County plans to hire ‘agritourism’ specialist

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By Andrea Tritschler

Adams County is one step closer to naming a new “agritourism” specialist to a two-year job that pays up to $71,384 per year.

Several candidates were interviewed on Thursday, May 11, of about 20 people who applied. County officials declined to say how many people were in the final round of interviews or give their names. Officials hope to have the job filled within the next 30 days. A panel of Adams County and Brighton governmental staff is expected to make the final hiring decision.

The new person is expected to develop an “ag-innovation” program that promotes farming-related activities at area farms in the region.

Adams County and Brighton elected officials plan to jointly fund the new job.

In general, the person also is expected to work on plans to preserve farmland in southern Brighton through a government document known as the District Plan, which was approved in mid-2016.

Some farmers in the region generally opposed the District Plan before it was approved. They said they were worried that land values could go down, if land generally in the District Plan area was to be designated as open space.

For example, agricultural land typically sells for $5,000 to $10,000 per acre, but a housing developer might buy it for closer to $50,000 an acre, area resident Anne Anderson said in 2016.

Supporters say the plan gives people options to bring tourism to Brighton through restaurants, breweries and local farm-to-table efforts. They say the plan will help boost the economy and help make Brighton a tourism destination.

The plan generally includes an area bounded by Bromley Lane to the north, the South Platte River to the west, 120th Avenue to the south and Interstate 76 to the east.

Adams County government and the Brighton city government jointly funded the District Plan, spending an estimated $200,000 on it, officials said at the time. A volunteer District Plan Commission has been named to make recommendations about aspects of the plan to county and city officials.