you with the backlots project and why?

A: The Backlots project does not divide the city. Like any project, opinions differ. Unfortunately, a lot of inaccurate information has been shared on social media to intentionally mislead people.

There are no plans to reduce parking or cut off access to Boardwalk Park. Backlots are currently an eyesore. I support the development of the area, as it would create a more vibrant downtown. The project is being spearheaded by the Downtown Development Authority, made up of downtown business owners. Some people oppose the project because they are concerned about parking, the height of buildings, etc.

I would not approve of adding businesses or residential units downtown unless we address parking in advance. The backlots project is in the planning phase and we haven’t seen the final proposal. Once completed, it will need to go through the planning commission and city council approval process. There will be multiple opportunities for public participation. I am confident that the City of Windsor will come together and find a solution that will make the downtown area better for everyone.

Q: Parking in downtown Windsor is a major issue, according to most business owners. How would you solve the downtown parking problem?

A: If re-elected, expanding downtown parking will be a top priority. In fact, City Council committed $1 million in the 2022 budget to improving downtown parking, which could mean acquiring additional land for parking, adding parking on land owned to the city and/or the provision of private parking lots to the public.

We will likely spend even more on parking in 2023 and beyond. I am open to building a parking structure, depending on location, height and cost. A solution is underway and the results of a parking study will be released to the public soon, possibly before the April 5 election. There will be opportunities for public comment before it is voted on by city council.

Q: Windsor is known as a business-friendly city and has offered incentives in the form of fee waivers and tax refunds. Going forward, what should the city do to prepare for future residential and commercial growth?

A: Windsor has been successful in attracting new business with and without economic incentives. Windsor is an attractive location for many businesses due to railroad access, proximity to major highways, and a central location to attract workers from across northern Colorado. I have great confidence in Stacy Miller, our award-winning Director of Economic Development.

Incentives are controlled, well prepared and scrupulously examined. If re-elected, I intend to take a proactive approach to our residential growth which has caused most of our growing pains.

Windsor has allowed large new residential developments to be built without adequate road improvements to handle the additional traffic. The city ends up coming as an afterthought, widening roads or adding traffic lights and roundabouts.

Current residents bear much of the infrastructure costs caused by growth. If re-elected, Windsor will do a better job of anticipating infrastructure needs caused by new developments and proactively improving roads before homes are built.

Growth must be self-financing. Some developers have too much influence on the city council. I represent the people of Windsor. I do not accept campaign donations from any developer, industry or political party. Therefore, I owe them no favors. I will do what is best for the residents of Windsor.

Q: If you would like to discuss any other issues that were not mentioned in the questionnaire, please do so here:

A: I am proud to have recently been re-elected as Chair of the Larimer County Behavioral Health Policy Council (BHPC). Larimer County Commissioner Jody Shaddock-McNally is the co-chair and there are elected representatives from all eight Larimer County municipalities as well as several at-large members who are experts in the field of behavioral health.

Construction is underway on the new Larimer County Behavioral Health Crisis Services Center. The BHPC Impact Fund grant program has allowed us to invest directly in programs that meet the behavioral health needs of our community. In our first three years (2019-2021), 110 grants were distributed totaling over $6 million.

These efforts are possible thanks to Larimer County residents who voted to raise taxes. For personal reasons, helping people with their mental health and addiction issues is extremely important to me. I’ve done a lot of good things in my four years on city council, but this stands out as one of the biggest impacts of my tenure. The pandemic has increased the need for behavioral health services and we are working to meet those needs.

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