Severance is a Statutory Town in Weld County, Colorado, United States. The population was 597 at the 2000 census. The town is located on the Colorado Eastern Plains, northwest of Greeley, a crossroads of county roads. Founded in the late 19th century as an agricultural community, the town remained primarily a small rural farming community based on the raising of cattle, sugar beets, potatoes, and onions. In the 1990s it began to grow aggressively by the construction of new residential subdivisions in the nearby rural areas of Weld County, especially as growth spilled over from nearby Windsor. The construction of new residential communities near the town has left the original agricultural community surrounded by modern construction and contributed to an upsurge in population. The town limits, extended through flagpole annexations, reach in tendrils nearly to Windsor and Fort Collins. Since the economic base of the town is quite limited, many of the new residents commute to jobs in Greeley, Fort Collins, Windsor, and even to Denver. Like many communities in western Weld County, the town afford a panoramic scenic view of the Front Range to the west.
Severance is famous within the region as the location of Bruce's Bar, a local watering hole founded in the 1950s. Located on the northwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Weld County Road 23, Bruce's was well-known for its offering of Rocky Mountain oysters (deep-fried bull testicles). The bar was particularly popular as a gathering place for recreational motorcyclists within the region. This included the Two-Wheelers Motorcycle Club Nut Run in the fall of each year. Members from Cheyenne, WY and Denver would converge with thousands of other bikers in the region in a traditional end of riding season ride to Bruce's for music, beer and bikes.
Owner Bruce Ruth died in August 2006, and the bar's survival had been in question after Ruth's death. It was thought that the bar went to his son, Steve Ruth, and two long time employees, Dennis Guffy and Linda Winter, who together had more than 65 years experience at the bar. However, the transfer of ownership stumbled because the Severance Town Council denied a liquor license due to building code and safety issues with the structure. Steve Ruth sent a fax from London on January 31, 2007 to bar manager Bary Brim telling the staff to close the bar. Apparently the younger Ruth could not justify the cost of making the necessary changes.
In February 2008, Jairo Landeros of Berthoud, Colorado purchased the building. He and building contractor Bruce Carron made substantial repairs to the building and upgraded the kitchen. They expect to reopen Bruce's Bar in September 2008. The new ownership has engaged the services of former employees Linda Winter and Dennis Guffy, who was the long-time cook and prepared the Rocky Mountain Oysters. The new management has upgraded the facility, while attempting to maintain the atmosphere and much of the menu of the former Bruce's Bar.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.1 square miles (5.5 km²), of which, 2.1 square miles (5.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (3.27%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 597 people, 201 households, and 162 families residing in the town. The population density was 288.5 people per square mile (111.4/km²). There were 207 housing units at an average density of 100.0/sq mi (38.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 91.46% White, 0.34% African American, 0.67% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 5.19% from other races, and 2.01% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.39% of the population.
There were 201 households out of which 52.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.7% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.4% were non-families. 12.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 1.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.97 and the average family size was 3.31.
In the town the population was spread out with 35.0% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 41.4% from 25 to 44, 14.7% from 45 to 64, and 3.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 105.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.0 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $50,625, and the median income for a family was $55,781. Males had a median income of $40,375 versus $26,645 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,625. About 2.8% of families and 7.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.7% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.
Severance Has Rich, Controversial History; Inequities in the Granting of Sendoff Payments to Departing Employees Separate the Haves and Have-Nots
Jul 09, 2012; Byline: MARSHALL H. TANICK Large severance payments in recent months have made a few Minnesotans relatively rich, and many...