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By Lisa Hatfield
On March 16, the Monument Board of Trustees approved the Feb. 26 version of Sixth Amendment to the Regency Park Development and Rezoning Plan, heard from two sides regarding the bulk water station on Wagon Gap Trail, heard from one finalist for the town manager position, gave input on an initial master parks plan, and approved street closures for this year’s July 4 parade. The meeting did not adjourn until 12:45 a.m. due to two executive sessions.
Regency Park amended zoning approved
Rick Blevins of Vision Development Inc. had first addressed the Board of Trustees on Feb. 2 with the Jan. 27, 2015 version of the proposed Sixth Amendment to the Regency Park Development and Rezoning Plan, a 253-acre sub-area of the 1,757-acre Regency Park development, annexed into Monument in 1987, which also includes Jackson Creek and Monument Marketplace. The proposed Sixth Amendment was continued to March 16 so that more input from the applicant and from neighbors could be considered, including a meeting with them on March 3. See www.ocn.me/v15n3.htm#mbot0202.
On March 16, Blevins presented the Feb. 26, 2015 version of the Sixth Amendment Development and Rezoning Plan, dealing with proposed rezoning for the area from Higby Road to Leather Chaps Drive and from Jackson Creek Parkway to an area east of the current Remington Hill neighborhood. The trustees approved the revised Sixth Amendment unanimously.
Planning Director Mike Pesicka said the newly approved Sixth Amendment will keep Higby Road in its current alignment, consolidate commercial multi-use and multi-family parcels closer to Jackson Creek Parkway and Higby Road, and change one portion of an area currently zoned PRD-2 to PRD-4 (planned residential developments of two and four units per acre, respectively). It will include more multi-use zoning (PMD) and commercial (PCD) areas along Jackson Creek Parkway and it will move one PCD and some PRD-10 areas closer to Jackson Creek Parkway. The northwest corner of the development at Jackson Creek Parkway and Higby Road, south of Lewis-Palmer High School, is now zoned PCD for commercial development.
A county trail connection is planned for somewhere in this Sixth Amendment, but its exact location has yet to be determined with the county. A large area of existing open space that parallels Jackson Creek will remain and is reflected on the amendment. This area is protected Preble’s mouse habitat that cannot be developed, Pesicka said.
The planned multi-use (PMD) zoning in parcels 31, 32, and 35 along Jackson Creek Parkway will allow a mix of uses similar to zoning from the existing The Vistas apartments south to include a medical office building and the new Goodwill retail store. PMD allows for residential densities up to 20 units per acres, but it can also include retail, office, and service uses, and it will be up to the discretion of the developer to decide how to develop those parcels, Pesicka said. "We put in what fits and what market demands…. I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be all ‘20 units,’" Blevins said March 16.
At the March 3 neighborhood meeting, Remington Hill residents were concerned that there was no sketch plan showing proposed locations of new parks, widths of buffer areas and sidewalks along Bowstring Road south of Higby Road, and landscaping plans. They were especially worried because it is anticipated that Bowstring will become a traffic route busy with pedestrians, bicycles, and cars accessing Lewis-Palmer High School and Bear Creek Elementary School. That part of Bowstring Road will be designated a "minor collector," in contrast to Jackson Creek Parkway, which is a "minor arterial."
Residents were also concerned about pedestrian safety because if snowplows plowed the width of the road, the snow covers the current sidewalk on the east side of Bowstring Road since it is so close to the curb; resident Michelle Glover said the snowplows do not plow the whole width of Bowstring now.
Pesicka explained that these specifics will not be determined until the Preliminary/Final PD Site Plan and Preliminary/Final Platting phases. Other subdivisions in Monument do have to submit sketch plans earlier in the process, but since Regency Park was annexed separately, its municipal code requirements do not require sketch plans from developers at the zoning phase. When projects reach the preliminary/final PD Site plan and plat phases, they must be reviewed in public meetings at the Monument Planning Commission and then the Monument Board of Trustees, and this is when residents can provide input about specifics.
The "master plan" for Regency Park is the Regency Park Development Rezoning Plan, Pesicka explained. Trustees John Howe and Jeff Smith and Pesicka also mentioned that the town will be working this year on updating its overall comprehensive plan and will be asking for citizen input to help future residents and developers know what the concerns are ahead of time. See www.townofmonument.org for meeting information.
To summarize the newly adopted Feb. 26 Amendment 6 zoning and densities (compared with previous Amendment 5 zoning):
• PRD-2 – Planned Residential two units per acre, 82 acres, 164 dwelling units (previously 100 acres, 200 units)
• PRD-4 – Planned Residential four units per acre, 55 acres, 221 units (previously 9 acres, 38 units)
• PRD-6 – Planned Residential six units per acre , 17 acres, 105 units (previously 38 acres, 232 units)
• PRD-10 – Planned Residential 10 units per acre, 15 acres, 157 units (previously 42 acres, 420 units)
• PMD – Planned Multi-use, 30 acres, 614 units (the Fifth Amendment did not include this category)
• PCD – Planned Commercial, 24 acres, n/a units (previously 18 acres, n/a units)
The Sixth Amendment will allow up to 1,263 dwelling units if all the PMD areas are developed as residential, but these areas might also be developed as offices or retail space. This density is in contrast to the 890 units zoned previously in the Fifth Amendment and the 1,348 dwelling units in the Jan. 27 Amendment 6 proposal that was not approved.
Blevins explained that he "does not see the market supporting PRD-2 million-dollar homes" in Jackson Creek, "as much as some people would like to see it happen." He said PRD-2 is "two units per acre, but not really half-acre lots," and that PRD-2 requires 75-foot road frontage.
Triview Metropolitan District will provide water and waste water utility services to the amended area pursuant to the Intergovernmental Agreement with the Town of Monument. Water and water rights have been provided by the applicant pursuant to that certain Water Agreement by and between Triview, The Town of Monument and Jackson Creek Land Co., the staff report noted.
Trustees Kelly Elliot, Jeff Bornstein, and Jeff Smith asked the staff, the developer, and the residents if they felt that the process to reach this point had worked and if there was "closure."
The residents of Remington Hill "agreed to disagree" on the lack of a sketch plan and saw no need for future meetings since they learned that the developer was not required to address those issues until later. Glover said, "This proposal is an acceptable compromise at this time…. We will be here for every Planning Commission and every time" this area is discussed at public meetings for every plat as they come up, she said. A total of three residents, all representing Remington Hill, spoke and thanked the town and the developer for listening to their comments and suggestions.
Pesicka said there was equal time for both the developer and the neighborhood to give input. Blevins said, "Tonight will be the fifth time we have met …" but that the neighborhood meeting was a good way to deal with their concerns.
NEPCO representative Louise Link spoke about future concerns regarding density, transportation, and water issues in this region and said, "We need a regional idea about master plan for transportation and water instead of a patch, patch, patch thing, which is where we are now." She invited all northern El Paso County residents to the May 9 NEPCO meeting at 10 a.m. at Monument Town Hall where Kip Peterson, general manager of Donala Water and Sanitation District will speak.
The board had several options to consider for a motion. It could have:
• Approved the application presented at the Feb. 2, board meeting with or without conditions.
• Approved the plan with the suggested changes made by the citizens.
• Approved the plan dated Feb. 26 with or without conditions.
• Denied the application and the existing Regency Park Fifth Amendment would then remain in place.
• Continued the application to another meeting.
The motion approving Sixth Amendment to the Regency Park Development and Rezoning Plan dated Feb. 26 was approved unanimously.
Bulk water station update and counterpoint
In a scheduled agenda item, residents of Trails End subdivision showed a video illustrating the noise and traffic generated by up to seven trucks an hour filling their tanks at the bulk fill water station owned by the town at the corner of Old Denver Road and Wagon Gap Trail. For 10 months, these residents have been asking the town to relocate the water station to a less residential location or even to temporarily shut it down and go back to the honor-system hydrant water station while a new location is found. See www.ocn.me/v14n8.htm#mbot0721 and www.ocn.me/v14n12.htm#mbot1117.
Mayor Rafael Dominguez reiterated that the town is seeking an alternative location, and in the meantime has reduced hours of operation and the size of trucks allowed at the station, but that a specific timeline for any changes cannot be provided since there is not enough information to do so.
Another side of this story was presented by several county residential bulk water customers who live "up on the mesa," in Mount Herman Estates, which is located in the Front Range foothills west of Mitchell Avenue. The wells are completely dry for their individual county homes, and these homeowners must purchase water at the bulk fill station and transport it to their homes by truck several times a week. Their comments included:
• We want the town to expand the hours of operation for the station for residential users who do not have any other source of water for their homes.
• I have to look at a cistern in my garage to see if have enough water to do laundry or take a bath.
• My work schedule (or my work location) makes it very difficult for me to get water with the shortened hours for the station.
• Our access to life-sustaining water is limited.
• We use only 2,500 gallons a month; we don’t do "gluttonous waste" of tens of thousands of gallons per month on lawns and washing cars.
• They should have exercised due diligence when buying their houses (in Trails End). The plans said that there would be a bulk fill station there.
Trails End resident Cheri Hysell said, "I don’t want to make it a neighborhood vs. neighborhood issue; it is just put in the wrong place. Our developers told us it was going to be a park. I can’t find a plat map that shows the bulk water station."
Dominguez said, "We are continuing to look at it. We don’t want this to become tit-for-tat and we want to come up with a fiscally responsible solution for a long-term solution of the town."
Town manager candidate Marshall
Tara Marshall presented her qualifications for filling the town manager position. Kevin Flanagan, the other finalist for the position, withdrew from contention after the March 14 "meet and greet." The board will vote at the April 6 public board meeting to whether to hire Marshall or to look for additional candidates.
Marshall answered questions from the trustees and the audience. Her comments included:
• She has many years of private sector sales and marketing experience in the adult beverage industry.
• She has a master’s degree in public policy and local government, knows how municipal government works, and has done comprehensive land use planning in Trinidad, Colo.
• She emphasized the need for relationship-building and networking from the state level to among entities within the town.
• The tax base in Monument needs to expand considerably to keep up with influx of population. This could consist of hotels, light manufacturing, or other ways to bring in money from outside.
• Average housing price in Monument is above the median for the state. Developing affordable housing within small towns will remain a challenging problem.
• She has researched Monument’s need for diversification of water sources including reuse and renewable water in addition to current ground water from aquifers.
• She has a lot of resources around the state to tap into for ideas to help Monument.
"My style is hands-off, but verify.… Hire good people, trust them, and watch the money," Marshall said.
Parks master plan presentation
Pesicka, Public Works Director Tom Tharnish, and Mark Nemger, senior associate planner of Matrix Design Group in Denver, took over an hour to present the first iteration of a conceptual plan for "themed" improvements to four Monument parks—Limbach, Dirty Woman Creek, Lavelett, and Park Trail—based on results from the parks survey mailed to all town residents last fall. Costs mentioned for estimated design development and construction did not reflect possible savings if the town did some of the work.
Residents and trustees asked many questions and raised some concerns during this initial presentation. Three open houses soliciting more input from residents will be scheduled between April and October, when it will be time for budget estimates to be submitted for 2016. See townofmonument.org for more information.
Limbach Park would be geared for children up to12 years old and have a "train" theme. Possible hardscape includes additional parking at the south end, a motion-activated splash pad fountain, fencing, a pavilion at the northeast corner, and more. The trustees asked many questions about water use and water clarity and safety if kids drink it if it is reused in the fountain. Estimated design development and construction costs were $391,000.
The Dirty Woman Creek Park draft plans included teen-friendly features such as a loop trail around the park, concrete trails in the flood plain, replacing playground equipment with a skate park developed with design ideas from teens, a play area for young children near the picnic pavilion, a climbing wall, an underpass under the railroad, new official parking at north side and along the road, and a dog area. The cost is estimated at $470,000 for rough total design development and construction.
The Park Trail Park draft plans included adding a community garden, parking, planting buffer between homes and additional parking, demonstration xeriscape garden, benches, a grass play area, a BMX bike track or multisport play area, a berm for sound barrier and/or seating for people and windbreak for garden area. Estimated cost was $334,500. Trails End residents raised concerns about bringing outside traffic into their neighborhood if this park became a destination event area.
Lavelett Park, themed for senior citizen activities, had draft plans including fitness stations and a walking area, a gazebo (already scheduled to be installed this year), art display areas, a swing set, and maybe eventually moving the existing community garden out of this area. An $87,000 cost estimate was given.
Tharnish emphasized that these are preliminary concepts, "not set in stone." The town will do some work in-house to save money and will search for grant money too, he said. Input from residents, the school district, senior organizations, etc. will continue to be solicited at open houses and via links on the town website and Facebook pages.
Town Gardener Sharon Williams asked for better information about plans for including more turf and shade trees, rather than more parking spaces, in the plans outlined so "kids could run around barefoot because they may not have real grass where they live, and their parents may want to sit in the shade." She is conducting a tree inventory of the town and offered input on types of sustainable trees that would live a long time and not need to be replaced every seven or eight years. Recently a lot of downtown area tree canopy has been lost.
July 4 parade plans approved
Monument Hill Kiwanis representatives RF Smith and Pete Peterson said that the theme of this year’s parade, which is organized by Kiwanis, will be "A New Birth of Freedom," a line from the Gettysburg Address, and will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of President Abraham Lincoln. Smith said the goal of the parade is to be safe, entertaining, inspirational, and patriotic. The children’s parade will start at 9:30 from the St. Peter Catholic Church parking lot, and the main parade will start at 10 a.m.
The trustees unanimously approved a special permit allowing the temporary closure of Lincoln Avenue, Front Street, Third Street from Front Street to Beacon Lite Road, and Beacon Lite Road from Third Street to Second Street from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 4 for conducting the Annual 4th of July Parade. For more information on parade entry applications, see www.monumenthillkiwanis.org.
Collecting WWII living history
Former Monument Mayor Leon Tenney solicited help from people in this region to "capture the living history" and stories from veterans of World War II. He asked for interested residents to call him at 481-4407. Trustee Becki Tooley also suggested contacting Liz Turner at the Monument Library.
Public works: project and grant application
The trustees unanimously approved a resolution presented by Tharnish awarding a $299,120 contract to Wildcat Construction for the waterline upgrade. Tharnish said its bid was significantly less than the other two bidders, possibly because they had lower mobilization costs since they are already working on a number of projects in this area.
Tharnish then presented a resolution to get $30,000 in matching funds through a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to support a water reuse study that is currently under way. The town requested federal grant assistance to perform a detailed evaluation of a potential indirect potable reuse system. The town depends heavily on nonrenewable groundwater sources and desires to develop a renewable drinking water source in order to utilize reclaimed treated wastewater in a way that is more beneficial to the town and reduce depletions of the groundwater aquifers, Tharnish said. The trustees approved the resolution unanimously.
Disbursements over $5,000
The trustees unanimously approved these disbursements that Town Manager and Interim Town Treasurer Pamela Smith presented:
• Triview Metro District—sales tax, motor vehicle tax, regional building sales taxes, $118,708
• Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority—PPRWA annual dues, $5,095
• Krassa & Miller LLC—legal advice on six water cases, $14,202
Staff reports and two executive sessions
Pesicka said that Phase 1 of Sanctuary Pointe will be presented to the board of trustees April 6; see related Monument Planning Commission article on page 1. The Planning Department is busy with single-family residential permits for Promontory Pointe, Lake of the Rockies, and Village Center at Woodmoor.
Town Attorney Gary Shupp reported "good news," that a U.S. District Court judge has approved the dismissal of a lawsuit involving two Monument police officers in federal court.
For the Public Works department, Tharnish’s comments included the anticipated testing of a new proactive deicer system the town could pre-apply to secondary roads before snowstorms, allowing them more time to get those roads plowed before they freeze. It’s a solution made from sugar beets and was recommended by a new resident who moved here from Ohio.
Police Chief Jake Shirk highlighted the professionalism and "international footprint" of the Monument police force. One of the town’s officers was invited to Nepal to give training to special forces teams there and did an "outstanding job."
Smith mentioned that the audit has been rescheduled to April 21 due to a family emergency.
The meeting recessed at 10:17 p.m. for two separate executive sessions. One session was for discussion of contract negotiations regarding the new town manager, and the other was to confer with the town attorney for the purpose of receiving legal advice on specific legal questions regarding the bulk fill water station.
Town Clerk Cynthia Sirochman reported that the executive sessions ended at 12:42 a.m. and that no announcements were made and no public items were discussed after that.
The Monument Board of Trustees usually meets at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month at Monument Town Hall, 645 Beacon Lite Road. Call 884-8017 or www.townofmonument.org for information. The next meeting is scheduled for April 6.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at email@example.com.
By Kate Wetterer
Classic Homes, represented by Andrea Barlow of NES Inc., presented proposed plans for the Sanctuary Pointe housing development Phase 1 at the March 11 Monument Planning Commission (MPC) meeting. These proposals relate to sketch plans approved in 2006. All four proposals were approved unanimously by the Planning Commission.
The proposed development would be built north of Baptist Road and Fox Run Regional Park, about one mile east of the Promontory Pointe subdivision. The March 11 MPC meeting dealt with Phase 1 of the Sanctuary Pointe Development plan, encompassing 125 lots—51 homes planned in Filing 1, 40 homes planned in the Carriages proposal and 34 homes planned in Filing 2. The 40 homes noted in the Carriages proposal are attached single-family homes, set up to provide a sense of living, open space without difficult-to-maintain yards. Multiple public meetings have been held to discuss the potential development and answer citizens’ questions.
Specific titles for the propositions approved by the MPC are: Sanctuary Pointe Preliminary/Final Plat—the Carriages Filing 1; Sanctuary Pointe Preliminary/Final Plat—Filing 1; Sanctuary Pointe Preliminary/Final Plat—Filing 2 and Sanctuary Pointe Preliminary/Final PD Site Plan Phase 1. Information about what each specific proposal means for the development, as well as maps of the areas affected, can be found at http://www.townofmonument.org/meetings/planning-commission/ under "March 2015 Meeting Agenda and Supporting Documentation."
These proposals sparked a lot of discussion and concern from the public, with citizens voicing worries about the effect new housing developments could have on the view of stars at night, and whether trees cut down to make way for housing projects would be removed promptly afterward. People were also concerned about whether the temporary emergency access roads being opened until the completion of this project would be adequately placed in relation to all the houses that could make use of them, and whether construction vehicles would be permitted to use the emergency access roads on an ordinary day.
Many of these concerns were addressed by the applicant. For instance, all the houses will need to have "dark sky compliant" lighting systems, and the emergency access roads would be off-limits to construction vehicles, because they are intended for emergencies. Newly built houses also wouldn’t clash with the current neighborhoods, because Monument requires houses to be painted in "earth tones."
The proposals approved by the MPC will next be discussed by the Board of Trustees.
The next Monument Planning Commission meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on May 13 at 645 Beacon Lite Rd. There will be no meeting in April. Meetings are normally held on the second Wednesday of the month. Information: 884-8017 or www.townofmonument.org/meetings/.
Kate Wetterer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caption: The Preliminary/Final PD site plan for Classic Homes’ proposed Sanctuary Pointe Phase 1 to be built north of Baptist Road, adjacent to The Ridge at Fox Run, about one mile east of the Promontory Pointe subdivision. The black areas are "forest management areas" with no-build zones on each lot. This is scheduled to be heard at the April 6 Monument Board of Trustees meeting. Map courtesy of Town of Monument.
By James Howald
The Palmer Lake Town Council met on March 12 to hear an update from Jeff Hulsmann on the status of the Awake the Lake project, to consider a request to vacate a portion of Hermosa Avenue, to vote on new business licenses, and to hear a resident’s thoughts on how to make the council’s work more transparent to the town’s citizens.
State designates Palmer Lake a reservoir
A decision by the State Water District commissioner designating Palmer Lake to be a reservoir, not a natural lake, has complicated the plans of the Awake the Lake effort, according to Hulsmann, the organizer of the project to refill the lake. The decision was made because the original boundaries of the lake have been altered, Hulsmann reported. Because it is now classified as a reservoir, the state requires any water that fills the lake from natural springs must be replaced for downstream claimants, Hulsmann said.
The Awake the Lake team plans to ask the state to reverse this decision, which would remove the requirement to replace the water that naturally fills the lake. Hulsmann believes recent sediment removal done by the Awake the Lake committee restored the lake to its original size, and said the project committee has provided the state with photographs of the lake taken between 1840 and 1855 that show the dimensions of the lake at that time. According to Hulsmann, the railroad that owned the lake previously did alter its boundaries.
At the request of the state, the Awake the Lake committee has developed a substitute water supply plan that addresses the need to replace water used to fill the lake. If the state does not approve the plan, it could require the town to pump water from Palmer Lake into Monument Creek, Hulsmann said. Mayor Nikki McDonald decided to hold an executive session at a later date to decide whether or not to submit the plan to the state.
Hulsmann also said that the fundraiser held by Awake the Lake in February raised $5,500 for the project.
Council vacates a portion of Hermosa Avenue
The council heard a request from Cyndee Henson and Richard Harding to vacate a portion of Hermosa Avenue to the north of their Walnut Avenue property. Vacating the road would transfer about 1,800 square feet from the land used by the road to the property owned by Henson and Harding, and would allow them to build an additional small residence on their property. The request to vacate the road was opposed by Henson and Harding’s neighbors to the west, Chris and Ken Dickinson, who were represented at the council meeting by attorney Duncan Bremer.
Henson and Harding argued vacating the road would not impact any future improvements to Hermosa Avenue, and that a portion of the road adjacent to the property of the neighbor to the east had already been vacated by an earlier decision of the council. When asked by Roads Trustee John Russell if there was disagreement with neighbors about the request, Harding replied that there was, and mentioned concerns about parking, emergency vehicle access, and increased traffic due to the additional residence as points of disagreement.
Speaking on behalf of Chris and Ken Dickinson, whose property is adjacent to Hermosa Avenue, attorney Bremer raised a number of objections to the requested vacation. Bremer argued that Henson and Harding were not presenting complete information to the council, that their diagram of the proposed vacation was not accurate, that the previous vacation of the road in 2001 had excessively narrowed the road to the east of Henson and Harding’s property, that the council should consider the possibility that future development might require improving the road, and that granting the request would amount to a special favor. Bremer suggested the request be submitted to the Planning Commission, and that Henson and Harding be required to submit a plan for improving Hermosa Avenue.
Nathan Liljestrand, the co-chair of the Planning Commission, was asked by Mayor McDonald to comment on the request. Liljestrand pointed out that the job of the council was to decide only the request to vacate made by Henson and Harding, and not to decide issues of future development, as Bremer had suggested. He said that a decision on the vacation would not set a precedent for future decisions concerning the road. Liljestrand also noted that the Planning Commission had already discussed the request to vacate, and supported the request.
The council voted unanimously to approve the request to vacate the requested portion of Hermosa Avenue.
Business licenses approved
The council heard two requests for new business licenses. The first was from Pat Duffy, who plans to open a cart that will serve New York-style hot dogs. The cart will move between several unspecified locations, and will be open on Saturdays and Sundays. The second was from Donna Mae Hanson, who requested both a conditional use permit and a business license to open an adult daycare business at 600 El Paso Road. The council approved all three items unanimously.
Council hears suggestions to improve transparency
Resident Les Molina addressed the council on the topic of lack of transparency. According to Molina, some town residents don’t trust the council and feel their voices are not heard. He suggested addressing these concerns by posting more information to the town’s website. Molina suggested that the website be kept current with a calendar of events, minutes of all meetings, monthly department reports including financial reports, the annual budget and a check register.
The meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.
The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. April 9 at Town Hall, 42 Valley Crescent. Meetings are normally held on the second Thursday of the month. Information: 481-2953.
James Howald can be reached at email@example.com.
By Jackie Burhans
On March 25, the Woodmoor Improvement Association board discussed an online transaction safe zone proposal, the idea of formalizing relations with Monument, and actions to be taken to collect delinquent fees and fines. Treasurer Tom Shoemaker’s absence was excused.
Safe zone service for online transactions
Woodmoor Public Safety (WPS) Chief Kevin Nielsen proposed the creation of a safe zone where Woodmoor residents could meet and complete online transactions arranged through services such as Craigslist. Referencing the recent tragedy in Longmont and the creation of a similar zone by the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, Nielsen suggested offering to have a uniformed WPS officer present for transactions at the Barn parking lot given reasonable notice by a resident. WPS would only be providing physical security rather than verification of goods. After some discussion, the WIA board unanimously approved the proposal and asked WPS to develop the policy details.
Formalizing relations with Town of Monument
Jennifer Cunningham, a local resident and reporter for the Tri-Lakes Tribune, approached the board asking about its relationship with the Town of Monument and surrounding communities. After talking with the members of the Monument Board of Trustees, she feels the trustees are open to communication and a relationship with Woodmoor. Whatever happens in Monument has an impact on Woodmoor and we currently have no input, Cunningham said. She asked the WIA if it wanted to pursue more formal representation within the Town of Monument. Monument is reviewing its comprehensive plan and will open up the committee to residents of surrounding communities.
President Jim Hale affirmed the benefit of communities working together and cited his participation in NEPCO meetings and membership on the county Highway Advisory Committee. Hale would be interested in talking with the trustees and suggested the possibility of a non-voting membership. As a first step, Hale agreed to reach out to the Board of Trustees to meet with a couple of members, pursuant to sunshine laws, to explore options.
Action requested on nonpayment of dues, fees, and fines
Hale raised the issue of the need to take action on a couple of properties due to nonpayment of fees and fines. WIA Chief Operating Officer Matt Beseau reported that about 191 lot owners have not yet paid their annual fees; 25 are in payment plans with two paid in full. Another 23 cases were sent to the WIA attorney per internal procedures. Currently there are two properties that owe tens of thousands of dollars in past dues, interest, attorney fees, and/or covenant violation fines.
A motion was requested by the attorney to proceed with an assessment lien and foreclosure action in the county or district court. Beseau stated that this is a last resort after multiple attempts at communication with no response. Hale noted that, in the past, notice of the foreclosure action was enough to prompt owners to pay delinquent fees. The motion was made, seconded, and approved by the board with only Vice President Erik Stensland abstaining.
Tri-Lakes history project
Former Woodmoor resident Leon Tenney spoke to the board about his project to document the history of the Tri-Lakes area since World War II. He has reached out to other local groups and would like to learn more about the history of Woodmoor over the next few months in order to produce a book on the subject. The board agreed to look in the WIA archives and to post a call for information in the next newsletter.
Highlights from the board member reports include:
• President Hale attended a recent NEPCO meeting and saw a presentation about the development on Higby Road near the high school that will be starting soon. Traffic concerns will be reviewed.
• Repairs to the existing Jeep amounted to $1,800 in the last month; the new Jeep is due to be delivered in April and will require some equipment installation.
• The board unanimously approved the appointment of Mark Wangeman to the Architectural Control Committee.
• A wine and cheese reception was held for current and potential volunteers of the Forestry Committee. A presentation on goals for the department was made with a theme of "Back to Basics."
• $22,500 in repairs to the flat part of the Barn roof were approved via email. One of the contractors will present an option for a more permanent solution to this recurring problem.
• The board opening left when Dick Green resigned has not yet been filled. The board is looking for someone who knows Woodmoor forestry issues.
• The board unanimously approved the renewal of the umbrella insurance. The deductible for wind and hail damage claims has been raised from $1,000 to $10,000. Hale noted that the budget includes a contingency fund of $100,000, which could be used to cover this without coming from the operating budget.
The WIA Board of Directors usually meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month in the Barn at 1691 Woodmoor Drive, Monument. The next meeting will be on April 22. WIA board meeting minutes can be found at: http://www.woodmoor.org/content/admin-bod-meeting-minutes.html once approved and posted.
Jackie Burhans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s note: According to an April 1 email announcement to Woodmoor residents from Woodmoor Improvement Association President Jim Hale, HOA Manager/Chief Operating Officer Matt Beseau resigned from the WIA. Hale thanked Beseau for his 12 years’ service to Woodmoor as Covenants and Forestry Administrator and HOA Manager/Chief Operating Officer and wished him well.
By Larry Oliver, NEPCO president
A short discussion of homeowners association (HOA) legislation and a briefing on the Sanctuary Pointe Phase 1 development highlighted the general membership meeting of the Northern El Paso County Coalition of Community Associations (NEPCO) on March 14.
HOA attorney Lenard Rioth thanked all attendees for their recent correspondence to the state Legislature regarding small HOA legislation. The bill exempting small HOAs from the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA) passed the House and is now in front of the state Senate. He also mentioned that HOA management agencies will be required by the state to obtain certification and to be licensed. He further stated there is a possibility that licensing will be exempt for those managing small HOAs.
Joe Loidolt, president of Classic Homes, and Andrea Barlow, project manager from NES Inc., took the podium as the primary guest speakers. Barlow presented a briefing explaining the history of Sanctuary Pointe and the current plan for the Phase 1 development. Some of the presentation highlights were:
• Sanctuary Pointe Phase 1 is north of Baptist Road and south of Higby Road, and its eastern boundary abuts the Ridge at Fox Run and Fox Pines.
• It is a Classic Homes development with 261 dwelling units on 141 acres for a density of 1.84 dwelling units per acre
• It will contain 25 acres of parks, open space and trails (about 20 percent of the land), and the plan includes a Forest Management Plan.
• It will be built out in five development phases.
• The plan was discussed with the Higby Estates HOA at neighborhood meetings in 2005 and 2014, the Ridge at Fox Run HOA at neighborhood meetings in 2005, 2006, and 2015, and with the Kingswood HOA at a meeting in 2007. Phase 1 is the eastern portion of the total Sanctuary Pointe and does not abut Kingswood homes.
• The Sanctuary Pointe Phase 1 Planned Development (PD) Sketch Plan was approved in 2006.
• Concessions were made by Classic Homes to the comments by the HOAs and NEPCO, primarily incorporating lower-density transition areas.
• Phase 1 was approved by the Planning Commission on March 11.
• Water and sanitation will be provided by the Triview Water and Sanitation District.
• Construction for Phase 1 is expected to start in the fall after the water and sewer infrastructure is completed.
• Access to Phase 1 will be through a new intersection on Baptist Road about one-half mile west of Roller Coaster Road; a new left-turn lane going east on Baptist Road will be built.
The presentation concluded with a question-and-answer period for all of the HOA representatives and others present at the meeting.
NEPCO welcomes non-member HOAs in Northern El Paso County to join our coalition. Details can be found under the "How to Join NEPCO" link at www.nepco.org. The next NEPCO meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 9 at the Monument Town Hall.
Editor’s note: The Sanctuary Pointe Phase 1 development will be discussed at the April 6 Monument Board of Trustees meeting. See related article on the Monument Planning Commission on page 1.
Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility Joint Use Committee, March 10: Bid closing date set for total phosphorus expansion project
By Jim Kendrick
On March 10, Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) Manager Bill Burks advised the facility’s Joint Use Coordinating Committee (JUC) that the facility’s construction engineering firm, Tetra Tech RTW, had set a due date of April 3 for receipt of formal bids from four pre-qualified contractors for the facility’s planned new tertiary chemical total phosphorus (TP) removal clarifier expansion following formal approval of Tetra Tech’s design by the state Health Department on March 9.
The approval came after Tetra Tech engineer Steve Tamburini’s seven-page response letter of Feb. 25 to the state Engineering Review Section’s 14 comments on Tetra Tech’s final November Process Design Report. The four bidders attended a pre-bid site inspection of the facility.
Burks also said that the announcement of the notice of award had been tentatively set for the facility’s regular monthly JUC meeting that will be held on April 14, pending JUC approval of the Tetra Tech award recommendation. The construction contract will be awarded, if formally approved by the JUC at this April 14 meeting, based on the lowest bid.
The Tri-Lakes facility operates as a separate joint venture public utility. The facility is owned in equal one-third shares by Monument Sanitation District (MSD), Palmer Lake Sanitation District (PLSD), and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD). The three-member JUC acts as the board of the facility and consists of one director from each of the three owner districts’ boards: Don Smith of Monument, Ken Smith of Palmer Lake, and Rich Strom of Woodmoor. Monument board President Ed DeLaney, Monument District Manager Mike Wicklund, and Palmer Lake District Manager Becky Orcutt also attended the meeting. Neither Woodmoor District Manager Jessie Shaffer nor Woodmoor Assistant District Manager Randy Gillette attended.
This new chemical tertiary clarifiers will remove total phosphorus using a flocculation and sedimentation process that will rapidly mix polymers and alum that will be injected into the treated wastewater that will be transported by new pipe/pump infrastructure from the existing mechanical secondary clarifiers. The chemically removed total phosphorus that is coated with the polymers will clump together and settle to the bottom of these new tertiary chemical clarifiers and then be continuously swept by mechanical rakes at the bottom of the tertiary clarifier tanks to sump pumps. These new sump pumps will send this total phosphorus clumped sludge via new transport pipes to the facility’s existing sludge lagoon, where it will mix with the sludge already being transported to the sludge lagoon from the existing secondary clarifiers by separate existing pumps and pipes.
Financing of expansion project clarified
Burks asked Don Smith and Wicklund about the construction contract Tetra Tech would be preparing. He said, "How do you want to have the signatures on the contract? Do you want Monument Sanitation District to be included on the contract?" Don Smith replied, "Of course. We’ve agreed to pay 19.79 percent." Wicklund added, "Let’s get that clear. Don, I think for some reason, someone—and I don’t know where it comes from and I don’t know why it would even come up—is thinking that Monument is saying it’s not going to pay. That is a ridiculous stupid thought. Monument has never said it won’t pay. It has always said it would pay its 19.79 percent. It’s in previous minutes and how that idea ever came out that Monument wasn’t going to pay—there’s something goofy about that, I mean really goofy. I don’t know. Where did you figure that out, Bill, that Monument wasn’t going to pay anything?"
Burks stated, "I got an email from Jessie (Shaffer) asking me if we needed to alter that (contract)." Wicklund asked Burks, "Did you think to call us?" Burks said, "No. I was going to bring it up at the meeting. That’s why I’m doing it." Wicklund then asked, "Did we ever say we wouldn’t pay? Why wouldn’t Monument be on the contract?" Burks replied, "I was asking the question because you didn’t reach an agreement I guess with Woodmoor on how you were going to pay for it." Wicklund replied, "Woodmoor didn’t reach an agreement with us, Bill. I think you have that twisted."
Don Smith noted that Woodmoor and Palmer Lake had recently signed a separate "legal document" that "Woodmoor agreed to pay for 66 and two-thirds and Palmer Lake 33 and a third, which in my mind that implied that Monument wasn’t going to pay. In fact we did state at one meeting and it’s in the minutes that I said we would agree to at least 19.79 percent. Just for clarity, Monument hasn’t said it’s not going to pay. What’s in dispute is how much." Burks said, "That answers my question. That’s all I wanted to know." Smith said, "We’ll be happy to sign for that amount."
Strom stated, "Just for my clarification, my understanding is Monument did not sign the interim funding agreement." Wicklund replied, "The one that was signed, we were never given a copy," referring to this second separate already signed funding agreement. "We said we would pay 19.79 percent and we never saw another copy." Strom said, "That was unintentional. I need to go back and clarify this because my understanding was that the interim agreement was the vehicle that would allow us to move forward with the construction."
Wicklund asked Strom, "What attorney wrote that agreement?" He replied, "It was our attorney, I believe, Mike. I’m not prepared to answer those questions because this is some kind of surprise to me." He added, "Maybe we need to restructure that interim agreement." Wicklund said, "Let’s just leave everything to the lawyers right now."
Burks noted that the total phosphorus (TP) construction contract requires the selected contractor to begin concrete work by July 30 and complete the project in 427 days after the bid award date. All of the $1 million grant for design and construction must be spent by May 31, 2016. Tetra Tech’s engineering estimate for the cost of constructing the new TP removal equipment being required by the state is $2.32 million. Tetra Tech has stated that the Tri-Lakes facility has no existing designed TP removal capability.
New discharge permit still not issued
Burks reported that he still not had received the facility’s new five-year discharge permit from the state Health Department. The state Water Quality Control Division has yet to provide any explanation for the protracted delay or an expected date for issuing the new replacement discharge permit. The JUC approved the state’s final draft of the discharge permit last fall. The state demanded that Tri-Lakes apply for this new discharge permit early even though the current discharge permit still in place does not expire until the end of 2016 so that the five-year permit cycle will align with the five-year review cycle for the Arkansas River basin standards, per www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/Regulation-32.pdf.
Some of the February budget expense items that Burks noted were:
• Installation of a new UV light transmittance sensor to determine turbidity of effluent just prior to discharge into the creek - $1,400
• An annual facility payment for AF CURE operations to the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority - $5,979
• Annual Tri-Lakes facility dues for Special District Association membership - $506
• Two payments to Sue Wielgopolan, the JUC’s consultant recording secretary, for the last three quarters - $1,190 (2014) and $510 (2015)
Burks noted a February state nutrient grant reimbursement of $81,209 for Tetra Tech preparation of design and construction documents for the TP removal tertiary clarifier expansion project. The total amount of state nutrient grant reimbursements the facility has received to date was $249,646, which included all of the $80,000 state planning grant and $169,646 from the $1 million state design and construction grant. For more information on Tri-Lakes’ state nutrient grants, see http://ocn.me/v13n8.htm and http://ocn.me/v13n8.htm#grant
The financial reports were unanimously accepted as presented.
Plant manager’s report
Burks reported that the plant was operating very efficiently. He reported hiring a new hourly operator to fill the facility’s empty position, Joshua Watkins of Widefield Water and Sanitation District.
The net January total phosphorus (TP) influent results for the Tri-Lake plant were 0.998 million gallons per day (MGD) of flow and 64.0 pounds per day (ppd) of TP consisting of:
• Monument – 0.198 MGD, 19.82 ppd, 31.0 percent
• Palmer Lake – 0.2 MGD, 9.0 ppd, 14.1 percent
• Woodmoor – 0.6 MGD, 35.2 ppd, 54.9 percent
The new TP chemical removal tertiary clarifiers’ constituent treatment capacity is rated at 264 ppd by Tetra Tech.
Burks presented the facility’s first spreadsheet for the new AF CURE stream model data collection project for the Monument/Fountain Creek basin. AF CURE is spreading the responsibility and cost among all its member wastewater entities to provide grab samples that will characterize stream and watershed health from Palmer Lake to Pueblo. This stream model data collection will enable all AF CURE wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) members to defend themselves from the imposition of unreasonable discharge permit limits for metals and other emerging contaminants of concern when actual aquatic life problems are being caused by pollutants from agricultural E. coli and nutrient runoff as well as naturally occurring non-point runoff such as selenium that are delivered to these two creeks by stormwater rather than WWTF treated effluent.
The three Tri-Lakes grab sample locations in Monument Creek are Monument Lake Road, the Arnold Avenue bridge, the Baptist Road bridge. A contemporaneous facility sample is also being taken. The concentration data being collected for this new model include:
• Total phosphorus, nitrogen, Kjeldahl nitrogen, ammonia, nitrate nitrogen, nitrite nitrogen
• E. coli
• Total suspended solids
• Total chloride, hardness, arsenic, chromium
• Total recoverable iron and molybdenum
• Dissolved oxygen, hexavalent chromium, cadmium, copper, lead, manganese, nickel, selenium, silver, zinc, and iron
There was a discussion of the effects of other streams such as Crystal Creek and Dirty Woman Creek and non-point source run-off on Monument Creek, the wide but normal variability of concentration readings throughout the month caused by rain and snow, and the unknown effects of the numerous existing beaver dams between the Tri-Lakes facility’s discharge pipe and the Baptist Road bridge.
Biosolids removal cost increased
Burks noted that the state’s two sludge hauling firms, Parker Ag Services and Liquid Waste Management, had merged since Liquid Waste Management presented its winning cost estimate bid in late 2014 of $430 per dry ton ($129,00) plus $4,500 for mobilization of their mobile sludge drying equipment and permits, for a total of $133,500. Burks added that the new merged company’s name is Veris Industries (veris.com), which now has a statewide monopoly on WWTF waste and sludge removal.
Burks said Veris notified him on Feb. 27 that it was going to raise the facility’s cost for 2015 sludge removal to $156,300, at $521 per dry ton, plus $2,500 for mobilization and permits. Burks told Veris that he had not included that much money in the facility’s 2015 budget. Veris reduced the rate to $468 per dry ton, but increased the mobilization and licensing charge back up to $4,500. The Veris rate in 2016 will increase to $556 per dry ton. There was further discussion of various possible alternative options including waste and/or sludge removal to a landfill in the future.
The JUC unanimously approved a motion to accept the revised Veris contract for a total of $144,900.
Burks noted that the Donala, Fountain, Lower Fountain, and Security sanitation districts were going to switch to Colorado Springs environmental attorney Connie King when their current environmental attorney Tad Foster retires. Foster is also the environmental attorney for Tri-Lakes. The JUC had previously selected Gabe Racz of Vranish & Raisch, in Boulder, to replace Foster when he retires. Burks asked if the JUC wanted to switch from Racz to King to share costs for King’s representation instead.
However, Racz lives in Denver and represents about 10 other wastewater treatment entities, which will produce even greater cost-sharing savings for Tri-Lakes as well as lower travel costs overall for all the state Water Quality Control Commission and Water Quality Control Division meetings that are held monthly. He is also the attorney for several statewide division stakeholder groups. The JUC consensus was not to switch from Racz to King.
District managers’ reports
Orcutt reported that Palmer Lake’s sewer pipe relining project had been completed and "went really well."
The meeting adjourned at 11:44 a.m.
The next meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on April 14 at the at the Tri-Lakes facility’s conference room, 16510 Mitchell Ave. Meetings are normally held on the second Tuesday of the month. Information for these meetings is available at 481-4053.
Jim Kendrick can be reached at email@example.com.
By Nancy Wilkins
At the March 10 Triview Metropolitan District Board of Directors meeting, President Robert Fisher, Director Missy Franklin, Treasurer/Secretary Marco Fiorito, and Director Reid Borlander voted unanimously to appoint Mark Melville to fill a vacant board position.
According to Melville’s letter and resume presented to the board, Melville and his family have lived in Jackson Creek since 2011. In the U.S. Air Force, he has commanded a squadron and served on several headquarters staffs. He is an Air Force senior officer and two-time unit commander with over 27 years operations and staff experience, and currently teaches senior-level classes. Melville expressed his interest in "seeing that this area grow and flourish in a sustained, intelligent, and thoughtful manner."
Triview is located approximately south of Higby Road, west of I-25 to Old Denver Road, and southeast of I-25, to East Baptist Road. The districtwebsite www.triviewmetro.com/about-us.html shows a more detailed map (see page 14). The district has large areas of undeveloped land, and the board will be looking for ways to economically provide the infrastructure and water to its constituents who live in an area recently rezoned into higher density. For more information on the rezone, see the Monument Board of Trustees article on page 1.
Board agrees to hear Colorado Springs Utilities 50-year water resource plan
District Manager Valerie Remington said a representative from Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) offered to send a fact sheet or present information to the board concerning a 50-year integrated water resource plan. CSU is building the Southern Delivery System water transportation system. The board approved the presentation, and Franklin asked for the fact sheet to be sent prior to the presentation. The date for the presentation was not determined at the meeting.
Remington presented the financial reports dated Jan. 31 to the board. These reports consisted of the General District Fund, Enterprise Fund, Capitol Projects Fund, and cash position.
From the General Fund for Jan. 31, year-to-date actual revenues exceeded expenditures by $100,932. Major income sources included town sales tax of $95,000, ownership tax of $19,243, and property tax of $22,775. Expenditures include accounting services $1,337, general insurance $8,775, workers compensation insurance $3,326, health and dental $1,252, snow removal $2,955, IT support $616, lighting $1,962, park irrigation water payments $1,823, and office equipment and supplies $831.
The Enterprise Fund for Jan. 31 showed a year-to-date actual revenue increase over expenditures of $20,324. Significant income includes water revenue $58,557, sewer revenue $74,024, water agreement $37,180, and total revenue of $176,033.
Expenditures include total professional services $12,269, administrative $22,731, electric $10,713, repair and maintenance $12,423, gas utilities $1,071, operating supplies $1,343, and wastewater treatment facility $77,157. Total expenditures reported for the Enterprise Fund are $155,709.
The Capital Projects Fund for Jan. 31 shows a deficit of $13,880, where no income is reported for water and sewer tap fees, and expenditures include Denver well drilling $2,330, I-25 potable crossing $6,555, and Sanctuary Pointe $4,995. A copy of the financial reports should be available at the office.
Finding water for the district
Triview filed an application in water court in December 2014 for additional wells in case number 2014CW3053, where it asked for an undetermined quantity of wells from the Denver aquifers necessary to withdraw Triview’s "full entitlement." Based on the application, the State Engineer’s Office used computer groundwater flow modeling to try to determine stream depletions caused by the new wells, using an estimated 100-year life of water pumped from the Denver and Arapahoe aquifers.
Water the district may need to replace for the possible stream depletions comes from water stored in Monument Lake as well as return flows from the wastewater treatment facility. From the December water application submitted, Triview also asked to draw water from a non-tributary water source defined as Laramie-Fox Hills. The application is available to the public at www.courts.state.co.us/courts/water/resumes/Div2/Resume12-2014.pdf.
Chevrolet Silverado from John Elway Dealership beats Ford F250 for lowest price
The board approved a purchase of a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 4WD fleet work truck from John Elway Dealership for $27,999. The vehicle was offered at the lowest bid compared to a 2015 Ford F250 Fleet at $29,204, a Dodge Ram truck, and a similar Chevrolet Silverado at John Vance Fleet Service in Oklahoma. Operations Superintendent Grant Sharp presented the various bids.
Because the current street sweeper vehicle is in disrepair and replacement parts may be unavailable, the board decided to outsource street cleaning. The lowest bid went to Alpine Street Sweeping for a first-time charge of $4,455, and each subsequent charge at $3,560, with an hourly rate of additional sand removal of $135. Franklin suggested the district pursue better contract terms at a lower cost per year for street cleaning by offering an extended contract. The board also discussed the possibility of selling the existing vehicle for parts or scrap metal.
Caption: From left, Mark Melville, Reid Borlander, Robert Fisher, Missy Franklin, and Marco Fiorito comprise the Triview Board of Directors. Melville was appointed director March 10. Photo by District Manager Valerie Remington.
Triview Metropolitan District board meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month at 5 p.m. at 16055 Old Forest Point, (east of the Ent building) suite 300. Information is available at 488-6868 andwww.triviewmetro.com. The next meeting is April 14.
Nancy Wilkins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Nancy Wilkins
In a unanimous agreement March 12, the Board of Directors of Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD) denied Brookmoor Homeowners Association’s (HOA) request to lower the rates for the highest-cost consumable bracket of non-potable irrigation water. Russ Broshous, representing Brookmoor HOA, asked WWSD to lower or forgo the highest tier rate as WWSD is scheduled to start a non-potable irrigation system for Brookmoor-area residents this summer.
President Barrie Town, Secretary Beth Courrau, Treasurer Tommy Schwab, Director Rich Strom, and Director Jim Taylor discussed Brookmoor’s request in detail, noting that the current tier structure is designed to reward water conservation. The highest tier bracket for non-potable water is designed to represent over watering or over consumption of irrigated water, and represents the highest volume of non-potable water consumed. Brookmoor HOA will receive a bill from WWSD for the total non-potable water consumed for the area. The association then sets up its own method of collection from its residents to pay for the non-potable water.
Board says Brookmoor’s billing method discourages water conservation
Brookmoor HOA is currently planning to charge each individual owner the same cost for the non-potable water, regardless of the amount of non-pot water used by the owner.
The board agreed Brookmoor’s policy is not conducive to water conservation. However, Broshous said that when a home is sold, the policy to pay for non-potable water for the new home owner should change.
As new homes are being built in Brookmoor, the total amount of irrigation water for the HOA could increase, which is more likely to push total consumption into a higher cost bracket. As the board discussed Broshous’ request, Town stressed the option for all homeowners to consider using conservative irrigation practices such as using landscaping techniques that use less water.
District considers switching to Lake Woodmoor water
Each spring, WWSD considers when to switch to lake water, using a measurement of the volume (or height) of the water to guide this decision. Using the lake water is considered less expensive then pumping the same amount of water from wells. The lake water is also considered a "reserve" source, available to be used when peak demand for water is the highest in the summer months.
February financial report: excess revenues over expenditures $910,828
The board unanimously passed the Feb. 28 financial statements with the Income Statement showing major income sources from Supplemental Water and Lease $652,153, Renewable Water and Investment Fee $166,971, Water Use Fees $135,263, Sewer Use Fees $101,253, and Water and Sewer Taps $63,614. The district also shows a nutrient grant monthly income of $12,068. The total operating income reported for February is $1.16 million.
Significant expenses for February include Salaries $59,702, Professional Fees, $59,468, Sewer Treatment Expense, $45,863, Utilities $32,482, and Renewal and Replacement $18,799. Total expenditures reported for February are $255,574.
Excess revenues over expenditures shows $910,828 due in part to the income generated by the Supplemental Water and Lease, recorded as a positive 336.03 percent over budget for 2015.
Long-term liabilities $27.1 million
From the Feb. 28 balance sheet, long-term liabilities show $27.1 million representing the debt owed for the purchase of the JV Ranch and water rights. The district financed this debt in the form of bonds payable, and collects the payment from district residents from the Renewable Water Investment Fee to finance the bonds. Total Liabilities and Stockholder Equity is recorded at $72.0 million.
Unaccounted water at an adjusted 7 percent
Operations Manager Randy Gillette reported unaccounted water at 3 percent. After adjusting for the time water meters were read, and the well 20 meter not reading properly, the water report shows an adjusted 7 percent of unaccounted water. Customer meters were read Jan. 28 and 29, and Feb. 26 and 27. District meters were read Jan. 30 and Feb. 27. The net water pumped, 15.1 millions gallons, subtracted by 14.6 million gallons of the total potable water billed approximates the unaccounted water. Water sources include wells from the Arapahoe and Dawson aquifers. No water was reported being drawn in February from the Denver aquifer wells.
Police may be patrolling the area more frequently for traffic violations
Woodmoor Public Safety Chief Kevin Nielsen said that relations with the Sheriff’s Office and local police are great, and he believes the police are probably performing more frequent traffic stops in the Woodmoor area.
Nielsen also said there is an open position on the Woodmoor Improvement Association’s (WIA) Board of Directors and noted that many directors for WWSD were once on the board for Woodmoor Improvement Association. Director Schwab attends the WIA meetings regularly for WWSD. For more information on the WIA, see page 1.
After the board voted unanimously to go into executive session, Town cited Colorado Revised Statute 24-6-402 (4) (a,b,e) for reasons to discuss water rights, the Joint Use Agreement (JUA), and negotiations with legal counsel.
The JUA is between WWSD, Monument Sanitation District and Palmer Lake Sanitation District. The three entities share the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility. Director Rich Strom is WWSD’s representative to the Joint Use Committee (JUC). Consulting Engineer Steve Tamburini reported the ongoing bidding process for a portion of the construction of the nutrient removal system at the water treatment facility. For more information on the JUC see page 11.
Board meetings are held at the district office on the second Thursday of each month at 1 p.m. The next board meeting is scheduled for April 9. The district office is located at 1845 Woodmoor Dr. Visit www.woodmoorwater.com or call 488-2525
Nancy Wilkins can be reached at email@example.com.
By Jim Kendrick
On March 19, the Monument Sanitation District board unanimously approved a Request for Expansion of Treatment Capacity of the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility for a new state requirement to treat the wastewater constituent total phosphorus, in accordance with the facility’s Joint Use of Facility’s Agreement (JUA). This facility expansion request, which was submitted to the facility’s Joint Use Coordinating Committee (JUC) after this meeting, is required to be submitted by JUA expansion procedures.
Monument’s expansion request specifies that the ownership shares of the 264 pounds per day (ppd) of rated total phosphorus constituent treatment capacity that is being created by this facility expansion will be the same ownership percentages as currently listed for the three special districts that own the Tri-Lakes facility for both hydraulic flow and BOD organic treatment capacity that are listed in section 3 and section 6 of the JUA:
• Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District – 64.28 percent or 169.7 ppd
• Monument Sanitation District – 19.79 percent or 52.2 ppd
• Palmer Lake Sanitation District – 15.93 percent or 42.1 ppd
The Tri-Lakes facility operates as a separate joint venture public utility. The facility is owned in equal one-third shares by Monument Sanitation District, Palmer Lake Sanitation District (PLSD), and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD).
The state’s new Control Regulation 85 established new statewide nutrient constituent treatment requirements, including a new total phosphorus constituent effluent discharge concentration limit of 1 milligram per liter (mg/l). The Tri-Lakes facility has no designed total phosphorus removal capability. The expansion cost for expanding the facility with all-new treatment equipment to meet this new total phosphorus constituent treatment requirement has been estimated to be $2.32 million by the facility’s engineering firm, Tetra Tech RTW. The current draft of the facility’s new discharge permit requires the facility to meet this new total phosphorus constituent treatment requirement of 1 mg/l by Nov. 1, 2019.
The absences of Monument directors Gene Kreft and Matt Vincent were unanimously excused.
Total disbursements since the Feb. 19 regular board meeting were $41,506 and total deposits were $64,982. Total cash on hand as of March 18 was $797,803, including $245,027 in the First National Bank Capital Preservation Fund account, $404,103 in the ColoTrust Capital Preservation Fund account, $35,028 in the Integrity Series-2013 Loan account, $113,545 in the Integrity Bank Operating account, and $100 in petty cash. Rental income deposited year-to-date was $2,400. Conference room rental deposited year-to-date was $625. Two tap fees totaling $10,000 had been received since Feb. 18.
The two payments that District Manager Mike Wicklund noted in the cash summary for Feb. 19 through March 18 were:
• $450 to Mr. Stump Tree Service for trimming the willow tree in front of the district building.
• $2,000 to J&K Excavating to replace manhole lids and covers that were damaged by town snowplows at the intersection of Front and Third Street and on south Mitchell Avenue near the Tri-Lakes facility.
Wicklund stated that the district was credited by Tri-Lakes Facility Manager Bill Burks with a one-third share of the February state nutrient grant design and construction reimbursement of $81,209 to the Tri-Lakes facility. This $27,070 was more than the amount Monument owed for Monument’s share of February Tri-Lakes facility operational costs. The district received a net credit of $14,787 on Monument’s Tri-Lakes facility Accounts Payable invoice for February. Wicklund noted that Monument is only asking for 19.79 percent of the state’s $1 million design and construction grant for the facility’s total phosphorus chemical tertiary clarifier treatment expansion.
At 10:42 a.m. the board went into executive session under C.R.S. 24-6-402(4)(a) to discuss matters concerning the purchase, acquisition, lease, transfer, or sale of any property interest, as well as C.R.S. 24-6-402(4)(e) for determining positions relative to matters that may be subject to negotiations, developing strategy for negotiations, and instructing negotiators; and C.R.S. 24-6-402(4)(g) for consideration of any documents protected by the mandatory nondisclosure provisions of the "Public Records Act." The board came out of executive session at 12:24 a.m.
In other matters, Wicklund noted that there had been a couple of requests to view the district’s vacant suites in response to the "For Rent" signs posted in the suites’ front windows.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:32 p.m.
The next meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on April 16 at the at the district conference room, 130 Second St. Meetings are normally held on the third Thursday of the month. Information for these meetings is available at 481-4886.
Jim Kendrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jim Kendrick
On March 19, General Manager Kip Petersen and local water consultant Rod Kuharich gave the Donala Water and Sanitation District board a lengthy technical overview about water rights in the Horse Creek groundwater basin property east of Colorado Springs near Rush. They also discussed transport and water exchange issues regarding potential use of this water right by Donala. About 1,500 acre-feet per year of this water is not vulnerable to water court suits by Kansas and is currently available for sale. No decisions were made by the board regarding this available Horse Creek Water User Association agricultural water.
1041 permit work continues
Petersen also advised the board that he was drafting a formal reply, with the assistance of consultants Rick Fendel, the district’s water attorney, and Katie Fendel, the district’s water engineer, to Pueblo County questions asked about Donala’s future use of the Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) Southern Delivery System (SDS), future water rights Donala may acquire in the Arkansas River Basin, and Pueblo County concerns about Donala stormwater flows.
These questions were asked by Pueblo County after Donala submitted a formal request for a Pueblo County 1041 permit for transporting its renewable water from Donala’s Willow Creek Ranch through the SDS pipeline when CSU commences SDS operations. Willow Creek Ranch is located in Lake County near Leadville. Donala’s renewable ranch water is currently being stored in the Pueblo Reservoir after it flows down the Arkansas River from Lake County to Pueblo County. Donala’s renewable water is currently being pumped north from the Pueblo Reservoir to Donala through existing CSU pipelines.
CSU reported that the physical construction of the SDS pipeline was completed on March 19. (http://www.sdswater.org)
Note: Donala is solely a water and sanitation district. El Paso County is responsible for stormwater matters within the Donala service area. Stormwater responsibilities for the Donala service area have never been part of Donala’s service plan. None of the other wastewater special districts in the Tri-Lakes region have any stormwater responsibilities for their service areas in their service plans. There are no El Paso County plans for any changes in their existing stormwater responsibilities.
Petersen noted that property tax revenue for January and February totaled only $64,326. The 2015 district budget line for property tax revenue is $1.5 million. Total revenue through February was $540,610, while the total of operating and capital expenditures for the first two months was $1.004 million of the $6.48 million budgeted. He summarized that all the figures on the financial report were within "target range" and revenues will catch up with expenses shortly.
Petersen reported that the 2014 audit is well underway with no significant problems noted, and Donala will get a clean audit report.
The financial reports for water and waste plant operations and capital expenditures were unanimously accepted as presented.
Water tank refurbishment contract awarded
Petersen recommended that the board accept the lowest bid of $164,838 from Norvell Construction for repainting the interior of the district’s Fox Run water tank. Six bids were submitted. The engineer’s estimate for the project was $175,000. Norvell has successfully provided services to Donala in the past. The board unanimously awarded the contract to Norvell.
Petersen briefed the board on upcoming Arkansas River basin meetings. He coordinated with board members to have them attend the April 21 Arkansas River Basin Water Forum meeting at Pueblo Community College if possible. He also asked that two directors join him in attending upcoming monthly Arkansas basin Roundtable meetings to meet other Arkansas basin water professionals and government officials and to help Petersen better explain Donala’s long-term water sustainability issues as groundwater wells in the Denver Basin become less and less productive. The next Arkansas basin roundtable meeting is on April 8.
Petersen suggested developing a plan to initiate regular tours of Donala facilities for the community. The board endorsed Petersen’s proposal.
Petersen informed the board of the very positive final report Donala received from the state Health Department for a Jan. 16 inspection of the Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility owned by Donala, Triview Metropolitan District, and Forest Lakes Metropolitan District. The facility is operated entirely by Donala wastewater operators. Petersen praised the work of staff members Robert Hull, Terri Ladouceur, Thom Waite, Aaron Tolman, J.R. Vialpando, and Troy Vialpando for their hard work preparing for and facilitating this inspection despite the ongoing M. Parvicella contamination problem that is being slowly but successfully rectified.
The inspection found no violations. Furthermore, there have been no discharge permit violations during the biological treatment system upset caused by very cold weather and the higher than normal loads of fats, oils, and grease that occur between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. The state did not view the contamination problem as an issue of concern due to the staff’s thorough and prompt response.
The meeting adjourned at 3:40 p.m.
The next meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. on April 16 in the district conference room at 15850 Holbein Drive. Meetings are normally held on the third Thursday of the month. Information: 488-3603 or http://www.donalawater.org.
Jim Kendrick can be reached at email@example.com.
By Jennifer Green-Lanchoney
At the March 10 meeting of the Donald Wescott Fire Protection District, the board and the executive staff discussed the replacement of end-of-life equipment with new equipment that would go in line with current firefighting needs in the district.
District Director Greg Gent opened the meeting at 7:04 p.m. Directors Joyce Hartung, Bo McAllister, and John Fredell were present as were the executive staff, Chief Vinny Burns and Assistant Chief Scott Ridings. Director Harland Baker was absent.
Next year, Wescott will have two pieces of equipment up for replacement: a type 6 engine and a type 1 engine. Burns and Ridings would like to replace both with a type 3 engine and a water tender, which is a 3,000-gallon water hauler.
The differences between the engine types are:
• A type 6 engine is mounted on a pickup truck and holds a smaller 250-gallon per minute tank.
• A type 1 engine is used primarily for structural firefighting and wildland fires. It is a larger engine that looks like a traditional fire engine.
• A type 3 engine, a combination of the two, is thought to be better suited to the needs of the district.
"Our grass area is changing to where we feel that that is not a necessity to dive out into the middle of a field anymore," said Ridings. "Most of our fields are being developed right now so, the likelihood of really needing that capability in district starts going down."
The need for an additional water tender with a larger capacity was also discussed.
"When we ordered the current tender in 2000, the philosophy was with lighter trucks and less water, that return trips would be quicker," said Burns. "That has not really panned out. A lot of times we’re sitting there with no water, which is why I think there is a big move in the fire service to go bigger so that when you show up, you’ve got enough punch to hold back a decent-sized fire."
The current tender holds 1,500 to 1,800 gallons of water; the proposed addition would hold 3,000 gallons of water.
A monthly report is not expected on the acquisition of the new equipment. The first step is to get a working group together and toward the end of the year, when an idea of budget and need is more realized, the committee will again engage the Board of Directors.
Burns noted that they were looking to start the process in 2015 with a 2016 delivery.
Silver Alert system
Director McAllister explained the importance of an alert system called Silver Alert, which is not currently in use in the state of Colorado.
Silver Alert is a public notification system used to broadcast information about missing persons—especially senior citizens with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other mental disabilities—in order to aid in their recovery.
McAllister’s father was recently saved as a direct result of this information system in New Jersey.
"I called the police station (in New Jersey) and explained my situation," McAllister said. "When I went out on the highway, every sign I saw had my father’s car (and) license plate … he was found three hours later."
McAllister will work to promote the use of this system in Colorado.
February calls increase
Ridings delivered the February run report, citing a 13 percent increase this year over last. In February 2014 there were 196 calls compared to 221 calls this February. Ridings indicated that the February weather event did not increase call volume, though a plan was in place in case a spike occurred.
Ridings also spoke on fire mitigation work being done in Black Forest. "We are taking more of a regional approach to fire mitigation," he said. The region will be working to thin the Black Forest canopy and increase healthy forest restoration over the next two to three years.
The discussion then turned to dividends earned on current accounts for the station. Ridings talked with Wescott’s auditor and accountant regarding the accounts. "(The accountant is getting me information on) Colorado revised statutes on where we can put money and where we can’t," said Ridings. "Wescott fire is very limited in which accounts the station can place their money; the accounts must be very low risk."
The current account yields .01 percent interest on the balance, which earns the station $1.94 a month. The board will look into other accounts with more earning potential, but that fit within the confines of Colorado statutes.
February’s financial statement was postponed until April. The statement is typically not ready until after the date of the scheduled directors meeting in March.
The board is scheduled to go over both the February and March financial statements at the April Board of Directors meeting.
After a unanimous decision to adjourn, the Board of Directors meeting ended at 7:28 p.m.
The Donald Wescott Fire Protection District Board of Directors’ next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 21 at 15415 Gleneagle Dr. Please call 488-8680, a non-emergency number, for more information, or visit www.wescottfire.org. The district is also on Facebook.
Jennifer Green-Lanchoney can be contacted at Jenlanchoney@ocn.me.
By Lisa Hatfield
Chief Chris Truty and the directors discussed the priorities and philosophies of the district at the March 25 meeting of the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District (TLMFPD). Truty envisions more long-range, proactive planning and budgeting for the district, and over the coming months, he will be asking the board, which represents the residents of the district, for guidance on their priorities so that financial and other decisions will be made with purpose instead of arbitrarily.
The directors also reached a consensus on how to allocate $350,000 of surplus funds from 2014.
Secretary Mike Smaldino was absent.
Services, personnel and infrastructure first topics of 2016 budget discussion
Truty asked the board to start discussion of the 2016 budget so that by the end of summer, the board will know whether or not it wishes to put a mill levy question on the ballot in November. He asked them to define their philosophy of budgeting—if the district wants to have debt and take out loans or if it wants to regularly set aside money for planned vehicle and infrastructure replacements five to10 years in the future, and how to invest in personnel development and wages. He wanted the board to define its priorities, saying "Otherwise (all the decisions we make are) arbitrary, and we would rather be all on the same page."
He said the district’s mission statement defines its direction. It is "to minimize the loss of life and property resulting from fires, medical emergencies, environmental and other disasters." Truty’s goal for this discussion, "among the identification of service provision and the supporting infrastructure, would be to attempt to make a decision that would not make another mill levy increase necessary for at least five years," the memo read.
Truty mentioned that while expenses each year are somewhat predictable, revenues go up and down and it would be important to structure any possible mill levy to absorb the uncertainty. Changes anticipated for the future include potentially hundreds (even over 1,000) more homes being built in the district, possible mergers with other fire districts, and possible new fire stations being needed.
This first month’s discussion topics included services provided, personnel investment, and infrastructure quality:
On the topics of services to provide and personnel investment, Truty said there are 85 core competencies expected of professional fire departments, and while actual accreditation at nationally recognized standards is resource-intensive, that model could be used as a goal for the next three to five years. The board agreed that aiming toward being a standards-based organization would be a good direction.
The consensus was that the goal would be to achieve services and staffing goals meeting national standards and "above average" salary goals to retain quality people, and it might turn out that having those dual goals would build the case for putting a mill levy question to district residents in the fall. Truty said that in addition to meeting national staffing standards, his goal was "to get our employees up to average wage or above-average wage, show them we value and encourage them."
Treasurer John Hildebrandt said it was important to educate the public that there are professional standards the district is trying to attain.
Regarding services provided by the district, the board considered the need for an additional tactical team to provide wildland fire preparation, mitigation, and enhanced response (wildland, special rescue, etc.) Truty said the Donald Wescott Fire Protection District had a good model for this type of work, including public education and also using firefighter volunteers and district equipment to help residents do mitigation work on their properties.
Another area of consideration was special tactics response (hazardous materials, technical rescue, and confined space). The directors were concerned about the current lack of ability to respond to a submerged victim in a water rescue, for example.
Hildebrandt suggested combining objectives could help. For example, the district could combine a potential contracted non-emergency medical response (such as ambulance transfers, or working in conjunction with insurance companies to do follow-up visits to patients discharged from hospital) with a public education mission using an extra vehicle that is "out in the field already" and would not take away from emergency response resources.
Public education is currently delegated to Fire Marshal John Vincent, "who has 75 things he is responsible for doing, and he can only get to the top six," including planning and inspections, Truty said.
An additional nine trained paramedics, a full-time training and emergency services officer, an additional fire inspector, and more outside training for each firefighter each year were also considered.
Truty reminded the board that his goal was to have 90 days of reserves set aside in case there is a delay receiving revenues from the county at the beginning of the year. With the current 57 days of reserves, "we have little in place" to cover payroll, especially, if there is a problem in February.
Regarding infrastructure quality, Truty’s goal for equipment and fleet replacement is to finish paying current leases and to also set money aside for planned future capital improvements to avoid future debt. Besides vehicles, other items such as radios, hoses, self-contained breathing apparatus, and defibrillators are extraordinarily expensive, he said. If the district could identify a replacement cycle and create a reserve fund, that would be ideal, he said. Hildebrandt said that had been the target in the past, but the variability in revenue has prevented hitting the target. Truty said it was important for citizens to see that this was a way for the district to save money by not having debt. President Jake Shirk suggested that the district at least adopt this as a goal.
They discussed the need for enhanced dispatch services, since the quality of the communications center of the current dispatch services provided for free by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) is "slowing down the progress of a lot of fire departments," Truty said.
Infrastructure that needs maintenance and possible modernization includes all the fire stations where the firefighters spend so much time. Possible new buildings in the future could include a fire station on Jackson Creek Parkway that includes the new administration headquarters.
Vice President Roger Lance said the challenge will be to get the community to know that their "money would be spent smartly." The board consensus was that it would be better to wait longer to discuss relocating any existing fire stations or deciding to build new permanent facilities and deal first with services provided to the district residents.
At upcoming board meetings, Truty and the board plan to discuss these topics in anticipation of receiving revenue projections from the county in August:
• April – associated expenses and funding
• May – projected revenues
• June – expense/revenue comparison (shortfall/overage determination)
• July – option identifications
Surplus 2014 money prioritized
The district finished with about $350,000 in surplus at the end of 2014, Truty said. He presented a list of options to the board in January, and they reached a consensus on how to utilize the money on March 16:
• $60,000 to restore the third firefighter position at Station 2 starting Oct. 1.
• $67,000 to pay off the outstanding vacation bank balance that employees have accrued and are owed.
• $175,000 to move the anticipated 2018 ambulance replacement date to 2015 and purchase (or re-chassis) two ambulances rather than one.
Other items that were considered but not selected at this time included updated defibrillators, personnel management software system, battalion chief, switching to a full-time accountant, or putting money into reserves for a new radio system.
Any grants received for these suggested purposes would cause the funds to be available and reconsidered for other uses, Truty said, adding that the district has $500,000 to $750,000 in grant requests pending. Whatever changes are adopted would be handled through an amended budget process later this year.
Board/staff communication subcommittee
Truty told the board that Lt. Janaka Branden and Lt. Franz Hankins, president of Local 4319 of International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) union, have volunteered to be the two union representatives on the new board/staff communication subcommittee created to provide a method for dialogue between staff and the board. Office Manager Jennifer Martin has agreed to be the non-union member of this subcommittee, an addition added by the conversion from the existing personnel manual to the Lexipol system discussed at the Jan. 28 meeting. See www.ocn.me/v15n2.htm#tlmfpd0128.
On March 25, Shirk and Director Larry Smith volunteered to be the two board members on the subcommittee and were approved unanimously. The subcommittee will need to make a report to the full board subsequent to any meeting, and any matters to be discussed must go through the chain-of-command through the fire chief prior to any sub-committee meeting, Truty said.
Truty said that in the next few weeks, TLMFPD and Donald Wescott FPD plan to meet to think about working together in an operational consolidation before any discussion of an organizational merger is begun.
Treasurer Hildebrandt presented the financial report that had been prepared by accountant Frances Esty. As of Feb. 28, overall expenses were 1 percent below budget. The total cash balance in five accounts was $1.8 million. The directors unanimously approved the financial report.
The board went into executive session at 8:55 p.m. to discuss personnel matters. Shirk said they did not plan to make any announcements after the executive session.
The next meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22 in the Monument Town Hall at 645 Beacon Lite Road. Meetings are usually held the fourth Wednesday of each month. For information, contact Jennifer Martin at 719-484-0911.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Harriet Halbig
On March 19, the Lewis-Palmer D-38 Board of Education discussed the continuing development of its strategic plan, new appointments to administrative positions, and budget matters leading up to passage of the 2015-16 budget in June.
Beginning with a board retreat early in the school year and followed by numerous work sessions and meetings with administrative, school, district, and community groups, the board received a first look at the district’s strategic plan.
The statement upon which the plan is based is that the reason why we educate is to encourage "local, national, and global stewardship to create strong citizens who will secure a better world."
District Superintendent Karen Brofft said that the former vision for the district was based on academic achievement, community engagement, and development of the whole child. The new emphasis is on healthy, safe, and engaged students. She said that the plan will be reviewed and priorities reexamined on an annual basis.
Director of Curriculum and Professional Development Sheila Beving said that the emphasis this year will be on communications and technology.
Communication with staff and the board were early priorities, followed by communication with community stakeholders. Community partnerships are being formed that could result in opportunities for internships for students and sponsors for various district activities. Partnerships between families and schools are also being forged.
District communication systems are being improved with the development of a new website and improved availability of board documents to the public. District employees will also be trained to improve their ability to communicate district priorities. District calendars are being simplified. The district is also communicating with local developers to learn of plans for new housing to be able to anticipate the need for new schools.
Beving also explained the concept of 21st century learning, which emphasizes critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, character, and citizenship incorporated in lesson plans. Curriculum can be digitized and customized to the individual, offering personalized learning opportunities.
District decisions will be data driven so that they can be evaluated for their effectiveness.
Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Wangeman explained that long-range planning for the district will include examination of capital purchases, facility planning, focal planning, and governance methods. The model of the former Citizens Advisory Committee will be used to prioritize improvements.
Fiscal planning will be based on a balanced budget and a strong audit committee and stress ongoing dialogue with state legislators to advocate for local control of spending and outcomes that align with the district’s vision.
Brofft stressed that this is a draft document. Timelines and responsibilities have yet to be added.
Board Secretary Robb Pike commented that he is proud of the document and its usefulness as a framework for dialogue between many constituencies. He said that engagement in the process by parents is encouraged.
Brofft announced the appointments of two new high school assistant principals. Kimberly Sandoval, the new assistant principal at Palmer Ridge, comes to the district from Cheyenne Mountain. Bridget O’Connor at Lewis-Palmer comes to the district from Pine Creek High School.
The board voted to approve the appointment of Peggy Griebenow as principal of Palmer Lake Elementary School. Griebenow is currently principal of Copper Mesa Elementary in Douglas County.
Wangeman announced that Julie Stephen is the new public information officer for the district. Stephen has been employed by the district for several years.
Preliminary budget discussion
Wangeman explained some minor funds to the board, including those involving sports fees and gate receipts for sports events, and drama presentations and one memorial fund created to benefit Bear Creek Elementary.
Wangeman also proposed a capital reserve fund of $323,000 for the 2015-16 year to include such items as smoke detectors, doors, mowing equipment, curbs, sidewalks, water lines and skylights in various facilities. The board approved the fund with the understanding that each project will be presented for a vote when a contract has been negotiated.
Wangeman also said that requests for proposal have been issued for drainage planning, financial advisor, and environmental services.
She also noted that facility utilization and planning services are necessary in light of the fact that land between the highway and the YMCA and between Lewis-Palmer High School and Highway 105 is being proposed to be rezoned from commercial to residential, which could result in a much larger student population than anticipated.
Director of Personnel and Student Services Bob Foster led a discussion of policies regarding memorials, staff use of technology resources, public conduct on school property, and education research projects. Policies may be viewed on the district website under the Board of Education tab at www.lewispalmer.org. Each includes the date of its most recent revision.
The board recognized national finalists from the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) as they anticipate the International Career Development Conference in Orlando in April. Courtney Bushnell is the sponsor for Palmer Ridge High School and Mike Diamond is the sponsor for Lewis-Palmer High School. Diamond explained that participants take a written test and participate in role playing to demonstrate their abilities. They are presented with a situation and given a brief amount of time to prepare a solution to a situation.
The board recognized the Lewis-Palmer High School men’s basketball team and congratulated them on reaching the final four in the state 4A championships.
The board passed a consent agenda including minutes of past meetings, personnel matters, ratification of closures and delays and a monthly budget summary.
The Lewis-Palmer D-38 Board of Education meets at 6 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month in the districts learning center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. The next meeting will be on April 16.
Harriet Halbig can be reached at email@example.com.
Caption: DECA national finalists are, from left, Courtney Bushnell (Palmer Ridge High School business teacher and sponsor), Alexis Faeh (PR), Brooke Sveska (PR), Zac Alwais (PR), Ben Kirby (PR), Sam Nesmith (Lewis-Palmer), Cody Leeper (LP), Cheyenne Phillips (LP), Courtney Morris (LP), Chris McGann (PR student participating on LP team), and Mike Diamond (LP business teacher and sponsor). Photo by Harriet Halbig.
Caption: Members of the Lewis-Palmer basketball team are, from left, Trevor Grooms, Andrew Blomberg, Sam Strasburger, Billy Cook, Charlie Hovasse, Kyle Owens, JT Shepherd, Colin Cicere, Thomas MacNabb, Michael Johnston, Sam Todd, and Coach Bill Benton. Photo by Harriet Halbig.
By Bill Kappel
Most of March was on the mild side, with a couple of shots of snow and cold mixed in. Overall, the month was warmer than normal, with precipitation, including snowfall, right about normal. Temperatures ranged from below zero on the morning of the 5th to the mid-70s on the afternoon of the 28th, a pretty normal range for us in March, as we usually see a battle between winter and spring several times in a typical March.
The first few days of March continued the trend of snowy and cold weather that ended February. The first day of the month stayed below freezing with high temperatures reaching the upper 20s. Fog and low clouds stuck around, with a brief period of light snow occurring during the evening. This only produced about an inch of new snow, adding to the substantial snowpack already on the ground. Winds kicked up the next day, blowing some of the snow around but also helping to briefly warm up our temperatures. We reached the low 40s that afternoon, but of course that was short-lived as the next cold front moved in on the morning of the 3rd.
The next in a series of storms that had been affecting the region since the third week of February arrived, accumulating 2-5 inches of snow on the 3rd-4th. Also, a final surge of Arctic air invaded the region. This kept temperatures a good 30°F below normal on the 4th. The high temperature of 37°F was reached at midnight on the 3rd, then fell through the 20s and into the teens that afternoon with light snow. The next day wasn’t any better, with "high" temperatures only reaching the mid- to upper teens. Overnight lows were also chilly, especially as the clouds cleared out.
Clearing skies combined with fresh snow allowed temperatures to drop below zero on the morning of the 5th. However, the cold air was replaced by milder conditions over the next few days. The warm-up was slowed, however, because much of the energy was used to melt the snow first. Therefore, highs were in the 40s to low 50s from the 5th through the 8th. But, the stronger March sunshine made things feel more spring-like.
Mild conditions persisted for the week of March 9th. Temperatures hovered right around normal for the first few days of the week, with highs in the low to mid-50s each day from the 9th through the 14th. However, warmer air moved in quickly on the 15th, with highs reaching into the upper 60s and low 70s that afternoon. The temperatures were near daily record highs. This was in response to a strong ridge of high pressure moving in from the desert Southwest. With high pressure generally in control for the week, we saw plenty of sunshine with areas of high clouds at times. The stronger March sunshine and mild temperatures also helped to melt most of the remaining snow in the region, adding lots of moisture to the soil.
Te week of March 16th started warm and dry, with record high temperatures occurring around the region. Highs reached into the low 70s even up on the Palmer Divide. Of course, it’s March, so the next day was much different, as a cool push of air allowed low clouds and fog to move in, holding temperatures in the low 40s for highs. Sunshine returned the next day, and high temperatures reached back into the upper 50s and low 60s that afternoon. The rollercoaster ride continued as another cold front moved through that evening. Rain showers developed that evening, then changed to snow overnight. This system was wet, originating from the south, so heavy, wet snow fell across the region through the morning of the 19th. Anywhere from 2 to 8 inches of new snow accumulated, with amounts very dependent on your elevation. Areas below 7,000 feet received far less snow than areas above this elevation. Dry, mild air moved in behind this storm, with highs reaching into the 50s and low 60s through the weekend, quickly melting the snow.
The month ended much like it had begun, with mild weather briefly interrupted with a shot of cold and snow. Temperatures reached into the 50s on the 23rd and 24th, before the final storm of the month rolled through on the 25th. Snow developed during the morning of the 25th, with 2-6 inches of new snow accumulating throughout the region by early that afternoon. This also held temperatures a good 20 degrees below average for the date, with highs in the low to mid- 30s. However, like most of the other storms in March, high pressure quickly moved in behind this storm and temperatures rebounded nicely. Highs reached the low 50s on the 26th, then soared into the 60s on the 27th, and reached daily record high levels in the mid-70s on the 28th. Mild conditions stuck around through the last few days of the months as well, with temperatures in the 60s to low 70s.
A look ahead
April is known for a wide range of weather conditions in the region and is on average our snowiest month of the year. We can see 70° temperatures one afternoon and blizzard conditions the next. Several recent years have seen over 50 inches of snow accumulate during the month. Of course, it also melts very quickly, often adding very beneficial moisture to the soil and helping the vegetation that is just getting started. We can hope this year will bring abundant moisture and hopefully make up for some of the dry conditions we’ve experienced over the last year.
March 2015 Weather Statistics
Average High 52.5° (+2.3°)
100-year return frequency value max 57.9° min 38.0°
Average Low 22.5° (+1.6°)
100-year return frequency value max 27.0° min 12.0°
Highest Temperature 75° on the 28th
Lowest Temperature -3° on the 5th
Monthly Precipitation 1.40"
(-0.21", 13% below normal)
100-year return frequency value max 4.29"min 0.22"
Monthly Snowfall 17.4"
(-3.2", 15% below normal)
Season to Date Snow 91.3"
(+1.4", 2% above normal)
(the snow season is from July 1 to June 30)
Season to Date Precip. 15.59"
(+1.38",10% above normal)
(the precip season is from July 1 to June 30)
Heating Degree Days 852 (-65)
Cooling Degree Days 0
Bill Kappel is a meteorologist and Tri-Lakes resident. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidelines for letters to the editor are on page 31.
Disclamer: The opinions expressed in Letters to Our Community should not be interpreted as the views of OCN even if the letter written is an OCN volunteer
Be a friend of Black Forest park
Black Forest Regional Park needs a few good "friends." As you recall, the park was badly damaged in the Black Forest Fire. A new Forest Management Plan has set restoration priorities.
Now it’s time to get to work!
Join us for a Black Forest Regional Park community meeting 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 9 at the Lodge at Cathedral Pines, 13977 Milam Rd. Learn how you can help restore your park and help form a Black Forest Park Friends Group.
Volunteer projects will include removing invasive weeds, constructing and maintaining erosion control structures, and meeting other critical needs.
No experience necessary. Teens with service hour requirements are welcome!
Fire mitigation project terms clarified
This is in regards to the caption, "Matching grant can help area resident reduce wildfire risk" published in OCN on March 7, page 27.
Just to clarify a few terms of the Fire Break Project partnership between Coalition for Upper South Platte (CUSP) and Tri-Lakes property owners: Property owner volunteer "in-kind" time is required, together with owner’s out-of-pocket payment of 50 percent cost share. (So if the fire fuel treatment of your land costs $1,000, you’d pay $500 and CUSP would cover $500. No matter how many volunteer hours you log, you still pay your share of the actual cost of treatment.)
Other terms of agreement with CUSP also apply. All the required CUSP documents, including the log for recording volunteer time, can be downloaded from www.TownOfPalmerLake.com or request them from me at JudithReginaHarrington@gmail.com (719)229-9636.
Benefits of participation in the CUSP/Tri-Lakes Project: 1. You save half the cost of reducing wildfire risk to your property; 2. you contribute to the safety of your neighborhood, improve our wildland urban interface (WUI), and protect firefighters; 3. You comply with El Paso County and municipality International Fire Code ordinances; 4. You satisfy insurance company mitigation/"defensible space" requirements; 5. You could save money on your Colorado income taxes.
Arrange to have a pre-mitigation assessment from your local fire department now! Please call me. I’d be happy to answer questions, give you more details, and get you on the 2015 Palmer Lake/CUSP Project fire fuel mitigation schedule.
Editor’s note: The photo of the SWIFT team on page 27 of March 7 issue of OCN was taken by Dave Cooper, who was having mitigation work done on his property by SWIFT.
D-38 school board out of step with commissioner and U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn
County commissioner and U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn recently released a statement to our community titled, "Let’s talk about education." His position says "Common Core claims to raise the quality of education but is designed to data mine personal family information, indoctrinate children, and expand federal control."
I completely agree with Commissioner Glenn. The question is why doesn’t our D-38 school board?
Many in our community received a letter from our school board on Nov. 12, 2014 accepting this intrusion into our families to the State of Colorado while they seem to sit idle on the sidelines, do not advocate for our teachers, our kid’s privacy, or address our kid’s education future.
Please help motivate Lewis-Palmer D-38’s school board to act as our community advocate for education as does U.S. Senate candidate Glenn. Thank you.
Over the past several years, community surveys concerning the Lewis-Palmer School District 38 Board of Education have reported a lack of trust of this governing body. This distrust began with a payout of $250,000 to a superintendent after only five months into his contract. The explanation given was that no rationale for this expensive decision would be made as part of a "gentleman’s agreement."
None of the current board members were on the board at that time, so why the continuing distrust? It may have something to do with a continuing
lack of transparency and an unwillingness to review and evaluate major decisions such as the reconfiguration that
Another decision authorized the board to borrow millions of dollars the district did not need. To many community members, the board operates like an insider’s club who does not have to respond to the questions and ideas presented by their constituents. This may be possibly due to the fact that all the current board members were initially appointed (hand selected) by the board. Once each faced election, it was done so as an incumbent, which statistically is a strong leg up on other contenders.
This fall, four of the five board member positions will be on the ballot. The district patrons deserve a school board with members who bring
diverse fresh points of view to this governing body.
By the staff at Covered Treasures
Sunny afternoons are longer after our switch to daylight saving time and we begin to anticipate outdoor activities—hiking, gardening, baseball. Yet we do live at 7,000 feet in Colorado, so spring snows often mean we are day-dreaming rather than actually doing them. Here are a few books to help with those spring dreams.
Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors
By Joyce Sidman (Houghton Mifflin, $17.99)
Color comes alive in this whimsical, imaginative book: "green drips from spring leaves," "purple pours into summer evenings one shadow at a time," "red whispers along my finger with little beetle feet." With original and spot-on perceptions, Joyce Sidman’s poetry brings the colors of the seasons to life in a fresh light, combining the senses of sight, sound, smell, and taste. Illustrator Pam Zagarenski’s beautiful interpretations go beyond the concrete, allowing us to not only see color, but to feel it in this Caldecott Honor book.
Fly Fishing Small Streams
By John Gierach (Stackpole Books, $19.95)
Always thought you’d like to try your hand at fly-fishing Colorado’s streams? Maybe this is the year, and now, while the weather’s "iffy," get yourself ready with this basic book on the sport. Laced with humorous fishing stories, it offers sound advice on tackle selection, reading water, casting technique, and small-stream scouting. The author of numerous books on fly-fishing, Gierach’s work has appeared in Field & Stream and Fly Rod & Reel. He lives in Lyons, Colo.
Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Mountain States
By Mary Ann Newcomer (Workman Publishing, $19.99)
Like all gardening at high altitude, growing vegetables requires regionally specific information: what to plant, when to plant it, and when to harvest, based on climate, weather, and first frost. This book tackles this need head-on. Monthly planting guides show exactly what you can do in the garden from January through December, with tutorials on seed saving, worm bins, and more.
Little Lamb, Bobby Bunny, Casey Chick and Katie Kitten
(Barron’s Educational, $7.99 each)
With soft fabric pages and stimulating features to see and feel, cloth books are the perfect first books for baby. Little Loves Rattle Books feature a sweet springtime tale of a baby animal exploring the world around it. A built-in rattle creates a gentle sound whenever the books are shaken and make them the perfect stroller or car seat take-along.
The Colorado Mountain Companion; a potpourri of useful miscellany from the highest parts of the highest state
By M. John Fayhee (West Winds Press, $23.99)
While you’re planning your summer destinations and activities, take a look at this "treasure trove of useful (and just plain fun) information about Colorado’s mountain country." In this book you’ll learn about strange festivals, geology, mountain lexicons, hiking and biking, Colorado as a movie set, Colorado songs, and a wealth of other miscellaneous information about Colorado, and what our state is all about—an essential text for those who’d like to dig a little deeper into what it means to be a Coloradan. (Coloradoan? Read this book for more on the debate!)
The Hall: A Celebration of Baseball’s Greats
By Baseball Hall of Fame (Hachette $35)
The official book celebrating the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s 75th anniversary, this is the ultimate treasure for baseball fans young and old. In this collection of photographs, plaques and stories, lay the biographies of every player inducted into the Hall, including Colorado Springs’ own Goose Gossage. Organized by position, each chapter begins with an original essay by a Hall of Famer.
By Carin Berger (Harper Collins $17.99)
Spring is all a little bear named Maurice can think about: Where is it? What is it? When will it arrive? Impatient and curious, he sets out but before he finds spring, he discovers something really magical: winter! Illustrated with dioramas and cut-paper collages by award-winning designer and illustrator Carin Berger, this beautiful picture book celebrates the changing of the seasons.
Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball
By John Feinstein (Random House $16.95)
Minor league baseball is quintessentially American: small towns, small stadiums, $5 tickets, $2 hot dogs, and the never-ending possibility of making it big. But overshadowing it all is always the real deal: Major League Baseball. John Feinstein takes the reader behind the curtain into the guarded world of the minor leagues.
The staff at Covered Treasures Bookstore can be contacted at email@example.com.
By Harriet Halbig
Teens from ages 12 to 17 are encouraged to serve as volunteers during the Summer Reading Program, which begins on June 1. Volunteers register patrons and award prizes for the Summer Reading Program. Other duties may include preparing materials for craft programs. Skills required include the ability to communicate well with children, teens and adults, follow directions, and assist with crowds. Computer skills are required, as well as good spelling. There will be two training sessions in May. Please plan to work at least 10 hours of 2 to 2½-hour shifts during the eight-week-long program.
Stop in to pick up an application before the May 1 deadline.
At the end of the program in late July, volunteers may help at the party on the Village Green in Palmer Lake, followed by a pizza party for volunteers. Join us! It’s great fun (and looks good on a college resume)!
The Family Fun program at 2:30 on Saturday, April 11 features Inspector Magic. This magic show is filled with interactive storytelling, magic, puppetry, and ventriloquism. Children will help magician Inspector Magic search for the Hollywood movie star, King Kong, the world’s largest gorilla. They will have great fun as they learn about the Dewey Decimal Classification System and that the library is the best place to find information.
The Legos Club will meet on Saturday, April 18 from 10 to 11:30. Bring your creativity and we will supply the Legos. All parts remain the property of the library.
The American Girl Book Club will meet from 4 to 5:30 on Wednesday, April 22. This group is open to girls in grades 4 through 8. Please read Changes for Rebecca. There will be a discussion and a craft. Registration is required.
The Homeschool program from 1 to 2:30 on Monday, April 27 will feature a guest from KCME radio presenting Overture to Opera with live music examples performed by a professional singer. Learn where opera came from and how it developed into the art form it is today.
Teen and Tween programs
AfterMath free math tutoring continues each Monday afternoon from 3:30 to 7, except for school or library holidays. Experienced tutors work with all ages on any level math. Bring your homework and drop in for some help. No appointment required.
Teens are invited to a Crafty Teens session from 3:30 to 4:30 on Wednesday, April 29 to make a keepsake for Mother’s Day. Registration is required and space is limited.
The Monument Library has received a grant to offer a drawing class for adults 55 and over. Learn basic drawing techniques with pencils and markers in a comfortable setting while telling stories with your art. The class is free of charge and will be offered for eight weeks beginning April 10, every Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. All materials are provided. Participants should be prepared to attend all eight consecutive classes. Please call 488-2370 to register.
The Monumental Readers will meet from 10 to noon on Friday, April 17, to discuss Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray. All patrons are welcome to attend this monthly book group.
In the display case during April will be folk dolls by Oksana Chekan. On the walls will be watercolors by Polly Wojnaroski.
Palmer Lake Library Events
The Palmer Lake Book Group meets at 9 a.m. on the first Friday of each month. All patrons are welcome to attend. Please call 481-2587 for the latest selection.
April’s Family Fun program at 10:30 on Saturday, April 18 offers the chance to meet the stars of the county fair! Heart of the Pines 4-H will bring animals and their babies for you to see and touch. Inside the library meet bunnies, hear a bunny story, and do a bunny craft. Outside on the Village Green, see and touch Sussex chickens, heritage turkeys, an African goose, Oberhasli goats, and French and Holland lop rabbits. This program is for all ages.
Story times are offered each Wednesday at 10:30 and Toddler Time is offered every Friday (except April 17) at 10:30.
Harriet Halbig may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Harriet Halbig
Members of the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District spoke at the Monument Library about fire behavior and methods to safeguard homes on Saturday, March 28.
Firefighter Adam Wakefield explained that fuel, topography, and weather are the primary factors that control a fire. While homeowners cannot control wind, humidity and topography, there are many ways to influence fuel availability. Among these is removing tree limbs up to 6 feet from the ground and avoiding the use of flammable mulch or shrubs against a home. Raking pine needles and other dried materials near a home is also advised.
Paramedic John Bodinsky explained that all firefighters in the district are certified annually in wildfire management and that when a red flag warning is in effect, extra personnel are scheduled. There are several fire protection districts in northern El Paso County, including the Air Force Academy, and all can be called for additional help when needed.
A valuable source for information on fire mitigation is the website www.firewise.com, which offers many guidelines and a list of less flammable vegetation for landscaping use.
Individuals wishing advice on their own lots may call the Fire Department and set up a free evaluation.
Harriet Halbig can be reached at email@example.com.
By Al Walter
Over 70 members of the local community met at the Palmer Lake Town Hall on March 19 to hear a presentation by noted author and speaker Ann Williams, on the last ride of Harvey Logan, aka Kid Curry, one of the worst of the infamous "Wild Bunch." Curry, an old-West gunman and outlaw, rode with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and was known to "eat lawmen for breakfast." He reputedly killed at least nine law enforcement officers in five different shootings, and another two men in other instances, and was involved in several shootouts with posses and civilians during his outlaw days. His outlaw days were ended by Williams’ great-grandfather, Roll Gardner, who was a rancher from Parachute, Colo.
For part of her presentation, Williams assumed the persona of one of Curry’s many female companions, a "soiled dove" who had accompanied him during his exploits in Tennessee. Through the first-hand account of this companion, the audience glimpsed the darker side of Curry’s life, his various run-ins with local Tennessee lawmen, his escape from jail, and his return to the Southwest.
The remainder of Williams’ presentation dealt with the role her great-grandfather played in the death of Kid Curry. On June 7, 1904, Kid Curry was tracked down by a posse outside of Parachute. Curry and two others robbed a train outside Parachute and stole fresh horses owned by Roll Gardner and a neighbor during their escape. Hoping to retrieve their horses, they joined up with the posse. The gang shot Gardner’s and his neighbor’s horses from under them. Gardner found cover while his neighbor started running. Kid Curry took aim at the neighbor and Gardner shot Curry. The wounded Curry decided to end it at that time, and fatally shot himself in the head to avoid capture.
Caption: Ann Williams is dressed for the part of one of Kid Curry’s female companions during her presentation to the Palmer Lake Historical Society on March 19. Photo by Al Walter.
The next program in the History Series will be on Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m. at the Palmer Lake Town Hall. Former El Paso County Sheriff John Anderson will discuss his research of Ute prayer trees in the Pikes Peak Region and the characteristics that set them apart from trees altered by nature. The ancestors of the Ute Indians, who have lived in the Pikes Peak area for centuries, modified trees throughout the area for spiritual and other purposes. Many of these trees exist today. The event is free to the public.
By Janet Sellers
Bees need our help! Even though much land has been taken up by developments and monocropping, we can do our part with flowering plants for bees. If they and the other pollinators have a long season of flowers from many sources, they can survive. Without pollinators, our food supply vanishes with them. Also, the soil and the plants, and thereby the bees and pollinators (and us), are being devastated by pesticides and Roundup-type herbicides.
We can help our gardens and help our planet this Earth awareness month by planting and encouraging others to put in melliferous (abundant nectar) and pollen-producing flowers. My yard has only flowering plants and veggies, and I have a bazillion sunflower seeds I’ll sow this year. I’ve always wanted to make a sunflower teepee: Plant the sunflowers in a three-quarter circle close together and they grow into a summer "teepee." Fun!
Green lawn? Plant a fragrant, bee-loving clover lawn—it only needs mowing a few times and the clippings are great for the veggie garden, too. It’s optimal to plant for all-season flowering, so that the pollinators have flowers as long as possible.
Here’s a list of great herbs for your High Altitude Natural Gardening (HANG) garden that support bees, too:
• Borage—I read that borage refills with nectar every two minutes! Bees love it.
• Catmint (Nepeta)—Cats love it.
• Chives—Let them flower, you can still clip some for cooking.
• Lavender—I had one for 10 years; time to get another.
• Sage—I have oodles of Russian/purple sage. It flowers at the end of our season, in about August or September, but now is a great time to put them in so they can flower later.
Remember to keep in touch via the Tri-Lakes Garden Community Facebook page, where you’ll find the updates for gardeners’ tips and get-togethers for seed sharing and more: www.facebook.com/MonumentCommunityGarden and www.facebook.com/pages/Tri-Lakes-Garden-Community.
Janet Sellers is an avid novice HANG gardener in the Tri-Lakes area. Contact her with your tips and questions for the Tri-Lakes Garden Community at janetsellers@OCN.me.
By Janet Sellers
I had a friend who sold tens of thousands of dollars worth of his paintings at his first big-time art show, only to bring home nothing at all after all the costs of frames, gala opening event, and publicity were taken out of his share of the profits. Right then and there, I determined that neither I nor any of my students would ever befall such a fate.
And so, I have a bugaboo with picture frames and art. In a picture show, and when art is for sale, the artist is responsible for the presentation that may well include a picture frame. A gallery may require the artist to show the work in a frame, and the artist has to be strong to keep control over the presentation and its costs. For years I just used frame-free deep canvasses known as a "gallery wrap."
But that isn’t easy. Artists have to present their work somehow, since most people can’t see the art for its own sake without any "clothes" or framing. Knowing full well that an art collector will likely change the picture frame anyway, most artists in the wide, wide world of art present the works creatively but with an eye to that fact and the price of the art they must charge. Artists typically have put the art in a suitable frame for the exhibit, but know all along that the art collector will change the frame upon purchase to suit themselves.
Degas was one exemplary artist that had a frame shop make a specific gilt frame for each work. He considered his artwork required his keen eye for the frame. He is famous for taking his art off the wall of any art collector who had dared change Degas’ choice, saying, "I told you only a gold frame." Most artists are not so vain, and they will be glad to help a client choose a picture frame for the artwork that suits both the paining and the art collector’s site.
I think of picture frames as a "little home" for the painting, and how it is put together with the art can make the art-owning experience all the better. The bugaboo comes about with the over-framing or under-framing of it. Frames have their place, but I still think the art is the most important part of the experience.
April art around town
Bella Art and Frame:Continues exhibiting its many resident artists in the grand gallery. Each artist has an innovative niche wall for a personal art show area. Bella Art and Frame has just completed a renovation in the gallery area. I visited recently and was pleased to see familiar favorite artists on the new wall spaces. 183 Washington St., Monument.
Palmer Lake Art Group: Next meeting April 11 at the Mountain Community Mennonite Church on Highway 105 in Palmer Lake. Social hour starts at 9 a.m., business meeting at 9:30 a.m., and the program starts at 10:30 am. Bring your paints and canvas and paint abstract art with Margarete. Mother’s Day Show at Mountain Community Mennonite Church. Reception Friday, May 8, 4 to 7 p.m. Show Saturday, May 9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts:304 Highway 105, Palmer Lake. New art exhibit: "Predictions and Perceptions from the Spiritual Realm" featuring all forms of visual art that relate to creative spirit of the artist and elevates the viewer; through May 30. Opening reception Friday, April 10, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Wisdom Tea House: 65 Second St., Monument, exhibit, "Window into Spring" a collection of paintings by Daniel Armour, "uplifting, colorful and inspiring" through April 25.
Janet Sellers is a local artist making paintings and public art sculptures, and teaches art for children and adults. She can be reached at janetsellers@OCN.me.
Gleneagle Sertoma Club holds blood drive, March 26
Caption: Beverly Carlson and Bill George donated blood for the Gleneagle Sertoma Club’s semi-annual blood drive at Antelope Trails Elementary School. The Sertoma group will hold its next blood drive Aug. 6. Tri-Lakes Cares also hosts a blood drive every other month, the next being May 19. Photo by Audrey Burkart.
Hangers to Hutches fundraiser, March 12
Caption: Cara Vanderkolk, Carol Ross, and Elizabeth Robinove, all with the Monument thrift shop Hangers to Hutches, held a fundraiser for Tri-Lakes Cares (TLC) during the first night of Pikes Peak Brewing Co.’s Celtic Countdown on March 12. Hangers to Hutches is located at 245 Jefferson St. in Monument. The store provides TLC with a steady income to continue as a resource center whose purpose is to improve people’s lives though emergency, self-sufficiency, and relief programs. TLC served more than 2,000 community members in 2014, and has been serving the community since 1984. Hangers to Hutches will hold a grand reopening April 4 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to introduce its addition of furniture to the store. The ribbon cutting is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Photo provided by event coordinator.
Western Museum of Mining & Industry hosts Science Day, March 14
Caption: Staff from Colorado Springs Utilities demonstrates the dangers of high voltage at the WMMI Science Day. Photo by David Futey.
Caption: Marc Staub of Cool Science demonstrated the power of magnets to visitors at the WMMI Science Day. On March 14, the Western Museum of Mining & Industry (WMMI) hosted its annual Science Day. This year’s featured presenter was Marc Staub of Cool Science. Staub demonstrated the principles behind magnets and the relationship of magnets to electricity. Among other demonstrations, he made a magnet train by placing magnets on either end of a battery and had the "train" run through a coil of copper wire about 4 feet long. Besides Cool Science, Colorado Springs Utilities demonstrated the impacts and danger of high voltage, Chris Thompson built an array of operating steam engines and electrical generators with Legos, staff of the Tesla museum provided information on Nikola Tesla and his inventions, and artist Gary Weston displayed his science fiction-inspired artwork. Information on upcoming events at the WMMI is at www.wmmi.org. Photo by David Futey.
Cynthia Griffin spoke about Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care, March 17
Caption: Cynthia Griffin, registered nurse with Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care, spoke to seniors during the March Ladies Tea event at the Tri-Lakes Senior Center. Her presentation covered the role of hospice in health care, Medicare coverage for hospice, and the various documents individuals should have completed to ensure their personal care preferences are followed during those final months of life. The Ladies Tea is a free monthly event held on the third Tuesday of every month at 1 p.m. and is open to the public. The March Tea was sponsored by The Inn at Garden Plaza. The monthly tea and the Senior Center are hosted by Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership. The Tri-Lakes Senior Center is located on the campus of Lewis-Palmer High School and is open Monday through Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. Photo courtesy of Tri-Lakes HAP.
Gleneagle Sertoma supports Senior Center, March 23
Caption: From left Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership (HAP) board President David Betzler accepts a generous grant from Rae Berg, Gleneagle Sertoma vice president for support, and Gleneagle Sertoma President Bill Bristol. The grant enabled HAP to purchase audiovisual equipment, including a digital LCD projector, Blu-ray/DVD player, speakers, and a wide projection screen that is seen as the backdrop of the photograph. The new equipment will enhance the quality of presentations and entertainment available at the Senior Center. Gleneagle Sertoma provides grants to several local nonprofits and sponsors a variety of community programs. More about Gleneagle Sertoma is at www.GleneagleSertoma.org. Photo courtesy of Tri-Lakes HAP.
Monument requesting public input on proposed parks improvement
Caption: Public input is requested regarding proposed parks improvements at Limbach, Dirty Woman Creek, Lavelett, and Park Trail Parks west of the interstate. A parks survey was mailed to all Monument residents in fall 2014, and public input meetings will be scheduled this summer before decisions are made for the 2016 budget. Map courtesy of Town of Monument, 481-2954. Mike Pesicka, Planning Director, firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Judy Barnes, Events Editor
Although we strive for accuracy in these listings, dates or times are often changed after publication. Please double-check the time and place of any event you wish to attend by calling the information number for that event.
Wednesday Senior Lunch at Big Red
Apr 8: BBQ chicken sandwich, coleslaw, beans
Apr 15: Ham, scalloped potatoes, salad
Apr 22: Raspberry chipotle chicken, roasted potatoes, salad
Apr 29: Chili con carne, Fritos, salad
Rolls and butter are served with each meal except sandwiches. Dessert is also provided.
Lunch is at 11:30 a.m. at 146 Jefferson St., Monument (the School District 38 Administration Building, "Big Red"). $3 voluntary donation. Entertainment follows lunch. For more information, call Judy, 487-9067. An activity of Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership. Meals are provided by Pinecrest Catering, Palmer Lake; Nikki McDonald, executive chef, 481-3307.
New! Hangers to Hutches Thrift Shop Ribbon Cutting, April 4
Hangers to Hutches will hold its Grand Reopening Ribbon Cutting on April 4, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 245 Jefferson St., Monument. The community is invited to stop by for light refreshments and to browse its selection of merchandise which includes gently used clothing, shoes, jewelry, purses, as well as household items and furniture. The shop is open Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The donation center’s hours are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. All proceeds benefit Tri-Lakes Cares, a community-based, volunteer-supported resource center that provides for the basic needs of low-income people. For more information, call or email: 488-2300, Info@Tri-LakesCares.org.
Free income tax filing assistance by AARP, ends April 13
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is offering free income tax filing assistance. Trained AARP volunteers will be available to answer questions and to assist filers in completing their federal and Colorado income tax returns every Monday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., at Tri-Lakes Cares, 235 Jefferson St., Monument, until April 13. Free e-filing of both federal and Colorado returns is available.
Taxpayers with more complicated returns should seek the advice of a paid professional. Filers are asked to bring their W-2’s, 1099 INT, 1099 DIV, any health insurance information received, etc. Appointments are recommended. Please call 481-4864, ext. 118, and leave your name and telephone number and you will be contacted for an appointment.
Gleneagle Sertoma Club supporting local seniors
Throughout April Gleneagle Sertoma Club will collect gently used, non-clothing items for donation to the Tri-Lakes HAP thrift store. All proceeds from the thrift store are used to support activities such as senior lunches, local day trips, and the activities at the Tri-Lakes Senior Center. To donate your items during April, call Gloria at 488-8474.
Tri-Lakes Y spring sports, sign up now
Practices began the week of March 30 for Spring Volleyball, grades 1-8, Spring Soccer, 3 years old through grade 6, Spring Flag Football, grades 1-6. All spring sessions run April 11-May 16. Financial assistance is available. Register at www.ppymca.org or at the Y, 17250 Jackson Creek Pkwy., Monument.
Mountain View Electric Association (MVEA) board nominations now open
At MVEA’s annual meeting June 4 at Palmer Ridge High School in Monument, three directors will be elected to MVEA’s board of directors from the following districts: District 1 Limon, Karval, Genoa, and surrounding areas (incumbent Joe Martin); District 4 Calhan, Peyton, a portion of Black Forest and surrounding areas (incumbent Milt Mathis); District 6 Falcon, Cimarron Hills, a portion of Black Forest and surrounding areas (incumbent Barry Springer). A candidate must be a MVEA member and reside in the district where there is a vacancy. The procedure for director elections and member voting is available on MVEA’s website at www.mvea.coop.
Volunteers needed in Palmer Lake, May 2
Palmer Lake is holding a FireWise May Day, Sat., May 2, beginning at 8 a.m. at Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. The event includes fire and weed mitigation demos and slash hauling and chipping. If you have a service to demo, if you can help, or if you have a truck for hauling, call Judy, 229-9636. For more information, see www.townofpalmerlake.com, or the event flyers in the Palmer Lake Post Office and Rock House Ice Cream Shop.
Monument Academy Summer Day Camp, May 26-Aug. 7
Eleven separate themed weeks are planned for children in grades K-6, beginning May 26. Sign up for full day care, morning camps, or just the field trips. See the ad for details. For more information, contact 481-1950, email@example.com, www.monumentacademy.net.
Host a teenage Spanish student
Become a Host Family for only one month this summer. Family will receive $150 per week to support activities. Students arrive June 28 to July 26. Call 481-4412 for details or visit www.xploreUSA.org.
St. Peter Catholic School enrolling for preschool-eighth grade, 2015-2016
The school offers full and half-day preschool, Core Knowledge Curriculum with small class sizes, Christ-centered education. NCA accredited, state licensed, financial aid available. Call or visit: 124 First St., Monument; 481-1855; www.petertherock.org.
Sponsors needed for Lewis-Palmer Football Old School Golf Tournament, May 23
This scramble tournament fundraising event still needs hole sponsors, $100 per hole, with a sign at a hole; a company to cater lunch for 80 people at Lewis-Palmer High School; and prize donations. To become a sponsor or for more information, contact Coach Tupper, 867-8029, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monument Hill Country Club 3 Sport All Day Summer Camps
For ages 7-13: Golf, Swim, Tennis, Bingo. Session 1, June 8-12; Session 2, July 6-10; Session 3, July 20-24; Session 4, Aug. 3-7. Cost: $210 members, $250 non-members. Sign up with Keegan, Keegan@monumenthillcc.com. Information: www.monumenthillcc.com, under Events.
Donate live trees for Black Forest burn area
If you are doing wildfire mitigation, you might have good live trees to donate to Black Forest burned-out areas. The Black Forest Together (BFT) Tree Donor Program is accepting live trees to be either transplanted in the Black Forest burn area or sold to support the cost of this program. Trees up to 12 inches in diameter (or up to 38 inches around) are ideal. The size of trees is measured at ground level. For more information, contact BILLMANTIA@aol.com.
Exchange student host families needed for 2015-16 school year
Welcome a new culture into your home and provide a life-changing experience for a teenager from another country. EF (Education First) High School Exchange Year program offers exceptional and financially secure exchange students. Contact local exchange coordinators Sheryl and Dave Ellis, 208-9739 or sheryl.ellis@EFexchangeyear.org. For more information about the program, visit www.EFexchangeyear.org.
Colorado Master Gardener help desk open now
Colorado Master Gardener volunteers (CMGs) help residents save time and money by providing research-based solutions to landscape and gardening problems. The help desk hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings 9 a.m. to noon. You can call and leave a message any time at 520-7684. Photos are often very helpful and can be attached to an email and sent to: CSUmg2@elpasoco.com. For online help, visit https://ask.extension.org.
Become a CASA volunteer
Become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). CASA offers a volunteer opportunity like no other. As appointed representatives of the court, CASA volunteers are empowered to make a lifelong difference in the lives of abused and neglected children. Learn more at http://www.casappr.orgvolunteer-colorado-springs/ or contact Kelly at 447-9898, ext. 1033 or email@example.com.
HAP needs volunteers
The Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership (HAP) is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that serves and supports seniors in our community. HAP currently needs volunteers, three hours a week; and active board members, eight to 10 hours a month. For more information, call HAP board president, Dave Betzler, at 205-7651.
Sheriff’s Office warns of phone scam
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office has received information of fraud that involved impersonation of a deputy sheriff, even using the Sheriff’s Office Dispatch number of 719-390-5555. This can be done by using an application called "Spoof Card." The victims received a phone call; the caller identified himself as a deputy from the Sheriff’s Office. The suspect told the victims they had a warrant and needed to report to the Sheriff’s Office at 27 E. Vermijo Ave. to make a $1,000 payment to clear up the warrant. The Sheriff’s Office reminds citizens that the office never calls and informs individuals they have an active warrant and never asks individuals to make payments to clear up a warrant. Warrants must be taken care of at the Criminal Justice Center, by being booked into jail and then bonding out. If you have information about these events or have experienced something similar, please call the Sheriff’s Office Communications Center non-emergency line at 390-5555.
Academy North Gate bridge work through summer
Two bridges outside the U.S. Air Force Academy’s North Gate will be under repair through August 2015. To ease congestion, the academy will make the gate a one-way, entrance-only road in the mornings. From 7-9 a.m., no outbound traffic will be allowed through the North Gate, and travelers exiting the academy during those hours will have to use the South Gate.
Emergency Notification System update
If you registered for the Emergency Notification System (reverse 911) prior to July 2013, you may need to create a new account. Go to www.elpasoteller911.org and select "sign up" on the registration page. If you are able to log in using your existing user name and password, no further action is needed. If you get an error message indicating your email or password is invalid, press the sign-up button and create a new account. If you need assistance, dial 785-1971 and a staff member will return your call.
Free transportation and safety services for seniors
Mountain Community Senior Services offers free transportation and safety services to Tri-Lakes seniors. If you need a ride to a medical appointment, grocery shopping, or the local senior lunches, a volunteer driver will be happy to help you. Call 488-0076 to leave a message for the dispatcher. If you are in need of grab bars in the bathroom, a ramp to your door, or repair of stairs or railings, please call Cindy Rush, 488-0076, and leave a message.
Free Senior Safety Handyman Services
Senior Safety Handyman Services is a unique program funded by the Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging. It is designed to help seniors (age 60 and over) in northwest El Paso County with safety-related handyman projects. Dedicated, paid contractors and volunteers install grab bars, wheelchair ramps, railings, steps, etc., to help seniors to continue to live independently in their own homes. For service, call 488-0076 and leave a message for Cindy Rush. For more information, visit www.TriLakes-mcts-sshs.org.
Volunteer drivers needed for seniors’ transportation service
Mountain Community Transportation for Seniors is a nonprofit, grant-funded organization that provides free transportation to Tri-Lakes seniors 60 years old and over. The program needs additional volunteer drivers. For information, email MCSS at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the MCSS dispatch hotline at 488-0076.
Get volunteer help for your nonprofit
Due to popular demand, the Lewis-Palmer School District is adding a list of volunteer opportunities to its Youth Activities Directory online. If your nonprofit has a need for volunteers for a one-time project or an ongoing effort and can use volunteers under age 18, obtain a directory listing form on the district website www.lewispalmer.org under the community tab. Nonprofits may list their volunteer needs in the directory free of charge. For information, contact Robin Adair, P.O. Box 40, Monument, CO 80132; call 785-4223 or email email@example.com.
Attention Tri-Lakes residents with medical conditions
If you have a medical condition or a physical disability, please contact Jennifer at Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District, 484-0911, to register for emergency assistance if evacuation is required.
Tri-Lakes HAP Senior Center programs
The Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership Senior Citizens Center is next to the Lewis-Palmer High School Stadium (across from the YMCA) and is open 1-4 p.m., Tue.-Fri., and earlier for scheduled activities. The facility has a lounge, craft room, game room, and multipurpose room. Programs include bridge, pinochle, National Mah-jongg, line dancing, tea time, bingo, and more. Ping-pong, Wii video games, puzzles and board games, refreshments, a lending library, computers with Internet connections, and an information table are also available. For information about programs for seniors, visit www.TriLakesSeniors.org.
Senior Beat newsletter—subscribe for free
Each monthly Senior Beat newsletter is full of information for local seniors, including the daily menu of the senior lunches offered Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in Monument. It also contains the schedule of the classes and events for the month at the Senior Citizens Center. To subscribe, send an email with your name and mailing address to SeniorBeat@TriLakesSeniors.org. Senior Beat can also be viewed online at www.TriLakesHAP.org.
Senior Safety Program
Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District offers a free senior safety program to all Tri-Lakes seniors. The program includes smoke detector evaluations, home safety assessments, vial of life, and fire prevention. For information call 484-0911 or visit www.tri-lakesfire.com.
County prescription discount program could save you money
El Paso County’s prescription discount program saved 10,000 residents $250,000 in discounted medicines over 18 months at no additional taxpayer cost. People using the card saved an average of 23 percent. There are no eligibility requirements and no strings attached to receive the discounts. You can pick up a free Prescription Discount Card at most county government locations or you can download your own personalized prescription discount card on the county website (bottom of the front page) at www.elpasoco.com. Any county resident without prescription coverage can use this program. Even if you have insurance for prescription medications, the discount card might save you money on prescription medications your existing plan does not cover. For information, visit www.elpasoco.com or call 520-6337 (MEDS).
By Judy Barnes, Community Calendar Editor
Although we strive for accuracy in these listings, dates or times are often changed after publication. Please double-check the time and place of any event you wish to attend by calling the info number for that event.
LOCAL LIBRARY EVENTS
All branches will be closed April 5, Easter Sunday
The Palmer Lake Library hours are Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 66 Lower Glenway. Info: 481-2587, www.ppld.org.
The Monument Branch Library hours are Mon.-Thu., 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. & Sat, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun., 1-5 p.m. 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
WEEKLY AND MONTHLY EVENTS
Our community calendar carries listings on a space-available basis for Tri-Lakes events that are sponsored by local governmental entities and not-for-profit organizations. We include events that are open to the general public and are not religious or self-promotional in nature. If space is available, complimentary calendar listings are included, when requested, for events advertised in the current issue. To have your event listed at no charge in Our Community Calendar, please call (719) 339-7831 or send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 1742, Monument, Colorado 80132.
Contact us at (719) 488-3455, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or P.O. Box 1742, Monument, Colorado 80132-1742.
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