City News

In this issue of City News, you’ll find out how recent COVID-19 restrictions affect City facilities and operations, how to take our Shop Local Pledge and how to help Fort Collins families who are financially struggling.

- Darin Atteberry, City Manager

New COVID-19 Guidelines for Larimer County

In response to recent increases in COVID-19 cases, test positivity rates across all age groups and significant impacts to hospital utilization within Larimer County, The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment moved Larimer County from Safer at Home Level 2 (Yellow) to Level 4 (Red) on Colorado’s Dial, effective Tuesday, November 24 at 5:00 p.m.

To view changes for Larimer County residents & businesses, click here

The Larimer County Health Department is working with businesses to understand and implement the new capacity limitations. Please contact the Health Department through one of these options:

  • Call the Joint Information Center: 970-498-5500 (open Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
  • Text questions to: 970-999-1770 
  • Send an Email: Submit your general questions and concerns about the Safer at Home order and reopening guidance here.

Updates to City Facilities and Operations
The shift outlined above will have the following impacts to City facilities and operations; additional changes are possible based on County guidance:

  • The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery and the Lincoln Center are temporarily closed.
  • Recreation facilities will remain open on existing schedules with a limit of 25 patrons per space, except for pools and gyms which are limited to 10 patrons. Registration is required for all drop-in usage. All sports have been postponed and will be reevaluated in January.
  • Golf-adjacent restaurants will be closed for indoor dining. They plan to offer takeout moving forward.

All other facilities and in-person customer service counters will remain open under current COVID hours and operations.

City COVID-19 Response & Resources

Pledge to Shop Local

Pledge to shop early, shop local and shop safe this holiday season by filling out our pledge form and help us keep Fort Collins businesses in business! 

Once you’ve taken the pledge, you’ll have the opportunity to download an “I Pledged to Shop Local” badge to post on your social media platforms. You can also win a $25 Gift Card to NoCo Nosh! Here’s how: 

  • Sign the Pledge to Shop Local this holiday season
  • Post the “I Pledged to Shop Local” Badge OR a photo of yourself showing us how you shop local #ForFortCollins on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and hashtag #ShopLocalFoCo.
  • Tag the City of Fort Collins in Your Post:

A limited number of gift cards are available; pledge signers will receive a gift card on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Take the Pledge!

The Payment Assistance Fund Helps Families in Need

In times of need, families turn to Fort Collins Utilities and Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC) for assistance. The Payment Assistance Fund helps customers catch up on their overdue utility bills and get back on track.

“Getting our utility bill paid took a major worry off our minds,” said a recent assistance recipient whose hours were cut at work. “The program has allowed us to focus more on other expenses, our jobs and the kids’ remote schooling.”

More families and individuals than ever are navigating turbulent times and have been unable to pay their electric and water bills. From January to August of this year, the Payment Assistance Fund helped more than 515 Utilities customers – a 162% increase over the same period last year. The need for assistance continues to grow and may exceed the available resources. We’re asking for your help so that no one is turned away.

You can help those in need with a monthly or one-time donation to Utilities’ Payment Assistance Fund. One hundred percent of donations assist families and individuals in our community. Every donation is matched dollar-for-dollar by Energy Outreach Colorado, so your gift goes even further. All donations, no matter the size, make a difference.

How to Donate:

In person: Donate at 222 Laporte Ave.
By mail: Complete and return the Payment Assistance Fund envelope in your November Fort Collins Utilities bill

Donate Online

Help Keep Fort Collins Safe & Keep NoCo Open

Rising COVID-19 numbers in Larimer County mean we need to stay vigilant to Keep NoCo Open and avoid another Stay-at-Home Order. We can stop the spread of COVID-19 if we keep working together and we don't give up! What are everyday actions you take to help?

  • Avoid get-togethers with anyone outside of your immediate household.
  • Wear a mask or face covering when outside your home and near others.
  • Stay physically distant when you’re around others (at least 6 feet apart).
  • Support our local businesses (save time and shop locally by ordering online or picking up curbside; grab a gift card or order takeout from your favorite local eatery or watering hole!). 
  • Wash your hands frequently!
  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well or have been exposed.
  • Keep caring for each other! (This situation is hard, but kindness is free).

Let's work together, take care of each other and Keep NoCo Open!

And don't forget to check out for stories, tools, resources, and ideas for both business and community members to help our businesses reopen strongly and safely.

For Fort Collins Resources

Garden of Lights

Don't miss one of Northern Colorado's favorite holiday traditions! Stroll through a whimsical, twinkling winter wonderland illuminated by hundreds of thousands of LED lights at the Gardens on Spring Creek.

With a recent expansion, Garden of Lights is bigger and more magical than ever before. The 2020 event will feature an expanded number of nights, more light sculptures and music playing throughout the grounds.

Garden of Lights features nearly a half mile of perennial flower beds, huge sculptural flowers, grapevines, butterflies, holiday village and other favorite garden creatures—all constructed entirely from holiday lights. Additionally, the Color Blossom Show will be returning to the Great Lawn, with 700 lighted blossoms adding vibrant colors and movement to your holiday experience.

Learn More!

Fort Collins Utilities 2021 Rates

As a locally owned, not-for-profit utility, Fort Collins Utilities is committed to delivering safe, reliable and competitively priced electric, water, wastewater and stormwater services.

Prices are based on the costs associated with serving customers and are adjusted through bi-annual, cost-of-service studies. Utilities does not profit on the services provided. Funds received are invested into our infrastructure and operations to maintain and continually improve our systems.

Rates provide funding for ongoing maintenance, infrastructure improvements and capital (construction) projects throughout our community.

  • Electric: Average increase of 3% (varies by rate class) to help offset higher wholesale energy costs and address a shortfall in operating income.
  • Green Energy: Reduction in pricing, from 1.9 cents to 1.6 cents.
  • Water: 2% increase to help with potential fire-related water quality impacts and watershed health costs.
  • Wastewater and Stormwater: Not increasing.   

Utilities also offers many programs and services to help customers offset costs and lower monthly bills.

View detailed electricity and water usage with our new MyEnergy and MyWater self-service portals. Each portal has unique features to help save resources and money.

More Info

Make Recycling Part of Your Holiday Season

Wondering if wrapping paper can go in curbside recycling? Have leftover grease from that deep-fried turkey? Stuck with a mountain of cardboard?

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25%! That’s 30 million live trees, 4 million tons of gift wrap and 2.6 billion holiday cards. Recycling all this stuff the right way and reducing what you produce in the first place keeps waste out of the landfill, helping us meet our climate action goals and conserve resources.

This year make recycling part of your holiday traditions: Check out our holiday recycling guide for details on how to properly dispose of your holiday waste. 

View the Guide

Indoor Wood Burning

Once a main source of heat for most homes, wood burning fireplaces and stoves have largely been replaced with cleaner, more efficient means of heating. However, many homes in our community still utilize indoor wood burning appliances. Uncontrolled smoke and odor emissions from wood burning appliances can have negative impacts on those around us, especially those with existing respiratory illness, children, and older populations. The following regulations apply for residential indoor burning within city limits:

  • After 1991, only wood burning appliances that meet the most stringent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards may be installed in Fort Collins.
  • Only clean, dry, untreated wood may be burned in a wood stove or fireplace. "Pellets" burned in pellet stoves and manufactured fire logs such as DuraFlame are acceptable. Burning of garbage and treated wood is prohibited.
  • After the first 15-minutes of start-up, smoke from the chimney must be at or less than 20% opacity (smoke should be barely visible looking at it with your back to the sun).

Learn more about regulations for indoor burning, best burning practices, and the impact of wood smoke on our new indoor wood burning webpage.

Learn More

Upcoming Holiday Closures

In honor of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, all City offices will be closed on Friday, Dec. 25, 2020 and Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. Christmas Eve office hours are yet to be determined.

Essential services such as fire, police and utilities will continue as usual. Transfort services will not be available and all Transfort offices will be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Transfort Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve hours are not yet finalized.

Additional holiday hours are as follows:

  • Recreation facilities, including golf courses, will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. On Christmas Eve, EPIC will be open until 4 p.m., and all other recreation facilities will be closed. On New Year’s Eve, all recreation facilities will be open until 5:00 p.m., and the Farm will be closed.
  • The Gardens on Spring Creek will be closed on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. The Garden of Lights will remain open on Christmas Eve.
  • All libraries will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. On Christmas Eve, all libraries will be open until 1 p.m. On New Year’s Eve, all libraries be open until 3 p.m.

All City offices and facilities will resume regular hours on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, and Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. All holiday hours are subject to change and will be dependent on current COVID-19 restrictions and safety guidelines. Visit just before the holidays for the most up-to-date information.

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Communications & Public Involvement Office
215 N Mason St
Fort Collins, CO 80524