Meet George Holter, one of FCLWD’s longest-serving Board members
This year, the Fort Collins-Loveland Water District (FCLWD) turns 60 years old. We think marking six decades of service warrants a bit of celebration. After all, it’s not every day that you turn 60.
Throughout 2021, we are honoring and celebrating the people who have helped us reach this milestone because the FCLWD could have never made it to this place without the amazing individuals who call the area home.
Today, we’re spotlighting another person who knows the District extremely well. Meet George Holter, who served on the FCLWD Board of Directors for 45 years – making him one of the longest-running Board members to date. George sat down to share his thoughts on the history of the District, some major water accomplishments over the years and what he sees are challenges for an area growing as rapidly as the District.
George joins the District in the early 1970s
George was well in-tune with the development of our local communities – and while working for a developer doing plumbing work, Charlie and Alma Cook recruited him for the FCLWD Board of Directors. George was an “easy sell” – by 1974, he found his way onto the board and was a member for 45 years (give or take, he notes), making him one of the longest-running FCLWD board members in its 60-year history. Current Board President, Jim Borland, is a close second with over 30 years under his belt.
Now, nearly five decades from that promising moment of opportunity, his reputation as a quality tradesman and person, in general, precedes him. When we sat down with George, Chris Matkins, FCLWD + SFCSD general manager was quick to chime in, saying with gratitude: “One of the things I most appreciate about George is that he always approaches challenges with common sense, a level-head and with our customers in mind.”
Past goodwill pays off for the future
According to George, the District has always strived to stay in a solid financial position. “Back then, we were lucky enough to have growth, so we didn’t need to source much in the way of financing for projects and bond deals.” George pointed out this was a crucial point in the District’s long-term success.
“Our stability efforts have really paid off,” said George, when asked about major District accomplishments over the years. “Over the years, these efforts enabled our sub-divisions to be what they are today. Without them, we wouldn’t have the nice developments we do!”
“It always amazes me that back in the ’60s and ‘70s when I was building houses in the west side of Fort Collins, there were only 600 taps available at the time when I went to the Board to request water service – now, there are around 18,000 taps!”
George credits this past success to an “long-tenured, experienced Board that truly cares about providing high-quality, secure, reliable and affordable water supply to all customers,” and predicts a positive future financially, noting that planning for the future is always high priority. “The District has always been methodical with planning efforts, looking forward as far as we can to ensure we can maintain a secure water future for customers while also ensuring that ‘growth pays it way’.”
Looking back on 4+ decades with the District
“During my tenure on the Board, the portfolio grew significantly,” said George. “A lot of what the District is today was built by me and my peers.” It’s true – George was instrumental in annexation – focused on vetting the ROI and value of projects.
When reminiscing on his favorite times with the Board, George shared some pretty unforgettable stories. “One of my most favorite memories from my time on the Board? That’s an easy one! I was attending a golf tournament and conference in Keystone, went to retrieve a golf ball downhill and ripped my jeans,” he recalled with nostalgia in his eyes.
While plenty of fun was had around George, a ton of progress was made as well. We asked George to tell us about a few of the projects that continue to bring him pride even to this day and he did not disappoint!
“The Great Divide Water Project is high on the list, of course – it’s worth $50 million in today’s dollar but will always be an invaluable experience to me. Another one I’ll never forget is the time we helped the Town of Timnath to have its name on its water tank – yours truly was a swing vote and the Mayor even thanked me!”
Just as the Mayor did, we at the FCLWD thank George for his years of service on the Board. Even though there will never be another George Holter, we’re honored to have shared so many wonderful memories and milestones with you – all while making tremendous strides to benefit our communities and enjoying countless belly-laughs along