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Tri-Lakes Facility Joint Use Committee, April 14: Woodmoor files lawsuit; expansion project approved
By Jim Kendrick
On April 14, Tetra Tech engineer Steve Tamburini presented his analysis of the formal bids from four pre-qualified contractors for the facility’s new tertiary total phosphorus (TP) chemical removal clarifier expansion to the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility Joint Use Coordinating Committee (JUC). He recommended that the JUC only approve the lowest base bid of $3.059 million from Aslan Corp., stating the base bid scope of work is sufficient to ensure compliance with the state Health Department’s Control Regulation 85 TP discharge limit of 1 milligram per liter (mg/l) in November 2019. The other base bids were:
• $3.292 million – RN Civil Construction
• $3.508 million – Garney Construction
• $3.585 million – Stanek Construction
Tetra Tech’s original construction cost estimate in 2013 for the TP expansion was $1 million.
Tamburini also announced an additional cost of $252,000 for construction contract management by Tetra Tech—$18,000 per month for 14 months. The JUC decided to add a 10 percent contingency of $305,900 for construction costs and $25,200 for contract management to further increase the total base bid cost to $3.642 million.
Tamburini also recommended that none of the four construction bid options (described below) that had been requested from the four bidders by the JUC should be approved, even though he had originally recommended all of them before. Tamburini said none of these construction bid options were necessary for achieving state Health Department Control Regulation 85 nutrient regulatory compliance, because the Tri-Lakes facility already meets Control Regulation 85 discharge limit for total inorganic nitrogen of 15 mg/l.
The Aslan bids for each of the four construction bid options that would still improve the facility’s overall efficiency, as prioritized by Tri-Lakes facility Manager Bill Burks, were:
• Bid Alternate 1B – New second aeration basin air header to create separate aeration control for each operating basin - $165,000
• Bid Alternate 2 – Storage Building Expansion - $102,000
• Bid Alternate 1A – New more efficient aeration basin high speed turbine blower - $227,000
• Bid Alternate 1C – New aeration basin control systems and sensors - $115,000
Aslan’s base bid was low enough, compared to the other three base bids, that Aslan’s bid for every listed combination of some or all four bid options was the lowest bid, even when the Aslan bid for a specific construction bid option was not the lowest bid. The Aslan bid totals Tamburini listed for various combinations of the four bid options were:
• Base $3,059,000
• Base + Alt1B $3,224,000
• Base + Alt2 $3,161,000
• Base + Alt1A $3,286,000
• Base + Alt1B + Alt 2 $3,326,000
• Base + Alt1B + Alt1A $3,451,000
• Base + Alt1B + Alt1A + Alt 2 $3,553,000
• Base + Alt1B + Alt1A + Alt 1C $3,566,000
• Base + all Alts $3,668,000
After adding $252,000 for 14 months of Tetra Tech construction contract management, a 10 percent construction contingency cost of $366,800, and a 10 percent construction contract management contingency of $25,200 to Aslan’s bid of $3.668 million, the total project cost with all four bid options was $4.312 million.
Note: Tamburini initially recommended a fifth construction bid option for construction of an emergency backup electric generator to avoid total phosphorus discharge permit violations during an extended electric utility failure. This option had an initial estimated construction cost of roughly $200,000. However, on Feb. 4 Tamburini reported that the separate cost of preparing the bid option documentation for the emergency generator would be several times higher than his original estimate of $11,000. The JUC cancelled his preparation of the generator bid option on Feb. 10, when Tamburini also reported that the state Health Department would not actually be requiring construction of this emergency generator as he had originally forecast. See http://ocn.me/v15n3.htm#tlfjuc0210 for more details.
At the start of the April 14 JUC discussion of Tamburini’s recommendations, Monument Sanitation District’s JUC representative Don Smith stated that Monument wanted to award the basic contract plus all four bid options. Smith said that if any of these options were postponed, each would cost two to three times more when they are needed later to meet the new state Regulation 31.17 total nitrogen discharge limit. Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District and Palmer Lake Sanitation District were both opposed to all four bid options.
Operating costs will rise significantly as well
New chemical costs for total phosphorus removal may be as much as $200,000 per year. Also, another licensed wastewater operator will have to be hired to help with the added workload for operating and maintaining the expanded treatment facility. Maintenance, electric utility, and sludge removal costs will also increase once the new chemical TP treatment equipment becomes operational. The amounts required for each of these additional total phosphorus costs have not been determined at this time.
Woodmoor lawsuit filed
Woodmoor has filed a lawsuit against Monument and Palmer Lake over how the cost of the new TP chemical tertiary clarifier and new supporting infrastructure will be shared.
Woodmoor’s position is that these costs should be divided by thirds, $1.214 million each, and that the $1 million state nutrient design and construction grant should also be shared by thirds. This would result in a net total cost of $2.641 million and individual owner district cost of $880,700 each.
If Woodmoor wins its lawsuit, it would get 64.28 percent of the new TP treatment capacity of 264 pounds per day (ppd) for its one-third net cost of $880,700, which is 169.7 ppd. Monument and Palmer Lake would get only 35.72 percent of the new TP treatment capacity (94.3 ppd) for their combined two-thirds net cost of $1.76 million. This would make their combined net acquisition cost per pound of owned daily TP treatment capacity 3.6 times higher than Woodmoor’s. See Table 1 on page 6.
Monument’s position, as stated at numerous previous JUC meetings, is that each district should pay the same percentage of the cost of this expansion for creating new influent TP constituent treatment capacity as the amount of currently owned treatment capacity for treating hydraulic flows and removing biosolid wastes in accordance with the Tri-Lakes Facility’s Joint Use of Facilities Agreement (JUA) rules for treatment constituent expansions: Woodmoor–64.28 percent, Monument–19.79 percent, and Palmer Lake–15.93 percent. Tetra Tech has stated that the Tri-Lakes facility has no existing designed TP removal capability.
Monument’s position is also that each district should own this same percentage of the new 264 ppd of chemical total phosphorus treatment capacity that is being created with new equipment in accordance with the Tri-Lakes JUA rules for treatment constituent expansions and that district reimbursements from the $1 million state nutrient design and construction grant should also be divided by these same percentages. Table 2 on page 6 summarizes these amounts.
Palmer Lake had previously agreed to pay a third of the TP expansion construction costs.
Burks handed out draft copies of the Tetra Tech construction management contract for each district board’s review and comment. A discussion of what size and type of change orders Burks would have authority to approve during construction was postponed until the May 12 JUC meeting.
Notice of award and management contract approved
After two hours of JUC discussion of several combinations of the four bid option, as well as alternative methods of sharing costs and numerous recesses for the representatives of each owner district to have private discussions about each of these various proposals, the JUC unanimously approved a notice of construction award to Aslan for only the $3.059 million base bid and the $252,000 Tetra Tech construction management contract. This motion also approved a 10 percent contingency for both contracts for a total project cost of $3.642 million.
The motion also specified that Monument would pay 19.79 percent of the $3.642 million, Palmer Lake would pay 33.33 percent, and Woodmoor would pay 46.88 percent.
Due to the JUC’s choice not to pay for any of the five bid options, no existing treatment plant equipment will be altered, repaired, or replaced under the awarded Aslan base bid contract.
The next step was for all three district boards to review, approve, and sign the Aslan notice of construction award and Tetra Tech construction management contract at subsequent regular or special district board meetings. Tamburini stated he wanted to publish the notice to proceed in May.
March 10 JUC minutes amended
Monument District Manager Mike Wicklund requested changes to the final draft of the JUC minutes for March 10 in paragraph 10, Contract participant confirmation. The italicized words in the following sentences:
"Burks said that he thought confirmation of Monument’s participation in the construction contract might have been requested because Woodmoor and Monument had not yet reached an agreement on how the contract would be funded. Don Smith clarified that what was in dispute was the amount Monument would contribute towards the total cost of nutrient removal infrastructure, not whether Monument would help pay for the project. [Woodmoor JUC Representative Rich] Strom informed the group that Monument had not signed the interim funding agreement, which may have caused concern. Wicklund claimed that while Monument tentatively agreed to pay 19.79 percent, it did not receive a signed copy. Strom said that if such an oversight occurred, it was unintentional."
Were changed to the following italicized words:
"Burks said that he thought confirmation of Monument’s participation in the construction contract might have been requested because Woodmoor and Monument had not yet reached an agreement on how the contract would be funded. Don Smith clarified that Monument would contribute 19.79 percent towards the total cost of nutrient removal infrastructure, not whether Monument would help pay for the project. Strom informed the group that Monument had not signed the interim funding agreement, which may have caused concern. Wicklund claimed that while Monument agreed to pay 19.79 percent, it did not receive a copy of the revised settlement agreement prepared by Woodmoor. Strom said that if such an oversight occurred, it was unintentional."
The March 10 minutes were unanimously approved as amended by Wicklund without comment.
Monument request for expansion of treatment capacity continued
Burks presented Monument’s signed formal JUA Exhibit 2 "Request for Expansion of Treatment Capacity" regarding its ownership share of the tertiary TP chemical clarifier expansion. Wicklund noted that this Monument request for expansion was submitted in accordance with JUA Section 6.01. Initiation of Expansion and that Monument is a participating district in the TP expansion project in accordance with JUA Section 6.02. Participation in Expansion by paying 19.79 percent of the project cost for its pro rata 19.79 percent ownership share of 52.2 ppd of the expansion’s TP constituent treatment capacity of 264 ppd. He noted that the other two districts should fill out a request for expansion.
Monument will also submit a JUA Exhibit 1"Change in Capacity Acknowledgment" in accordance with Section 6. Expansion to specify the amount of new TP constituent treatment capacity that each district owns. Tetra Tech has stated that the Tri-Lakes facility has no existing designed TP removal capability.
Don Smith’s motion to approve the Monument request for expansion did not receive a second from either Palmer Lake or Woodmoor and was continued to the May 12 JUC meeting.
Plant manager’s report
Burks reported that he had received a copy of the facility’s new five-year discharge permit. It will become effective on May 1 and run through the end of 2019.
Burks reported that the February total phosphorus influent testing results for flow in millions of gallons per day (MGD), loading (ppd), and percent of loading were:
• Monument – 0.172 MGD, 15.8 ppd, 27 percent
• Palmer Lake – 0.216 MGD, 9.7 ppd, 17 percent
• Woodmoor – 0.624 MGD, 33.0 ppd, 56 percent
Burks reported that the facility’s February total phosphorus effluent testing result was 3.9 mg/l. The February total inorganic nitrogen effluent testing result was 4.2 mg/l.
The meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.
The next meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on May 12 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 Jackie Burhans
The Woodmoor Improvement Association (WIA) board meeting saw a larger than usual attendance level at its April 25 meeting after an online discussion on Nextdoor.com led to an invitation to the community to attend and voice their opinions. Also, the board filled an empty slot by appointing a new board member, assigned board roles, and approved both a new YMCA expansion plan and the Dunes plot. Treasurer Tom Schoemaker was absent.
Chicken debate spurs discussion on resident involvement
A spirited online discussion about the possibility of backyard chickens led a number of residents to attend the April 25 meeting of the WIA board. Nicole Anderson, who asked the initial question online at Nextdoor.com, attended to learn more about how the WIA covenants are structured and how they can be changed.
President Hale explained the history of the WIA governing documents, which can be found at this link: http://www.woodmoor.org/content/governance-con-rules-regs-main.html. The top level documents are the Covenants, followed by the Articles of Incorporation and then Bylaws. The covenant Article 5 section 13 says, in part, "No animals, livestock or poultry of any kind shall be housed, raised, or kept on any tract or property either temporarily or permanently.…" Per Article VI, Section 3, WIA covenants can be "amended by an instrument signed by not less than 75 percent of lot owners." With about 3,000 lots, it would take about 2,250 lot owners to approve any change. Several board members relayed examples of low resident voting for board members and covenant changes, including an effort to modify them to conform to state standards, which require 67 percent to approve.
Anderson noted that being told that we have no hope of changing things might be what discourages resident involvement and that she wanted to have a voice in this community. Vice President Erik Stensland said it is important that people have a voice, and noted that one of his goals for the year is to revise the covenants. He recommended that to make change might take getting together a grassroots movement and volunteering to help rewrite the covenants. Anderson noted that this is a larger issue than chickens, and that it would be wonderful to see the community grow and attitudes changed so we can fill the auditorium at these meetings.
Board member appointed and roles assigned
President Jim Hale nominated Jennifer Cunningham to fill the WIA board vacancy that was left when Dick Green resigned after selling his house. Hale noted that the position had been vacant for two months and that, per the Woodmoor Bylaws, Article 9 Section 6, the board may appoint a successor to fill the remainder of the term of a director who resigns. Cunningham will fill the newly created role of Community Outreach, with Vice President Stensland retaining responsibility for Forestry.
Cunningham spoke briefly on her background. She and her husband Jim and two children moved here in 2009 from a stint at the Pentagon. They are both retired from the Air Force. Six months ago she realized that Woodmoor was not part of the city of Monument and began to learn more, interviewing each of the trustees from Monument. She realized that a lot of what happens in Monument can affect Woodmoor and approached Hale about more formal representation with the Town of Monument. She will be a community liaison and hopes to find a way to communicate better between the WIA board and the Town of Monument. The motion to appoint Cunningham as a board director was unanimously approved.
YMCA expansion approved; Dunes governing documents sent for legal review
Architectural Control Director Mark Ponti reported that the YMCA has finished its medical facility expansion and now wants to expand on the other side of the building. It wants to add another gym and racquetball court on its existing footprint with no change to parking. Ponti made a motion to approve the expansion plan that was previously reviewed and approved by the Architectural Control Committee (ACC).
In discussion, the board noted that the Y will use the same architect, so the expansion will look the same. Groundbreaking is anticipated to happen in June with the project completed by October. Every 5,000 square feet of building is equivalent to one lot, bringing the number of lots owned by the Y to 21 on which they pay annual dues. The motion was unanimously approved.
Ponti then brought The Dunes development governing document to the table. Bob Pearsall, WIA Architectural Control administrator, noted that the WIA board had approved the replatting of The Dunes property on Woodmoor Drive north of the Fire Station in June of 2014, changing it from multi- to single-family. This approval had a number of requirements, and it has taken until now for the paperwork to be ready. The La Plata Communities group has created Covenants and Rules & Regulations that are 95 percent similar to WIA documents for The Dunes. The Dunes will have a sub-homeowners association (HOA) under the WIA, and owners will pay dues to WIA.
Angela Essing, director of planning for La Plata, answered questions about the sub-HOA, dues, roads, lights, trees, traffic, and water. The Dunes will have about 56 homes. Grading will start in May, with sewer and water coming on line in the summer. La Plata hopes to record the plat in September or October, with development by Aspen View Homes anticipated to begin in the fall. Ponti made a motion to approve sending the governing documents to the WIA lawyer for review, which was unanimously approved.
• Hale publically offered thanks for Matt Beseau’s service of 12 years and noted that the board will be exploring options on how to fill his position.
• Director Peter Bille made a motion to purchase a new server, workstations, and router with funds allocated for this purpose in the reserve fund. The cost will be $13,333, which is less than the budgeted amount of $17,500. The motion was approved unanimously.
• A resident raised concerns about fire hazard in the community, including entry and egress issues and wants to see the board seek grants to help address these concerns. Hale responded that this is something the board does pursue and could use help with volunteers to write and execute the grants. Former Director of Forestry Eric Gross and Covenants and Forestry Administrator Sherrie Storey provided additional information on the programs and volunteer needs. Hale noted that it is important to sign up for reverse 911 services offered by the county at http://elpasoteller911.org.
• Resident Gordon Reichal asked whether the development south of Monument Academy is under WIA and whether WIA has any influence. President Hale noted that it is not part of WIA but through participation with the Northern El Paso County Coalition of Community Associations Inc. (NEPCO) and our new Community Outreach position, WIA has an opportunity to have a voice and express its concerns.
Caption: Nikole Anderson started the debate about "Chickens in the Neighborhood."
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 May 25. 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.
By Nancy Wilkins
Triview Board President Robert Fisher, Treasurer/Secretary Marco Fiorito, Directors Reid Borlander, Missy Franklin, and Mark Melville scheduled a rate increase hearing to be held at the next regular board meeting May 12 at the district office, 16055 Old Forest Point, suite 300 at 5 p.m. The board meeting and rate hearing are open to the public.
Triview’s board is carefully considering a 2.6 percent increase in usage rates to help balance the budget, manage costs, and plan for future staffing needs. Also on the table is a consideration in creating a tiered rate structure for commercial users where at a certain point in water consumption, estimated at 100,000 gallons, rates would increase.
The board also held a special work session April 24 that was open to the public to further discuss rate increases. At the work session, Fisher said the district has not increased its rates for some time, and a 2.6 percent increase was estimated to be needed to balance Triview’s annual budget.
There was some concern from Fiorito that a 2.6 percent rate increase, if implemented within the next few months, would only affect the later half of 2015 and may not entirely cover 2015 costs. One challenge the board faces is to predict variable expenses such as snow removal. Although the board seems to be in agreement to raise rates, Borlander said, "We want to operate at cost." Fisher commented that Triview is operating with about $47 million of bond debt that is being paid down at about $2 million per year.
At the work session, District Manager Valerie Remington discussed staffing needs, saying that when you hire additional summer help, at some point you also need to hire an additional person to supervise their work. Remington said, "They just show up with a shovel." Remington also said that as far as landscaping goes, "We’re always playing catch-up." Fisher also said that at some point in the future the district should consider an additional staff person for water, as Triview also shares the expense of the wastewater treatment facilities. Remington said the wiggle room for increased staffing is almost zero.
In addition to the rate hearing, at the next board meeting, representatives from Colorado Springs Utilities are scheduled to appear, as well as personnel from Triview’s waste water treatment facility. Attorney Gary Shupp said the board is required to hold a rate increase hearing before it can vote to raise rates. No motion to raise rates was made at either the April 14 meeting or the April 24 work session, and the board maintains the flexibility to change the amount of the rate increase at the next meeting.
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: 488-6868 or visit www.triviewmetro.com. The next meeting is May 12.
Nancy Wilkins can be reached at email@example.com.
By Jim Kendrick
On April 16, the Monument Sanitation District board unanimously approved a notice of construction award to Aslan Corp. for its low bid of $3.059 million for a chemical tertiary clarifier expansion at the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility. The expansion is required by the state Health Department’s nutrient Control Regulation 85 to meet a new wastewater constituent treatment limit for total phosphorus (TP) of 1 milligram per liter. The Tri-Lakes facility has no designed total phosphorus treatment capacity. It already meets the new Control Regulation 85 wastewater constituent treatment limit for total inorganic nitrogen of 15 milligrams per liter.
The absence of Monument director Matt Vincent was unanimously excused.
The Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility Joint Use Coordinating Committee (JUC) had approved this notice of construction award to Aslan on April 14 and a Tetra Tech construction management contract for $252,000 ($18,000 per month for 14 months.) The JUC decided to add a 10 percent contingency of $305,900 for construction costs and $25,200 for contract management to further increase the total base bid cost to $3.642 million.
The Tri-Lakes facility operates as a separate joint venture public utility. It is owned in equal one-third shares by Monument Sanitation District, Palmer Lake Sanitation District (PLSD), and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD). Please see the JUC article on page 1 for a more complete understanding of these complex and very expensive issues.
Woodmoor has filed a lawsuit against Monument and Palmer Lake over how the cost of the new TP chemical tertiary clarifier and new supporting infrastructure will be shared. Woodmoor’s position is that these costs should be divided by thirds, $1.214 million each, and that the $1 million state nutrient design and construction grant should also be shared by thirds. This would result in a net total cost of $2.641 million and individual owner district cost of $880,700 each.
If Woodmoor wins its lawsuit, Woodmoor would get 64.28 percent of the new TP treatment capacity of 264 pounds per day (ppd) for its one-third net cost of $880,700, which is 169.7 ppd. Monument and Palmer Lake would get only 35.72 percent of the new TP treatment capacity (94.3 ppd) for their combined two-thirds net cost of $1.76 million. This would make their combined net acquisition cost per pound of owned daily TP treatment capacity 3.6 times higher than Woodmoor’s. See Table 1 on page 6.
Monument’s position, as stated at numerous previous JUC meetings, is that each district should pay the same percentage of the cost of this expansion for creating new influent TP constituent treatment capacity as the amount of currently owned treatment capacity for treating hydraulic flows and removing biosolid wastes in accordance with the Tri-Lakes Facility’s Joint Use of Facilities Agreement (JUA) rules for treatment constituent expansions: Woodmoor–64.28 percent, Monument–19.79 percent, and Palmer Lake–15.93 percent.
Monument also states that each district should own this same percentage of the new 264 ppd of chemical total phosphorus treatment capacity that is being created with new equipment in accordance with the Tri-Lakes JUA rules for treatment constituent expansions and that district reimbursements from the $1 million state nutrient design and construction grant should also be divided by these same percentages. Table 2 on page 6 summarizes these amounts.
Palmer Lake had previously agreed to pay a third of the TP expansion construction costs.
Construction management contract referred to attorneys
The board unanimously approved a motion to authorize board Chairman Ed DeLaney to sign the $252,000 Tetra Tech construction management contract after it had been approved by the district’s lawsuit attorney, Steve Mulliken.
Total disbursements since March 18 were $67,317 and total deposits were $57,774. Total cash on hand as of March 19 was $785,149, including $245,095 in the First National Bank Capital Preservation Fund account, $406,040 in the ColoTrust Capital Preservation Fund account, $35,037 in the Integrity Series-2013 Loan account, $98,876 in the Integrity Bank Operating account, and $100 in petty cash. Rental income deposited year-to-date was $3,200. Conference room rental deposited year-to-date was $700. One tap fee of $6,600 had been received since March 18, bringing the total for 2015 up to $23,500.
The two payments that District Manager Mike Wicklund noted in the April 15 cash summary were: Wicklund noted in the April 18 cash summary were:
• $590.00 to Gaddis, Kin, Herd, P.C. for legal services
• $14,565.25 to Mulliken Weiner Berg & Jolivet P.C. for legal services
At 11:20 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 11:55 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. He said he had a showing for Suites D & E scheduled with the owners of a potential textile store at 1:30 p.m., after this board meeting adjourned.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:57 a.m.
The next meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on May 21 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 April 16, General Manager Kip Petersen briefed the Donala Water and Sanitation District board on his April 8 presentation to the monthly Arkansas River Basin Roundtable in Pueblo regarding Donala being part of the solution to basin water problems. Petersen also introduced Donala President Bill George and Vice President Dave Powell to those in attendance at the April 8 roundtable session. Local water consultant Gary Barber briefed the board in executive session on a Fountain Creek water right that has been offered for sale to Donala.
The April 16 board meeting was presided over by Powell due to the unanimously excused out-of-state absence of George.
Petersen said the focus of the April 8 roundtable session was the basin implementation portion of the statewide water plan. Petersen noted that there is quite a difference between the uses of the name "Arkansas River basin," a watershed term, and the more political term "Arkansas valley" which more narrowly refers to agricultural areas adjacent to the main stem of the Arkansas River where there is the most concern about renewable water being transported to El Paso County. Barber concurred with Petersen, stating that Donala needs to spread an understanding that Donala is not expropriating agricultural water out of the Pueblo Valley like Aurora. Director Ken Judd will attend the May 13 roundtable meeting with Petersen.
Petersen also said he and the board would also attend the dinner on April 21 that kicks off the two-day Arkansas River Basin Forum sessions to be held on the next two days. He added that on April 14 he attended the inaugural meeting of the Arkansas River Watershed Collaborative, which has a focus on watershed-wide issues that affect the entire Arkansas River basin, particularly the upper end of the Arkansas River that includes Donala’s Willow Creek Ranch. About 80 people attended, he said. Petersen will also attend a headwaters watershed group meeting in Leadville on May 15.
Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority
Petersen noted that Director Bob Denny attended the April 1 authority meeting with him. The main topic of the meeting was a review of all the pending bills and other actions of this year’s state Legislature session to date. Petersen said the district’s water attorney, Rick Fendel, has been "instrumental" in leading an ad hoc group that is lobbying elected officials and their staffs regarding Senate Bill 15-183. This bill would affect the issue of how the state water engineer calculates historic consumptive use for water rights and when the state can recalculate them if not fully used. As of April 16, this bill had passed its second reading in the state House of Representatives with no amendments, particularly any which might limit or eliminate the bill’s application to current water court cases. He said a third reading was scheduled for April 20. If passed, the bill will then go to the governor for signature.
For more information see http://www.leg.state.co.us/CLICS/CLICS2015A/csl.nsf/BillFoldersSenate?OpenFrameSet. Use the dropdown window to the left of the "Go" button at the top of the page to select the correct numerical sub-list of bills to find this bill.
Another bill Petersen discussed was House Bill 15-1259, which would allow the use of two 55-gallon barrels to collect rain water coming of the roof of a single-family dwelling. He noted that a study presented to the Legislature shows that only about 3 percent of the water that falls on rooftops makes it to a state watercourse. Evaporation and absorption into the ground account for the other 97 percent that does not reach a stream much less a potential downstream water rights user. Powell noted that some homeowners association covenants may require prior approval of installing a rain barrel.
For more information see www.leg.state.co.us/CLICS/CLICS2015A/csl.nsf/BillFoldersHouse?OpenFrameSet and follow the same procedure noted above.
1041 permit response submitted
Petersen noted that he had provided each board member with a final copy of the response he would submit on April 17 to questions from Pueblo County regarding that county’s consideration of Donala’s 1041 permit application for future transport of its renewable Willow Creek Ranch surface water through Pueblo County via the new Colorado Springs Utilities Southern Delivery System pipeline. The response included pictures of some stormwater infrastructure within the Donala service area.
Mountain View Electric Association rate increases 9 percent
Petersen advised the board that Donala’s commercial electric utility rate would increase 9 percent on July 1 and again by another 9 percent on Jan. 1. He noted that during 2015 budget preparation last fall, Mountain View Electric had advised Donala that it hoped that there would be no increase, but Donala should include a 5 percent increase to be "safe." Electric utility costs comprise the largest share of Donala’s total operating cost. Petersen said the average rate for the year would be about 5 percent more, or $40,000, the amount he budgeted.
Status of Operations
Petersen reported that the annual rehabilitation of the Robert Hull Water Treatment Plant was nearing completion and that all the district’s wells are operational. Easements are being obtained in Sun Hills for the placement of a new 12-inch water main from the Latrobe Court tank to the Holbein Drive tanks. Norvell Construction has begun work on the 45-day project of repainting the interior of the district’s Fox Run water tank, located on the north side of the east end of Baptist Road.
The ongoing Microthrix parvicella filamentous bacteria contamination problem at the Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility is being slowly but successfully rectified. The bacterial foam thickness continues to be steadily reduced and the water quality of the treated effluent, which has always met state standards, is showing good improvement. A failed bearing on one of the facility’s several aeration blower motors will need to be repaired.
Willow Creek Ranch update
The district can start taking credit for its renewable surface water from its ranch property near Leadville on May 1. This surface water is stored in the Pueblo Reservoir, then conveyed north by Colorado Springs Utilities for treatment and then piped to Donala’s potable water distribution system for delivery.
In other matters, Office Manager Betsy Bray noted that the final draft of the 2014 audit would likely be presented at the regular board meeting to be held on June 11. Petersen noted that he had provided the board with the March quarterly Donala investment report from Chandler Asset Management and that there were no noteworthy items in the report about the "very safe" capital-preserving district accounts.
The board went into executive session for discussion on the purchase or sale of a property at 2:40 p.m.
The next meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. on May 21 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 Lisa Hatfield
At the April 9 meeting of the Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD), the board of directors and District Manager Jessie Shaffer continued to discuss the details of a new non-potable water service policy for potential irrigation customers. Brookmoor Estates Homeowners Association (HOA) President Russ Broshous presented more information to the board as Brookmoor debates whether or not to begin a trial period using non-potable water for turf irrigation for their HOA.
Treasurer Tommy Schwab was excused.
Non-potable water service policy discussion continues
The board continued its discussion about a policy for providing non-potable water to eligible commercial, industrial, and HOAs. Due to infrastructure requirements, individual homes cannot be customers for raw water.
President Barrie Town agreed with Shaffer that he did not want to create a policy and then immediately add a variance to the policy, but he said Shaffer’s new section in the draft policy allowing for exceptions to be petitioned to the board made it clear how those would be handled, and this would help with the unique infrastructure situation in Brookmoor.
The board is scheduled to vote on the non-potable water service policy in May.
Brookmoor Estates requests lower non-potable rates again, reliability trial period
Broshous has asked WWSD to provide untreated water to Brookmoor for irrigation use, and it would be the district’s first HOA non-potable water customer if Brookmoor agrees to meet the terms and conditions of WWSD. In March, Brookmoor’s request to lower or forgo the highest Block 3 rate for non-potable was denied. See www.ocn.me/v15n4.htm#wwsd0312.
Broshous presented data on April 16 that he said proved Brookmoor should be allowed to buy non-potable water using the regular Grass Irrigation Demand (GID) rate instead of the modified GID rate. However, Brookmoor does not meet the district’s criteria for that rate due to a miscalculation about the amount of irrigation needed for the whole HOA, Shaffer said. Also, the discussion showed that Brookmoor is irrigating its Kentucky bluegrass lawns at a much higher rate than true grass irrigation unit demand factors require in Woodmoor’s climate and elevation.
Town asked Shaffer to re-verify the water demand calculations conclusion that was made with the assistance of Daniel Niemela, principal/hydrogeologist with Bishop Brogden & Associates.
The board also discussed Brookmoor’s request to have the ability to switch back to potable irrigation water if they deem the non-potable system unreliable during the two-year trial period. Broshous said if their irrigation service is interrupted for repairs for more than a week at a time, Brookmoor HOA would probably ask to be switched back to using potable water irrigation by the end of trial period, before those lines would have been completely removed.
Shaffer and Assistant District Manager Randy Gillette’s comments included:
• Unaccounted water was down to 6 percent for March. The district invested in leak detection equipment that has already resulted in good progress.
• Dunes at Woodmoor Filing 2, north of the WWSD office, is about to file a final plat and in four to six weeks might bring in earthmoving equipment.
• Monument Hill Self Storage easement agreement is complete and might begin construction in next month.
• SePro aquatic weed control treatment will begin in Lake Woodmoor by end of April. The district sent letters to homes around the lake and a blast email to residents who are signed up for them. See www.ocn.me/v15n3.htm#wwsd0212.
Public comments on future water
Two residents of Woodmoor Townhomes asked questions of the board about who makes decisions about types of turf planted in different neighborhoods and about the possibility of their HOA connecting to WWSD’s non-potable irrigation infrastructure.
They also asked how WWSD’s groundwater supply from aquifers might be affected by the numerous new subdivisions being built; Shaffer and Town summarized this by saying as more wells are added, it’s like more straws being put into the same cup of water. Town said the surface water from JV Ranch will not be needed in Woodmoor for 20 years, but there is no infrastructure yet to bring it here. Shaffer said cooperating with multiple water districts in the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority will help with costs in the future.
The meeting went into executive session at 2:32 p.m. for discussions related to the purchase, acquisition, lease, transfer, or sale of any real, personal, or other property; to determine positions relative to matters subject to negotiations; and to conference with legal counsel regarding specific legal questions all related to purchase of land, water rights, and pending litigation regarding the Joint Use Agreement. Attorney Erin Smith added that they would also discuss the Joint Use Committee Phase 1 Process.
Office manager Marsha Howland reported that after the executive session, the board considered adoption of resolution 15-04 authorizing entering into a construction contract and payment not to exceed 66.66 percent of the Phase 1 Project Costs. The board adopted Resolution 15-04, and discussed having the e-mails directed to the board to go through the WWSD server. The meeting adjourned at 3:53.
Board meetings are usually held at the district office at 1845 Woodmoor Drive on the second Thursday of each month at 1 p.m. However, the next meeting will be May 7 at 1 p.m. See www.woodmoorwater.com or call 488-2525.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lisa Hatfield
On April 6, the Monument Board of Trustees voted to keep searching for a new town manager, decided to have a special meeting April 8 to discuss the town manager job description, and discussed Pamela Smith’s concurrent town manager and interim treasurer positions. Board members continued the discussion about Sanctuary Pointe development to April 20. They also heard a presentation from the Tri-Lakes Economic Development Corp. President and Chairman Danette Lilja about the importance of "primary businesses" bringing outside money into the local economy.
Unexpected motion regarding Smith
At the beginning of the meeting when Mayor Rafael Dominguez asked for approval of the agenda, Trustee John Howe thanked Town Manager and Interim Town Treasurer Smith for her service as town manager and made a motion to add to the agenda "a motion to accept Smith’s request to vacate her position as the town manager effective April 15, and to appoint Smith from interim treasurer to permanent treasurer."
Dominguez and Smith both said that she had never made such a request, while Smith acknowledged that April 15 had been the original date set for finding a replacement for the town treasurer after Treasurer Monica Harder departed last fall.
Town Attorney Gary Shupp told the board that there is no requirement that the town manager position be filled. Smith agreed with Dominguez that she would continue serving as town manager until the position was really filled, adding, "With or without the title, everyone is going to come to me anyway."
Town manager search spreads wider net
Without discussion or preamble, Dominguez asked trustees to vote. Mayor Pro-Tem Jeff Kaiser made the motion to hire Tara Marshall as the town manager; she was the finalist who had presented her credentials to them on March 16 (http://ocn.me/v15n4.htm#mbot0316.) The motion failed by a vote of 2-5. Trustees Jeff Bornstein, Kelly Elliott, Howe, Jeff Smith, and Dominguez voted no, with no reasons given.
The trustees then voted 6-1 in favor of re-advertising the town manager position. Kaiser voted no with no reason given.
They discussed whether to use the same internally run hiring process and recruiting sources as in the previous unsuccessful search, or to hire a professional recruiter using a request for proposal (RFP) due to the high cost. The consensus was to issue an RFP.
Meanwhile, Smith plans to do both jobs
Howe said he was under the impression that Smith wanted to go back to being treasurer full time instead of continuing with the pressure of doing both jobs. She said she is not being as active a town manager as she would if that were her only job, and she is mostly focusing on the accounting work of the treasurer. "My focus is where it needs to be, to get ready for the audit," she said. "The department heads know what they are doing," and they come to her for oversight and approval. Smith said she will continue filling both positions until a new town manager is hired. She said there is too long of a learning curve to get another staff member trained to fill in.
• Sept. 2, 2014 – the last time Treasurer Monica Harder gave a report at Board of Trustees meetings. No announcement was made explaining her absence after that.
• Oct. 6 – Smith was referred to as the interim town treasurer as well as town manager.
• Dec. 1– Smith was officially appointed interim town treasurer. See www.ocn.me/v15n1.htm#mbot1201.
• March 2 – Smith said it had been decided to hire a new town manager instead of a town treasurer due to a lack of qualified treasurer candidates and that she would retain the treasurer position when a new town manager was hired. See www.ocn.me/v15n3.htm#mbot0302.
• March 16 – one remaining finalist for town manager position introduced. See www.ocn.me/v15n4.htm#mbot0316.
• April 6– board voted not to hire the finalist candidate.
Trustee Jeff Bornstein said, "We need to put a firm date" on identifying and hiring a new town manager. Trustee Elliott agreed, but Dominguez did not want to hurry the process.
The consensus was to hold a special board meeting April 8 to discuss the town manager job description and qualifications necessary for the candidates to meet in order to include this information in an RFP from professional recruiting firms. See article on page 14.
Sanctuary Pointe Phase 1 continued
Andrea Barlow of NES Inc., Joe Loidolt of Classic Homes, and Principal Planner Mike Pesicka presented a Preliminary/Final PD Site Plan for Sanctuary Pointe Phase 1 to develop 261 single-family residential units on a 60.506-acre tract of land. The proposed development is north of Baptist Road and adjacent to The Ridge at Fox Run and Fox Pines developments. The sketch plan for Sanctuary Pointe was approved in 2006.
Pesicka also requested approval for the first three Preliminary/Final Plat subdivision filings:
• The Carriages at Sanctuary Pointe Filing 1, 40 attached single-family home lots (duplexes) on 12 acres
• Sanctuary Pointe Filing 1, 51 single-family detached lots on 40 acres
• Sanctuary Pointe Filing 2, 34 single-family detached lots 15 acres
The total number of plats proposed was 125, which are Phases A, B, and C on the Preliminary/Final PD Site Plan. The areas not being platted on the remaining acreage now would require the review and approval of future plats by the town.
After 2 1/2 hours of discussion, the board voted 5-1 to continue the item to April 20; Mayor Rafael Dominguez voted no with no reason given.
In answer to questions from Howe and Jeff Smith, Barlow said that Triview Metropolitan District had agreed to provide a water will-serve letter for the development once a new water tank is approved and constructed. She said there is funding agreed upon between Classic Homes and Triview to purchase more water rights if needed to provide the capacity of water needed for construction and to service the residents of the development.
Smith said it "did not sit well" with him that Triview’s capacity to serve was "based on buying more water rights," but he realized that staff had done their due diligence. Dominguez said he was sure the development wouldn’t go forward if the water weren’t there.
The developer’s comments included:
• Temporary/emergency access to Red Fox Lane would be constructed.
• Entire development to use Firewise mitigation standards supported by the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire District.
• Traffic and drainage reports approved by town and county engineers.
• 25.85 acres of open space/parks/trails.
• Setbacks are similar to existing zone districts within the town.
• Roads to be built to town standards and maintained by Triview.
• A trail system linking with county trails is part of the site plan. All trails are either dedicated to the town or Triview for public use.
• Fifty-foot buffer area along the southern portion of the site where Sanctuary Pointe abuts Fox Pines and along the northern boundary of Sanctuary Pointe.
• Lot sizes adjacent to the Fox Pines and Fox Run subdivisions are over 20,000 square feet.
Barlow said that during the sketch plan phase in 2006, meetings were held with neighbors in Higby Estates, The Ridge at Fox Run, and Kingswood. Their input reduced the density in many areas of the project, moved denser areas to the center, and included connections with trails. Two adjacent property owners from Happy Landing said they did not see public postings of those meetings, although they did receive their certified mail notification of those 2006 meetings.
Barlow said several meetings were held this year with neighboring communities also and feedback was generally positive. The developer addressed questions about traffic, erosion control and lot grading, lot size, fire evacuation, landscaping requirements, the 50-foot buffer, and other topics.
Several neighbors from the perimeter of the proposed development spoke during public comments.
Land use attorney William Louis spoke for 40 minutes representing Daren Palmer’s concerns about effects of duplexes potentially being built immediately south of his 11-acre property on Happy Landing Drive. Louis’s comments included:
• It is not fair to put duplexes next to a million-dollar property.
• He requested mitigation of negative impacts along his property line to block the view of the high density duplexes.
• Town land use Planned Development ordinances require "appropriate relationships between use areas, both internal and surrounding, with adequate buffer areas if warranted."
• Monument ordinances require transitions that harmonize with adjacent land. Good planning does not put highest density next to the lowest densities, especially when there is not a natural barrier.
Michael Stark, a resident of The Ridge at Fox Run on Red Fox Lane, directly across from the proposed detention pond on the south side of the proposed property, also spoke to the trustees. His comments included:
• I am concerned about clearing six acres of trees around the enlarged detention pond and "jamming them up again the southern boundary." It impinges on the 50-foot buffer.
• There is no transition zone between the new development and existing properties; it will go from pristine rural wooded to a clear-cut detention pond.
• The "temporary" emergency access road to Red Fox Road will not go away until all three areas are built out, so it will be there for five to 10 years.
Loidolt rebutted some of the comments raised by the public and emphasized how many adjustments they have already made to the plans based on several informal meetings with neighbors this year.
The board voted 5-1 for a continuance of the discussion on the Preliminary/Final PD Site Plan for Sanctuary Pointe Phase 1, Preliminary/Final Plat for The Carriages at Sanctuary Pointe Filing 1, Preliminary/Final Plat for Sanctuary Pointe Filing 1, and Preliminary/Final Plat for Sanctuary Pointe Filing 2. It will continue at the next regularly scheduled board meeting on April 20. See article on page 15. Dominguez voted "no" with no reason stated, and Tooley left before the vote.
Tri-Lakes Economic Development Corp.
President and Chairman Danette Lilja explained that the purpose of the nonprofit, volunteer-run Tri-Lakes Economic Development Corp. (TLEDC) is to attract new primary businesses and foster relationships with current primary businesses in our area. TLEDC’s mission is to expand the Tri-Lake region’s economic base, achieving sustained growth and prosperity for the greater Tri-Lakes community, which consists of Monument, Palmer Lake, Woodmoor, Gleneagle, King’s Deer, and Black Forest.
Primary employers are businesses that generate the majority of their revenues by providing goods and services to clients and customers outside the Front Range region. Tri-Lakes primary employers include Depuy Synthes, CodeOne, Summit Container Corp., The Woodmoor Group, Blue Ink Studios, Maxx Sunglasses, Cruiser Accessories, and The Fairfield Inn by Marriott.
Lilja emphasized the need for commercial corridors and was against the idea of changing current commercial zoning along Jackson Creek Parkway south of Highway 105 to residential use since that location near the interstate is a perfect tract for primary employers.
She said it was important to continue working to make the commercial development process easier and friendlier for new businesses to come into the Tri-Lakes area. It is complicated here because of the number of overlapping special districts companies have to deal with. Developers were frustrated with the process in the past, Lilja said.
In response to questions from the trustees, Lilja said:
• An updated comprehensive plan that included input from outside Monument was important.
• Commercial zoned property might need to include completed buildings and infrastructure that companies can move right into.
• Access to high-speed Internet is vital for business.
Lilja said the TLEDC will give quarterly updates to the Monument Board of Trustees. See http://trilakesedc.com or call 888-667-6768 for information.
Liquor license, contracts, and town clerk
Tom Tharnish, director of Public Works, said Town of Monument and Triview water customers who would like to dispose of big items in a town trash dumpster can call 481-2436 to make an appointment with the Public Works field office.
Deputy Town Clerk Laura Hogan presented a liquor license re-application for The Village Merchants. Reed and ShawNa Schotanus made this application for Art Hop purposes. Police Chief Jake Shirk emphasized their "absolute obligation" to remind those who are drinking alcohol they must stay inside the establishment with the license until they are done to avoid getting a ticket.
The trustees unanimously approved a one-year extension to the continuing services agreement with NV5 Inc. for consulting engineering services, which includes a 3 percent cost increase. This firm is currently working on small projects for the Public Works Department and provides engineering and plat review services for development applications.
The trustees also unanimously approved a one-year extension to the continuing services agreement with Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. for consulting engineering services. Jacobs is currently acting as the design engineer for the downtown sidewalks project, performing traffic engineering consulting services, and can assist with engineering functions including water and wastewater, roadways, and drainage, Tharnish said.
Shupp said Cynthia Sirochman, the town clerk, has already taken the oath of office and was sworn in by Shupp, but the board had not yet approved a resolution approving her as the town clerk. They did so unanimously.
Disbursements over $5,000
Smith presented the disbursements over $5,000, which the trustees approved unanimously:
• CIRSA Workers’ Compensation Insurance – $14,238
• CIRSA Liability Insurance – $23,920
• Medved Chevrolet, repairs on police vehicle – $5,746
• Taser International, body-worn cameras for police officers – $11,009
• Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce – $5,000
• Krassa & Miller LLC for six water issues including Monument Lake case coming to trial in May, senior water rights, reservoir, etc., $13,948 (for February services) and $15,542 (for March services)
• Lytle Water Solutions LLC – $10,491.
• Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority loan for Well 8 – $73,700.
The meeting went into executive session at 10:45 p.m. to confer with an attorney to receive legal advice regarding water rights. Pamela Smith reported that no announcements were made after the executive session.
Caption: At the April 6 Monument Board of Trustees meeting, Tri-Lakes Economic Development Corp. President and Chairman Danette Lilja explained that the group’s purpose was to attract new primary businesses and foster relationships with current primary businesses in the area. These are businesses that bring outside money "in" since they generate the majority of their revenues by providing goods and services to clients and customers outside the Front Range region. See http://trilakesedc.com or call 888-667-6768 for information. Photo by Lisa Hatfield.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at email@example.com.
Monument Board of Trustees special meeting, April 8: Smith asked to stop filling two positions; no vote taken
By Lisa Hatfield
OCN did not attend the April 8 Monument Board of Trustees special meeting because the advertised purpose was to discuss the job description and qualifications necessary for the new town manager candidates to meet so this information could be included in a request for proposals (RFPs) from professional recruiting firms. However, an extra topic that was not posted on the meeting agenda was also introduced. Here is a summary based on published meeting minutes by Town Clerk Cynthia Sirochman that were unanimously approved at the April 20 regular board meeting. Trustee Becki Tooley and Mayor Pro Tem Jeffrey Kaiser abstained because they were absent from the April 8 meeting.
Town manager selection process
Trustee Jeff Bornstein made a motion for Pamela Smith to vacate her position as town manager and move directly into the town treasurer position. Smith stated she did not ask to be immediately removed as the town manager and clarified it was a request that was initiated during the town manager hiring process.
Trustee Bornstein stated he still wished to make the motion for Smith to vacate her position as town manager and move directly into the town treasurer position. Smith stated she took exception to the assumption being made she wanted to immediately be removed from the town manager position.
Trustee John Howe stated it appeared she no longer wanted the position, because the town manager job was posted and public comments had been made that she no longer wanted the position. Trustee Bornstein made a motion to modify his own motion requesting Smith to vacate her position as town manager and move into the town treasurer position effective the end of the week, leaving the town manager position open. Trustee Bornstein continued with his motion, saying the board can determine how to operate in the interim until a new town manager is selected. Trustee Jeff Smith seconded the motion.
Mayor Rafael Dominguez asked the town clerk for roll call. Sirochman stated she could not take roll call because the item was not posted on the agenda. Trustee Smith and Trustee Howe stated items are added to the agenda all the time. Town Attorney Gary Shupp stated this was a "special meeting" and "per our ordinance, we cannot make a motion on anything other than items on the agenda."
Pamela Smith stated she had no problem stepping down from the position if the board was not satisfied with her work as the town manager. She stated the town must have a town manager regardless. Trustee Smith stated the town can operate without a town manager. Ms. Sirochman clarified the town must have a town manager.
Mayor Dominguez stated the proposal was inappropriate. He said the perception was that some board members had a vote of no confidence against Smith. Trustee Bornstein requested a special meeting regarding the topic. Dominguez stated he would not support a special meeting nor would he attend because the request was inappropriate. Dominguez said board members can have a special meeting if they wish to do so.
Trustee Smith stated it will be placed on the regular meeting agenda April 20 (regardless of a special meeting).
Trustee Bornstein stated he did not appreciate the mayor’s comments.
Pamela Smith reviewed the RFP draft with the board. The board agreed on various changes throughout the document. The board instructed Smith to make the changes and electronically/mail the RFPs to the list provided to the board.
Trustee Smith made a motion to adjourn at 8:43 p.m., seconded by Trustee Howe. The motion passed 5-0.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monument Board of Trustees, April 20: Sanctuary Pointe Phase 1 approved; town manager hiring process debated
By Lisa Hatfield
On April 20, the Monument Board of Trustees approved Phase 1 of the Sanctuary Pointe development. Michelle Glover was appointed to the Monument Planning Commission. And the trustees and Town Manager and Interim Treasurer Pamela Smith tried to clear up the misunderstandings and questions raised in the midst of the town manager hiring process in April.
Sanctuary Pointe Phase 1 approved
In a continuation from the discussion on April 6, the trustees voted to approve Phase 1 of Sanctuary Pointe development. See article on page 11.
Planning Director Mike Pesicka said that since April 6, Classic Homes representatives have met with the two neighbors who had specific concerns about the project. Classic Homes owner Doug Stimple said that since 2006, when planning began, he had made many financially significant concessions to meet the wishes of residents of The Ridge at Fox Run and others.
Classic will reduce the number of attached single-family units (duplexes) north of Catnap Lane from 12 to eight. Meanwhile, neighbor Daren Palmer, on an 11-acre property immediately to the north, agreed to grant a temporary construction easement to Classic so that it could avoid building a retaining wall there.
However, six residents near Red Fox Lane still disagree with the plans for a detention pond directly north of them, saying that there was no real buffer between them and the development, especially if trees on four acres around the detention pond are cut. After a long discussion, Classic said it could not make the requested changes due to topography and requirements on how the berm must be stabilized.
The Preliminary/Final PD Site Plan for Sanctuary Pointe Phase 1 was approved with conditions noted in the documents by a vote of 5–2. Jeff Bornstein and Jeff Kaiser voted no. Town Clerk Cynthia Sirochman asked for the reason for their no votes so she could record them, but Town Attorney Gary Shupp said they did not have to state their reasons. The Preliminary/Final Plats for The Carriages, Filing 1 and Filing 2 were then all approved unanimously.
New planning commissioner
Pesicka introduced Michelle Glover, who has volunteered to fill a full-time position on the Planning Commission. She is a Jackson Creek resident with an advanced degree in public administration. "You can’t complain if you are not willing to be part of the solution," she said. The board voted unanimously to appoint her to the commission.
Trustees and staff discuss responsibilities, hiring timeline issues
This section of the meeting about the town manager hiring process was originally scheduled to occur during executive session, but Mayor Rafael Dominguez said that Pamela Smith requested that it be conducted in public instead.
He began what turned into a one-hour discussion by reminding the board that town ordinance requires that at special meetings, no business can be conducted that was not stated in the posting. See article on page 14.
Bornstein left the April 20 meeting before this discussion, but all the other trustees and staff made prepared statements culminating in a consensus to keep Smith in both roles as town manager and interim treasurer for now and begin a professional search for a town manager using requests for proposals (RFPs). Comments are briefly summarized here:
Pamela Smith – Do you have any issues with the way I am communicating or the work that I was doing as town manager or treasurer? I didn’t request this. I found this process insulting and I felt very blindsided. Yes, the plan (to do both jobs) was shortsighted, and it wasn’t discussed at length. We need to start communicating on both sides of the fence.
Becki Tooley – We jumped the gun in how things were approached. We agree a dual role of this magnitude cannot continue. We will continue to seek a new town manager but not seek to vacate your position unless the time frame determines otherwise. Our intention was not to show a lack of confidence.
Kelly Elliott – There was a lack of transparency and communication over the past couple months. I found out from an interview candidate, and not the town, that Pam would be responsible for town manager operations and that the new hire would do other responsibilities which were not clear to me, and I was surprised. I know you do eventually want to get to be finance director. It will be great to get RFPs out to help us with town manager hiring.
John Howe – I don’t question your ability as treasurer. Letting you do two 40–hour plus jobs was unconscionable on my part. But I was blindsided when suddenly I heard we were looking for a town manager instead of a treasurer because you didn’t get responses for treasurer. We were not advised of that. But now we are on the right track.
Jeff Smith – This is objective and not personal. If you had resigned or been relieved, we would have found an interim town manager. You were put in a very difficult position; there’s no way a person can faithfully discharge both jobs well. This town has inherited years of accumulated bad management that culminated in this moment. I was dumbfounded when I found out you have not been given direction by the board about priorities or given evaluation criteria to know if you are performing to what the board wants. This is a big rock that has been going downhill, and it’s time for a change. The board’s responsibilities are not just to take a back seat but to have adequate governance and oversight.
Pamela Smith – It is impossible to do both jobs without good support staff, but the directors have all stepped up and worked very hard to take what they can off my plate. Hiring an interim manager requires a process very similar to getting a manager; it’s a process in itself. I take exception to the statement that the town has been poorly managed for years; we have an exceptional board and excellent staff. I don’t want two jobs; I just want to see a good transition from leadership to leadership.
Jeff Kaiser – I have never had an issue on communication with Pam. Pam stepped forward when she didn’t have to. You have great pride in what you do. On occasion, personal situations arise, and we had the opportunity to show leniency to an outstanding employee. We agree this is not sustainable situation. We have 10 years of valued outstanding performance from you.
Dominguez – Not once have I ever heard you complain. You were a major stabilizing force when Cathy Green, our town manager, went away, and when our treasurer stepped away. You deserved better than how things have happened in last two weeks. You were not given due respect, regardless of the intentions. I completely disagree with the statement on bad management, considering the number of years I have been associated with this town. I hope that clearing the air this evening makes it very clear that you have the support of this board.
Jeff Smith – She still has not been given direction by the board on what her priorities should be. That’s why I said this board has been poorly managed. We are supposed to identify priorities. That’s how we got in this predicament.
Pamela Smith – Rewriting of the comprehensive plan is huge and will coalesce everything in a better direction. I was trying to protect what we have built and control what we have built here and have faith that the board will hire someone excellent for the open town manager position.
Jeff Smith – What is needed is a transition book with background and history; that’s what I want you to do. I want the new town manger to not have to rediscover everything – whatever the main issues are that the department heads think are hot items that need to be pursued first and get it ready to give to the new town manager so they don’t start from zero. (Pamela Smith, Howe, and Tooley agreed.)
Gary Shupp – The board has encroached on administrative areas by giving direction to staff when it is inappropriate to do so. The board needs to confine itself to vision and policies and not day-to-day administration.
Turner Smith (married to Pamela) – Thanks to the board for support of my wife. But how is she supposed to write a how-to book while she is continuing to do two jobs?
Bulk water station update
Public Works Director Tom Tharnish said that the hours for the bulk fill station on Wagon Gap Trail have been changed to 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. to accommodate residential users. He anticipated that commercial users would not be using the station after May since they will be using meters elsewhere instead. Later in the meeting, resident Cheri Hysell thanked the board and staff for trying to come up with a solution for the neighborhood.
New sidewalk; parks master plan
Pesicka said that Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments is providing funding for a sidewalk to be built from the mobile home park on Beacon Lite Road south to Highway 105. A resident had expressed concern about safety of pedestrians along this road.
All Tri-Lakes area residents are invited to any of three open houses that will show the proposed $1.2 million Parks Master Plan for four Monument Parks. They will be from 4 to 8 p.m.:
• May 14 at Monument Town Hall
• July 21 at Bear Creek Elementary School
• Aug. 27 at Monument Town Hall.
See www.ocn.me/v15n4.htm#mbot0316 for a description of the draft parks plans.
Town Clerk Cynthia Sirochman said the state denied the liquor license that the town approved at its April 6 meeting for The Village Merchants since they did not meet the statutory definition of an art gallery, and the alcohol service times coincided with class times and so was not being given away freely.
The trustees unanimously approved a beer and wine license for the Broken Bones Smokin’ Pit restaurant. Owner Randy Jensen said he has taken the TIPS training course and is training his staff, and he met with town staff to learn about compliance with code enforcement rules on outdoor seating when serving alcohol.
At 10:19 p.m., the board went into executive session for developing strategy for negotiations, instructing negotiators, and determining positions relative to matters that may be subject to negotiations (town manager recruiting firm RFP). Sirochman reported that no announcements were made after the executive session.
Caption: At the Monument Board of Trustees meeting April 20, Ridge at Fox Run resident Mike Stark (standing) reiterated his concerns about the proposed detention pond at the south side of the Sanctuary Pointe Phase 1. Andrea Barlow of NES Inc., (seated, left) and Classic Homes owner Doug Stimple rebutted his points. Photo by Lisa Hatfield.
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 May 4.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at email@example.com.
By Nancy Wilkins
Monument police are conducting an eight-week Citizens’ Academy course through June 2 that offers an "insiders’" view of the Police Department. The course began April 14. The first class, taught by Chief Jake Shirk, covered the organization of the department and included the fundamental objectives of policing.
These objectives include:
• To prevent and control conduct threatening to life and property
• To aid crime victims and protect people in danger of physical harm
• To protect constitutional guarantees such as the right to free speech and assembly
• To facilitate the movement of people and vehicles
• To assist those who cannot care for themselves
• To resolve conflict between individuals, groups or between citizens and the government
• To identify problems that have the potential to become more serious
• To create and maintain feelings of security in the community
Under Chief Shirk and Lt. Steve Burk, Monument’s Police Department is divided into three divisions: patrol, special operations, and support services.
The patrol division currently has the most officers and is considered "the face of the department." As noted in the Citizens Police Academy Manual, on-scene responsibilities include arriving rapidly but safely, caring for injured persons, apprehending suspects, securing the area, conducting preliminary investigations, and requesting additional resources. The purpose of enforcing traffic laws, according to the manual, is to educate and modify the driver’s future behavior, and to stop a violation of the law for public safety reasons.
When investigating traffic collisions, methods of determining the first harmful event of the accident, and subsequent events, can be obtained by witness accounts, involved party statements, damage to vehicles, and other roadway evidence.
Shirk has experience in Aurora, and has now trained Monument’s officers in SWAT procedures. These officers are now able to assist and support other officers from El Paso County during a SWAT emergency. According to Shirk, Sheriff Bill Elder deputized Monument’s officers, expanding the officers’ jurisdiction throughout the county.
Shirk takes a proactive approach in solving crime, and this includes a problem-solving approach. He gave an example of a large entertainment organization not in Monument, where at "ladies night" there were a frequent number of vehicles being broken into. Apparently, there was a habit of leaving purses in the vehicles. Shirk said the owner of the facility was reluctant to add more lighting and surveillance. A proactive approach to reducing the number of vehicles being broken into was starting a "coat and purse check-in" where ladies could bring their purses into the building, removing the incentive for vehicle break-ins.
Another proactive approach to reducing crime is to engage another existing organization to help address problems, such as enforcing building codes for apartment buildings. This may include having adequate lighting, replacing broken windows, and removing graffiti. Shirk said Monument is fortunate to not have this problem.
Shirk encourages all Monument homeowners to be sure their garage doors are closed at night, reducing the lure of theft.
Monuments police officers’ code of ethics includes the following statement: "My fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property, to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder, and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men [and women] to liberty, equality and justice."
Maintaining positive relations with the community is a very important goal for Shirk, who said that educating the public is just one way to do this. Subsequent topics include computer forensics, internal affairs, patrol procedures, use of force, laws of arrest, search and seizure, and criminal investigation. A criminal background check is performed on all citizens who attend the academy.
Nancy Wilkins can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
By James Howald
In April, the Palmer Lake Town Council departed from its regular schedule for meetings. A workshop session originally scheduled for April 2 was postponed until April 9, the date of its regularly scheduled monthly meeting. The April 9 meeting was in turn postponed until April 14, because a quorum of trustees could not be present. The April 14 meeting was cancelled, again due to a lack of a quorum. The council held a special meeting on April 16 to review the short-term plan for improvements to the park at Palmer Lake funded by the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant and organized by the Awake Palmer Lake committee, and to clarify the council’s role in approving the future work on the project.
Council discusses motion requiring all groups to get a vote of approval
The council began its meeting by discussing changes to a motion passed in an executive session held on March 24. This motion requires the Awake Palmer Lake committee to get approval by a vote of the council at a public meeting for all proposed work. Fire Trustee Richard Kuehster suggested changing this motion to make it apply to all town-sanctioned groups, thus making it broader in scope.
Awake the Lake committee member Jeff Hulsmann argued that requiring a vote at a public meeting for all work would slow down the effort to improve the park, and that the project relied on volunteers and donated equipment that could only be used when they were available. Hulsmann pointed out that the GOCO grant includes a scope of work, that the grant has already been approved by the council, and that latitude to make small changes to the plan without a formal approval process was needed. Kuehster said the point of the motion was to keep all stakeholders informed and coordinated, to assure residents that all needed approvals have been obtained, and to ensure that all work plans are clear to the council.
The council voted to approve the minutes from the March 24 executive session, but did not vote on updating the motion.
Resident questions handling of GOCO grant by Awake Palmer Lake
During the citizen comment portion of the meeting, resident Tom Allen criticized both the council and the Awake Palmer Lake committee for the way the GOCO grant has been handled. Allen pointed out that the Town of Palmer Lake has the ultimate responsibility for managing the grant, that no one in town government is truly in control of the effort, and that the town needs a dedicated administrator. Allen also questioned the accuracy of statements Hulsmann made on the GOCO grant application, particularly his assertion that the town had an annual Parks and Recreation budget of $50,000, and that these funds could be used to maintain the park after the grant work was complete. According to Allen, the true figure for the Parks and Recreation budget for 2015 is $7,000.
The discussion between Allen and Hulsmann became heated at times. Allen concluded by saying he doesn’t want to take water from the reservoir to fill the lake, which he thinks will be required if the springs that naturally fill the lake are legally deemed to be wells and their input to the lake needs to be replaced for other holders of rights to the water. Hulsmann concluded by saying he would correct any inaccurate statements he made on the GOCO application by the end of the week.
Hulsmann presents short-term plan for work at park
Working item by item with Parks and Recreation Trustee Paul Banta, Hulsmann detailed the work to be done at the park over the next six weeks. The work will consist of:
• Grading of three parking lots using equipment and personnel provided by the town.
• Digging trenches for park lighting using equipment and personnel provided by the town.
• Running wire in the trenches for park lighting.
• Filling the trenches.
• Seeding two areas of the park, specifically the south end of the lake and the area between the parking lot and the railroad property.
• Blocking off the seeded areas from drivers.
• Delineating parking areas.
• Adding nine holes to the disc golf course.
• Delineating trails and pathways.
Hulsmann confirmed these tasks would be done by the end of May.
The council voted unanimously to approve this scope of work.
The meeting adjourned at 8:35 a.m.
The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. May 14 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 Jennifer Green-Lanchoney
Volunteer firefighter Brian Kirkpatrick was sworn in by Director Greg Gent during the Donald Wescott Fire Protection District Board of Directors meeting April 21. Kirkpatrick received his Wescott badge at the meeting and is the newest member of the volunteer team. Prior to being sworn in, he was on a probationary period that included training exercises and education for about one year. This probationary period is a required step in becoming a volunteer firefighter.
The meeting was called to order by Gent at 7:05 p.m. District Directors Bo McAllister and John Fredell were present, as was the executive staff, Chief Vinny Burns and Assistant Chief Scott Ridings. Director Joyce Hartung had an excused absence and Director Harland Baker was absent.
February and March financial statements
Stacey Popovich, Wescott administrative assistant, covered the February and March financial statements. The February financial statement showed a deficit of $49,507. Specific ownership tax revenues were received in March, leaving the district with a surplus of $484,604.
Year-to-date, $26,792 of the $45,000 equipment budget was spent to update the server and purchase radios for fire trucks. The purchase of the radios came under budget, leaving a savings of about $4,000 in the equipment budget.
March meeting minutes as well as the financial reports for February and March were approved unanimously.
Banking transfer to be discussed
Peoples National Bank is scheduled to talk to the board during the May meeting about moving funds from Colorado Trust, which gives about $1.74 a month in interest for more than $400,000, to Peoples, which offers a higher interest rate. Peoples will discuss different options available for district money that will add additional earned interest. Roughly, that would increase the earned interest from $186.60 to $619.80 a year if the money is moved.
There is concern that penalties will be applied through the FDIC, which is insured to $500,000. The combined account will exceed that amount, and concern has been raised that this will affect FDIC protection. The money must also be in a zero-risk account per the legal requirement for public funds. The discussion will continue at the May meeting.
Ridings covered the run report, stating that the March 2014 call volume was 173 and March 2015 call volume increased 64 percent over March 2014 with 283 calls. Most of the increase was AMR calls. One call was to a structure fire when a vehicle caught fire in a garage. The fire was contained to the garage, and the total loss is estimated at $25,000.
Chief Burns included that fire mitigation work at Station 2 has been successful.
Pension Board of Directors meeting
Prior to the district Board of Directors meeting, a Pension Board of Directors meeting was held. The Pension board meeting was called to order at 6:32 p.m.
District Directors Bo McAllister and John Fredell were present, as was the executive staff, Lt. Bryan Ackerman and Lt. Tim Hampton. Director Joyce Hartung had an excused absence and Director Harland Baker was absent.
May 20 session minutes were approved unanimously with no discussion.
The board is gathering information on the averages being paid out for volunteer pensions across the state. It is waiting for an actuarial study to see where the Wescott volunteer retiree pension falls in relation to pensions across the state. The board is also waiting to see if the proposed increase in pension will deplete the funds for future volunteer retirees. Volunteer firefighters will get a pension after they are vested at 10 years.
The next Pension Board meeting will be scheduled later this year when the study is completed.
Safety Fair scheduled
The annual Wescott Summer Safety Fair is scheduled for June 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Station 1. The fair offers information for all ages on safety concerns from car seats to teen driving awareness. Vendors will also be on hand as well as a barbecue served by Wescott firefighters. The fair will feature tours of the firehouse and emergency vehicles. The Penrose Blood Drive will also be held at the station during the fair.
Caption: Wescott District Director Greg Gent swears in Wescott’s newest volunteer firefighter, Brian Kirkpatrick, at the Board of Directors meeting April 21. Prior to being sworn in, Kirkpatrick completed a yearlong probationary period in which extensive training exercises and education prepare potential volunteers for service to the community. Photo courtesy of the Donald Wescott Fire Protection District.
The Donald Wescott Fire Protection District Board of Directors’ next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 19 at Station 1, 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 potential district expenses at the April 22 meeting of the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District (TLMFPD). President Jake Shirk and Directors Bill Ingram and Bruce Fritzsche were absent. Vice President Roger Lance presided.
Truty said critical financial decisions are coming up, including a possible mill levy ballot question in 2015 if the board agrees to it after this spring’s discussions about revenues and costs. Assessed valuations may increase as the economy improves, he said, but the district cannot budget that way.
He said the district is far behind on maintaining existing levels of service, and so it might be necessary to ask the taxpayers for their input on how to keep equipment and infrastructure up-to-date to be ready for all emergencies and how to bring staff wages "up to average."
He also would like to see proactive budgeting for the district so it can avoid paying interest and leasing charges and therefore make taxpayers’ money work more efficiently. The board’s consensus was that the public needs to see a fact sheet showing the cost savings that could be achieved by paying cash for equipment.
Truty said that Fritzsche resigned from the board effective April 23 because he will no longer live in the district. Residents of TLMFPD who would like to apply for this open board position should contact the district.
The meeting adjourned at 7:25 p.m.
The next meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27 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.
Lewis-Palmer D-38 Board of Education, April 16: District recognizes student achievements and community partnerships, passes funding resolution
By Harriet Halbig
The Lewis-Palmer D-38 Board of Education recognized the achievements of many members of the student body and the contributions of local organizations and businesses during its April 16 meeting.
Student and community recognitions
Prairie Winds Elementary School Principal Aileen Finnegan introduced the sixth-grade chess club, which placed second in the state, competing against sixth- to eighth-graders for the honor.
Lewis-Palmer Middle School Principal Seann O’Connor introduced eighth-grader Patrick Best, who competed in the Colorado National Geographic Bee in March. He was one of 11 from the Pikes Peak area to participate. Best had also participated in the Knowledge Bowl.
Lions Club President David Prejean presented Lewis-Palmer High School student Isabel Taylor and Palmer Ridge student Emily Schuler with scholarships.
Palmer Ridge Robotics Team coach/sponsor Ashley Pollard updated the board on the team’s activities. A team member explained the mechanics of the competition. The team was selected by the third-place alliance and finished in fifth place in regional competition. Pollard also thanked the community and sponsors Rosie’s Diner, Synthes, Tri-Lakes Women’s Club, and Monument Hill Kiwanis for their support.
Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Wangeman introduced representatives of several community organizations and thanked them for their support of the district. These included:
• Barb Betzler and Susanna Peters of the Tri-Lakes Women’s Club
• Haley Chapin and Ed Paulovich of Tri-Lakes Cares
• Tommie Plank, president of the Historic Monument Merchants Association
• Rob Hoette, grand knight of the Knights of Columbus
• Harry Brandon, president of the Monument Hill Kiwanis Club
• Heather Steinman, executive director of the Tri-Lakes YMCA
• Becki Tooley, trustee from the Town of Monument Board of Trustees
• Nikki McDonald, mayor of the Town of Palmer Lake
• David Prejean, president of the Tri-Lakes Lions Club
Each individual mentioned the ways in which his or her organization supported the school district over the years through grants, fundraising activities, provision of community service opportunities to students, and appreciation of the value the schools provide to the community.
Each representative was given a certificate by Superintendent Karen Brofft and board President Mark Pfoff. Pfoff said that the district is very fortunate to have such generous and supportive partners.
Resolution to restore funding
The board passed a resolution to request that the Legislature abide by Amendment 23 and give restoration of education funding priority over TABOR refunds to taxpayers. Many districts across the state have passed similar resolutions, which will be delivered to legislators by representatives of the Colorado Association of School Boards.
The board approved operational policies on public conduct on school property (involving the definition of controlled substances to include marijuana products) and the procedures overseeing educational research projects and surveys.
Student fees update
Director of Personnel and Student Services Bob Foster explained proposed changes in student fees for the next school year. Fees for participation in hockey and swimming would see the largest increases, due to the expense of ice and pool time.
Foster showed fees for the same activities in nearby districts, pointing out that District 20 uses ice on the Air Force Academy grounds for no charge and schools in District 20 have their own swimming pools.
Foster also pointed out that some state requirements, such as helmet reconditioning for football, cause unavoidable increases in fees.
Foster assured the board that parents and coaches had discussed the increases and preferred them to the alternative of constant fundraising activities.
Preliminary 2015-16 budget review
Wangeman provided information about district revenues for the coming year, including a projected increase of $272 per pupil from the state, $70,200 cash in lieu of land, and an additional enrollment of 133 by Oct. 1.
Wangeman also explained profits from the Nutritional Services department. Beginning this year, the district declined to accept federal funding for high school lunches, believing serving sizes to be insufficient, resulting in many students leaving campus to purchase lunch. At this time, the department continues to see profit at the high schools and that profit is being used to replace aging equipment.
The district has decided to continue to accept funding for middle school lunches for the coming year.
Rhonda Young, representing the Lewis-Palmer Education Association, thanked the board for its openness and willingness to discuss concerns of the teachers.
Heather Jacobson, a Lewis-Palmer Elementary School parent, expressed concern about non-renewals of contracts at that school due to the resignation of the school’s principal during the year. Jacobson requested that the teacher evaluations be reviewed.
To view supporting material such as wording of policies, please go to www.lewispalmer.org, board of education, board of education information, April 16 meeting agenda.
Caption: President David Prejean of the Tri-Lakes Lions Club presented scholarship checks to Lewis-Palmer High School senior Isabel Taylor, left, and Palmer Ridge High School senior Emily Schuler. Photo by Harriet Halbig
Caption: The Prairie Winds sixth-grade chess team includes, from left, sixth-grade teacher and coach Peter Wise, Ryan Locke, Amelia Saffold, Ethan Markowitz, Keiran Berry, Chris Mills, and Brett Barton. Photo by Harriet Halbig.
The Lewis-Palmer D-38 Board of Education meets at 6 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month in the district’s Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. The next meeting will be held on May 21.
Harriet Halbig can be reached at email@example.com.
By Harriet Halbig
The Lewis-Palmer D-38 District Accountability Advisory Committee reviewed the district’s Unified Improvement Plan and received a summary of the budget for the coming school year at its April 14 meeting.
Director of Assessment and Gifted Education Lori Benton explained that all data in the improvement plan is an aggregate of the entire district’s performance, including performance of students from Monument Academy. The district does not have oversight over improvement planning for the charter school.
The district continues to be accredited with distinction, meeting requirements for academic growth and academic growth gaps, and exceeding requirements in academic achievement and postsecondary and workforce readiness.
The few weak points in performance involve academic growth at the elementary level in math among students with disabilities, those on free/reduced-price lunch and students needing to catch up, and writing among students with disabilities. The improvement plan is to explore online math intervention and use digital tools that allow teachers to address a student’s individual weaknesses.
At the middle school level, reading is rated as "approaching" among English learners, students needing to catch up, and students with disabilities. Writing is a weakness among students with disabilities. The plan is to administer assessments several times during the year to monitor progress. Programs such as Reading Across the Curriculum serve to emphasize the importance of this skill.
At the high school level, reading among students with disabilities and math among students with disabilities are rated as "approaching."
The plan now includes an additional document evaluating the gifted program.
District 38 is among the top three scoring districts in the state. Because of overall high scores, it is sometimes difficult to achieve the required rate of growth (45 percent median growth percentile for the population at large, 55 percent median growth for gifted students).
In explaining plans for improvement, the document states that progress monitoring is difficult, especially now that the district is using several new assessments for the first time. Plans for improvement include intense deep intervention early in a student’s career to avoid later weakness. In the area of reading, parent participation is part of the plan. Tutoring, teacher training, and data analysis are also involved in addition to summer school when needed.
District budget review
Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Wangeman presented a review of the district’s budget, stating that although the district’s enrollment was lower than forecast for the 2014-15 school year, the population has increased significantly since Oct. 1.
The governor has requested a $200 million drawdown in the negative factor (the amount actually funded as opposed to the amount required by Amendment 23, which requires an annual increase based on inflation) as part of next year’s budget. Wangeman said that the district has suffered a loss of $6 million over the last several years due to the negative factor.
If the governor’s request were passed, the district would receive an additional $252 per student in the coming year.
Statewide trends show that housing values are increasing in the areas involved in natural gas and oil production (Fort Collins, Greeley), while the values in the Colorado Springs area have not yet reached those before the recession. Because school funding benefits from real estate and other taxes, this is significant. Also, the TABOR amendment requires the state to refund excess taxes collected the previous year.
District officials meet with developers twice a year to learn of their plans and estimate potential increases in enrollment. The district remains flexible while planning the use of reserves in capital improvements and carefully monitors all expenditures. For example, while the cost of diesel fuel has declined, the cost of water and electricity may increase.
Wangeman listed the district’s goals for 2015-16 as follows:
• Improve communications within the district.
• Improve information technology capabilities.
• Review staff needs based on enrollment.
• Fund the position of technology director.
• Fund a wage increase.
Expenditure increases are expected in health insurance, PERA, and increased staffing required to maintain class sizes.
Wangeman explained projected capital expenditures to include computers, improvements to school facilities, and the purchase of computers, three buses and other vehicles.
Wangeman gave a brief review of recent safety and security activities, including the purchase of radios, staff training for emergencies, and designation of evacuation and reunification sites. The addition of more secure entries to schools is underway.
Ray Kilmer Elementary School Principal Chuck Stovall gave an introduction to his school. He reported that Kilmer houses a center for students with significant support needs and offers before and after school enrichment opportunities in areas such as hockey, knitting, and speech. Many parents volunteer in the school, and Kilmer has the only student-produced news program on KCRY.
The school also hosts such special events as a Harvest Festival, Polar Express Night, and an overnight trip for sixth-graders.
Board liaison report
Board of Education liaison John Magerko reported on developments in the Legislature, including bills that would reduce the amount of testing. He stressed that none of these bills has passed in both houses.
Magerko also said that the district is developing a Fall Conference Day for students in coordination with local businesses. This fair would be similar to a job/career fair.
The next meeting of the District Accountability Advisory Committee will be at 7 p.m. on May 5 in the district’s Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument.
Harriet Halbig may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jim Kendrick
On April 10, the board of the Baptist Road Rural Transportation Authority (BRRTA) held a special meeting that focused largely on administrative matters. The meeting was held in downtown Colorado Springs at Centennial Hall rather the Monument Town Hall due to El Paso County staff taking over the administrative management duties formerly outsourced to CliftonLarsonAllen LLP staff who drove to BRRTA meetings from Denver.
The board unanimously approved an amended 2015 Annual Administrative Matters Resolution to update the previous 2015 resolution approved on Nov. 14, 2014 in accordance with an intergovernmental agreement between BRRTA and the county that the BRRTA board approved on Dec. 19. The county staff members now performing staff tasks for the board are Funding Optimization Manager Elaine Johnsen, Sales and Use Tax Manager Brian Olson, and Senior Assistant County Attorney Lori Seago. The BRRTA "Designated Election Official" is now Dawn Fredette of Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP.
The new business address of BRRTA is:
Baptist Road Rural Transportation Authority
The BRRTA board still consists of two Town of Monument elected officials and three elected El Paso County officials. The current members are Monument Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Kaiser (chair), Monument Mayor Rafael Dominguez, County Commissioners Darryl Glenn and Dennis Hisey, and County Assessor Steve Schleiker. Commissioner Glenn did not attend this meeting.
Johnsen reported that CliftonLarsonAllen was still responsible for BRRTA’s 2014 audit and she would obtain a letter of engagement from CliftonLarsonAllen for the board to approve.
The board unanimously approved the following first-quarter disbursements in the April 10 vendor balance detail/check listing, for a total of $37,925:
• $1,995 to CliftonLarsonAllen LLP for October 2014 management services
• $1,668 to CliftonLarsonAllen LLP for October 2014 accounting services
• $3,365 to CliftonLarsonAllen LLP for November 2014 management services
• $5,722 to CliftonLarsonAllen LLP for November 2014 accounting services
• $4,369 to CliftonLarsonAllen LLP for December 2014 management services
• $1,112 to CliftonLarsonAllen LLP for December 2014 accounting services
• $3,191 to CliftonLarsonAllen LLP for January 2015 management services
• $4,548 to CliftonLarsonAllen LLP for January 2015 accounting services
• $1,331 to CliftonLarsonAllen LLP for February 2015 management services
• $2,517 to CliftonLarsonAllen LLP for February 2015 accounting services
• Check No. 1450 to CliftonLarsonAllen LLP for this total of $29,508.
• $379 to Spencer Fane Britt & Brown LLP for October 2014 legal services
• $2,539 to Spencer Fane Britt & Brown LLP for November 2014 legal services
• $328 to Spencer Fane Britt & Brown LLP for December 2014 legal services
• $19 to Spencer Fane Britt & Brown LLP for January 2015 legal services
• Check No. 1449 to Spencer Fane Britt & Brown LLP for this total of $3,265.
• $149 to the Town of Monument for November, December 2014 use tax collection fees
• $203 to the Town of Monument for January 2015 use tax collection fees
• Check No. 1448 to the Town of Monument for this total of $352
• Check No. 1447 for $4,500 to Classic Homes for a refund of road use fees submitted by Classic after Dec. 19, 2014 but held in escrow until after the BRRTA road improvement use fee was formally rescinded on Jan. 16
For more information on the Classic refund, see http://ocn.me/v15n2.htm#brrta.
Olson reported the following total BRRTA sales tax revenue collections:
• 2011 - $1.033 million
• 2012 - $1,146 million
• 2013 - $1.197 million
• 2014 - $1.231 million
CDOT reimbursement solicitation discussed
Mayor Dominguez led a discussion of the most politically efficient method for BRRTA to seek further reimbursement from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) for BRRTA financing of the expansion of the state’s I-25 Baptist Road interchange (Exit 158) in 2007 due to a lack of available state Senate Bill 1 funding. There was consensus among the board members and staff that direct seeking of reimbursement was not appropriate for the Town of Monument, the county, or the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG.) To date there has been one CDOT reimbursement payment of $3 million to BRRTA in 2012 out of a total reimbursement commitment of about $16 million for the actual construction cost of the interchange expansion.
Jennifer Irvine, engineering manager for the county’s Public Services Department and chair of the PPACG Transportation Advisory Committee, confirmed that this reimbursement was a CDOT commitment, not a PPACG commitment. She added that CDOT could seek other state and federal financing to reimburse BRRTA and some local agency funding might be available as well. Seago said she would work with Irvine to get more current information on this CDOT commitment.
Irvine also noted that contractor mobilization for the widening of the west end of Baptist Road to Hay Creek Road, including construction of a traffic circle at the Old Denver Road intersection, would begin at the end of April. Construction for this project is estimated to last 15 months. Some detours will be required during the construction of the traffic circle.
There was a brief discussion about BRRTA’s future after this West Baptist Road widening is completed. No other construction by BRRTA is planned at this time. BRRTA will remain in operation until all the privately held BRRTA sales tax revenue bonds issued for financing construction of the Baptist Road interchange are paid off. The BRRTA one-cent sales tax will last up a total of 20 years, through 2027.
There were no new scheduling updates regarding the temporary county-approved modification of the Baptist Road median between Jackson Creek Parkway and I-25 Exit 158. The new building for Natural Food Grocers currently under construction will be served by the existing access on the north side of westbound Baptist Road. Temporary removal of an existing portion of the median will allow for departure to the south by only one vehicle at a time from the new Natural Food Grocers site on the north side of westbound Baptist Road into the far left lane of eastbound Baptist Road.
When a second building is built in this shopping center near the Natural Food Grocers site, the Baptist Road median will be restored to its originally constructed condition, allowing only a left turn from the far left eastbound lane to the north into the existing access opening in the far right lane of westbound Baptist Road. At that time, customers of Natural Food Grocers and any other adjacent stores will be restricted to right-out-only access to the far right westbound lane of Baptist Road to drive toward I-25 Exit 158. Interior roads will have to be built by the shopping center landowner to connect all stores to the Blevins Buckle Trail intersection on Jackson Creek Parkway to the south of the O’Reilly auto parts store at the southeast corner of Monument Marketplace.
There can be no access to this undeveloped shopping center between Blevins Buckle Trail and Baptist Road from southbound Jackson Creek Parkway due to all the protected Preble’s meadow jumping mouse habitat on both sides of Jackson Creek.
For more information see http://ocn.me/v15n2.htm#mbot0105.
The meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.
The next meeting will be held on at 2:30 p.m. on May 8. The location of this meeting has not yet been determined. Meetings are normally held on the second Friday of the second month of the quarter. Information: 884-8017 or 520-5547.
Jim Kendrick can be contacted at email@example.com.
By Lisa Hatfield
The El Paso Board of County Commissioners approved two land use items pertaining to the Tri-Lakes area in April.
The commissioners approved a private detention basin/stormwater quality best-management practice maintenance agreement and easement agreement for the proposed site of Monument Hill Self Storage, south of Deer Creek Road and east of Monument Hill Road, which includes a detention pond. The county Development Services Department is finalizing the administrative approval process for site improvements associated with an approved site development plan to build a self-storage mini-warehouse facility on the 4.18-acre parcel, which is zoned I-2 (limited industrial).
The commissioners also approved a request for approval of a plat note amendment and a planned unit development amendment to allow right-in-only access from Hodgen Road to a commercial lot in the PUD District for Lot 111, Cherry Creek Crossing Filing 1. The final plat is located at the northwest corner of the intersection of State Highway 83 and Hodgen Road. Access to the commercial lot was approved by the final plat from the westerly extension of Double Tree Court, a local residential cul-de-sac currently used to access three single-family residences.
Originally, no individual lot access to Hodgen Road was allowed at this point, but the owner of the commercial lot prepared engineering studies to show that a right-in-only access to Hodgen Road could be designed safely. The county engineer approved the deviation request in November 2014, but an access permit could not be issued until the plat note and PUD note were revised.
The Board of County Commissioners meets Tuesdays and the first, third, and fifth Thursdays of each month. The meetings are 200 S. Cascade Ave., Colorado Springs at 9 a.m. See http://bcc.elpasoco.com/Pages/TuesdayCurrentAgenda.aspx and http://bcc.elpasoco.com/Pages/ThursdayCurrentAgenda.aspx for upcoming agenda topics.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Bill Kappel
Unsettled conditions were felt the first few days of April, with rain and snow in the region. Highs hit the upper 60s on the 1st, then cooled to the 50s on the 2nd and 40s on the 3rd as a cool front moved through during the afternoon of the 2nd. Low clouds, fog, and flurries developed that evening and turned to light snow during the overnight hours of the 3rd. As is typical in April, temperatures warmed quickly that afternoon and melted most of the snow. Temperatures continued to warm over the next couple of days, reaching the upper 60s by the 5th.
The first full week of April started off mild and breezy. Gusty winds from the west/southwest helped boost temperatures into the upper 60s and low 70s from the 6th through the 8th. These temperatures were 10-15 degrees warmer than normal for early April. The mild and breezy conditions, along with the strong April sunshine, also helped to melt off any remaining patches of snow.
Then, during the late afternoon of the 8th, a cold front moved through. The main storm, however, was taking a more northerly path through northern Colorado and Wyoming. This left us on the southern edge of the storm, but close enough for some fun. That evening as colder, unstable air moved in, thunderstorms with rain, then snow, developed. Several rounds occurred from 9:30 p.m. through the late evening. More wet snow fell that morning as the system departed, bringing a quick reminder that April is on average our snowiest month of the year. Mild and dry conditions quickly returned for the rest of the week and through the weekend. Temperatures rebounded back to the mid-60s on Saturday and Sunday with morning sunshine giving way to afternoon clouds.
We experienced about everything from a weather perspective during the week of the 13th. The week started off mild and dry, with highs reaching into the 60s from the 13th through the 15th. Winds were also gusty, with a few afternoon clouds building each day. Precipitation falling from these clouds evaporated before reaching the ground (called virga), as the low levels of the atmosphere were very dry. This helped enhance the gusty winds and blew some dust around, especially over the eastern plains of Colorado. During this time, a strong storm was moving through the Intermountain West. The first effects of this storm were felt late on the 15th, when the inital cool front moved through. Temperatures continued to cool that evening, and the atmosphere continued to moisten up.
Snow began to fall the next morning, with generally light accumulations. Temperatures were cold that day, with highs barely reaching the low 30s. However, the high sun angle allowed much of the snow to melt or at least not accumulate much during the day. Then, a strong push of moisture moved in that evening and continued through the next morning. This accumulated a good 6-12 inches of heavy, wet snow. The storm responsible for the cold and snow was cut off from the main flow and therefore stayed over the same generally region around the Four Corners for several days. This allowed cool and unsettled conditions to affect the area through the weekend as several more rounds of snow moved through. A few rumbles of thunder and ice pellets also occurred, showing just how unstable the atmosphere was during this event. This is common in April as the sun gets much stronger and adds a lot of energy to the atmosphere, yet temperatures up here are still cold enough for snow.
Temperatures remained below normal on the 20th, with some flurries, graupel, and thunder during the afternoon, showing just how unsettled and energetic the atmosphere was. More normal conditions arrived for the next few days, with quiet, sunny mornings giving way to afternoon clouds, isolated showers, and a few rumbles of thunder. Temperatures reached the low 60s each afternoon from the 21st through the 25th. A strong storm began to affect the region late on the 25th, with clouds and showers developing late. Cool air continued to filter in with high amounts of moisture. This storm wound up over the Four Corners region, then moved through central New Mexico, just far enough south to miss us with the heaviest precipitation.
However, plenty of rain developed on the 26th, with fog, low clouds, and a few rumbles of thunder that morning. Snow levels were just above most of us, around 8,000 feet, until the morning of the 27th. Heavy, wet snow briefly fell that morning, but this was at the tail end of the system, so most of the heavy moisture had already passed by. Some areas along the I-25 corridor and up the Highway 50 corridor received 3-4 inches of rainfall, with higher areas accumulating 1-2 feet of snow with this storm. Cool temperatures, clouds, fog, and drizzle stuck around most of the 27th, holding high temperatures in the upper 30s. The pattern of morning sunshine giving way to afternoon clouds and scattered showers returned through the end of the month.
A look ahead
May often brings a wide variety of weather conditions in the region, from warm, sunny days to severe thunderstorms and hail, and even some snowfall. May 2007 was snowy, with over 20 inches accumulating for the month, while the last couple of years recorded just a few inches. However, we can usually expect warmer conditions to finally settle in, with temperatures reaching above 80°F on several afternoons.
April 2015 Weather Statistics
Average High 57.1° (+0.4°)
Average Low 29.5° (+2.5°)
Highest Temperature 70° on the 6th
Lowest Temperature 21° on the 4th
Monthly Precipitation 2.29"
(-0.72", 24% below normal)
Monthly Snowfall 16.5"
(-11.0", 40% below normal)
Season to Date Snow 107.8"
(-8.3", 7% below normal)
(the snow season is from July 1 to June 30)
Season to Date Precip. 17.88"
(+0.84", 5% above normal)
(the precip season is from July 1 to June 30)
Heating Degree Days 652 (-38)
Cooling Degree Days 0
Bill Kappel is a meteorologist and Tri-Lakes resident. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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
D-38 School Board much more transparent than Directions 38!
There’s more hypocrisy than honest criticism in Stephen Boyd’s latest letter to OCN criticizing the District 38 School Board for an imagined lack of transparency ("D-38 BOE Distrust," April OCN). In fact, the district provides a great deal of transparency. Consider that all of the D-38 School Board meetings are regularly scheduled and open to the public. Time is reserved in all meeting for comments from the public. The meetings are streamed over the Internet in case you prefer to watch from home. Minutes of the meetings are also available on the district’s web page (http://lewispalmer.schoolfusion.us then use the "Board of Education" menu item). From a financial perspective, the same website provides registers of all checks written and all charges to credit cards. It publishes a schedule of all the district’s investments current through March 2015. The website also publishes a report authored by the Office of the State Auditor that assesses the district’s financial health, and which shows the district exceeds all the financial benchmarks set by the state (http://lewispalmer.schoolfusion.us then use the "Financial Transparency" menu item). All in all, the school district provides plenty of transparency in its operations and its finances.
By way of contrast, Mr. Boyd is a member of Directions 38!, a local group organized as a non-profit, that does not disclose its financial donors or any other information about its finances, does not publish its schedule of meetings on its web page, and does not even divulge its membership.
Mr. Boyd also criticizes the board for not providing details about the severance payment to Superintendent Pomarico in 2007, even though none of the current board members were on the board when that decision was made. As an ex-employee of District 38, Mr. Boyd’s privacy is protected by the same policies and laws that govern all personnel matters. If Mr. Boyd truly believes that complete transparency is the best policy, even in personnel matters, he can take a step in that direction by publishing all the details of his termination by the district. If he’s not willing to take that step, his demand for transparency sounds a bit hollow.
James W. Howald
The staff at Covered Treasures Bookstore can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you know someone who’s a mother for the first time, or one who’s observing her 50th Mother’s Day, it’s a special time. Graduation from high school or college is also a May milestone. Following are some books to help celebrate those special occasions.
Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania
By Frank Bruni (Hachette Book Group, $26)
The madness surrounding admissions to ivy-league colleges is as practically misguided as it is psychologically destructive. Through statistics, surveys, and the stories of hugely successful people who didn’t attend the most exclusive schools, Bruni demonstrates that many kinds of colleges—large public universities or tiny hideaways—serve as ideal springboards. What matters in the end are a student’s efforts in and out of the classroom, not the gleam of his or her diploma.
The World Is Waiting for You
Edited by Tara Grove and Isabel Ostrer (The New Press $16.95)
With contemporary graduation speeches that dissect the world as it is and imagine what it could be, this book highlights 18 courageous figures who have dared to transform the podium into a pulpit for championing peace, justice, protest, and a better world. "The voices of conformity speak so loud, don’t listen to them," author and journalist Anna Quindlen cautioned graduates. Renowned physician and humanitarian Paul Farmer revealed his remarkable discovery of a new disease—Empathy Deficit Disorder—and assured the commencers that it could be cured. This could be the perfect gift for those who are ready to move their tassels to the left.
Whatever You Are Be a Good One
By Lisa Congdon (Chronicle Books, $14.95)
One hundred inspirational quotes are included, from Socrates to Lewis Carroll; Marie Curie to Abraham Lincoln; Jane Austen to Beatrix Potter. Great creative thinkers from every walk of life are gathered here, offering words of wisdom, heartfelt compassion, and stirring calls to action. Lovingly hand-lettered by artist Lisa Congdon, this eclectic anthology will inspire graduates for years to come.
The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion
By Elle Luna (Workman $16.96)
There are two paths in life: Should and Must. We arrive at this crossroads over and over again, and every day, we get to choose. Starting out or starting over, making a career change or making a life change, the most life-affirming thing you can do is to honor the voice inside that says you have something special to give, and then follow your passion. This book will speak to both graduates and mothers, as they look at their futures.
Happiness Is … 500 Things to be Happy About
By Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar (Chronicle Books, $9.95)
Happiness can be: Fitting everything into your suitcase; a compliment from a stranger; getting your old password right on the first guess; a view of the sea; when every sock has a mate; or the sound of popcorn popping. These thoughts with charming, make-you-smile illustrations hit just the right note and remind us that there are hundreds of things to be happy about every day.
This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage
By Ann Patchett (Harper Collins $15.99)
Patchett examines the things she is fully committed to—the art and craft of writing, the depths of friendship, an elderly dog, and one spectacular nun. Writing nonfiction, which started as a means of keeping her insufficiently lucrative fiction afloat, evolved over time into its own kind of art-- the art of telling the truth as opposed to the art of making things up. These essays create both a portrait of life and a philosophy of life.
It’s the Little Things—300 Simple Ways to Indulge Yourself
By Amy Collins (Adams Media $9.95)
For those who feel overworked and underappreciated, this book offers the perfect rewards for surviving today’s stressed-out world. You may be saner and happier enjoying such simple pleasures as: Using your good china often; taking one item off your to-do list; relaxing with your favorite drink on your front porch; or flying a kite. This is an ideal gift for that overwhelmed friend, sister, or mother. It’s like having a day spa in book form.
Until next month, happy reading.
The staff at Covered Treasures Bookstore can be contacted at email@example.com.
By Harriet Halbig
The Legos Club meets on May 16 from 10 to 11:30. Bring your creativity and we will supply the Legos! All pieces remain the property of the library
May’s Family Fun event on May 9 from 2:30 to 4 features a beekeeper from Pikes Peak Beekeepers, who will bring some bees (in an enclosed container). Learn about these fascinating insects and make a buzzy craft!
Come explore the micro-cosmos on Saturday, May 23 from 10 to 11:30. Calling all budding young scientists ages 9 to 12 who would like to participate in a very fun program in which we’ll explore the micro-cosmos using portable microscopes developed and supplied by Stanford University. You will be helping the university to gather research for its Foldscope project. Registration is required and limited. Don’t miss this chance to indulge your curious mind!
The AfterMath free math tutoring program continues each Monday through May 18 from 3:30 to 7. Experienced tutors work with children of all ages on any level math. Bring your homework and drop in for some help.
Teens who have turned in summer reading volunteer applications and have been approved to help during the Summer Reading Program should call the library at 488-2370 or register at PPLD.org for volunteer training. The sessions are on Wednesday, May 13 from 4 to 6 and Saturday, May 16 from 2 to 4.
The Monumental Readers will meet from 10 to noon on Friday, May 15 to discuss Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. All patrons are welcome to attend this monthly book group.
The weekly Fun with Drawing class continues through May on Fridays from 2 to 4. This grant-funded class began on April 10 and will continue with the original group of students.
In the display case during May will be a collection of cookie jars. On the walls will be oil paintings by Jamie Miceli.
Palmer Lake Library events
The visit by the 4-H animals has been rescheduled from April to Saturday, May 16 at 10:30.
The Heart of the Pines 4-H group will bring their animals and their babies for you to see and touch. Inside the Palmer Lake Library you can see 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 free and open to all ages.
The Palmer Lake Book Group meets at 9 a.m. on the first Friday of each month. Please call 481-2587 for the current selection. All patrons are welcome to attend.
Summer reading program begins June 1
This year’s theme for kids is "Every Hero has a Story." The teen program (sixth through 12th grade) is Unmasked. Join us for exciting special programs and prizes and find your inner superhero at the library!
Harriet Halbig may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 briefly 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 added that 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 explained the history of Sanctuary Pointe and the current plan for the Phase 1 development. Some of the presentation highlights were as follows:
• Sanctuary Pointe Phase 1 is located 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 Metropolitan District.
• The construction for Phase 1 is expected to start in the fall of 2015 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 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 the 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.
By Al Walter
On April 16, over 80 members of the local community braved a spring snowstorm to hear former El Paso County Sheriff John Wesley Anderson present the results of his research of "culturally modified" trees, locally referred to as Ute Prayer Trees. His presentation was part of the History Series sponsored by the Palmer Lake Historical Society on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Palmer Lake Town Hall. The History Series provides local historians and researchers the opportunity to present the results of their research on local, regional, and Colorado history.
The practice of modifying or shaping trees for cultural, spiritual, or aesthetic reasons is practiced in many countries. Although the Japanese art form of bonsai is well known, inhabitants of other countries, such as Poland and Denmark, have also shaped or modified trees for various reasons.
An abundance of modified trees exist in North America. Most were deliberately modified or shaped by ancestors of American Indians and used as directional/trail markers, for spiritual ceremonies, as burial sites or memorials, or to point to water or geological sites. Anderson acquainted the audience with the many Ute Prayer trees found in El Paso County, specifically those in Fox Run Park and the surrounding areas. By providing photographs of several types of modified trees and discussing the significance of the trees to the Ute tribes that still live in the area, Anderson hopes that local land owners will be able to identify culturally modified trees on their property and help preserve them for future generations.
The next program in the History Series will be on Thursday, May 21 at 7 p.m. at the Palmer Lake Town Hall. Robin Hammitt will discuss the American bison and the circumstances that led to the near extinction of this symbol of the American West. The program is free, and light refreshments will be served.
By Janet Sellers
As I write this column, it is raining, the ground is moist, and I can hardly wait to dig into some of the soil outdoors. Just after a rain, our ground is soft and easy to work, but in a day or two it can be hard as a rock. That is, unless we do some simple, natural prep work to help the soil stay fluffy.
For the past year, I’ve been writing about the ease of Hugelkultur and Keyhole gardens, and I have something new to add to the mix of lazy gardening success: worm towers. Yep. Those wonderful creatures that create superb garden from your kitchen veggie scraps will do all the work for you for free underground and make rich garden soil in just a couple of weeks or so.
The vermiculture worm tower bed system appears to be a nifty combo of the theories of Hugelkultur (earth-covered tree parts) and keyhole beds (a central compost tower in a raised bed). Many people make their vermiculture tower from a plastic pipe (not PVC, it’s toxic) at least 4-6 inches in diameter. I plan to use a cardboard tube 8 inches in diameter wrapped in poultry netting. It’s simple to set up, then we plop in the kitchen veggie scraps, eggshells, etc. No animal parts can be used. Visit the Monument Community Garden Facebook page where I have posted some short mini-movies on how to make and use a vermiculture tower.
The Tri-Lakes Gardening Community (TLGC) group reports it’s time to start potted seedlings and maybe even plant some crops in the ground this month. In our area, the word is to get plants or start seedlings at least by Mother’s Day, but wait to put them outdoors until Memorial Day. TLCG is open to all interested in gardening in our area, and holds monthly or more gatherings from May through October. Details and event updates on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MonumentCommunityGarden.
By Janet Sellers
Art for better health, especially as we age, is highlighted in the news and medical research of late. A study at the University of California Berkeley took a close look at positive emotions and feelings of awe in life such as when we are immersed in nature’s beauty, the beauty of art, and joining in a song of worship. The researchers were able to find the connections between these positive, creative emotions with lower levels of cytokines—pro-inflammatory proteins that signal the system to work harder for immunity.
"Our findings demonstrate that positive emotions are associated with the markers of good health," said Jennifer Stellar, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Toronto and lead author of the study, which she conducted while at UC Berkeley. The cytokines are necessary for herding cells to the body’s battlegrounds to fight infection, disease, and trauma, but sustained high levels of cytokines are associated with poorer health and such disorders as type-2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and even Alzheimer’s disease and clinical depression.
It is believed that by signaling the brain to produce inflammatory molecules, cytokines can block key hormones and neurotransmitters—such as serotonin and dopamine—that control moods, appetite, sleep, and memory.
In answer to why feelings of awe would be a potent predictor of reduced pro-inflammatory cytokines, this latest study posits that "awe is associated with curiosity and a desire to explore, suggesting antithetical behavioral responses to those found during inflammation, where individuals typically withdraw from others in their environment," Stellar said.
And a new study released from the Mayo Clinic indicates that pursuing the making of art can ward off cognitive decline. "Long ago, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ was a common expression," Dr. James Galvin writes in a comment accompanying the study, which is published in the journal Neurology. "Perhaps today, the expression should expand to include painting an apple and going to the store with a friend to buy an apple....’
Of course, an active social life is also key to cognitive health as well, and taking art classes and joining an art group of some sort would provide both of those vital roles. The things that had the greatest protective effect were painting, drawing, and sculpting.
We have many opportunities here in our locale to get involved in art classes and art making as well as just enjoying the awesome art that other artists make. I encourage you to check out the great sampling of art in our community for May:
May art events
Palmer Lake Art Group presents the 50th Annual Fine Art Exhibit and Sale. Show dates: June 2-27. Opening reception: Friday, June 5, 6-8 p.m. Location: Tri-Lake Center for the Arts, 204 Highway 105, Palmer Lake. Judge for show: Joe Bohler. PLAG will also present its annual student art scholarship awards to local high school grads.
The Villa Italian Restaurant: May featured artist: Joshua Goss, a sculptor that works in metal and uses his work to simulate Earth’s development and topography; 75 Highway 105 Palmer Lake.
Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts: Predictions and Perceptions art show through May 30.
Wisdom Tea House: Ice Carving with Julian, May 21, on the Art Hop night. Alana Thrower, Photo exhibit No Unicorns through May 30. 65 Second St., Monument.
Our local Art Hop rides again this month. Starting May 19, local shops open their doors as art venues on the third Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. for a celebration of art making in Historic Monument, our local art quarter. Maps are available at local shops in Tri-Lakes.
Janet Sellers is a local artist of paintings and public art sculptures, and teaches art classes and workshops for children and adults all year. She can be reached at janetsellers@OCN.me.
Black Forest Together
Caption: Bill Mantia of Black Forest Together showed his burned-out home site in Black Forest to participants in the Community Wildfire Event on April 18. Palmer Lake Fire Chief Margo Humes led a tour of the Black Forest Fire burn area. Mantia hopes to find more volunteers to help Black Forest Together help the residents who need to cut down all the blackened trees and get them chipped, and do flood control with log erosion barriers. Their website is www.blackforesttogether.org, where people can sign up to help. The event was organized by the Emergency Preparedness Group of Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church. Photo by Lisa Hatfield.
Palmer Ridge Robotics Team
Caption: The Palmer Ridge Robotics Team includes, from left, Coach Ashley Pollard, Ryan Kravchin, Shelby Kravchin, Jimmy Grammel, Cailin Foster, Sean Bowers, Danny Troudt, Quinn Tirpak, Tommy Upchurch, and Jasper Howald. Photo by Harriet Halbig. See D-38 article on page 20 for details on the team.
Cub Scout Pack 117 learns about OCN
Caption: Tiger Cub Scout Pack 117 asked OCN to show them how newspapers are made, and they asked many questions of our reporters. From left are first-graders Charlie, Andrew, Eli, Nathaniel, and Ben, and Den Leader Jonathan Deeds after the demo. Photo by Lisa Hatfield.
Caption: OCN Managing Editor Lisa Hatfield explained the importance of a community newspaper to Tiger Cub Scouts from Cub Scout Pack 117 at In the Moo in Monument April 2. The Scouts are actively engaged in earning achievements toward their Tiger Cub badge. Photo by Jennifer Green-Lanchoney.
Palmer Lake Fun Run, April 15
Caption: The second annual 24 Hours of Palmer Lake Fun Run began at 8 a.m. April 15 with instructions and encouragement from race director and founder Israel Archuleta (http://www.israeltherunner.com). From left are Todd Burgess, Jeremy Bradford, Rochelle Garnanez, Maya Bradford, Julian Bradford, Cyrus Archuleta, Jennifer Coker, and Logan Polfuss. Archuleta founded this race in 2014 when he needed a training run for a six-day race and couldn’t find one in Colorado. Participants ran multiple .82 mile laps around Palmer Lake over 24 hours, stopping to rest and nap as needed. Anyone who completed 100 miles got a refund of their $28 race fee. Overall winner was Garnanez with 101.68 miles completed, with Jeremy Bradford and Burgess also completing over 100 miles. There were 59 participants who received participant medals with trophies for the top finishers in male, female, and youth categories. Photo by Jackie Burhans.
The Odd Couple at LPHS, April 22-25
Caption: Lewis-Palmer High School’s Theater Program produced The Odd Couple April 22-25. The program featured two versions of the show: a female cast version and a male cast version (both with the same storyline). LPHS produces a play in its spring semester and a musical in the fall semester. From left are Jade Malenkovic, Amber Matalus, Taryn Hessel, Anna Lincoln, Kiara Eaddy, and Nicole Gardner. Photo by Audrey Burkart.
YMCA Healthy Kids Day, April 25
Caption: At the YMCA Healthy Kids Day, Connor, a certified and trained "Paws to Read" golden retriever, got to meet Ben (who read him a whole book), Nick, Gianna, and Ella Walla. Linda Kean, left, volunteers with the Paws to Read program at Monument Branch Library. Photo by Lisa Hatfield.
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
May 6: Chicken Dijon over rice with salad
May 13: NO LUNCH (D-38 AP TESTING)
May 20: Tuna on a croissant, avocado and chips
May 27: Chicken Caesar salad and garlic bread
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.
Slash-Mulch season begins May 2
The El Paso County Black Forest Slash and Mulch season is here! Slash (tree and brush debris only) will be accepted May 2-Sept. 13, $2 per load. Mulch will be available May 9-Sept. 26. Hours of operation are: Saturdays, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sundays, noon-4 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 5-7:30 p.m. The mulch loader schedule is Saturdays only, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. The loader fee is $5 per bucket, about 2 cubic yards. Your first visit of the season requires an information card available at www.bfslash.org. The slash and mulch site is located at the southeast corner of Shoup and Herring Roads in the Black Forest area. For more information visit www.bfslash.org or phone Carolyn, 495-3127; Chuck, 495-8675; Jeff, 495-8024; El Paso County Environmental Division, 520-7878.
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 email@example.com.
Tri-Lakes Y Summer Camps
Choose your adventure from a list that includes arts, cooking, gymnastics, sports, and more. Financial assistance is available. Register at www.ppymca.org or at the Y, 17250 Jackson Creek Pkwy., Monument. Information: 481-8728.
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.
St. Peter Catholic School enrolling for preschool-eighth grade, 2015-16
The school offers full and half-day preschool, academics, athletics, and more. NCA accredited, state licensed, financial aid available. Call or visit: 124 First St. Monument; 481-1855; www.petertherock.org.
Bustang begins July 13
Bustang, the new interregional express bus service from the Colorado Department of Transportation, will deliver its first passengers to Denver’s Union Station starting Monday morning, July 13. Along I-25, there will be seven round trips per day, Monday through Friday, from Colorado Springs to Denver, with a stop at I-25/Monument Park-and-Ride. Each coach is equipped with restrooms, bike racks, free WiFi, power outlets and USB ports. Coaches offer a 50-passenger capacity and are handicap accessible. For more information, visit www.codot.gov/travel/bustang.
New help for Black Forest businesses affected by 2013 fire/flood, apply by July 31
The Recover Colorado Business Grant and Loan program has received a second round of funding to meet needs that were not addressed through other sources of public and private assistance (such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration). The application deadline is July 31. If business owners did not qualify for earlier help from this program, they may qualify now.
For information about important changes in the second round, and to apply online, visit http://dola.colorado.gov/cdbg-dr/content/recover-colorado-business-grant-and-loan-program, or contact Liz Hershberger at 667-3803, 667-3812 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers and sponsors needed for charity event
Sundance Mountain Athletic Center & Blue Wave Taekwondo Academy is looking for volunteers to help organize its first-ever winter SMAC Down Dodge-ball tournament to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. They need committee heads and volunteers to help get this event off the ground. They are also seeking community teams and sponsorship for the event. For more information: Master Nic, 776-9169, email@example.com.
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.
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.
Burglaries in Black Forest area
The sheriff’s office reported numerous daytime residential forced-entry burglaries between County Line and Woodmen Roads, most occurring around Burgess, Black Forest, and Vollmer Roads. Small electronics, cash, and firearms are being targeted. Please report any suspicious persons or vehicles in this area to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, 719-390-5555.
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 www.casappr.org/volunteer-colorado-springs/ or contact Kelly at 447-9898, ext. 1033 or firstname.lastname@example.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/.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com or call the MCSS dispatch hotline at 488-0076.
LEAP—Help for heating bills, and more
The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) is a federally funded program that provides cash assistance to help families and individuals pay a portion of winter home heating costs. LEAP now offers additional services to eligible residents. The crisis intervention program provides assistance with the repair or replacement of the home’s primary heating system. The weatherization program improves energy efficiency in homes, helping to reduce heating costs permanently. The eligibility period for LEAP runs through April 30. Application packets will automatically be mailed to residents who received LEAP assistance last year at the address where they were living at that time. To find out if you qualify for LEAP, call 1-866 HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) or visit www.colorado.gov/cdhs/leap.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 May 25, Memorial Day
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 email@example.com or P.O. Box 1742, Monument, Colorado 80132.
Contact us at (719) 488-3455, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or P.O. Box 1742, Monument, Colorado 80132-1742.
This page was last modified on November 30, 2020. Home page: www.ocn.me.
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