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By James Howald
The Palmer Lake Town Council held two meetings on May 14, first the Town Council Liquor Licensing and Marijuana Authority, and then the regularly scheduled Town Council meeting.
Judith Harrington appointed to council
The Palmer Lake Town Council amended its published agenda to begin its May 14 meeting with the appointment of Judith Harrington to replace Trustee Trisha Flake. Harrington is well-known in the community due to her leadership of the town’s fire mitigation efforts. Harrington’s appointment brings to three the number of trustees appointed by Mayor Nikki McDonald. According to McDonald, Harrington was the only person who submitted a letter of intent to run for the council. The motion to appoint Harrington was approved unanimously by the trustees present. At the time this article was written, the town’s web page did not include the role Trustee Harrington will play on the council.
Bill Fisher named project manager for Great Outdoors Colorado grant
Architect Bill Fisher agreed to take on the role of project manager for the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant, which provides funds to develop the park area surrounding Palmer Lake. (The effort to fill the lake with water is managed by the Palmer Lake Restoration Committee, a nonprofit organization informally known as Awake the Lake.) Fisher will be assisted by the town’s Deputy Clerk Bob Radosevich.
Fisher has been working on the project for the last eight years, focusing on it more in the last three years, and has donated $10,500 of design services to the effort. The grant contains $15,000 to cover administration and project management costs. McDonald said Fisher’s work as project manager will remove the need for the town to hire an administrator for the grant. The motion to approve Fisher as project manager was agreed to by all trustees with the exception of Harrington, who abstained.
Council tries again to clarify oversight role
Trustee Rich Kuehster proposed changes to a motion passed at a previous council meeting that requires the Awake the Lake committee to get approval from the Town Council, voted on at a public meeting, before taking any action on its efforts to fill Palmer Lake with water. Trustee Kuehster suggested broadening the motion to require " any sanctioned committee," not just the Awake the Lake committee, to get council approval before taking action, and also suggested allowing a phone conference to be used in place of a public meeting. Town Attorney Larry Gaddis said use of a phone conference might not be in agreement with existing statutes. Trustee Harrington expressed her concern that requiring a public meeting might be too cumbersome. Following the discussion, the council took no action on the motion.
Council prohibits hash oil production in residential areas
Trustee Paul Banta presented an ordinance that would prohibit the use of flammable gases and liquids to extract cannabinoids from marijuana in residential areas of the town. Explosions resulting from use of butane in particular for this purpose have been on the rise since marijuana became legal in Colorado, and the ordinance is an attempt to prevent this. The council approved the new ordinance, Ordinance 3, 2015, unanimously.
Council hears request to repeal junk ordinance
Palmer Lake residents Jamie Rae and Jim Adams asked the council to repeal Ordinance 8.07 in its entirety. This ordinance addresses properties with abandoned cars, appliances, and other refuse. Over the past few months, Rae and Adams have come before the council with a number of complaints about the law and how they have been cited for violating it, charging that the law as currently written is unfair, overly broad and unenforceable, that they are being harassed by municipal government, that others in Palmer Lake are in violation but have not been cited, and that there is no consequence for those who make false complaints against neighbors under the ordinance.
Trustee Banta commented that he had been advised the law was properly drafted in its present wording. Trustee Harrington mentioned that during the Hayman, Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires a number of houses had burned because the items adjacent to the house prevented firefighters from getting access. Gaddis suggested that Rae and Adams find a trained mediator to help them resolve any issues with neighbors who have filed complaints against them under the ordinance. Mayor McDonald told Rae and Adams that the town was hiring a company to rewrite all ordinances, and Trustee Bob Grado commented that the town would try to work with Rae and Adams on this issue.
Great chicken debate comes to Palmer Lake
A number of communities in El Paso County are currently debating whether chickens should be allowed in backyards, and this question came home to roost in Palmer Lake, raised by resident Ezyra Snyder. Snyder’s family has a dozen chickens in a coop at the family’s residence on Oakdale Drive. They do not have a rooster. Police Lt. Vanderpool cited Snyder, following a complaint from a neighbor, for violating the town’s grazing and herding ordinance, and Snyder requested that his family not be fined for their chickens.
According to Town Clerk Tara Berreth, it is not completely clear that the existing ordinance addresses the chicken question. Gaddis commented that many towns have an ordinance specific to chickens, and Mayor McDonald directed Gaddis to draft an ordinance addressing the question for the Town of Palmer Lake.
Snyder’s neighbor Patty Gross pointed out that Snyder’s residence was in a portion of Palmer Lake governed by covenants, and that those covenants excluded chickens. According to Gaddis, the Town Council does not have a role to play in the enforcement of covenants.
Town receives grants for streets and weeds
Mayor McDonald announced the town had received a grant from the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments for $385,000. The money will be used to pave Douglas Avenue, install gutters, and address the danger of flooding on the street. Trustee Banta announced the town had received a $3,500 matching grant to be used to fight noxious weeds.
Business licenses and request to subdivide approved
The council granted a business license to Big D Enterprise, a landscaping company, with the contingency that the business abide by the town’s ordinance requiring a permit to be issued when materials are stored in a residential area. The council may reconsider the license if there are formal complaints about how the business is storing materials. The council voted unanimously to approve the license with the contingency.
The council also voted unanimously to approve a business license for Chad and Jessica Davis to do business as Palmer Divide Run CO at 84-4 Highway 105. The business will sell running shoes.
Joan Benson came before the board to request a subdivision to create two lots on her property at 222 Park St. The subdivision request had already been approved by the Palmer Lake Planning Commission, and the council approved the request unanimously.
Town adopts Fire and Police Protective Association pension plan
The Fire and Police Protective Association plan requires 20 years of active service and a minimum age of 50 to receive pension benefits. Fire Trustee Kuehster made a motion confirming that requirement is adopted by the Town of Palmer Lake, and the motion was approved unanimously.
Disc golf course to get more holes
John and Christie Rancher updated the council on plans to expand the disc golf course at Palmer Lake Park. At present the course has nine holes, but the GOCO grant provided funds to buy equipment for 18 holes in the future. As a next step, the Ranchers are working to add more holes to the south end of the existing course and are talking to the owners of the land they would like to use for expansion. Ultimately the course may extend to both sides of the railroad tracks, but that will wait for the bridge over the tracks to be completed first. To date there have been no issues with people using the Santa Fe Trail or the playground.
Town seeks bids for Vaile House
Mayor McDonald mentioned that the town is still trying to sell the Vaile House; the minimum bid is $145,000. The money for the sale will be used for purposes that benefit the entire town, such as funding the town’s portion of projects related to the GOCO grant. The property includes four hilltop lots in addition to the house. Anyone interested in the property should contact Mayor McDonald.
Public input from Palmer Lake Technology Center and Greg Dobbs
Ryan Far, representing Palmer Lake Technology Center, let the council know they would be pursuing the required permits to add a well at the center, which is at 850 Commercial Lane. To allow for more businesses at the site, the center is looking for 2.63 acre-feet of additional water per year as a next step. The owners of the property plan to spend $87,000 drilling the well into the Arapahoe aquifer and another $15,000 connecting the buildings to the new well.
Greg Dobbs asked to be on the agenda for June’s workshop meeting to discuss the removal of a retaining wall by a contractor. Dobbs argued the removal of the wall affected the value of his property. Mark Schuler disagreed with Dobbs’ assessment and asked to be invited to any meetings where the issue would be discussed.
The meeting adjourned at 8:35 a.m.
Liquor License for Speedtrap transferred
The Town Council Liquor Licensing and Marijuana Authority meeting held immediately before the Town Council meeting had a single order of business: to transfer the liquor license used by the Speedtrap to new owner Spencer Boyles. Trustees Paul Russell, Rich Kuehster, Banta and Grado voted in favor of the transfer. Finance Trustee Mitchell Davis was not present at the meeting.
The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. June 11 at Town Hall, 42 Valley Crescent. Meetings are normally held on the second Thursday of the month. Information: 481-2953.
James Howld can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lisa Hatfield
On June 1, the Monument Board of Trustees heard public comments and questions about both a potential medical treatment facility and chicken-keeping. They approved the Family of Christ expansion and witnessed the Jim Moore Award presentation and the 75th Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo/Girls of the West presentation.
Trustee Becki Tooley was absent.
Potential methadone clinic in Monument
During public comments, resident Michelle Asher asked the Board of Trustees to add the rumored potential methadone treatment facility at 192 Front St. to the agenda of the next board meeting, saying, "I do not know much about it. I would like to discuss it further and find out more."
The building was recently vacated by the Mountain View Medical Group Pediatrics Clinic. Mayor Rafael Dominguez said that so far, the building representatives have only applied for a permit for doing improvements to the interior space. No business application has been made, he said, "so there is not much information we can convey to the public right now."
Town Attorney Gary Shupp explained that since that building is in the downtown business general business district zone B, a treatment clinic would be a permitted use listed under town ordinances and therefore its approval would not be decided by the Board of Trustees. It would require only an administrative determination whether the proposed use did or did not comply with town zoning ordinances.
Note: Section 17.32.010 of the Town of Monument Municipal Code Chapter 17.32 - B – General Business District defines the purpose of the B District as, "established for the purpose of providing for the retailing of consumer goods and the provision of services to consumers." www.municode.com/library/co/monument/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TIT17ZO_CH17.32ENBUDI
Shupp said that once that decision were made, if someone were to appeal an administrative decision about whether a permitted use were correct for that zoning or not, the appeal would be made to the Monument Board of Adjustment. Approval would not have anything to do with the business license, he said.
Also during public comments, two residents of Jackson Creek asked for help from the trustees with regards to the recent chicken ordinance zoning citation they had received. They were not aware that while their particular Jackson Creek homeowners association had no objection to residents keeping chickens, the Town of Monument ordinances stated that only residents on land zoned R1 and R2 were allowed to keep chickens.
Town Clerk Cynthia Sirochman said that the town code enforcement officer could put a stay on the citation until the Board of Trustees has a chance to discuss their request that the trustees review the ordinance. The stay would delay the sheriff summons that would be the next step for these two residents. The board consensus was to allow the stay on the citation.
Family of Christ expansion approved
Planning Director Mike Pesicka presented the vacation plat and preliminary/final PD site plans for the Family of Christ Lutheran Church. Both ordinances were approved unanimously. See related Monument Planning Commission article on page 10.
Jim Moore Award to Woodworths
Tommie Plank of the Historic Monument Merchants Association and Dominguez presented the Jim Moore Achievement Award to Woody and Catherine Woodworth for their efforts to preserve and enhance the downtown historic business area. Their store has evolved from High Country Feed Store to Catriona Cellars after major renovations to the building in the last two years. Woodworth said, "Catherine and I are very proud to be in downtown Monument." The meeting adjourned at 7:40 p.m.
Lisa Hatfield can be contacted at email@example.com.
By Jim Kendrick
On May 8, the board of the Baptist Road Rural Transportation Authority (BRRTA) held a regular meeting focused on financial matters, including approval of the 2014 audit followed by a follow-up scoping discussion of future BRRTA debt repayment strategy from the April 10 special BRRTA board meeting.
The BRRTA board 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 Commissioner Darryl Glenn, County Commissioner Dennis Hisey, and County Assessor Steve Schleiker. Commissioner Hisey did not attend this meeting.
The county staff members now performing staff tasks for the board are Funding Optimization Manager Elaine Johnsen, Sales and Use Tax Manager Brian Olson, County Budget Officer Nikki Simmons, Senior Assistant County Attorney Lori Seago, and Assistant County Attorney Kenneth Hodges.
2014 BRRTA audit approved
Clifton Larson Allen accountant and former BRRTA financial manager Carrie Bartow briefed the board on her unmodified or "clean" opinion in the final draft of the 2014 BRRTA audit performed by BiggsKofford P.C. of Colorado Springs. Some of the items she discussed regarding BRRTA’s net position of restricted and unrestricted funds were:
• Total 2014 year-end assets were $3.574 million.
• Total 2014 year-end liabilities were $15.270 million.
• The 2014 total end-of-year net position was a deficit of $11.696 million due primarily to remaining I-25 Exit 158 road construction bond principal and interest debt.
• Total revenues from 2014 road use fees plus sales and use taxes were $1.696 million (see note below)
• Total 2014 road use fee revenues were $374,003; BRRTA road use fees were suspended as of Dec. 18 (see note below)
• Total 2014 sales and use tax revenues were $1.321 million
• Total 2014 expenses, for government activities plus long-term debt interest were $1.608 million.
• Total year-end cash assets were $3.03 million.
• Total year-end bond principal still to be paid by the end of 2026 was $15.2 million.
• Total year-end bond interest still to be paid by the end of 2026 was $5.8 million.
• Total 2014 year-end bond debt still to be paid off was $21.0 million.
• Total 2014 debt service fund expenses were $1.468 million, which was $146,960 more than sales tax and interest revenue of $1.321 million.
• BRRTA contributed $750,000 to the ongoing widening of Baptist Road on the west side of I-25, up from the originally budgeted amount of $500,000.
• Total 2014 general fund expenses of $821,885 exceeded total road use fee and interest revenue of $347,027 by $447,858.
• The year-end 2014 BRRTA general fund balance was $570,520, down $447,858 for the year.
Note: On Jan. 16, the BRRTA board unanimously suspended collection of its road use fee for now even though it was BRRTA’s main source of operating revenue, other than very small amounts of interest on BRRTA savings accounts. The BRRTA road use fee had become a form of dual taxation on development after El Paso County imposed its own county-wide traffic impact fee two years ago. Developers and the Town of Monument had complained to the county that simultaneous imposition of two separate road use impact fees was slowing down commercial and residential development. The suspension of the impact fee was retroactive to Dec. 18, 2014. The county staff now serves as BRRTA’s administrative staff at no cost to BRRTA’s taxpayers, in return for BRRTA giving up its road use fee revenue stream to induce more rapid development of the Baptist Road corridor and increased sales and use tax revenue. The temporary BRRTA one-cent sales tax must remain in place to pay off the principal and interest on the privately held bonds that financed construction of the state’s I-25 Baptist Road Intersection (Exit 158) when it became apparent that the state would have no road construction funds available for this project for decades. (http://www.ocn.me/v15n2.htm#brrta)
The remaining schedule of BRRTA debt service requirements for I-25 Exit 158 construction bond payments to maturity was listed as shown in the table below.
Budgeted total sales and use tax revenue for 2015 is about $1.315 million, which is less than the $1.47 million principal, interest, and total cost payment on the bond debt. The shortfall in 2015 totals sales and use tax revenue for the required debt service payments will be made up from the $1.519 million bond reserve fund. This reserve fund is required by bond covenants to be equal to the lesser of:
• 10 percent of the aggregate principal amount
• Maximum annual principal and interest requirements
• 125 percent of the average annual debt service
Bartow stated that the annual BRRTA surpluses that had been created in the past by road use fees that had exceeded annual BRRTA operating costs would no longer be available to make up insufficient sales and use taxes to cover the bond and interest debt service. Unless sales taxes increase greatly, there will be a debt service problem, though this had been partially mitigated in the past by a single $3.0 million Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) reimbursement in 2012. She noted that the 2014 year-end total of cash assets in the debt fund was $2.436 million.
Johnsen added that she was starting a spreadsheet to track all these figures to be able to make a multi-year short-term assessment of BRRTA’s ability to continue to make principal and interest payments. So far in 2015, sales tax revenues are up about 17 percent. If this rate increase holds for the rest of the year, then sales tax revenue would be about $1.65 million. She added that any additional promised CDOT repayments would be extremely helpful. Bartow added that early payoffs of bonds from CDOT reimbursements are on a pro rata basis among the three separate series of BRRTA sales tax revenue bonds (short, medium, and long term.)
The 2014 BiggsKofford audit was unanimously accepted as presented. The auditor will finalize this 2014 audit and file it with the state.
BRRTA debt repayment strategy discussed
Mayor Dominguez led a lengthy technical discussion of strategy options regarding how BRRTA can best continue to meet its debt and operating expense requirements through solicitation of more regularly scheduled promised state reimbursement payments for BRRTA bond debt incurred to build the state’s I-25 Baptist Road interchange. To date there has been one CDOT reimbursement payment of $3 million to BRRTA in 2012 out of a total state reimbursement commitment of about $16 million for the actual construction cost of the interchange expansion. Dominguez reviewed the history of the Baptist Road and the intergovernmental agreement between CDOT and BRRTA for financing the expansion.
Other financial items
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, 2015 vendor balance detail/check listing, for a total of $2,608:
• $288 to CliftonLarsonAllen LLP for March 2015 management services
• $1,764 to CliftonLarsonAllen LLP for March 2015 accounting Services
• $556 to the Town of Monument for February through April 2015 use tax collection fees
Simmons reported a $45,820 increase in net 2014 BRRTA sales tax revenue collections for a net revised net 2014 total of $1.316 million, and the following net monthly BRRTA 2015 one-cent sales tax revenue collections for a year to date total of $314,769:
• January - $93,211
• February - $104,966
• March - $116,592
The financial reports were unanimously approved as presented, as were the minutes of the April 10 special BRRTA board meeting. The meeting adjourned at 3:27 p.m.
The next meeting will be held on at 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 14 in room 2200 of the El Paso County Citizens Service Center at 1675 Garden of the Gods Road. Meetings are normally held on the second Friday of the second month of the quarter. Information: 520-5547 or 520-6386.
Jim Kendrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lisa Hatfield
On May 18, the Monument Board of Trustees heard presentations about noxious weed management and pollinator protection and regional trails development. Trustees Kelly Elliot and Jeff Smith were absent.
Honeybees and noxious weeds
Town Gardener Sharon Williams of the Public Works Department introduced three experts who presented information about pollinators such as honeybees and how to do integrated pest management, including mechanical, cultural, and biological weed killing, instead of just spraying herbicides when it’s time for noxious weed management. It took two hours for the presentations and questions from the audience and the trustees.
Entomologist Whitney Cranshaw from Colorado State University emphasized the need to improve habitat for pollinators such as honeybees even while reducing noxious weeds. He said the highest risk to honeybees is if the flowers they are feeding on are sprayed while they are in bloom.
If you find a bee hive in a place you don’t want it, call the Pikes Peak Beekeepers Association, which will move the hive to safe location instead of destroying it.
Steve Ryder, state weed coordinator for the Colorado Department of Agriculture, facilitates cooperation between federal and state land managers, local governments, and private landowners on noxious weed management issues. He and his staff administer two grant programs and assist counties and municipalities to comply with the Colorado Noxious Weed Act.
The problems associated with noxious weeds include reducing the state’s agricultural productivity, poisonous plant contamination of animal fodder, increased wind and water erosion, and wildfire risk. It requires a cooperative effort to battle aggressive, non-native noxious weeds.
The law states, "It is the duty of all persons to use integrated methods to manage noxious weeds if the same are likely to be materially damaging to the land of neighboring landowners." Ryder said the goal is voluntary compliance, starting with education and resources, and using enforcement as last resort.
He encouraged all landowners to see www.colorado.gov/pacific/agconservation/noxious-weed-species to see photos of noxious weeds and how each one can be fought. In the Tri-Lakes area, noxious weeds all residents need to be currently watching out for and battling include myrtle spurge, knapweed, cheat grass, bindweed, and poison hemlock.
Ryder said many more resources are available to help municipalities and individual landowners, including possible grant money. See www.colorado.gov/pacific/agconservation/noxious-weed-grants-and-financial-assistance. He can be reached at (303) 869-9034 or email@example.com.
Thia Walker, CSU Extension specialist and program manager for the Colorado Environmental Pesticide Education Program (CEPEP) at Colorado State University, told the trustees about protecting pollinators using Colorado Driftwatch, an online mapping and registry tool for specialty crop producers, beekeepers, and pesticide applicators at https://co.driftwatch.org/.
Landowners can use this site to map their fields and apiaries so that commercial pesticide and herbicide applicators can see the locations. This would allow them to communicate with each other about potential spraying. She also mentioned a related website called FieldWatch, at http://www.fieldwatch.com/, where pesticide-sensitive crops can be mapped.
Walker reiterated the need to do "integrated pest management," which is to use cultural, mechanical, and biological means to fight noxious weeds and pests before using pesticides and herbicides. She said the 2,4-D amine herbicide the town is using is approved for aquatic use and is biodegradable. Today’s pesticides are friendlier to the environment than the ones from the 1940s through 1960s, she said.
Walker will speak to interested groups who want more detailed information. Write Thia.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 970-491-6027.
All three speakers emphasized the need for landowners to create more natural refuges for pollinators. Even dandelions are good for bees, and so plants should not be sprayed while they are blooming, Cranshaw said.
Please also refer to Janet Sellers’ many articles about bees and noxious weeds by searching the Our Community News website at www.ocn.me. Some examples include: www.ocn.me/v13n8%2022.pdf , www.ocn.me/v15n4.htm#hang .
Local residents, including beekeepers Rick and Leah Squires, Larry Marine, Terri Watson, and Phyllis Head, had numerous comments, including:
• Seventy percent of our food is pollinated by honeybees, and we need to protect them.
• I specifically asked for communication from the town for pre-notification about spraying near Monument Lake Road, but it did not happen.
• It sounds like the town’s communication has been more reactive than proactive.
• When poison hemlock is being eradicated, is anything being planted in its place?
Volunteers in Palmer Lake using shovels have removed three tons of weeds to date, including myrtle spurge, poison hemlock, and knapweed. They need more help this year. See www.ocn.me/v14n11.htm#hang for information.
Williams said she is developing an integrated pest management plan now and is mapping the weeds. The town is trying to contain poison hemlock and leafy spurge using mechanical, biological, and herbicidal means. The town is a member of Colorado Weed Management Association, she said.
Walk, bike, connect
Rachel Beck, Policy and Communications Manager at Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG), told the trustees about the Pikes Peak Non-motorized Transportation System Plan. The goal is to establish a continuous and coordinated regional non-motorized transportation network to increase bicycling and walking.
The focus is on connectivity between trails and improving access to information/maps. The Front Range Trail is the spine of the network, and the project is working on adding east-west connectivity.
Beck said that bicycling tourism contributes about $28 million in direct economic impact to the local economy each year. She said 2.5 million auto trips are made every day in Pikes Peak region, and the 20 percent that are less than five miles would be great for local cyclists.
See www.walkbikeconnect.org to identify an unsafe trail or a needed connection and also to tell PPACG what is going right. Beck can be reached at 719-471-7080 x139 or at email@example.com. To learn about upcoming opportunities for input, see www.ppacg.org.
YMCA funding discussion
According to the approved board meeting minutes from May 4, the trustees heard a presentation from the YMCA asking for funding from the board for expansion of the current facility, hoping for $25,000 to $50,000 a year for five years. The trustees asked many questions of the YMCA presenters that night, but Town Manager and Interim Treasurer Pamela Smith was not in attendance then. See http://monumenttownco.minutesondemand.com/ for a complete set of minutes from the May 4 Board of Trustees meeting.
On May 18, Smith said she hoped the board would first have more discussion about the current and future town financial situation and that she was not comfortable committing that kind of funding to a private entity, even if it were for a nonprofit like the YMCA. Mayor Rafael Dominguez agreed it would be better not to rush.
Trustee John Howe said it would be more appropriate for entities to come to the board with requests like this during budget time in October.
Town manager’s report
Smith presented the disbursements over $5,000, which the board approved unanimously:
• Triview Metro District $131,640
• CIRSA Insurance $9,754
• Krassa and Miller LLC $10,760 in legal fees for April water matters
Smith’s report said that the town has hired Chuck Rohre of Walters and Co. to recruit for a new town manager.
The meeting adjourned at 9:36 p.m.
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 June 15.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to report on meetings like this one for Our Community News, contact Lisa or Bob at email@example.com and we will train you.
By Lisa Hatfield
At the May 13 Monument Planning Commission meeting, Commissioner Missy Wood announced she needed to resign since she is moving outside the town limits, and Family of Christ Lutheran Church moved one step closer to their expansion approval. Commissioner John Dick was absent.
Search for new planning commissioners
Wood said she is moving outside the Monument town limits and so must resign. President Ed DeLaney said the commission is now looking for one full-time and two alternate commissioners. The Planning Commission meets once a month to make recommendations on land use applications and land use related ordinances before they are heard by the Board of Trustees.
Family of Christ plans move ahead
Planning Director Mike Pesicka and the applicant, Chad Kuzbek of Westworks Engineering, presented the vacation plat and preliminary/final PD site plan for Family of Christ Lutheran Church, which is planning a 9,800-square-foot addition and an additional 146 new parking spaces on the east side of its building at 675 W. Baptist Road.
The vacation plat would erase an interior lot line, combining both parcels owned by the church into one 8.97-acre parcel. These parcels were originally platted as part of the Chaparral Subdivision by El Paso County in the 1970s. Both parcels were annexed into the town in 2011, and a sketch PD plan was approved in 2011 that established the existing PD (Planned Development) zoning. See www.ocn.me/v11n7.htm#bot0606.
Because of the impermeable surface added by the parking lot, the church would be required to add a detention pond at the south side of the property to control stormwater runoff and sedimentation, Pesicka said.
During the public hearing, Paul Yates, whose land is in unincorporated El Paso County immediately south of the church, said his property is already experiencing severe erosion from emergency outflow from another detention pond east of him that receives water drained from the church property and other upstream sources. "Right now it’s a disaster," he said.
Kuzbek said the new detention pond is designed for stormwater for a 100-year storm event, will take 40 hours to drain, and will allow sediment and oils from the parking lot to settle out. He said the water flow from the new pond will continue to flow south in the natural course it is already following.
Since the original application for this project was submitted before the town approved an ordinance restricting sod use in commercial landscaping, sod could still be included in the landscaping plans, Pesicka said.
He said that both the county and town traffic studies indicate that the current access will be sufficient. A six-foot fence would be added on the south and east borders of the property. Landscaping and a setback would reduce visibility of the parking lot from Baptist Road.
The commissioners approved the vacation plat and preliminary/final PD site plan unanimously. This item was scheduled to be presented at the Monument Board of Trustees meeting on June 1.
The meeting adjourned at 7:40 p.m.
The next Monument Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on June 10 at Monument Town Hall auditorium, 645 Beacon Lite Road. Meetings are normally held on the second Wednesday of the month. Information: 884-8017 or www.townofmonument.org/meetings.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District, May 7: Legislature passes bill supporting historic water rights
By Nancy Wilkins
At the May 7 meeting of the Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD), District Manager Jessie Shaffer announced the passage of Colorado Senate Bill 15-183, signed into law May 4.
The new law strengthens older water rights typically held by ranchers and farmers. Historically, during a wet season, or a season where a field lay fallow, a rancher or farmer may not have used their total allotted decreed amount of water. Total consumptive use for water during these years could be very low.
As Shaffer explained, prior to SB 15-183 recent challenges to water rights looked at the total consumptive use as a way to determine the outcome to existing water rights. If a rancher didn’t use the water over a period of several years, even though they had a historical right to do so, the non-use was being quantified and considered when new challenges to water rights were surfacing; a " use it or lose it" policy.
Senate Bill 15-183 strengthens holders of older water rights by describing how Colorado water courts may determine historical consumptive use, as well as placing limits when historical consumptive use can be re-quantified. The board had agreed to support the bill when it was first being considered before the state Legislature. Shaffer said, " It takes uncertainty out of the purchase of water."
Tap fee for non-potable irrigation system costly for Brookmoor
Forrest Hindley, representing Brookmoor Homeowners Association, asked for a variance to the $84,042 tap fee needed for allowing Brookmoor to access non-potable water for an irrigation system to the Brookmoor area. The district was offering an exchange of $24,000 for an existing tap already in place, bringing the expense down to about $60,042. But Hindley said, " $60,000 puts us out." Hindley and WWSD have been in negotiations for several months trying to work out an agreement, as non-potable water was originally seen as a less expensive alternative for lawn irrigation.
Directors Rich Strom, Jim Taylor, President Barrie Town, Treasurer Tommy Schwab, and Secretary Beth Courrau, recently passed the district’s Non-Potable Water Service Plan Policy, which shows the cost of a 2-inch non-potable tap at $84,042, a 3-inch non-potable tap at $189,480, and a six-inch non-potable tap at $759,219. The policy also allows the district to raise the rates of the non-potable water and change the fees and charges. Town said he wanted to continue discussions with Hindley.
Water authority interested in investigating major water transportation pipeline
Shaffer announced the next phase of the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority (PPRWA) study and told the board he would seek confirmation from other water districts that want to participate. The study would include a pre-engineering cost estimate for a possible water transmission pipeline or water storage facility. Shaffer said possible water districts that may be interested in the study include Palmer Lake, Monument, Triview, Donala, Fountain, and Cherokee. Woodmoor, a member of the PPRWA, has land and water rights at the Chilcott Ditch, located near Fountain.
Operations Manager Randy Gillette said the district is expected to be using Lake Woodmoor water soon, and noted the district usually starts with a blend of both lake and underground well water. The water report, presented to the board, showed no shear or main water line breaks, zero service failures, and unaccounted water at 5 percent.
Financial report: year-to-date net revenue at $1.8 million
The Income Statement, stamped as " draft" but unanimously approved by the board, shows a year-to-date positive increase of $1.8 million. In April, the district also paid down a $619,443 bond interest expense. The sale of supplemental water and lease earned $655,258 year-to-date operating income, a positive 336.03 percent over budget.
The district also gained $413,491 from water and sewer taps in April, with 13 new construction lots for houses and the builders paying $32,407 for each lot.
From the April 30 Balance Sheet, bonds payable long term were at $27.1 million. Total liabilities were at $28.1 million, total net assets at $44.2 million, and total liabilities and stockholder equity at $72.4 million.
Meetings are usually held at the district office on the second Thursday of each month at 1 p.m. The next board meeting is scheduled for June 11. The district office is located at 1845 Woodmoor Dr. Visit www.woodmoorwater.com. Please call ahead to verify at 488-2525.
Nancy Wilkins can be reached at email@example.com.
By Jim Kendrick
On May 12, the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility Joint Use Coordinating Committee (JUC) unanimously approved the final award of a construction contract for only the facility’s new tertiary total phosphorus (TP) chemical removal clarifier expansion to Aslan Corp., which submitted the lowest base bid of $3.059 million. None of the four requested bid options were approved by the JUC. 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 facility already meets the Control Regulation 85 total nitrogen (TN) November 2019 limit of 15 mg/l. The notice of award for Aslan was approved at the April 14 JUC meeting.
The Tri-Lakes facility operates as a separate joint venture public utility. The facility is owned in equal one-third shares by Monument Sanitation District (MSD), Palmer Lake Sanitation District (PLSD), and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD). The three-member JUC acts as the board of the facility and consists of one director from each of the three owner districts’ boards: Don Smith of Monument, Ken Smith of Palmer Lake, and Rich Strom of Woodmoor. Strom did not attend the May 12 meeting; Woodmoor’s alternate JUC representative, James Taylor, filled in for him.
The original construction cost estimate in 2013 for this TP expansion by the Tri-Lakes facility’s engineering firm, Tetra Tech, was $1 million.
On May 12, the JUC also unanimously awarded a separate contract at an additional cost of $252,000 for construction contract management by Tetra Tech—$18,000 per month for 14 months. In addition, the JUC unanimously approved a motion to budget/appropriate an additional 10 percent contingency of $305,900 for the construction contract plus a $25,200 10-percent contingency for the Tetra Tech construction management contract. The total cost for these four items was $3.642 million.
Before final approval of these items on May 12, there was a lengthy technical discussion by JUC members and other district board members in attendance regarding different ways to possibly finance various combinations of the four solicited bid alternate options originally recommended by Tetra Tech engineer Steve Tamburini. On April 14, he had 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. 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, although the aeration basin bid options would make overall treatment plant operations more efficient by giving the operating staff the ability to more precisely control biological waste treatment in the existing aeration lagoons. All four bid options were deemed to be unaffordable by the Palmer Lake board at this time.
The Aslan bids for each of the four construction bid options that would still improve the facility’s overall efficiency, as prioritized by TLWWTF manager Bill Burks, were:
• New second aeration basin air header to create separate aeration control for each operating basin - $165,000
• Expansion of the new storage building - $102,000
• New more efficient aeration basin high speed turbine blower - $227,000
• New aeration basin control systems and sensors - $115,000
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 would have been $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.
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.
For more information, see http://www.ocn.me/v15n5.htm#tlfjuc0414.
Monument and Palmer Lake requests for expansion of treatment capacity accepted
Burks presented Monument’s signed formal JUA Exhibit 2 "Request for Expansion of Treatment Capacity" regarding its 19.79 percent ownership share of the tertiary TP chemical clarifier expansion treatment capacity and Palmer Lake’s similar request for a 15.93 percent ownership share. Woodmoor offered no objection to either request. Rejection of either request would have required a unanimous vote by all three owner districts under the current Joint Use of Facilities Agreement. Don Smith’s motion to approve the Monument request for expansion did not receive a second from either Palmer Lake or Woodmoor on April 14 and was continued to the May 12 JUC meeting.
Plant manager’s report
Burks reported that the plant’s March discharge monitoring report showed that treatment was in compliance with every limit in the facility’s current discharge permit, as well as the new discharge permit limits that took effect on May 1, despite the high influent flow rates caused by record rainfall. The first-quarter whole effluent toxicity test results showed no toxicity.
Burks reported that the March total phosphorus influent testing results for flow in millions of gallons per day (MGD), loading (ppd), and percent of loading were:
• Monument – 0.168 MGD, 25.2 ppd, 38 percent
• Palmer Lake – 0.229 MGD, 9.5 ppd, 14 percent
• Woodmoor – 0.624 MGD, 32.3 ppd, 48 percent
Burks reported that the facility’s March Control Regulation 85 total phosphorus effluent testing result was 4.0 mg/l. The March Discharge Monitoring Report total inorganic nitrogen effluent testing result was 4.7 mg/l. The nitrogen test results for samples taken upstream at both Arnold Avenue and from the Tri-Lakes effluent discharge showed very substantial non-point source total nitrogen entering Monument Creek from other tributaries and/or stormwater runoff.
Woodmoor’s Assistant District Manager Randy Gillette reported that Woodmoor’s wastewater flows "were up considerably" due to the heavy rain flows of early May. "We have had a lot of springs popping up in Woodmoor and a lot of homes are getting flooded although it’s against our regulations to have their sump pumps and French drains tied to the sewer."
Burks added that the Tri-Lakes facility’s flow on May 12 was about 3 million gallons per day (mgd), compared to an average flow of 1.06 mgd to date for 2015. He noted that the facility staff had prepared for high spring flows, including doubling the number of ultraviolet lamp channels that are turned on to perform sufficient final disinfection of E. coli just before treated effluent is discharged to Monument Creek. He also reported that a temporary failure of the bar screen that removes large objects from influent wastewater had occurred, which caused flow backups into owner district metering flumes and erroneous readings that he would correct. Also, the facility’s grit collector had become completely filled and had to be emptied manually despite the higher run times the staff set for grit pump operations. The 24-inch diameter discharge pipe is much larger than required to handle surge flows well over 5 mgd. The plant is rated for an average maximum flow of 4.2 mgd for 24 hours.
Monument Sanitation District Manager Mike Wicklund noted that most of the excess flow was inflow of stormwater through manhole lids, especially those that are underwater due to flooding or water from flooded basements temporary flowing from floor drains into the sewer.
Burks applauded all the three owner districts for cleaning their collection lines on a continuous annual basis, which had resulted in no reports of high stormwater flows causing surging backups that eject manhole lids upward due to upward flows that spout out of the top of the manhole after the manhole lid is ejected.
Some of the April budget expense items that Burks reported were:
• An initial partial payment of $4,000 for the facility’s 2014 payment to John Cutler & Associates (the final audit will presented at the June 9 JUC meeting)
• A state nutrient grant reimbursement of $42,698
The financial reports were unanimously accepted as presented.
The JUC went into executive session at 11:13 a.m. to meet with Tri-Lakes Facility attorney Mike Cucullu for the purposes of receiving legal advice on specific legal questions regarding the facility’s sludge removal contract pursuant to §24-6-402(4)(b)C.R.S. The JUC came out of executive session at 11:52 a.m. Don Smith noted that no votes were taken in executive session.
The meeting adjourned at 11:52 a.m.
The next meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on June 9 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Nancy Wilkins
Triview Metropolitan District Manager Valerie Remington alerted the board May 12 of a discrepancy of about $4,000 she expected to receive from Monument. Remington cited an intergovernmental agreement and ordinance allowing Triview the funds. The discrepancy comes from what Remington noted the Monument Board of Trustees approved and what appeared on Triview’s bank deposit information. The shortfall is an accumulation of funds calculated over a period of several months beginning in 2015.
Remington also said the auditor for Triview was aware and concerned about the discrepancy. Remington reported expecting a total of $537,465 from Monument, but received $533,465.
Board votes to raise water rates 2.6 percent for residential and commercial use
The board voted unanimously to raise the water rates 2.6 percent. Board President Robert Fisher, Treasurer/Secretary Marco Fiorito, and Directors Reid Borlander, Missy Franklin, and Mark Melville opened and closed the rate increase hearing held May 12 and immediately voted a 2.6 percent increase to help balance the budget. The board hopes to break even in 2015. The existing 2015 budget is based on the 2.6 increase.
Based on the rate table approved by the board, the 2.6 percent increase affects both residential as well as commercial and irrigation use. For residential users, 0-6,000 gallons will now cost $3.33 in the block 1 tier use.
Engineering firm tests for arsenic in Monument Creek
Roger J. Sams, engineer with GMS Inc., reported to the board that water samples from Monument Creek will be tested for arsenic. Sams suspects arsenic may be a natural element in the water and wants to identify possible sources where higher concentrations of arsenic may be coming from. According to a memorandum from GMS dated April 8, sampling was to occur April 10 and May 8. Sams also presented an Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility discharge permit compliance schedule to the board showing plans to report sources of arsenic, if found, by Sept. 30. The engineering firm also included plans to implement control strategies for arsenic if necessary.
The memorandum from GMS also scheduled between April 10 and July 8 plans for a scope of work and a budget for E.coli compliance at the Upper Monument Creek facility. Triview shares ownership of this wastewater treatment plant with Donala and Forest Lakes Metropolitan District.
The permit compliance schedule shows a scheduled plan spread over five years but recommends in the memorandum the board develop a 10-year plan allowing capital improvements to the wastewater treatment facility to stay in compliance with state requirements. The compliance schedule and memorandum should be available to the public at the Triview office.
Colorado Springs Utilities presents future integrated water resources plan
Representing Colorado Springs Utilities, Engineer and Water Resources Manager Brett Gracely and Project Manager Gwin Happ presented a 40-year water resources plan. During the presentation, Gracely noted that although the utility currently holds water in 25 different reservoirs, building additional storage is a possibility, and said "We need storage to manage variability." Gracely added that the company looks at future projected warming trends and uses computer simulations to estimate water use. The presentation also included digitized maps showing possible future water pipelines in the immediate area. Gracely also said, "We trade water on the Arkansas."
Open space policy still under review
The board is continuing to write policy to penalize and seek financial compensation for those who damage parks and open spaces. The board is concerned when landscaping trucks or other vehicles tear up open space when supplying building materials or servicing private residences, and when trash is left in Triview’s parks and open spaces.
Fiorito catches citizens pouring dirt into storm drains
Fiorito said that during the recent rains, he saw people pouring dirt into the storm drains. This activity may be prohibited, and the person(s) or developer(s) may be subject to a fine. Fiorito said he was able to take a picture of the scene.
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 June 9. Board meetings are open to the public.
Nancy Wilkins can be reached at email@example.com.
Donala Water and Sanitation District, May 21: Board updated on investment policies; June 30 community meeting scheduled
By Jim Kendrick
On May 21, Donala’s investment advisor Scott Prickett of Chandler Asset Management presented a lengthy technical review of the current Donala investment policies regarding certificates of deposit and answered questions from the directors of the Donala Water and Sanitation District board. General Manager Kip Petersen noted that the high amount of May rainfall had resulted in a significantly lower use of water for irrigation and reduced water sales revenue to date, and that the forecast wet and cool summer may further reduce water sales revenue. Petersen had already advised the board in April that Donala’s commercial electric utility rate, which will increase by 9 percent on July. 1, may require reduced expenditures later in 2015 in other areas of the district budget and that Mountain View will raise commercial rates again in January 2016.
Note: Donala will hold a community meeting on June 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the Antelope Trails Elementary School gym to present future plans and the current status of the district. Notices will be placed in the mailed June Donala newsletter, and ads will be placed in Our Community News and the Tri-Lakes Tribune noting the meeting’s agenda items. For more information: see http://www.donalawater.org/ or call 488-3603.
The absences of Directors Dave Powell and Bill Nance were unanimously excused.
Petersen reported that the general fund balances were $2.256 million with Chandler and $962,339 with Colorado State Bank, yielding 0.13 percent interest. The debt fund cash reserve balance for the money market account was $596,370, yielding 0.06 percent interest. The bond fund money market account for the remaining balance of the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority low interest loan, $4.635 million, is also yielding 0.06 percent interest.
Some of the items Prickett discussed regarding Donala’s investments were:
The policy definition of diversification limits could be more specific regarding maximum percentages allowed for a specific kind of investment with a specific company.
The Colorado state law safety requirement to ensure preservation of capital in the overall portfolio will always preclude investments in long-term corporate bonds, certificates of deposit, or equities to get a higher yield due to the risk of loss due to the failure of the security issuer or backer.
The portfolio will remain sufficiently liquid to meet all operating requirements that may be reasonably anticipated with some low yielding same-day liquidity investments for short-term fund requirements.
Return on investment is secondary to safety and liquidity objectives.
The Federal Reserve System will probably not raise interest rates until later in 2015 and continue to have a goal of a 2 percent rate, which will not require any near-term Donala portfolio restructuring.
Interest rates for two-year treasuries have ranged from 0.31 to 0.74 percent over the past 12 months. It is challenging to re-invest during a period with this kind of volatility.
A May Merrill Lynch study shows a substantial increase in the number of people close to retirement planning to retire in their current homes, rather than relocating/downsizing, with significantly higher investments in current home upgrades, as well as restaurant sales exceeding grocery store sales for the first time.
During Petersen’s discussion of Arkansas Basin Roundtable issues, he noted that he will be scheduling a meeting with Southeastern Water Conservancy District Manager Jim Broderick to discuss switching from annual contracts to long-term contracts for storage of Donala’s Willow Creek Ranch renewable water in the Pueblo Reservoir. Willow Creek Ranch is located just southwest of Leadville and its renewable surface water flows down the Arkansas River to the Pueblo Reservoir. Under current policy, Donala would have to become a member of this conservancy district, which manages the reservoir for the federal Bureau of Reclamation, to qualify for a multi-year storage contract, which requires a very expensive buy-in capital fee for past upgrades to the reservoir.
Note: Donala’s renewable surface water is transported north via existing Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) pipelines for treatment at a Utilities water treatment plant, then delivered directly to the south/downhill end of Donala’s distribution for delivery to Donala customers. CSU will be switching transport of Donala’s renewable water to the Southern Delivery System (SDS) in the near future, once the pipeline and related facilities are complete. Pueblo County has requested that CSU provide a total accounting of what has been done to ensure that CSU is honoring the conditions of the permit granted by Pueblo County for the construction of SDS.
Petersen also discussed some of the issues brought up at the May 6 meeting of the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority regarding the now concluded 2015 state Legislature session.
Gov. John Hickenlooper had signed Senate Bill 15-183, which Donala water attorney Rick Fendel had helped draft, that precludes a damaging change to State Water Engineer procedures for calculating the historic consumptive use of state water rights, which would have made the size of water rights vulnerable if not fully used as a result of low consumption rates during very wet or drought seasons when peak irrigation flows are much lower than average.
The Legislature killed House Bill 15-1259 that would have allowed homeowners to use rain barrels to capture some rain water from rainspouts for irrigation. The reason for the bill’s defeat was the potential impact on owners of low seniority water rights below the confluence of Fountain Creek and the Arkansas River in Pueblo, which can only be used briefly when there are high peak flows due to high seasonal snow melt or intermittent stormwater surges. Kansas water rights owners had also threatened litigation regarding rain barrels.
The board’s consensus on these new stormwater "dams" was "damned if you do or damned if you don’t."
Senate Bill 15-212 addressed a similar issue from these same low-seniority water rights owners—their demand to terminate construction of new detention ponds that would control or mitigate flooding downstream of the damaged Waldo Canyon and Black Forest wildfire burn scar areas by impounding stormwater for more than 72 hours. They are pressing for preservation of their peak flow water rights even after all the substantial damage to homes and property during May.
For more information see http://www.leg.state.co.us/CLICS/CLICS2015A/csl.nsf/BillFoldersSenate?OpenFrameSet and http://www.leg.state.co.us/ CLICS/CLICS2015A/csl.nsf/BillFoldersHouse?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 these bills.
Monument Creek flooding causes expensive damage to Donala access road
Petersen reported that May flooding caused by failure of beaver dams in Monument Creek just north of Baptist Road had washed out substantial portions of the original access road the goes under the BNSF railroad bridge and new access road to the at-grade-level railroad crossing gate for the Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility. His initial rough estimate for these uninsurable flood road repairs was $100,000.
Dana Duthie plaque
Petersen thanked the board members for attending the surprise April 24 dedication ceremony for placing a new plaque on the southeast corner of the district office building that commemorates previous Donala general manager’s 20 years of service to the district. Petersen said he was pleased to note that the planned surprise for Dana and Candi Duthie was complete and they were genuinely moved by the board’s actions to permanently honor Dana’s service to our community. Duthie retired on June 13, 2013. For more information, see http://www.ocn.me/v13n6.htm#dwsd
Petersen noted his presentation on planning for new local water system infrastructure to a Northern El Paso County Coalition of Community Associations (NEPCO) meeting on May 9. He said his presentation explained the decline of the Denver Basin aquifers as a drinking water source, the need to find renewable water sources as a replacement, the cooperative efforts for the regional potable water re-use study with the Town of Monument and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District, and the regional study on a joint water infrastructure project. For more information see the NEPCO article page 19.
The board went into executive session regarding ongoing negotiations with Colorado Springs Utilities and Pueblo County at 3:40 p.m.
Caption: At the head of the table, Donala Water and Sanitation District Manager Kip Petersen, center, Stacey Alderson, left, and Scott Prickett, of investment consultant firm Chandler Asset Management, briefed the Donala Board of Directors on May 21 about the current Donala investment policies for its cash reserves. Photo by Jim Kendrick.
The next meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. on June 18 in the district conference room at 15850 Holbein Drive. Meetings are normally held on the third Thursday of the month. Information: 488-3603 or www.donalawater.org.
Jim Kendrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jennifer Green-Lanchoney
At the Donald Wescott Fire Protection District board meeting May 19, it was announced that the Summer Safety Fair is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 6 at Station 1, 15415 Gleneagle Drive. Directors also discussed a possible bank transfer of funds.
The meeting was called to order by district Director Greg Gent at 7:09 p.m.
District Directors Bo McAllister, John Fredell, Joyce Hartung, and Harland Baker were present as were the executive staff, Chief Vinny Burns and Assistant Chief Scott Ridings.
Summer Safety Fair
A free barbecue will be provided at the Summer Safety Fair June 6 and Wescott firefighters will give tours of the station and the department apparatus. Various vendors and professionals will be on hand with demonstrations and information on fire safety, aquatic safety, health topics, wildland interface issues, and driving safety. Alive at 25 and the Penrose Blood Bank will also be participating as well as many more vendors and organizations.
For further information, please contact the station at 719-488-8680.
Doug Rottinghaus, Peoples National Bank Gleneagle branch manager, spoke to the board about moving funds from Colorado Trust to Peoples bank.
Colorado Trust holds about $439,420 and Peoples Bank Peak Fund holds about $180,000 of district funds. The reason for the inquiry is purely financial. The monthly interest earned on $180,000 in the Peak Fund is about $15 while the higher balance in Colorado Trust only earned $3.74.
The Peak Fund pays a 10 percent annual yield on anything over $100,000. Rottinghaus explained if the Peak Fund had a balance of $600,000, which it would after transfer, the annual interest would be about $600.
The legal requirement for public funds is the money must be in a zero-risk account. There is also concern that there would be penalties through FDIC, which insures to $250,000. The combined account would be over that amount, and while the interest rate may be higher, the board must have assurance that all monies will be protected if the bank fails.
Rottinghaus explained that the Public Deposit Protection Act (PDPA) protects public funds beyond the FDIC amount.
The purpose of the PDPA is to ensure that public funds held on deposit in banks are protected in the event that the bank holding the public deposits fails.
The bank must be certified with the PDPA to hold public funds and must pledge 102 percent of the uninsured funds to cover everything over $250,000 if the bank were to fail.
Fredell expressed concern over the risk of placing faith in marketable securities and wondered if PDPA will save uninsured money. Rottinghaus explained that under the PDPA public funds were still protected and contended that because of other robust departments within the bank it can pledge to support public funds.
McAllister asked Rottinghaus if the Peak Fund was the best option, and Rottinghaus said that because public funds had to be liquid money, the Peak Fund was the best option over CDs. The board agreed that more research was needed to understand what money needed to be liquid and what money could be put in longer-term investments.
Gent and the board agreed to present this information to the auditor and see if it is indeed a good course of action. Ridings will send the board information in the Colorado revised statutes pertaining to restraints of investing public money.
April financial statement and minutes
The April financial statement was read by Stacey Popovich, Wescott administrative assistant, and was approved unanimously. The minutes were also approved unanimously with a revision that clarifies the query into the banking transfer. The Peak Fund, if the transfer is approved, will hold $620,000. Fredell would like to ask the auditor if there is increased risk for having $620,000 in one account. The other option is putting $250,000, which is the FDIC insured amount, into different banks.
Ridings covered the run report, stating that the call volume in April 2014 was 158. The April 2015 call volume increased 72 percent over April 2014 with 271 calls. Most of the increase was AMR ambulance calls. Ridings explained that when the staff says they are getting busier it isn’t in their heads. "If they are on an ambulance, they aren’t sleeping much," he said.
Chief Burns reported on the 2014 audit, saying that the auditor was only at the station for five hours thanks to the advance efforts by him, Popovich, and the board. He did mention that changes are recommended to the way the district funds designated and reserve accounts. They are currently going into the same account, but the auditor contends that by making them separate, transactions would be easier to track. The auditor will attend the June board meeting to cover the 2014 audit and answer any open questions on the bank transfer.
Employee manual revision
The employee manual is being revised to clean up language, flow better, and make it easier to navigate. Burns will have this available for the board to review at the June meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:54 p.m.
The Donald Wescott Fire Protection District Board of Directors’ next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 16 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.
Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District, May 27: Potential future revenues discussed; director sought
By Lisa Hatfield
On May 27, the directors of the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District (TLMFPD) contemplated their future budget revenues and discussed plans to fill the director position vacated by Director Bruce Fritzsche. Director Larry Smith was excused.
Board vacancy to be filled in June
Fritzsche resigned on April 23, and there is now a board vacancy to be filled. According to statues, the board should fill the vacancy by appointment within 60 days, which would be June 23, but the district is not required to post the position, according to President Jake Shirk.
As of May 27, three people had expressed interest in the director position. They and any other interested candidates will be scheduled to present their qualifications at the June 24 board meeting, where the directors will appoint one new member from the qualified applicants. See http://tlmfire.org/district-board for information.
Budget shortfall predicted
Chief Chris Truty reviewed revenue projections for the 2016 budget and beyond. He emphasized the unpredictability of the district’s three main sources of revenue: property taxes from the current mill levy, ambulance revenue from EMS care provided, and specific ownership taxes from motor vehicle sales.
Of the three revenue sources, the only one that the district has the ability to influence is property taxes, which account for about 80 percent of the district’s total revenue, he said. In 2012, the district was successful in obtaining a mill levy increase of 3 mills (to 11.5 mills) to sustain operations, however, "it was significantly short from a long-term perspective," Truty said. In addition, 2015 is the first year since 2008 where total valuation has increased based on previous year property valuation, but it is still "far below what the district needs to meet its annual expense increase obligations," he said.
At the April 22 meeting, Truty noted a projected budget shortfall of $3 million to $20 million over the next five years, depending on expectations for the district determined by the board. At the June 24 meeting, Truty plans to combine expense and revenue projections together to show potential shortages and make recommendations for options. If the board decides to participate in the November 2015 election regarding a mill levy question, they would need to notify the county by July 24, he said.
Treasurer John Hildebrandt reported that overall expenses were 2.77 percent below budget as of April 30. Total cash reserves in five separate accounts totaled $2.9 million as of April 30, according to the treasurer’s report.
Truty and Deputy Chief Randy Trost congratulated firefighter Mike Keough on achieving the rank of lieutenant and said there was one internal applicant so far for the vacant battalion chief position Keough was appointed to.
Truty described pending jurisdictional questions about emergency medical services and firefighting coverage in the area around Mount Herman and Raspberry Mountain, which is not part of TLMFPD. However, district vehicles could often reach that area sooner than other agency’s vehicles sent by county dispatch (such as AMR), so a discussion is ongoing about the best way to provide service to this region.
Trost described current vehicle repairs under way and building repairs at Stations 1 and 2 where there are leaks and lighting problems.
Truty said that Fire Marshal John Vincent has been doing presentations for school and safety groups. In spring 2016, TLMFPD is scheduled to host the tri-county Pikes Peak Wildfire Protections Partners conference. See http://ppwpp.org/ for information.
NextDoor.com site use encouraged
TLMFPD has connected with the free neighborhood-based social networking site www.NextDoor.com to increase its ability to communicate back and forth with residents of the district, Truty said. He added that individual residents in any neighborhood in the country should see www.NextDoor.com for information or to sign up in a new way to get connected with their neighbors. The consensus of the directors was that this could be a valuable resource for communication in the area.
At 7:30 p.m., the board went into executive session for the purpose of discussing personnel matters regarding the performance of Fire Chief Chris Truty.
Truty reported to OCN that there were no announcements, comments or further business after the board’s executive session.
The next meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24 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 email@example.com.
Lewis-Palmer D-38 Board of Education, May 21: Pike resigns; board approves new administrators and principals
By Harriet Halbig
Board Secretary Robb Pike, who has served since 2009, resigned from the Lewis-Palmer D-38 Board of Education at the board’s May 21 meeting. Stating that other areas of his life have recently changed, Pike said that he could no longer serve effectively. He thanked the district for the privilege to serve and meet so many members of the community and to make a difference.
Board President Mark Pfoff commented that Pike had a talent for clarifying problems faced by the board and helping in decision making. Board Vice President John Mann thanked Pike for his loyalty and commitment to his service, and Director Sherri Hawkins thanked him for his support and encouragement during her tenure.
Pike represented District 5 on the board. The vacancy was announced the day following the meeting, and a replacement must be appointed within 60 days. The appointee must then run for election in November.
New appointees to district administration confirmed
The board approved the appointment of Elizabeth Walhof as the new director of Instructional and Informational Technology. Walhof comes to the board from Douglas County and has worked in the area of informational technology for eight years. Walhof said her approach to technology is to view it as a new language.
Jenny Day was approved as the new principal at Lewis-Palmer Elementary School. Day has been employed in the district for the past 14 years, most recently as the assistant principal at Lewis-Palmer Middle School.
Peggy Griebenow, the new principal of Palmer Lake Elementary School whose appointment was approved last month, was also introduced.
All received one-year contracts beginning Aug. 1.
New instructional resources approved
Director of Curriculum and Professional Development Sheila Beving explained the process by which educational resources are evaluated and that all materials are available for parent review and feedback for two weeks before a final decision is made.
A new textbook for 11th grade French 3 was approved. The previous text had been copyrighted in 2003 and the new one in 2012. More current examples were found to be useful.
Director of Exceptional Student Services May Anne Fleury reported that her department had received a $150,000 grant for a drug and alcohol prevention program for seventh and eighth grade students. Funds will be applied toward published materials, identification of at-risk students, and development of a peer counseling program.
Fleury said that the program will be applied during Academic Enrichment time, with a nurse who aided in writing the grant in charge of applying it. Parents may participate in discussions and may choose to opt out.
The board approved the application of both resources.
Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Wangeman explained budget adjustments for the 2014-15 school year. She said that elementary school fundraising was more successful than anticipated, that $177,000 of the food service budget will be applied to purchase of new equipment, and that spending for additional buses will be taken from the capital reserve fund rather than the transportation budget.
The board approved all changes.
Wangeman also submitted the 2015-16 budget for the board’s consideration. Wangeman said that among the goals of the budget are the ability to hire additional teachers to maintain class size and the ability to increase compensation in order to remain competitive with nearby districts. Purchase of additional technology resources will reduce the capital reserve fund.
Wangeman said that state funding is anticipated to be 2.8 percent higher due to inflation plus an additional one percent to address the negative factor (created to offset the fact that funding promised by Amendment 23 was not granted). A formal hearing will be held before the board votes on the budget at its June 18 meeting.
Superintendent Karen Brofft noted the passage of a new bill in the state Legislature known as the Claire Davis Act, which waives immunity for the school districts in the event of violence in the schools. The bill would allow victims to sue for damages.
Wangeman reported that a state inspector recently certified Grace Best to have encapsulated all asbestos on site and have created sufficient records to that effect.
The board expressed its gratitude for the contributions of Lifetime Fitness, Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce, the Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership, the Red Cross, the Air Academy Credit Union, the Monument Hill Country Club, and Donna’s Dolphins for their support and contributions to the district. These contributions included scholarships, senior services, and use of facilities for students.
The board recognized a number of student groups for their accomplishments.
• The Lewis-Palmer Elementary School Rubik’s Cube Team was introduced by Gifted Education facilitator Maria Johnson. The K-5 team placed second and the sixth grade team placed eighth in tournament competition.
• The Lewis-Palmer High School Women’s Soccer Team was runner-up in state 4-A competition.
• The Palmer Ridge High School Men’s Track Team won the state 4-A championship by the largest margin in 4-A history.
• Nicole Montgomery of Lewis-Palmer High School won three individual titles at the 4-A tournament and she and her teammates on the 800 meter medley event set a new state record.
The board approved a list of routine matters such as minutes of earlier meetings and lists of employees and substitutes, wage schedules, and contracts.
The board entered executive session at 9 p.m. and conducted no further business before adjournment.
Caption: Lewis-Palmer High School Women’s Soccer Team: Front row from left, Rilie Britton, Tori Fugate, Haley Arsenault, Emily Barkocy, Abigail Weingart, Addison DiMarco, Sydney Prichard, Kirsten Hatton, Samantha Kazlauzky, and Annica Fletemeyer. Back row, Allison Housum, Karly Sandoval, Brianna Alger, Kate Devine, Anna Donisi, Lauren Ruebenson, Brenna Oakey, Addison Britton, Sarah Lyons, Danielle Hatton, Bella Mantaro, Jenny Allenspach, Varsity Co-Coach Joe Martin, JV Coach Jay Drake, and Varsity Co-Coach Ryan Parsons. Photo by Harriet Halbig.
The Board of Education of Lewis-Palmer D-38 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 on June 18.
Harriet Halbig may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Allison Colburn
In May, the state Senate killed a bill that would allow Colorado residents to collect rainwater. Scheduled last on the Senate debate calendar, House Bill 15-1259 did not get taken up for discussion on Tuesday, May 5. Because May 6 was the last day of the session and bills cannot be both debated on and voted on in the same day, the bill essentially died.
Colorado is currently the only state that does not allow its residents to collect rainwater. HB 15-1259 would have allowed single- or multi-family residences (with four or fewer units) to collect rainwater from a rooftop as long as a maximum of two rain barrels with a combined storage of 100 gallons or less were used. The collected water could then be used on the residential property for gardening and irrigation purposes. The bill still would have banned the use of collected precipitation for drinking or indoor household purposes.
Opponents of the bill argue that rain barrels violate water rights laws, because this water runs off into groundwater and surface water. Rain barrel supporters, on the other hand, contend that the barrels save water and decrease the demand for treated tap water.
The outcome of May 5’s session does not, of course, prevent another rain barrel bill from reaching the Senate floor in the future. Although the bill has died, it may not mean the debate is over.
Allison Colburn can be reached at email@example.com.
If you would like to report on meetings like this one for Our Community News, contact Lisa or Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will train you.
By Larry Oliver, NEPCO president
Kip Petersen, vice president of the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority and
Petersen stated that of the 655,000 residents of El Paso County, Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) serves 450,000. More than 25 special districts/metro districts provide service to the balance of the population.
On renewable vs. non-renewable water sources, Petersen explained that renewable sources are able to recharge after water is withdrawn, usually by snow melt and rainfall. These include lakes, streams, and alluvial wells. Almost all of CSU’s water is renewable, with a widespread system of lakes, reservoirs, and pipelines. Non-renewable sources are deeper aquifer waters and are not replaced once used. He said that 75 percent of Donala’s water is considered non-renewable, and that the majority of the districts in El Paso County are heavily dependent upon this type of water.
Petersen stated that all Denver aquifers are considered non-renewable, and that a majority of the growth on the Front Range was built off of Denver aquifers. He said the larger/older Front-Range cities were built on rivers because the acquisition of water rights in the 1800s was much easier. Colorado Springs is the largest city in the U.S. that is not located by a river or an ocean.
He also stated that by 2000 it was recognized that this is a regional/statewide issue. Various studies, working groups, etc. were established to identify solutions. The Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority is one of these groups. He said by 2050, it is estimated that there will not be enough water to service the existing, and anticipated, population in Colorado.
Petersen said that in the future, there will be increased competition for limited amounts of water. Government agencies and special districts/metro districts are working to solve the problem. Actions include:
• Donala is currently looking to increase renewable water from 30 percent to at least 75 percent within the next 10 years. The deep water aquifers will be used for drought relief.
• The state of Colorado is developing a Statewide Water Plan, attempting to address "the gap." Projections indicate that the state’s population will double by the year 2050. "The gap" is the water shortage to absorb the new population.
• Pikes Peak Water Authority is studying how to create an infrastructure system that can connect the multiple water providers, providing means to cooperatively deliver water from various sources throughout El Paso County.
• Colorado Springs Utilities is changing its perspective on cooperative services.
• Donala, Woodmoor, and Monument water districts have completed an analysis on developing a potable reuse water supply for the three communities.
• Donala, along with Cherokee Metro (which replaced Woodmoor), is participating in a study with a coalition of Wyoming and Colorado water providers to determine the feasibility of bringing water to the Front Range from southwestern Wyoming and the Green River. It is physically feasible but expensive. A pipeline would be 400 miles of 66-inch pipe, cost 2.67 billion, and take 20 years to complete.
By Jackie Burhans
On May 27, the Woodmoor Improvement Association (WIA) board shared information on projects that affect our area from the El Paso County Highway Advisory Commission, saw its first report from the new director of Community Outreach, and discussed the upcoming Dunes development. Director of Common Areas Alan Basset was absent.
Misty Acres bankruptcy leaves work for county
Jim Hale, WIA president, attended the Highway Advisory Commission (HAC) meeting and reported that they discussed a five-year plan to replace 53 bridge decks in the county, a two- to three-year plan to rebuild the Cimarron Interchange that will affect traffic in the region, and several developments in the county that went bankrupt. The local Misty Acres development has gone through bankruptcy. The county has recovered some monies from the bankruptcy court that it will use over time to redo drainage work that was improperly done in Misty Acres.
Jennifer Cunningham, who fills the newly created role of director of Community Outreach, provided her first report at the May meeting of the WIA board. Cunningham recommended that residents sign up for local newsletters for the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Monument to keep abreast of community events. She provided links on the Woodmoor Improvement Association Facebook page as well as on the www.Nextdoor.com site. She noted upcoming events such as the Free Movie Nights at Jackson Creek Clock Tower in June. More information can be found at http://www.monumentcolorado.org/community-events. July will see the return of the Concerts in the Park series.
Cunningham also noted that the Town of Monument Board of Trustees meets on the first and third Mondays of each month. She encourages Woodmoor residents to attend, because the board makes decisions that can affect them. Cunningham also attended the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG), where they discussed the non-motorized transportation system such as trails. Cunningham and Hale attended the Northern El Paso County Coalition of Community Organizations (NEPCO) meeting, which delivered briefings on water and traffic. There is concern that the imminent development projects on Jackson Creek Parkway will cause traffic issues unless the town takes action to widen the road.
The Dunes development status
Mark Ponti, director of Architectural Control, reported that WIA has received the $14,000 administrative fee from La Plata for The Dunes development project as well as the $150,000 compliance deposit on time. Development should break ground by the end of summer if all goes according to plan. Concerns were raised about traffic and noise during construction by Aspen View Homes. Ponti indicated that construction within the development should be expected by early residents of the development.
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 June 24. WIA board meeting minutes can be found at: http://www.woodmoor.org/content/admin-bod-meeting-minutes.html once approved and posted.
Thanks to OCN volunteer Audrey Burkart for attending and recording this meeting.
Jackie Burhans can be reached at email@example.com.
By Bill Kappel
It was a record wet month around the region, with well over 10 inches of moisture accumulating for most of us. Drought is no longer an issue, and instead flooding is now the concern. All but two days during the month recorded measureable precipitation, and even those two days had a trace of rainfall. Temperatures failed to reach the 70-degree mark until the last day of the month, and of course winter made a final stand on the 9th and 10th.
May began very wet and stormy, with measurable precipitation occurring every day. Temperatures started off the month a little warmer than normal, with highs in the upper 60s from the 1st through the 3rd. Afternoon showers and storms developed each day, with brief heavy rain and hail around 3 p.m. on the 1st. The activity over the first three days wasn’t associated with any organized storms, but that was about to change. Starting on the 4th, the first of two strong areas of low pressure moved slowly through the region. Both storms took a favored path cutting off over the Four Corners region and moving east through northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. The first storm produced several rounds of rain, heavy at times, and hail. But snow levels stayed elevated, generally above 10,000 feet. Temperatures held in the 50s and upper 40s during the period from the 4th through the 7th.
Then, the next storm began to affect the region late on the 7th. Heavy rain, thunder (even during the night and early morning), hail, and eventually snow all occurred with the second system. All four of these elements occurred on one day, the 9th. This storm started like the first, with snow levels up high, and plenty of heavy rain, thunder, and hail. Then, cold air began to work into the region during the morning and early afternoon of the 9th. Rain changed to snow around 3 p.m. that afternoon and picked up in intensity through the evening. As usual this time of the year, the accumulations were very much elevation dependent, with amounts increasing from a couple inches below 7,000 feet to over 8 inches at the top of the Palmer Divide. Winds also kicked in that evening, causing blowing snow and lots of driving difficulties. For the first nine days, most areas accumulated 6-10 inches of precipitation, putting us well above normal for the water year and making this one of the wettest months of May on record and we still had three weeks to go!
The wet weather continued during the week of May 11, although not at the same rate as the previous week. Temperatures "warmed" into the 50s and 60s during the period, still about 5-10 degrees cooler than average for the middle of May. Afternoon and early evening showers and thunderstorms were common, with the most widespread showers occurring from the 12th to the 14th and again on the 17th. Each day recorded at least of trace of rainfall during the week, so that by the end of the week, we were approaching double digits as far as monthly precipitation, making this one of the wettest months on record across the region, with nearly half the month remaining.
The record wet weather continued during the week of the 18th, with more heavy rain at times causing flooding issues for many streams in the region. Temperatures remained a good 10-20 degrees cooler than normal during the week, with highs in the low 40s on the 19th and 21st, and low to mid-50s every other day. Rainfall was heaviest from the evening of the 18th through the morning of the 19th and again on the 22nd and 23rd. But every day of the week recorded measureable precipitation. In fact, only two days this month didn’t record measurable precipitation, and even those two days did see at least of trace of rainfall. Temperatures were cold enough that some of the precipitation fell as snow during the morning on the 19th as cooler air filtered in behind the departing storm. By the end of the week most of us were in the double digits for total precipitation through the first three weeks of the month.
The last week of the month saw more of the same, with daily occurrences of rain and thunderstorms, hail at times, and continued flooding concerns. The heaviest rains fell on the 28-29th with another inch or so accumulating along with plenty of hail. Temperatures continued below normal, with highs in the 60s during the week. Finally, some signs of change were evident during the last two days of the month, with sunshine returning and temperatures warming into the 60s and briefly touching the low 70s on Sunday the 31st.
This pushed May 2015 into the record books as one of the wettest months on record for many areas along the Front Range and Eastern Plains of Colorado. Of course, this also means drought conditions are no longer a concern anywhere in the region and lots of snow has piled up in the mountains when we are normally melting the snowpack.
A look ahead
By June we can usually say goodbye to our chance of snowfall, but hello to frequent afternoon and evening thunderstorms. There are times when we see a little snowfall in June in the region, but most of the time we can expect warm, sunny days with afternoon and evening thunderstorms.
May 2015 Weather Statistics
Average High 57.5° (-9.3°) 100-year return frequency value max 75.7° min 57.9°
Average Low 37.0° (+1.3°) 100-year return frequency value max 43.2° min 32.5°
Highest Temperature 72°F on the 31st
Lowest Temperature 22°F on the 10th
Monthly Precipitation 12.49" (+2.53" 52% above normal) 100-year return frequency value max 6.94" min 0.15"
Monthly Snowfall 8.7" (+3.2" 37% above normal)
Season to Date Snow 116.5" (-6.2" 5% below normal) (the snow season is from July 1 to June 30)
Season to Date Precip 30.37" (+11.29" 40% above normal) (the precip season is from July 1 to June 30)
Heating Degree Days 551 (+126)
Cooling Degree Days 0
For more detailed weather information and Climatology of the Palmer Divide and Tri-Lakes region, please visit Bill Kappel’s Weather Web page at www.thekappels.com/Weather.htm.
Bill Kappel is a meteorologist and Tri-Lakes resident. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidelines for letters to the editor are on page 31.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Letters to Our Community should not be interpreted as the views of OCN even if the letter writer is an OCN volunteer
D-38 could use some disruption
The opacity of D-38’s transparency
Hoping for a difference on school board
What are we really buying ourselves?
Monument Hill Foundation granting program
Thanks for help with After Prom event
By the staff at Covered Treasures Bookstore
When the May showers end, June is a good time to get out and enjoy Colorful Colorado at its freshest and finest. The following books are a sample of the many ways to browse through the beautiful bounty surrounding us.
Best Hikes Near Colorado Springs
Pikes Peak above the Clouds
How to Raise a Wild Child
H Is for Hawk
Such a Little Mouse
If You Plant a Seed
The Stokes Essential Pocket Guide to the Birds of North America
Until next month, happy reading.
By Harriet Halbig
All of the teen volunteers have been trained and the prizes stored away in the library! Register now at your local library or online (ppld.org) for the summer reading program, which lasts from June 1 to July 31. The theme this summer is super heroes.
Teen volunteers will be on hand near the children’s area to help with registration and award prizes during all library open hours.
There is a program for kids up to 2, one for kids age 3 to grade six, and one for teens in grades 6 to 12. Kids going into sixth grade must choose between the children’s program (Every Hero Has a Story) and the teen program (Unmask!).
There will be many special programs at the library during June and July and a great post-program party on the Palmer Lake Village Green to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments.
A schedule of events can be picked up at the library or may be viewed at www.ppld.org.
Monument Library events
Palmer Lake Library events
Harriet Halbig can be reached at email@example.com.
By Al Walter
On May 9, the Palmer Lake Historical Society hosted a special program at " Maguireville" in Monument. The event was open to Historical Society members and their guests. Despite the hail, heavy rain, and snow, almost 40 people attended. Maguireville is a fabulous collection of Americana and Western memorabilia of the 1800-1900s that fills three large barns on the property. Jim Maguire, owner of Maguireville, described why he and his wife Donna began collecting these artifacts and how the collection grew to fill three large buildings. Following the formal program, everyone enjoyed light refreshments as they toured the remarkable collection.
On May 21, over 75 people attended a presentation at Palmer Lake Town Hall on the massacre to near extinction of the American bison. The bison was considered a sacred animal and a symbol of religiousness among the Native American tribes of the Plains and was key to their survival. Robin Hammitt presented his theories on why an estimated 50 million bison were reduced to about 300 and how efforts were undertaken to bring the bison back from the edge of extinction. Hammitt’s presentation led to a lively question-and-answer period where audience members contributed to the overall understanding of how politics, the expansion of the West, and military strategy contributed to the deliberate extermination of the bison.
Join us on Sunday, June 21, from 2 to 4 p.m. on the Village Green at Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent, Palmer Lake, for our annual salute to fathers. Each year the Historical Society provides free ice cream, fruit pie, and music to bring families together in a celebration of dads on Father’s Day. Come join us and don’t forget to bring Dad!
Also join us on June 18, 2015, at 7:00 PM at the Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent, Palmer Lake, CO, 80133, for a presentation on trains that travelled Ute Pass. Mel McFarland, local railroad historian, will discuss some of the well-known and not so known trains that travelled the Pass from the late 1800s to the 1970s. The event is free and light refreshments will be served. This free program is part of the History Series sponsored by the Historical Society on the third Thursday of each month that brings local researchers and historians to Palmer Lake to discuss topics involving regional, Colorado, and National history.
For membership and program information, visit www.palmerdividehistory.org.
By Janet Sellers
Bees save the world, and we can save the bees. A huge factor for saving bees will be in the form of home gardeners planting organic (pesticides kill bees and us) flowering plants and trees for a long flowering season, and encouraging full-season flowering crops nationwide. Every flower counts—even dandelions will feed bees. I’ve read reports that 40 percent of bees have died off due to toxic farming and gardening practices (along with the sterile GMO crops). We don’t need the military troops to fight Earth invaders, we need gardeners!
I would like to encourage everyone to plant organically something that blooms for the butterflies, ladybugs and bees to thrive. They really do make our planet alive and safe to live on. With all our rain, we’ll see a lot of outdoor wildflowers showing up, but planting annuals and perennials will be your friend, too.
The Tri-Lakes Business Accelerators’ volunteers Lynae Thompson and Newlene Laib helped prepare and plant the Monument Community Garden May 16 with Leah Squires and Janet Sellers. All in all, 36 square foot garden plots were planted in beans, greens, and cool weather crops, and the garden perimeter was planted in sunflowers for a fun fence surround. Volunteer helpers are always welcome.
As a reminder for happy crops, the success for HANG gardens is good, happy soil microbes attracted by natural, organic compositions you can put together yourself. Details in Monument Community Garden (MCG) Facebook pages for MCG: www.facebook.com/monumentcommunitygarden or Tri-Lakes Garden Community.
Next MCG event:
June 14, 7 to 9 p.m. Tri-Lakes Gardening Community (TLGC) will hold a HANG Tomato Talk at Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce,166 Second St., Bring a friend and a dessert to share.
Janet Sellers is a newbie HANG gardener: She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Janet Sellers
Summer is here and it’s time to get outside and draw and paint in our town! I have a secret, professional grade and cheap plein air artist kit I will tell you about that takes up little room and is filled with magic when you open it. It’s perfect for kids of all ages. I’ve used it with great success for decades for myself, my visiting artist friends, and with my students and our plein air outings.
I start with a three-ring binder, 1.5-inches thick, and fill it with paper. I cut to size and use a variety of: newsprint, plain white/printer paper, brown paper (even old paper bags or lunch bags) colored artist paper, and tracing paper. Add a pencil case with: two or three sharpened No. 2 pencils or two automatic pencils, a black ballpoint pen, a red/brown sanguine chalk color, a kneaded eraser, white chalk, a piece of art charcoal in a zip bag (keep things tidy) and cheapo colored pencils (crayons are great but they could melt).
The brown paper is great for simple studies with pencil, ink and white chalk. I show my students the age-old technique from Renaissance times of using charcoal with the middle tone brown paper to make the middle tone of their sketch look rich, and white highlights. The white papers are good for sketches with the color notes in color pencils, of course. And the newsprint is perfect for charcoal. I’ve even tried a used burnt match stick to draw for charcoal and it works! So, no excuses, let’s get out at make some art in the sunshine!
In other news, the Art Hop started up again, and from now until September we get to enjoy Art Hop on the third Thursday of each month, breezing through town from 5 to 8 p.m. Lots of art to see on the Art Hop nights; some artists are only available on that one night, so it’s vital to go then.
Even with an exuberant thundershower, the first Art Hop was a big success and well attended.
I met Jo Gaston, artist, at Bella Casa, showing some of the many works in her watercolor show. We talked about one that depicts a cactus in bloom that she had enjoyed seeing on a vacation trip to Arizona. The show included Western-themed still life, landscapes, and more. I look forward to eventually seeing all the venues this season.
June art events
Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA) Palmer Lake Art Group "Color Splash Fine Arts Show" June 2-27. Proceeds benefit art scholarships for School District 38 high school seniors. TCLA, 304 Highway 105, Palmer Lake, CO. Call for more information: 719-481-0475.
Tri Lakes Views will install outdoor public art on June 18, and maps will be available soon. Take a walk or ride around town and catch the new ones, enjoy the permanent ones. They tell me there are about 50 outdoor sculptures in the exhibit this year. Our ‘hood is quite an amazing art destination now!
Art Hop is June 18, 5-8 p.m. in Historic Downtown Monument.
Janet Sellers is a local artist and art teacher. Her art and sculptures are on exhibit locally and all over Colorado.
Sellers can be reached at email@example.com.
1,500 attend Pine Forest Show, May 2-3
By Harriet Halbig
The 39th Annual Pine Forest Antiques, Home Décor and Garden Show was held at Lewis-Palmer High School on May 2 and 3. This event is one of two major fundraisers for the Tri-Lakes Women’s Club. Proceeds fund projects and equipment for nonprofits within the Lewis-Palmer school district. Among the beneficiaries have been the school district and the fire protection district.
This year’s show featured 22 vendors in the home and garden categories and 33 antiques dealers. A popular feature of the show is the bakery, stocked with various goodies baked by members of the club, including gluten-free and pet items. A bistro also offered lunch and pie.
An estimated 1,500 individuals attended the show this year.
Those interested in membership may contact the group at tlwc.net.
Harriet Halbig may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caption: The second vice presidents for Charitable Events for the Tri-Lakes Women’s Club are Gail Wittman, left, and Susan Wiese. Photo by Harriet Halbig.
Caption: The bakery committee members were, from left, Cindy Monahan, Joyce Wohlfert, Lily Golondzinier, Andrea Keough, and Diana Heckethorn. Not present (she was baking more merchandise!) was Myrna Kruckeberg. Photo by Harriet Halbig.
FireWise Daze, May 2
Caption: From right to left, David Farr, a Palmer Lake volunteer firefighter, Jeff Tienken, Coalition for the Upper South Platte field crew boss, and Ric Smith, Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department assistant chief, prepare a tree for chipping after cutting it down during the Town of Palmer Lake FireWise Daze event May 2. Trees that show a hazard to potential evacuation efforts were removed as part of Palmer Lake’s pre-determined road easements. Photo by Jennifer Green-Lanchoney
Recycled materials become works of art
By David Futey
At the opening reception on May 8, artist Gary Weston had his collection of sci-fi related sculptures on display at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA). Weston takes items he discovers at garage sales, second-hand stores and other locations and turns them into artwork that not only sparks the imagination but also pays homage to sci-fi classics. As an example of the latter, Weston created a full-size version of a time machine based on the one used by Rod Taylor in the 1960 classic movie. Weston’s works were on display until May 30. Information on upcoming events at the TLCA is at www.trilakesarts.org.
David Futey can be reached at email@example.com.
Caption: Artist Gary Weston is shown next to one of his many sculptures that were on display at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts. Weston makes his generally sci-fi themed creations from recycled materials. Photo by David Futey.
Caption: Palmer Lake resident Nikki Sheridan takes a trip in artist Gary Weston’s Time Machine, which was on exhibit at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts from April 28 to May 30. Sheridan said she follows Weston "wherever he goes to see his new creations." Photo by David Futey.
Ride to School with TLMFPD, May 6
Caption: On May 6, Cooper, Carson, and Annika Ahlers got a ride to Lewis-Palmer Elementary School with the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District (TLMFPD) fire engine. TLMFPD crew members included Mo Ayala, Elliot Linke, and Keegan Black. Photo by TLMFPD Fire Marshal John Vincent.
Spirits of Spring, May 16
Caption: Gleneagle Sertoma conducted its 11th annual Spirits of Spring Wine & Food Tasting fundraiser May 16. The event raised more than $10,000 for The Homefront Cares, Tri-Lakes Cares, Silver Key Senior Services, and other local charities. Over 200 people attended the fundraiser at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. Attendees tasted wine and tried new delicacies from local restaurants and caterers while competing to win items at the silent auction. Gleneagle Sertoma is always looking for volunteers and new members to help with Service to Mankind. Contact them at www.gleneaglesertoma.org. Photo courtesy of Gleneagle Sertoma.
Tree seedlings for forest fire victims
Caption: Kyah Voelker, a Palmer Ridge High School student, helped distribute some of the 10,000 tree seedlings given away on May 9 to over 238 Black Forest residents whose land was damaged in the 2013 fire, which burned 14,280 acres and 488 homes. The Colorado State Forest Service, Arbor Day Foundation, FedEx, National Wildlife Federation, and Black Forest Together combined their efforts for the giveaway to help restore some vegetation to the burned properties. Even those with insurance have found that their policies do not cover the costs of restoring acres of burned landscape. To donate to or volunteer with Black Forest Together, which is still coordinating cleanup and mitigation projects for fire victims, see www.blackforesttogether.org or find them on Facebook. Photo by Lisa Hatfield.
Monument remembers the fallen, May 25
Caption: The Town of Monument Memorial Day Ceremony held on May 25 was attended by about 300 people. Thanks to all the participants who made the ceremony possible, including: Master of Ceremony Mayor Rafael Dominguez (chief WO4, USMC, retired); honored speaker Col R. Paul Pfahler (USA); U.S. Air Force Chaplain Capt. Jason Gunnels; Pastor Ellen Fenter, Rabbi Oswald Garagorry, and Pastor Steve Burford; readers of the names of the buried military in Monument Cemetery Lt. Col. Jeffry B. Smith (USAF, retired), M/Sgt. Jodie Zwolinski (USAF, retired), WW II Seaman 1st Class Sunny Evans (USN), Col. Al Forbes (USAF, retired); Trustee Jeff Bornstein (audio); bell ringer Max Williams (USA); In Flanders Field reader Maj. Darby Kelly (USAF, retired; VFW Post 7829); U.S. flag presenter Robert MacDonald (USAF) and POW/MIA flag presenter Lt. Col. Jim Cunningham (USAF, retired); flag raisers Lt. Col. Dan Beatty (USAF, retired; post commander of VFW Post 7829) and Joe Carlson (USA; post commander of Knights of Columbus 4th degree), and American Legion Tri-Lakes Post 9-11; the Lewis-Palmer School District 38 Symphonic and Jazz Band directed by Mike Mozingo and Stephen Hock; honor guard/rifle salute members of the Monument and Palmer Lake Police Departments and Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District; Boy and Girl Scouts; Town of Monument program planners Trustee John Howe and Madeline VanDenHoek; Monument photographer Cori. J. Hickman; greeters Sharon Williams and Lt. Col. Jennifer Cunningham (USAF, retired); hosts of the Ladies Auxiliary to VFW Post 7829; refreshments from Serrano’s Coffee, Monument Homemakers, and the Town of Monument staff; and all of our men and women in uniform. Photos and summary provided by Jim Kendrick
Soap Box Derby by Kiwanis and Sertoma
Caption: Each year, the Monument Hill Kiwanis organization, in conjunction with the Gleneagle Sertoma group, holds the local Soap Box Derby event. This year, a dynasty has emerged with four cousins from the Monument and Gleneagle communities racing in the event under the banner of "Cousins Racing." From left are Jayleen Ingram, Landen Ingram, Wyatt Ingram, and Andrew Daugherty. Andrew and Jayleen were crowned local champs in previous years and as such, represented the Pikes Peak Region at the International Soap Box Derby’s World Championship Race. This year they are joined by Wyatt and Landen (their first year) vying to win a local championship and the chance to run in the national race. The racing program comes to Colorado Springs on May 31 and June 7. About 50 youths were expected to compete in their gravity-powered racers for a chance to represent Colorado Springs at the 77th All-American Soap Box Derby Championship in Akron, Ohio on July 25. The three local champions receive an expense-paid trip to Akron to compete at the national race. Photo by Dennis Daugherty.
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
Jun 10: Roast pork with apple cider cream sauce, roasted potatoes, salad.
Jun 17: Chicken Marsala over noodles, Caesar salad.
Jun 24: Pulled pork sandwich, coleslaw, chips.
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 is here
The El Paso County Black Forest Slash and Mulch season is here! Slash (tree and brush debris only) will be accepted until Sept. 13, $2 per load. Mulch will be available until 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; or El Paso County Environmental Division, 520-7878.
Black Forest Together (BFT) needs volunteers
BFT needs YOU! Searching for team leads, work team members, volunteer work groups, resource center office volunteers, and donations so that they can help residents of burned areas of Black Forest do cleanup and mitigation of their properties. Clearing slash, chipping trees, debris cleanup, reforestation, and erosion control are some of the tasks needed on a weekly basis for hundreds of projects. For more information, please contact Black Forest Together, 495-2445, BlackForestTogether@gmail.com, or come by the Resource Center at 11590 Black Forest Rd., Suite 30, in the Forest Plaza Center Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Monument Academy Summer Day Camp, May 26-Aug. 7
Eleven separate themed weeks are planned for children in grades K-6, through Aug. 7. Sign up for full daycare, morning camps, or just the field trips. See the ad for details. For more information, contact 481-1950, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.monumentacademy.net.
Volunteers Needed in Black Forest
Volunteers age 14+ are needed Jun. 20 to drag branches to the chipper to help clear Black Forest property of burned material. Write to Andre at email@example.com for details and to sign up for this or other community service work days.
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.
Tri-Lakes Y Summer Sports Camps
Register now for camps for ages 6-14, Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Half-day camps also available. Flag football, Jun. 15-19; Lacrosse, Jun. 22-26; Soccer, Jul. 6-10; Basketball, Jul. 13-17; Volleyball, Jul. 20-24. Cost: $132 members, $164 non-members. Financial assistance available. Register at www.ppymca.org or at the Y, 17250 Jackson Creek Pkwy., Monument. Information: 481-8728.
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, 2015. If business owners didn’t 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 and Blue Wave Taekwondo Academy are looking for volunteers to help organize their first-ever winter SMAC Down Dodgeball tournament to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Come have fun and help a wonderful cause. The first organizational meeting will be June 15, 8 p.m. For more information, contact 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.
Become a CASA volunteer
Become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). CASA offers a volunteer opportunity like no other. As appointed representatives of the court, CASA volunteers are empowered to make a lifelong difference in the lives of abused and neglected children. Learn more at http://www.casappr.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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call the MCSS dispatch hotline at 488-0076.
Attention Tri-Lakes residents with medical conditions
If you have a medical condition or a physical disability, please contact Jennifer at Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District, 484-0911, to register for emergency assistance if evacuation is required.
Tri-Lakes HAP Senior Center programs
The Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership Senior Citizens Center is next to the Lewis-Palmer High School Stadium (across from the YMCA) and is open 1-4 p.m., Tue.-Fri., and earlier for scheduled activities. The facility has a lounge, craft room, game room, and multipurpose room. Programs include bridge, pinochle, National Mah-jongg, line dancing, tea time, bingo, and more. Ping-pong, Wii video games, puzzles and board games, refreshments, a lending library, computers with Internet connections, and an information table are also available. For information about programs for seniors, visit www.TriLakesSeniors.org.
Senior Beat newsletter—subscribe for free
Each monthly Senior Beat newsletter is full of information for local seniors, including the daily menu of the senior lunches offered Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in Monument. It also contains the schedule of the classes and events for the month at the Senior Citizens Center. To subscribe, send an email with your name and mailing address to SeniorBeat@TriLakesSeniors.org. Senior Beat can also be viewed online at www.TriLakesHAP.org.
County prescription discount program could save you money
El Paso County’s prescription discount program saved 10,000 residents $250,000 in discounted medicines over 18 months at no additional taxpayer cost. People using the card saved an average of 23 percent. There are no eligibility requirements and no strings attached to receive the discounts. You can pick up a free Prescription Discount Card at most county government locations or you can download your own personalized prescription discount card on the county website (bottom of the front page) at www.elpasoco.com. Any county resident without prescription coverage can use this program. Even if you have insurance for prescription medications, the discount card might save you money on prescription medications your existing plan does not cover. For information, visit www.elpasoco.com/ or call 520-6337 (MEDS).
By Judy Barnes, Community Calendar Editor
Although we strive for accuracy in these listings, dates or times are often changed after publication. Please double-check the time and place of any event you wish to attend by calling the info number for that event.
LOCAL LIBRARY EVENTS
All branches will be closed July 4
WEEKLY AND MONTHLY EVENTS
7 a.m., Palmer Lake Fun Run, a 4-mile run/walk that begins at the Palmer Lake Santa Fe trailhead and ends at Third Street in Monument in time for the parade! Kid fun run too! Transportation back to Palmer Lake provided after the race. Register at www.july4funrun.com.
· 7-10 a.m., Pancake Breakfast, St Peter Catholic Church - 55 Jefferson St., Monument. Tickets at the door: $7 adults, $4 kids, first responders and military in uniform eat free.
· 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce Street Fair, 2nd Street and Washington Street. More than 100 vendors from food to crafts and fun for the entire family. To reserve a booth in the Street Fair, contact the Chamber or visit: www.trilakeschamber.com.
· 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Monument Community Presbyterian Church Open House, 238 Third Street, Monument. Free. Car show, bounce houses, restrooms, water, ice pops. Info: 481-3902, www.mcpcusa.org. · 9:30 a.m., Monument Hill Kiwanis Children’s Parade, Downtown Monument
· 10 a.m.-noon, Monument Hill Kiwanis 4th of July Parade, Downtown Monument. Register to participate: www.monumenthillkiwanis.org.
· 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Tri-Lakes Chamber Beer Garden, Family Friendly, Limbach Park, Monument
· Noon-9 p.m., Monument Music Festival, Downtown Monument. Bands in various venues; food and beer concessions.
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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