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By Lisa Hatfield
The Monument Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Aug. 24. Its sole purpose was to enact a temporary moratorium on clinics, which the trustees were prepared to vote on as soon as possible after emerging from an executive session with an attorney for the town to receive legal advice on specific legal questions that preceded the meeting. However, the specific wording of the originally proposed emergency moratorium ordinance was modified later in the meeting after the trustees agreed to receive input from attorney William Louis, who was representing Jamie Fenley and the "No Methadone in Monument" group. Louis said the town’s initial proposed wording would have gotten them a "quick march to the federal courthouse."
All seven board members attended this special meeting.
Initially the board was in favor of adopting the proposed ordinance included by Town Attorney Gary Shupp in the board packet. However, Louis stated that he had submitted a revised version that day that he claimed would make it less likely the town would be the subject of a lawsuit. The board’s initial position was there was not enough time to deal with the details of Louis’s proposal at this special meeting, and it would modify Shupp’s ordinance language at the next board meeting if needed.
Several members of the "No Methadone" group pleaded with the trustees to take the time to listen to Louis’s land use expertise and legal advice. "He’s right here, at our dime," said resident Greg Coopman. "I’m baffled."
During public comments, resident Tommie Plank raised the same question Town Manager Pamela Smith had on Aug. 17, if it were possible that the phrase "moratorium on the operation or establishment of any business that provides drugs" would affect pharmacies that were already in business. Shupp said he did not think it made any difference as far as the intent of the moratorium. Plank said, "You need to be more certain than that. There are other businesses in town that dispense drugs that are perfectly legal."
After further interactive discussion with the citizens in attendance, the board changed its position and agreed to hear Louis’s rationale for his proposed changes. Shupp then said he had no "pride of authorship" about the ordinance and was open to suggestions.
Louis’s points included:
• Methadone dispensaries are one of many land uses that enjoy constitutional protection.
• If you are favoring one land use over another, you will get sued.
• The eventual goal would not be to outlaw these businesses from the town but to rewrite ordinances to exclude certain land uses from certain areas of primary concerns based on negative impacts.
• The downside of his approach was that, while the temporary moratorium was in effect, if a family physician wanted to open a business in Monument, for example, it would not be allowed.
Louis said the town could have easily enacted a moratorium with very little constitutional objection if this had been addressed appropriately last fall.
Attorney Chris Gruen of Fox Rothschild LLP, representing Colonial Management Group LP of Orlando, Fla., said he wanted to put on record that Colonial did object on the basis that the moratorium was discriminatory and unconstitutional.
About a half hour of discussion by the trustees, Louis, and Shupp regarding the two-page legal document resulted in mutual agreement on new wording for the emergency ordinance. The title was changed to "An emergency ordinance imposing a temporary moratorium on the new establishment of any business that classifies itself or seeks approval for itself as a clinic in the B and C zoning classifications." It was approved by a roll call vote of 7-0. It took effect immediately and will last six months.
The approved final ordinance is available for download as a PDF file at www.townofmonument.org/meetings/board-of-trustees/.
Caption: The Monument Board of Trustees approved a temporary emergency moratorium on all clinics on Aug. 24. From left are Trustee Jeff Bornstein, Trustee Becki Tooley, Mayor Pro-Tem Jeff Kaiser, Mayor Rafael Dominguez, Trustee John Howe, Trustee Kelly Elliott, Trustee Jeff Smith, Town Attorney Gary Shupp, Town Manager and Treasurer Pamela Smith, and Town Clerk Cynthia Sirochman, and, seated, attorney William Louis, representing the "No Methadone in Monument" group. Photo by Lisa Hatfield.
The meeting adjourned at 7:31 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. The next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 8. Call 884-8017 or see www.townofmonument.org for more information.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at email@example.com.
By Lisa Hatfield
The Aug. 11 Triview Board of Directors meeting included a discussion about problems with the payments and services the district receives from the town of Monument. A resident of Promontory Pointe spoke on behalf of a group of homeowners concerned about lack of responsibility of both Classic Homes and Triview on open space maintenance. The 2014 audit was approved, and the directors discussed unaccounted-for water.
Services from town of Monument discussed
In the manager’s report, District Manager Valerie Remington said that "because of turnover there," Monument town staff "is making mistakes on checks made out to Triview" and that "the will-serve process for developers was breaking down due to quality issues."
Board President Robert Fisher said that at a future meeting he would like to consider taking back collection of all fees from the town of Monument. He said he has had several meetings with Monument Mayor Rafael Dominguez and will provide an opportunity for the town to correct those issues. Fisher said he would like to wait until the new Monument town manager takes over from Interim Town Manager Pamela Smith before making decisions on the performance of services the town does for Triview, but that now "the service they are supposed to provide us is not working very well."
Questions from Promontory Pointe residents
During public comments, Promontory Pointe homeowner Steve Liebowitz said he was representing a Promontory Pointe homeowner community action group and asked the board for help finding out which entities were responsible for maintenance of open space areas in Phases 1, 2, and 3 of this development, a neighborhood of "$500,000-plus" homes. He said the residents were "disgruntled and dissatisfied" with the lack of mowing as well as dead trees and a preponderance of noxious weeds in open spaces. "Those open spaces look like hell." He added that erosion was damaging open spaces as well as private property.
Liebowitz stated that Classic Homes told him that Triview had taken over maintenance of Phases 1, 2, and 3 as of Jan. 28, but when he called Triview’s office, he was told Phase 3 was still Classic’s responsibility.
Liebowitz also asked if the town of Monument was not paying all the tax money it owed Triview. He also asked if salaried employees were working overtime for "time and a half" due to Triview not being able to fill a third of the summer seasonal employee positions. "We are not just here to express our dismay with it, but we want to be a help if we can," he said.
Fisher thanked Liebowitz for his comments. Some of Fisher’s comments were:
• "We’re not going to try and real time this discussion tonight. It’s a chance for you to give us input."
• "There are transition windows where things hand over from developers before they become our responsibility."
• "We have seasonal workers every year as it relates to landscaping and green space."
• "In general, I think we have a good handle and we have worked out some issues with regards to the town that are just really accounting related. There is not a shortchanging of tax dollars going on."
• "Landscaping and maintenance are ongoing concerns of ours, they always have been. It’s good to hear from residents as to what they feel is working and what they feel is not, so keep that input coming."
• "Your input is received, and we will discuss it with staff and try and get some clarification for you."
• "The preference is for you to start with staff."
Liebowitz reiterated that he and 30 other residents had already called the staff. "There’s a finger pointing game saying it’s not us, it’s them," he said. Fisher responded, "We will dig into it a little bit and get you some feedback." Liebowitz thanked the board and then left the meeting.
Who is responsible for Triview open space?
During the manager’s report 90 minutes later in the meeting, Remington said that she "found out that the town of Monument accepted sections 3 and 4 without Triview’s knowledge" or approval. Because of this, neither Classic nor Triview were maintaining the open spaces in those phases. She added, "The town of Monument deviated from the process" on Phases 3 and 4. She also said that the town of Monument does not have the authority to accept phases on Triview’s behalf.
Remington stated that Triview would do a landscaping walkthrough with Classic, and after Triview signed off on a detailed punch list, Triview would be taking over responsibility for maintenance and repairs within Promontory Pointe Phases 3 and 4, "probably within the next 30 days," Remington said.
Fisher said, "I do think Classic needs to be better business partners and correctly reflect the status of those responsibilities up there" to the homeowners of in Promontory Pointe. He pointed out that there were 450 more homes coming from Classic in the future. Fisher asked Remington to email Liebowitz with answers to the questions he asked earlier in the evening.
2014 audit approved
Steve Hochstetter of Stockman Kast Ryan & Co. LLP presented the district’s 2014 audit. As an independent auditor, he gave it a clean or unmodified opinion.
Hochstetter commented that while the district had a deficit of $62,000 in its net position of combined governmental and business-type activities, this was a "very significant" $4.8 million improvement over 2013’s total net position, a deficit of $4.862 million. The audit report said the improvement was due to increased development revenues including the tap fees and impact fee revenue from Promontory Pointe, and continued monitoring of operating expenditures.
The audit stated that at the end of 2014 the district held a total of $52.87 million in long-term principal. The remaining long-term principal debt from a 2009 bond issue was $45.9 million, which will require a total payment of $33.37 million in interest, for a total debt service of $79.27 million through 2039. New long-term principal debt created in October 2014 for two loans was $7.284 million, which will require a total payment of $1.644 million in interest, for a total debt service of $8.928 million through 2029. The total debt service for these three long-term loans is $88.2 million through 2039.
The audit also stated that "the district is currently less than 40 percent developed and probably 15 years from build-out status."
The board voted unanimously to accept the 2014 audit as presented.
Fisher said later in the meeting that the 2014 audit said the district has $12 million worth of road work to be done, but is spending $500,000 on maintenance this year. He asked for future board input on a draft budget discussion schedule for operations and maintenance.
2014 budget amendment approved
Based on Hochstetter’s corrections in the 2014 audit, the board unanimously approved a resolution increasing the appropriation for the Water, Wastewater and Reuse Enterprise Fund from $3.49 million to $9.195 million and the appropriation for the Capital Projects Fund from $2.08 million to $2.50 million. There was no public comment on this budget amendment.
Unaccounted-for water 37 percent
Vice President Reid Bolander stated that the district pumped 33 million gallons of water but only sold 21 million gallons in July. Even at the lowest base rate for water, that would be $40,000 in one month that is not accounted for, he said. Fisher said, "I think the loss is excessive; we have to get a handle on it." Remington mentioned a variety of reasons for 37 percent unaccounted-for water:
• Some new construction houses had not actually installed the water meter kits in the houses and were using straight pipe instead. Remington called police on one contractor for stealing water recently and will be taking them to court.
• Pipes leaking water.
• Triview parks and open spaces used to have no meters on their irrigation systems, but they do now.
Water attorney Chris Cummins said Jessie Shaffer, district manager of Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District, should be consulted since he has experience dealing with excessive water loss.
Note: The neighboring Donala Water and Sanitation District reported that it is billing 97.84 percent of its produced potable water through July 2015 at its Aug. 20 board meeting. See related Donala article on page 15.
Excess review fee policy approved
The board unanimously approved a resolution for a new policy that allows the district to charge additional fees because of "abnormal or atypical costs and fees incurred by the District in review of development proposals, and other similar matters which constitute a burden upon all citizens of the District."
Remington reported on the financial statements as of June 30. CPA Cathy Fromm also answered some questions of the board. The board unanimously approved the statements.
Remington said the funds from a certificate of deposit that matured in June were moved to a money market account that was fully insured by the FDIC and did not have risk associated with it; this was reported incorrectly in the Aug. 1 issue of Our Community News. She said the new investment product had a better interest rate and was more liquid than the CD.
Remington reported that in July, water revenue was 27 percent lower than in July last year, and it was down 10-20 percent for the year. Fisher said using a conservative estimate of 10 percent, that was a $90,000 shortfall for just one month, and he hoped Triview could start a reserve fund within the enterprise fund since it has no cash reserve fund now.
Disbursements over $5,000
The board unanimously approved three payments over $5,000
• $12,741 to AFD Pavement Marking LLC for road striping
• $5,500 to ORC Water Professionals, of Wheat Ridge, for consultant services by an A-rated operator in responsible charge (no one with an A license is on staff to meet this state staffing requirement)
• $12,900 to JDS-Hydro Consultants LLC for engineering services for a Sanctuary Pointe transmission line
Ben Bustos, Classic Communities development manager, briefed the board on Classic’s plans to install the new $430,000 sewer line along Kingswood Drive through Sanctuary Pointe and the Kingswood subdivision to Baptist Road to have construction completed before cold weather begins. It will remain private infrastructure until Triview officially accepts it. Part of the line will run under the road and be in Triview, and the rest will be next to the road in El Paso County’s right-of-way and will be built to county standards.
Remington said Triview would solicit bids for installation of the drinking water transmission lines for the new Sanctuary Pointe water tank.
Triview’s water attorney Chris Cummins said that Valero truck stop (Diamond Shamrock) at the northwest corner of I-25 and West Baptist Road was partially included into Triview in 2009 for wastewater service. However, it is still using a well for water since Triview did not have water to service them at the time they sought inclusion, but now water is available to them. He said Triview needs to give Valero options about being included either into Triview or de-included so it can go into Forest Lakes Metropolitan District.
Remington said well D4 outfitting was still underway. Also, she said well D7 was still down as it had been since June 2, but disputed warrantied repairs should be completed soon. Her operations report noted that connecting well D4 at Site 4 would require shutting down Well A4, which "is one of our better producers and we can’t take the chance to have both A-4 and D-7 wells off line" due to Triview’s higher water demands during the summer irrigation season.
The board went into executive session at 7:17 p.m. to conference with the district’s attorneys regarding legal advice on specific legal questions.
Triview Metropolitan District board meetings are normally held the second Tuesday of the month at 5 p.m. at 16055 Old Forest Point, Suite 300. Information: 488-6868 or see the district’s updated website at www.colorado.gov/triviewmetro. The next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 8.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lisa Hatfield
At the Aug. 3 Monument Board of Trustees meeting, the trustees approved a formal contract offer to be made to Christopher Lowe for the town manager position. The trustees heard more public comments from citizens as well as new legal questions from the attorney hired to represent the "No Methadone in Monument" group. The trustees scheduled a special meeting for Aug. 7 to try to appoint two more members to the Board of Adjustment to alleviate one legal concern raised on Aug. 3. The emergency moratorium ordinance regarding methadone was scheduled for the next regular meeting on Aug. 17.
Mayor Rafael Dominguez and Trustee Kelly Elliott were excused. According to Interim Town Manager and Town Treasurer Pamela Smith, Planning Director Mike Pesicka was excused due to illness, and so several questions for him could not be answered at this meeting.
Formal contract offered to new town manager candidate
The trustees unanimously approved a resolution offering the town manager position to Christopher Lowe for $112,000 per year. Through Town Attorney Gary Shupp, the two excused trustees also expressed their support. The position is currently filled by Town Treasurer and Interim Town Manager Pamela Smith. See www.ocn.me/v15n5.htm#mbot0406. Town Clerk Cynthia Sirochman said now that there is a formal contract, Lowe will give notice to his current board and a start date to the town of Monument.
Legal questions raised by opponents’ attorney
Mayor Pro-Tem Jeff Kaiser said that "No Methadone in Monument" was now a registered organization in the state of Colorado. He said he met with Chairman Tom Allen and Cathy Green for three hours on July 31 "on how to work in tandem, find common ground to protect our town and our citizens." The standing-room only audience applauded his statement, echoed by Allen: "United we stand, divided we fall, so let’s stand together."
Allen said that attorney William Louis had been hired by "No Methadone" and advised his group members to "let your legal representative do what we engaged him for. Name calling and threats are counter-productive in achieving the end goals of everyone."
Shupp said that the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency (CIRSA) had appointed CIRSA attorney Steven Dawes to represent the town at the Board of Adjustment meeting since a claim had been made with CIRSA, and Dawes would be presenting evidence at the hearing. Louis concurred. The board voted unanimously to approve this request. Dawes’ fee will be covered by the dues that the town pays to CIRSA. Shupp’s role at the hearing on Aug. 10 would be to represent and give advice to the Board of Adjustment members.
Louis raised three points in his public comments. One point was that his open records request filed July 24 to see the Monument Town Planning Department files on Colonial Management Group had not yet been granted, and without access to those records, he could not adequately prepare for the Board of Adjustment hearing on Aug. 10.
Another request by Louis was to propose that an emergency moratorium ordinance be added to the agenda for the next regular Board of Trustees meeting on Aug. 17, or sooner if possible. Louis said this would be a legislative matter for the board, not a quasi-judicial one, so the trustees would be allowed to do their own outside research. Shupp recommended allowing two weeks for legal research and for CIRSA to weigh in instead of trying to do it sooner. The board consensus was to put the moratorium on the Aug. 17 agenda, and this request was reiterated throughout the meeting by several members of the public as well as Trustee Jeff Bornstein.
Then Louis raised a legal question that generated a long discussion when he advised the trustees that the Board of Adjustment "cannot legally render a vote on this appeal" on Aug. 10 since it only had three members, but state statute C.R.S. 31-23-307 requires four affirmative votes to overturn an administrative decision. Shupp disagreed "vociferously" with Louis’ interpretation of the state statute.
The board voted to hold a special meeting on Friday, Aug. 7 to appoint two new members to serve three-year terms on the Board of Adjustment, if unbiased Monument resident applicants could be found. The two vacancies on the Board of Adjustment have been posted "for years" on the town’s website and periodically in the newspaper, Pamela Smith said, so there were no concerns about adequate notice in posting the positions.
Pamela Smith explained that Pesicka received the first application for the clinic on Oct. 2, 2014, adding, "We ran it by legal as we always would with something questionable, and it is a legal use the way the ordinance is currently written, and I authorized Pesicka to sign off on it based on recommendations from the attorney."
She said the town did not hear anything else until March 14 or 15 when the owner was refitting it for a clinic. "The drawings that went with that clinic had no indication whatsoever that there were safes or locks or that it was a methadone clinic, just that it was a medical clinic. The board was not informed until the end of June. So no one is being dishonest. They did not know. As soon as they knew, and as soon as my inspector came in and said, ‘Do you know this is a methadone clinic?’ and I said, ‘No I do not,’ that’s when they were informed. And we were also informed that legally there was nothing to stop it."
She said it was insulting for Allen to say the board was being dishonest. "It was an administrative process, and the board was not involved."
Louis then said he was "very concerned," since according to the town manager, Shupp made a land use decision. "Who made the decision?" Louis asked. "Who do I get to examine at the hearing? Ms. Smith, Mr. Pesicka, or Mr. Shupp?" He continued, "There’s a lot of inconsistencies here, and it needs to come out. Somebody is not telling what happened, but I will get it out in front of the Board of Adjustment."
Public comments from citizens included:
• Sarah Sampayo asked if Shupp were really representing the town of Monument or protecting the personal liability of the trustees as individuals. Shupp said he was not representing them individually.
• Michael Abair said he did "not agree that our town attorney is on the same team as the rest of us. I suggest the two attorneys get together and work out the best plan for our citizens."
• Dede Laugesen said that Colonial Management Group was "not incentivized" to really cure people at their clinic since they also own the pharmaceutical company that makes the methadone.
• Anna Walsh cited HB 14-1173 and that when applying for its state business license, one of the eight policies a business must show is proof of a "need for clients." Tooley and Kaiser explained that Monument is inexplicably considered "south metro" for state licensing purposes.
Tooley also said that the state may not use evidence or history from other states to make its determination about granting their license.
Board of Adjustment members reappointed
Jeffery Bornstein, Don Smith, and Kathy Spence were reappointed to the Board of Adjustment by a unanimous vote of the trustees. Their terms will run through July 2018.
New Planning Commission member appointed
The trustees voted unanimously to appoint Edward Locke to the Monument Planning Commission. Locke has a background in engineering, land use, homebuilding, and different community planning programs.
The meeting adjourned at 8:43 p.m.
Caption: Protesters from the "No Methadone in Monument" 501(c)3 group waved signs both outside and inside the Aug. 3 Monument Board of Trustees meeting. The group has hired attorney William Louis to represent it at the Aug. 10 Board of Adjustment meeting. Photo by Lisa Hatfield.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at email@example.com.Two members chosen for Monument Board of Adjustment
By Sue Smith
A special meeting Aug. 7, the Monument Board of Trustees appointed Shea Medlicott and Robin Yamiolkoski to the Board of Adjustment. This meeting was scheduled to fill the vacancies on the Board of Adjustment that have been posted on the town of Monument website for over a year.
The Board of Adjustment meets as needed when a zoning decision made by staff or the Board of Trustees is questioned or appealed as it has been in the case of the proposed methadone clinic. Mayor Rafael Dominguez, Mayor Pro-Tem Jeff Kaiser, and Trustees Becky Tooley, Jeff Smith, and John Howe were present at the meeting, and Trustees Jeff Bornstein and Kelly Elliott were excused.
Gary Shupp, the town attorney, reviewed the Board of Adjustment role, rules, and regulations. He emphasized the need for Board of Adjustment members is to be "fair and unbiased" and to avoid doing their own independent investigations on a topic. They should only hear evidence as presented at quasi-judicial hearings when making decisions in case those decisions might be reviewed by district court, Shupp said. See www.ocn.me/v15n8.htm#mbot0720.
He also explained the role of an alternate member but said the alternate would be chosen at a later date on a case-by-case basis as needed. Kaiser explained how they would use a point system to indicate each trustee’s first, second and third choice of candidates.
The following applicants were interviewed for the open Board of Adjustment appointments:
Dede Laugesen, Medlicott, Benito Sauceda III, Richard Tidd, Yamiolkoski, and Amy Stephens. Three applicants did not attend the meeting but their applications were also reviewed. The main focus of the interview was questioning each applicant’s ability to be objective and to make difficult decisions.
Laugesen complained that after the Aug. 7 special meeting was scheduled at the Aug. 3 Board of Trustees meeting, the town staff delayed too long in posting the public notice and that it was not posted clearly on the town website. After the interviews, Stephens withdrew her application because she felt there were many qualified candidates to serve.
After the interviews, the trustees made their decisions and Shupp tallied the votes. Dominguez announced that there was a three-way tie. The three top candidates were Medlicott, Tidd, and Yamiolkoski. The trustees voted from among those three, and Yamiolkoski and Medlicott were announced as the two new members. They were scheduled to be sworn in on Aug. 10 at the Board of Adjustment meeting, along with the other three members who were reappointed at the Aug. 3 Board of Trustees meeting,
The meeting adjourned at 8:07 p.m.
Caption: Robin Yamiolkoski, left, and Shea Medlicott were appointed to join the three current members of the Monument Board of Adjustment on Aug. 7 at a special meeting of the Board of Trustees. Photo by Sue Smith.
Sue Smith can be reached c/o firstname.lastname@example.org.
By James Howald
At a heavily attended meeting on Aug. 10, the Monument Board of Adjustment voted unanimously to grant an appeal of an earlier decision by the town’s planning staff that allowed Colonial Management Group LP (CMG) of Orlando, Fla., to open a methadone clinic at 192 Front St., adjacent to Limbach Park. This decision was appealed by Jamie Fenley, a Monument resident who has described herself as having been previously addicted to heroin for seven years, but currently in long-term recovery. By granting Fenley’s appeal, the board reversed the decision of the town’s staff and prevented CMG from proceeding with its original plan. CMG can contest the board’s decision on the appeal by suing the town in district court.
Attorney William H. Louis represented Fenley in her appeal. Louis also represents the "No Methadone in Monument" group. Attorney Christopher J. Dawes, accompanied by CMG Director of Development Katie Peck, represented CMG.
"This is not about keeping addicts out"
In his introduction, Louis argued that the real issue was negative land use impacts that would result from a methadone clinic in downtown Monument. Louis said Monument’s planning director when CMG’s proposal was approved, Mike Pesicka, erred in his interpretation of the word "clinic" in the town’s zoning code. Louis contended that the zoning code did not clearly define the term clinic, and that the business CMG proposed would in fact be a "dispensary" and not a clinic. Louis said Pesicka improperly relied on the dictionary definition of the term "clinic" to clarify the town’s zoning code.
Louis did not define what he meant by dispensary, and referred to CMG’s proposed business as a clinic later in his presentation.
Fenley describes her behavior as an addict
Louis introduced Fenley, who described her years on methadone therapy, which she said was not helpful to her. Fenley said she continued to take heroin while she was receiving methadone, and supported her addiction by panhandling and shoplifting. Fenley said the dealers she bought from viewed methadone clinics as a way to find customers, and that she believed CMG’s proposed business would lead to drug sales and use in the restrooms at Limbach Park.
Fenley said she and other drug users often remained near the methadone clinic after receiving medication in the morning.
Current and previous town managers give background on zoning decision
Louis questioned both Pamela Smith, who is the current interim town manager, and Cathy Green, who was the town manager between 2005 and 2013 when the zoning codes were revised. Smith confirmed that she had directed Pesicka to confer with Town Attorney Gary Shupp as to whether CMG’s proposal was legal, and that the conclusion was that CMG’s proposed use was permitted. Smith said that based on her background in medical management the business CMG proposed qualified as a clinic.
In response to questions from Louis, Green said the changes to the zoning code made in 2009 simply made architectural and design guidelines stricter, and did not alter what the code said about use by right and by review. Green went on to say in her opinion CMG’s plan was not compatible with downtown Monument. Green also provided details about how other cities have addressed methadone treatment facilities in their zoning codes.
Louis ended his presentation by showing pictures of buildings and businesses close to other methadone treatment facilities elsewhere in El Paso County.
Attorney for St. Peter Church opposes CMG’s plan
Scott Mikulecky, an attorney with Sherman and Howard, who represents St. Peter Church, argued that CMG’s proposed business was not in accord with the intent of the zoning code, regardless of the specific language used in the code. The church is one block southeast of the proposed clinic in downtown Monument. Mikulecky said in his opinion the term "clinic" was not intended to include CMG’s proposed business. "Don’t let the applicant put the lipstick of ‘clinic’ on this methadone dispensary pig," Mikulecky said.
"It’s very clear my client’s business is a clinic"
Attorney Dawes, of Fox Rothschild LLP, pointed out to the board that their responsibility was to follow the zoning code as it was written at the time the town approved CMG’s proposal, and not to decide the matter based on theoretical improvements that could be made to the code, or on what other municipalities have done. "We are dealing with zoning in place," Dawes said.
Dawes asked Smith if legal advice was sought at the time the original decision was made, and Smith answered it was, and that the zoning request was approved based on the legal advice the town received at that time. Dawes said CMG had made it clear the business would provide methadone to patients at the time the town’s approval was granted.
Dawes cited a court case in Pennsylvania that decided a methadone treatment center met the definition of a clinic, and a case in Denver that reached a similar conclusion.
Dawes questioned CMG’s Peck concerning the differences between clinics and dispensaries. Peck stated that 90 per cent of the floor space for CMG’s proposed business would be professional offices or office space for certified addiction counselors, and that the business would employ a medical director with at least two years’ experience treating addiction. Nurses and pharmacists would also work at the facility. Ten percent of the floor space would be devoted to the pharmacy and the dispensing of methadone.
Board members question daily patient volume and business strategy
Board members asked Peck a number of questions intended to clarify the number of patients who would be at the clinic on a daily basis, how much time patients might spend with medical staff, and how the business would operate. Peck said that the number of patients would probably increase as the business became established, and could be up to 400 total patients, not all at the clinic every day. Peck said the number of counselors and support staff would increase as the number of patients increased. Peck’s answers to some of these questions were speculative, since the business has not yet begun operations.
Patients would be drawn from an area south of Denver and north of Colorado Springs, Peck said, adding that CMG had planned the facility using data from the state and from coroner’s reports on deaths due to drug overdoses.
Asked about why so many security measures were planned for the business, Peck made a distinction between a traditional medical practice and the business CMG is proposing: traditional medical practices do not have medicine on site, but CMG’s facility will, she said.
Louis, Dawes present their final arguments
In his concluding remarks, Louis pointed out that in his opinion the trustees of Monument did not intend their zoning to allow a business such as the one CMG proposes. Louis repeated his contention that methadone clinics cause problems in the neighborhoods where they exist.
Following Louis’s final statement, resident Greg Coopman read a definition of Medicare clinic that he had found online. The definition specified a Medicare clinic required three physicians, with at least one present at all times.
Dawes concluded by pointing out that a definition of term "clinic" presented by Coopman was irrelevant, because the definition was specific to Medicare clinics, and the business proposed by CMG would not accept Medicare patients.
Board votes to grant appeal
Board of Adjustment member Kathy Spence said the definition of a Medicare clinic that Coopman presented earlier persuaded her to vote in favor of Fenley’s appeal. Other members of the board said they felt members of the town staff were not diligent in their original decision, and that the lack of a definition in the zoning code for the word "clinic" justified a decision to vote based on what they thought the intention of the zoning code authors might have been.
The board voted unanimously to approve a motion to grant Fenley’s appeal.
The vote overturned the decision of the town’s planning director, and could prevent both the town and the State of Colorado from issuing a business license to CMG. CMG did not say at the meeting whether or not it would pursue the question in district court.
The meeting adjourned at 10:06 p.m.
Caption: Town Attorney Gary Shupp swears in Board of Adjustment members, from left, Shea Medlicott, Jeffrey Bornstein, Robin Yamiolkoski, Kathy Spence, and Don Smith at the BOA meeting on Aug. 10. Photo by James Howald.
James Howald can be reached at email@example.com.
By Kate Wetterer
On Aug. 12, the Monument Planning Commission approved both the Les Schwab Tire Center Final PD Site Plan, intended to occupy Lot 4A of the Jackson Creek Market Village Development, and the Sanctuary Pointe Water Tank Final PD Site Plan. Les Schwab Tire Center’s proposal passed after a discussion of amendments to the original plan. The amendments passed 4 to 2, with John Dick and Jim Fitzpatrick voting against them, and then the plan itself passed without extended debate. The Sanctuary Pointe plan was approved unanimously. Both proposals will now go on to be discussed by the Board of Trustees.
The Jackson Creek Market Village development is located east of King Soopers, west of Baptist Road. If the Board of Trustees grants permission, the Les Schwab Tire Center to be built there will be a one-story building with an aluminum storefront. The rest of the facility will be built with two colors of brick. The tire center’s height will not exceed 24 feet, 4 inches, and while there will also be a 20-foot sign advertising the business it will not extend above the top of the building. Another sign is planned, meant to be illuminated but not flashing, on a pole in a fixed position. One citizen living closest to the development expressed concern about this light remaining on at night. The project’s representative responded that this sign will mimic surrounding signs, the Les Schwab Tire Center only intending to keep it lit at night if other businesses do the same.
Les Schwab Tire Center’s bay doors are intended to face west, toward King Soopers, and trees will be planted to screen the business’s trash and recycling from public view. The Planning Commission was divided on whether to recommend a condition requiring that the garage bay doors should have to be closed by 8 p.m., as was decided for the Brakes Plus development discussed in the June 10 meeting, or if this 8 p.m. condition should be provisionally approved with the option of imposing the 8 p.m. restriction if there was later confirmation that the business turned out to be noisy when the bay doors were open. Conditions eventually approved for this bill would require Les Schwab Tire Center to keep all tires indoors except those used for sales displays and shield their trash and recycling sufficiently from public view. They would also be expected to keep bay doors closed during certain hours, except when receiving shipments.
Patrons will be able to access the Les Schwab Tire Center from West Baptist Road as well as Jackson Creek Parkway. There will be internal drives through the market, too, and connection to existing sidewalks along Baptist Road.
As for the Sanctuary Pointe Water Tank Final PD Site Plan, the preliminary location and site layout were approved back in April. The water tank will be painted forest green so as to better camouflage with its environment, and won’t be taller than the neighboring trees. There will be areas for Triview Metropolitan District vehicles to drive around the facilities, but there will be limited access to the water tank all around. There will be one truck by daily for maintenance, but on the whole it will be a locked facility. This project is not expected to impact surrounding properties.
The Planning Commission was very impressed by the pictures and displays provided by the Sanctuary Pointe Water Tank applicants.
Other topics discussed among the Planning Commission at this meeting included Michelle Glover’s concern about temporary residences staying long-term in Walmart’s parking lot, as well as Monument Principal Planner Mike Pesicka’s resignation.
If there is a Monument Planning Commission meeting next month, it will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 9 at 645 Beacon Lite Rd. Meetings are normally held on the second Wednesday of the month. Information: 884-8017 or http://www.townofmonument.org/meetings/.
Kate Wetterer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lisa Hatfield
The Aug. 17 Monument Board of Trustees meeting included a discussion-only coverage of the proposed moratorium on methadone treatment facilities instead of an action item, and this prompted members of "No Methadone in Monument" to make accusations against the town staff. The trustees scheduled a special meeting to take action on this ordinance within the week. The trustees learned that the new town manager’s start date was delayed one month. The trustees also approved three ordinances regarding property on West Baptist Road including a new 7-Eleven store.
Mayor Rafael Dominguez and Mayor Pro-Tem Jeff Kaiser were absent. The trustees voted unanimously to appoint Jeff Bornstein as mayor pro-tem for this meeting.
New town manager delayed by a month
Town Clerk Cynthia Sirochman told the trustees that she had been notified on Aug. 17 that the new town manager’s start date would be delayed by one month.
Public comment points at town staff
Bornstein reminded the audience that the Aug. 17 agenda posted included just a discussion about the moratorium but not an action item.
Attorney William Louis, representing Jamie Fenley and the "No Methadone" group, said his group was upset this was not an action item. Town Attorney Gary Shupp said the reason the moratorium could not be voted on that night was because it was not properly advertised as an action item. Resident Rob O’Regan said later, "Here we are kicking the can down the road due to poor judgment."
Louis asked Town Clerk Cynthia Sirochman if the business license for Colonial Management Group had been denied or not, but Shupp recommended Sirochman answer this question outside the meeting since it was not on the agenda. In absence of an answer to his question, Louis reiterated that the license needed to be denied since the land use process clearly said this was not the right location for a methadone clinic.
Louis added that public input is necessary in making good public policy. "This puts the matter back in the lap of elected officials. Don’t shut the people out, which is what your senior staff is trying to do." He raised his voice and concluded, "Do not repeat the mistakes of last fall where senior administrative staff incompetently, incompetently kept this matter from the board!"
"No Methadone" Chairman Tom Allen and group member Greg Coopman both demanded the immediate resignations of Sirochman and Interim Town Manager Pamela Smith since they said these staff members acknowledged they were given legal advice and knowingly kept this issue from the Board of Trustees and the people of Monument. Coopman also said that no one in their group received a phone call from the town staff after the Board of Adjustment meeting on how the two groups could work together in the future.
Trustees discuss moratorium
Shupp introduced the moratorium on methadone treatment facilities, saying that since it "had become a broader topic than it started out to be," he needed more direction from the board before drafting the ordinance for discussion. He mentioned a recent moratorium passed by the town of Palmer Lake and former Monument Town Manager Cathy Green’s idea to tie the moratorium to the town’s comprehensive plan, which is not up to date.
Pamela Smith was concerned that the Palmer Lake example said, "No person shall establish or operate a business that provides drugs and/or treatment of drug dependency" and wondered if that could affect existing doctor’s offices and clinics in the downtown area.
The consensus of the trustees was to schedule a special meeting in the next week to address the moratorium as an action item that could be discussed and approved.
Attorney Chris Dawes represented Colonial Management Group. He said his client had been trying to open for a year and wanted to go on record that the moratorium being discussed "smacks of an unconstitutional provision" geared to his client’s operations.
Bornstein said that no public comment was allowed on this topic this evening.
RFP for land use attorney approved
The board unanimously approved a request for proposals (RFP) to find a specialist attorney in land use matters to assist the town in very specific complicated land use actions that may arise in the future, in the same way the town has human resource specialists, water attorneys, and engineers on call. "This has no bearing whatsoever on the current situation with the methadone clinic," Pamela Smith said.
Elliott asked Smith that the trustees get to review the actual RFP via email before it is sent out. The trustees voted unanimously to send out an RFP for a land use attorney.
Jackson Creek Market Village ordinances
Morgan Hester has come back as a temporary contract employee for the Planning Department since Principal Planner Mike Pesicka resigned on Aug. 7. She presented three land use ordinances regarding the proposed replat and preliminary PD site plan for the Jackson Creek Market Village Development, and a final PD site plan for a 7-Eleven convenience store and retail fuel facility at the southwest corner of the property. This development is on West Baptist Road immediately east of the Jackson Creek Crossing shopping center that includes King Soopers.
The traffic report submitted by the applicant’s traffic engineer was accepted by town Engineering Assistant Tom Martinez, and the staff report said the additional traffic projected by the development would not create or significantly increase delays on the public streets in the area. No additional traffic light will be installed on West Baptist Road near this property.
Resident John Bender’s question about why sidewalks were not required of the applicant along West Baptist Road generated a long discussion.
Note: There is an existing 10-foot-wide El Paso County gravel trail that can be used by horses as well as pedestrians along the north side of Baptist Road from Jackson Creek Parkway to Kingswood Drive. This county trail lies within a county owned right-of-way. As a result, neither Jackson Creek Crossing nor the subdivision to the east of the property have concrete sidewalks along West Baptist Road between Jackson Creek Parkway and Leather Chaps Drive.
The trustees unanimously approved the replat and preliminary PD site plan for the entire development, and the final PD site plan for the 7-Eleven convenience store pad within the development.
Town manager’s report
Pamela Smith’s said that a site development plan is in progress at the Colorado Department of Transportation location by Conoco but, "it is not 100 percent final" that the bulk fill water station might be moved there from its current controversial location on Wagon Gap Trail. See www.ocn.me/v15n4.htm#mbot0316.
The following disbursements over $5,000 were approved unanimously by the board as part of the consent agenda:
• Triview Metro District sales tax for June ($161,644), motor vehicle tax for July (not to exceed $12,000), Regional Building sales tax for July ($462) $174,105
• Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce third-quarter Support Payment $5,000
• Logan and Associates Final Billing on 2014 Audit $6,800
• Wildcat Construction Co. waterline upgrades Synthes and Mitchell $171,160
Commendations and appreciations
Police Chief Jake Shirk thanked El Paso County command staff, including Sheriff Bill Elder, for attending the meeting to commend four officers for their actions during a "particularly stressful call" in May 2014. He said due to the working relationship among all the agencies, Deputy Michael Schnelle (El Paso County Sheriff’s Office), Officer Alex Kenoyer (Palmer Lake Police Department), Sgt. Mark Owens and Officer Greg Melikian (Monument Police Department), cooperated in an "intense situation brought to a successful conclusion."
Shirk also commended Corporal Rob Stewart, who just received the 2015 Officer of the Year award from the local Masonic Lodge, for his work developing the traffic safety officer position.
Community Liaison Specialist Madeline Van DenHoek presented certificates of appreciation to all the businesses and organizations that sponsored and coordinated the July 4 events. She also thanked all the artists who have been displaying their artwork in the Monument Town Hall with the help of curator Anne Barhyte.
The meeting adjourned at 8:57 pm.
Caption: At the Aug. 17 Monument Board of Trustees meeting, Police Chief Jake Shirk presented commendations to four officers "wearing different uniforms" for their actions. He said Deputy Michael Schnelle (El Paso County Sheriff’s Office), left, Officer Alex Kenoyer (Palmer Lake Police Department), Sgt. Mark Owens (Monument Police Department), and Officer Greg Melikian (Monument Police Department, not pictured) cooperated in "intense situation brought to a successful conclusion." Photo by Lisa Hatfield.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at email@example.com.
By Susan Hindman
The most recent draft Intergovernmental Service Agreement between Academy and Donala Water and Sanitation Districts was approved by the Academy board at its July 28 meeting, moving the district one step closer to finalizing its connection with Donala’s wastewater system. Because of new stringent state regulations, Academy must replace its current lagoon treatment system by October 2018.
The timeline’s next steps include:
• Addressing the upfront engineering costs—a total of $259,600, according to a status report presented by Dave Frisch of GMS. Interim financing through the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority would not be available until the end of the year and would involve closing costs. The district could instead pay for the work using its own funds and get reimbursed once the district gets permanent financing.
• Authorizing water rights attorney Gib Marchand and HRS Water Consultants to amend the water augmentation plan, a "key component" to the connection plan and something will take a while to complete, Frisch said. The point of discharge of Academy’s wastewater will change from where it is now—at the confluence of Smith and Monument Creeks—to Donala’s treatment facility off of Baptist Road, which triggered the need to amend the plan. Fees will total $30,000. The board approved a resolution to start this work.
• Authorizing GMS to start work on completing the site development plan and the 1041 regulation submittal, both required by El Paso County Development Services. The board approved a resolution for this work as well.
Sometime in 2016, prior to applying for a loan from the Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund, the district will likely set up its wastewater operations as an enterprise. Treasurer Walter Reiss said this would be the lowest-cost option rather than going with a general obligation bond because enterprise status allows the district to get grant money that could cover half the $3.9 million project; user fees would pay back the remaining debt. By comparison, a bond requiring voter approval would create a mill levy—paid for through property taxes—that would have to cover the entire cost of the project.
Resident joins board
Steven Callicott was sworn in as a director of the board. He replaces Jim Weilbrenner, who moved out of the state in June. Callicott’s appointment will expire in May 2016.
The Academy Water and Sanitation District board meets at 6 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of every month at the fire station on Gleneagle and Jessie Drives. The next meeting is Sept. 29.
Susan Hindman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By James Howald
At its meeting on Aug. 13, the Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD) board heard a request from a property owner to waive or restructure his debt to the water district, resolved an issue with irrigation for a park in Village Center, and heard updates to the budget and several other reports.
County reverses approval and creates problem for MGP Inc.
The board discussed the supplemental water agreement with MGP Inc. concerning a property in the northwest corner of the water district just south of County Line Road and east of I-25. The El Paso County Commissioners reversed their approval of the preliminary plan for this property, after granting several extensions of the plan, affecting MGP’s ability to sell the property for development.
According to real estate agent Tim Leigh, the land was originally valued in the millions of dollars after the county approved MGP’s preliminary plan, which included several commercial uses such as a truck stop, a restaurant, and a hotel. However, after a review of the drainage requirements of MGP’s property and surrounding properties, the county withdrew its approval of the commercial uses, reducing the value of the property substantially, Leigh said. Leigh pointed out that MGP had proceeded in good faith throughout its planning and attempts to sell the property. Leigh asked the board to waive or restructure a lien for $180,000 of option payments against the property held by the board, so that the property would be easier to sell.
District Manager Jessie Shaffer argued that option payments are non-refundable, and that granting Leigh’s request would set a precedent that would affect other developers.
President Barrie Town decided the board would address the issue in executive session.
Village Center park irrigation resolved
The board reviewed the irrigation policy that applies to tract K in Village Center, currently used as a park. At present, a single non-potable tap is used to irrigate four tracts, three of which are owned by Village Center while the fourth, tract K, is currently owned by the developer but will be owned by the Town of Monument when the park is complete. WWSD policy specifies there can be only one owner per tap, making the current situation a violation of policy. According to Shaffer, Monument will deed the land over to Village Center to resolve this issue. The board voted unanimously to accept a letter of intent from Monument to transfer the tract to Village Center, and to make the change of ownership a condition on the tap permit.
Midyear budget updated
Shaffer detailed changes to the budget made at midyear. According to Shaffer, the Nutrient Grant line item in the budget will be lower than expected due to a different method of apportioning costs. Tap fees are higher than anticipated by almost $1 million, according to Shaffer, since the district currently has 26 more taps than expected and may have additional taps by the end of the budget year. Water usage fees, however, will be 20 per cent lower than expected due to weather patterns, Shaffer said. According to Shaffer, the lease rate on the JV Ranch will decline by somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000. Summing up, Shaffer said revenue was not changing significantly, although dollars have shifted between line items.
Expenditures for construction of facilities will be reduced, according to Shaffer, while expenditures for legal fees will increase by nearly $400,000 due to unanticipated legal work and water resources engineering. All told, expenditures were originally budgeted to be $7.6 million but have been reduced to $7.4 million, Shaffer said.
The board voted unanimously to approve the midyear budget.
Wastewater treatment costs reallocated
The Joint Use Committee reported to the board how costs for the Tri-Lakes Waste Water Treatment Facility (TLWWTF) were divided between Woodmoor, the town of Monument, and Palmer Lake. Previously, each community paid one-third of the cost of the TLWWTF. The current plan is for Woodmoor to pay 47 percent of the costs, Monument to pay 19 percent, and Palmer Lake to pay 33 percent.
Chilcott ditch mowed
Following a request from the City of Fountain, the district mowed the weeds along the Chilcott ditch. The weeds within the ditch will also need to be mowed so that water flow will not be impeded.
Manager’s report shows few problems
There have been no recent complaints about water quality, according to Assistant District Manager Randy Gillette. Gillette went on to say some of the district’s cast iron pipes are deteriorating and will soon need repair or replacement. Shaffer said planning was underway for the Lake Woodmoor access road construction, and that he did not foresee problems with that project.
Village Center phase two has been approved by the district, Shaffer said, and tap requests are being received. Misty Acres filing three has been conditionally accepted and tap requests are expected soon, according to Shaffer. Shaffer said he had received a sketch plan for 500 to 600 dwellings to be built on a property north of the YMCA and east of I-25, which would require two additional wells. Shaffer concluded that "development and construction had come back in a big surge."
The meeting went into executive session at 2:20 p.m.
The meeting adjourned at 10:06 p.m.
The next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 9. Meetings are usually held at the district office at 1845 Woodmoor Drive on the second Thursday of each month at 1 p.m. See www.woodmoorwater.com or call 488-2525 to verify meeting times.
James Howald can be reached at email@example.com.
By Jim Kendrick
On Aug. 20, Donala Water and Sanitation District General Manager Kip Petersen and board members reiterated that Donala would not increase water rates midyear. Petersen also reported that water sales revenues were up slightly in July due to a little less rain, but were still 17 percent short of the amount budgeted, year-to-date, while total expenditures were 4 percent less than budgeted. However, the current strong El Niño wet weather pattern will continue to produce higher than average precipitation in Colorado through next spring. He said he expects that total water sales revenue will be about 10 percent less than budgeted by the end of the year.
Petersen noted that over 98 percent of district’s 2015 property tax revenues had already been remitted to Donala by the county. Total tap fees received through July, $68,000, already exceeded the total amount budgeted, $60,000, and Donala’s auto sales tax revenues are already 96 percent of the amount budgeted, $100,000. Petersen again reiterated that Donala will postpone some non-critical capital projects as required to maintain a balanced budget for 2015. No critical capital projects have been postponed this year.
There was a brief discussion about Forest Lakes home construction starting after the new Baptist Road bridge over the railroad tracks and associated widening of the west end of Baptist Road are completed, using Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority, Baptist Road Rural Transportation Authority, and county funding. Petersen said a total of 457 new homes are scheduled for construction within the Forest Lakes Metro District service area. Forest Lakes Metro already owns all the treatment capacity in the existing Upper Monument wastewater treatment plant it needs for buildout within its service area.
Petersen reported that on Aug. 12 the Academy Water and Sanitation District board had approved the final draft of the intergovernmental agreement (IGA) for Donala to take over wastewater treatment for Academy’s 300 homes on a straight fee-for-service basis. Academy will not become a co-owner of the Upper Monument facility. The state has given Academy a compliance schedule in its new discharge permit that requires Academy to cease operations of its failing lagoon systems that cannot meet current ammonia discharge limits by October 2018. A new Academy lift station and force main will deliver Academy’s sanitary sewer wastewater to an adjacent Donala manhole for treatment at the Upper Monument facility. Donala already owns all the treatment capacity in the existing Upper Monument wastewater treatment plant it needs for buildout within both the Donala and Academy service areas.
Petersen noted that all the inputs from the Arkansas River Basin Roundtable for the latest draft of the new state water plan will be formally voted on at the Sept. 9 roundtable meeting. Directors Ken Judd and Bob Denny agreed to attend this important meeting with Petersen.
Petersen currently serves as the vice president of the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority. He noted that he chaired the special Aug. 5 authority meeting due to the absence of the president. He also gave a presentation in Salida for the authority at the Aug. 11 meeting of the state Legislature’s interim water resource committee. The authority’s presentation was developed with the assistance of water attorney Rick Fendel and legislative liaison Dick Brown. The main thrusts of the presentation were streamlining of water permitting, giving appropriate credit to existing successful conservation and reuse projects already completed, the need to allow direct potable reuse as a part of integrated resource planning, and funding for agricultural irrigation enhancement. The final version of the authority’s comments will be submitted to the Colorado Water Conservation Board by Sept. 17.
Petersen reported that due to much higher than average precipitation that is projected to last through spring, the Pueblo Reservoir may become completely filled. Donala’s annual "if and when available" water storage contracts for its Willow Creek Ranch surface water rights have the lowest priority. Willow Creek Ranch is located just southwest of Leadville, upstream of the reservoir.
If the Pueblo Reservoir is still full next spring due to higher winter precipitation, once the snow melt starts in April there may be no storage available for Donala to use due to its relatively low water storage right priority. In this event, Donala’s 2016 surface water rights that can’t be leased may be lost downstream because there would be no room for Donala’s new 2016 snow melt water in the reservoir as surface water that flows into the reservoir has to be "spilled"/released back to the Arkansas River to prevent a reservoir overflow.
Petersen said he and the staff are looking into options for taking credit for water returns now for future years. It appears that selling some of the stored water to other Pueblo Reservoir customers with higher priority water storage rights may violate the terms of their contracts with the federal Bureau of Reclamation that only allow reservoir storage of water obtained from owned surface water right flows, not spot market purchases. Another new difficulty he noted was that the spot sale market for extra water to agricultural interests has dried up and that the other reservoirs upstream and downstream of Pueblo Reservoir are "relatively full."
Petersen noted that the district’s 2015 seasonal water right allocation for storing Willow Creek Ranch renewable surface water in the reservoir would expire at the end of August and Donala had "taken credit for as much as we can. We currently have roughly 350 acre-feet of storage in Pueblo Reservoir." Donala’s recent water court decree allows a rolling average use of 280 acre-feet per year over a 38-year period. Calculations of Donala’s 38-year rolling average began in 2012. Donala’s usage of fully consumable renewable surface water to date from Willow Creek Ranch has been 180 acre-feet in 2012, 280 acre-feet in 2013, and 345 acre-feet for 2014. Peterson said that Donala has requested a long-term contract from the bureau for 499 acre-feet of storage, a very small fraction of the Pueblo Reservoir’s 250,000 acre-feet total capacity.
Petersen gave high praise for the maintenance and repair work done by Donala staff members Mark Parker, JR Vialpando, and Troy Vialpando at Willow Creek Ranch during the week of July 20. "Mark, Troy, and JR are animals. You wouldn’t believe how hard they work. They’re starting at 6:30 and getting done about 5:30 and working through lunch. I was totally impressed."
Petersen said he and Judd would attend the Sept. 23-25 annual Special District Association conference in Keystone.
Petersen, Rick Fendel, and water engineer Katie Fendel attended a Pueblo County Commission meeting on the impacts of stormwater on Aug. 14. The Pueblo commissioners indicated that they are considering a hearing to review Colorado Springs compliance with the conditions of their 1041 permit to Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) for its Southern Delivery System (SDS), which Donala would use for transporting its Pueblo Reservoir water, if Colorado Springs and El Paso County do not meet their financial demands for high long-term stormwater control funding. Donala’s drinking water permit for SDS transport is not being processed by Pueblo County while this stormwater controversy remains unresolved.
Note: Donala’s stored renewable surface water is currently pumped north from within the Pueblo Reservoir in existing CSU pipes to a CSU water treatment plant. This treated water is then pumped through another existing CSU water main to a connection with the Donala distribution system at the south end of the district for direct delivery to Donala’s customers.
The meeting adjourned at 3:12 p.m.
The next meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 17 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
As a haze settles over Monument, it is a sharp reminder that much of the West continues to be ravaged by wildfires. Wescott has joined firefighters across the nation by deploying four firefighters to help maintain several lightning-sparked fires in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Northern California.
"Deployments are a great opportunity to help other fire departments in other areas, and it’s an invaluable training experience for our Wescott firefighters to bring back to the local community," said Wescott Fire Chief Vinny Burns.
Wescott firefighters are now on their way home after several weeks working to contain the River Complex fire.
According to a National Fire Service press release, crews in Northern California have now shifted their focus from fire suppression to repairing damage to roads and assessing erosion mitigation.
Wescott was able to provide support at no cost to the fire district with no loss of service, added Burns. All expenses are reimbursed directly from the state.
Caption: Wescott firefighters help with fire suppression at a wildfire in Northern California. Photo courtesy of Donald Wescott Fire Protection District.
By Lisa Hatfield
At the Aug. 26 meeting, the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District (TLMFPD) directors voted to restructure the wage schedule for district staff and to contract with a consulting firm for guidance on a possible 2016 levy vote. They also recognized the promotion of Lieutenants Maurice Ayala and Micah Coyle and discussed the wages in comparable districts in Colorado. The directors heard accounts of the tanker truck fire on I-25 that TLMFPD helped fight this afternoon.
Director Larry Smith was absent.
New wage schedule adopted
Fire Chief Chris Truty presented the directors with an updated wage schedule designed to address both actual wages and the differentials in wages between ranks or positions. He said the current schedule had no logic or rationale, but that the proposed new schedule justified the differences in responsibilities among positions. The new schedule, which was constructed with input from Local 4319 of the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) union, sets a base rate starting with Firefighter I, and every position from there builds using a formula. The schedule also would now provide extra dollar amounts to be added for paramedics and engineers who maintain their certifications.
Truty said that no employee will have his current salary reduced to accommodate the formula. Instead, the memo read, "if an employee’s current salary is more than the formula salary, his formula will be frozen (or nominal increase) until formulaic pay reaches current pay. This means a multi-year transition process for that rank or individual."
The board voted unanimously to approve the new wage schedule.
Comparable wages discussed
Truty presented the directors with comparisons of the district’s wages to other similar districts in the state. Staff research determined that there were four districts with characteristics similar to TLMFPD. Analyzing these district’s wage rates, as well as considering 75 percent of the wage rates of Colorado Springs and Castle Rock departments, would help TLMFPD set a target wage rate, Truty said.
"Right now we are 22 percent below average wage with these six districts," Truty told the directors.
The consensus of the directors was that the long-term goal would be to "try to get our wages up to realistic," as Treasurer John Hildebrandt summarized.
Consulting firm hired
Truty reminded the directors how future capital requirements and operational needs of the district have been compared to projected revenues over the next five years with the result being a significant shortfall. "The district’s executive staff and union leadership have concluded that the identified needs far outweigh our existing ability to fund them and that a levy increase is necessary," Truty said.
Paul A. Hanley, senior vice president of George K. Baum and Co., presented an overview of the strategies his consulting company could provide the district to have a better chance of success in a future election. For example, they could make recommendations about the timing of the election, since this affects the demographics of the voters who participate, and whether a bond or mill levy would have the best chance of successful approval by district voters.
Secretary Mike Smaldino summarized the consensus of the board when he said it would be a good up-front investment, and the directors approved a contract with George K. Baum for consulting purposes to provide guidance on a possible 2016 mill levy vote for an amount not to exceed $25,000.
Fire on I-25
Fire Marshal John Vincent described the afternoon’s fire sparked by an aviation tanker truck on I-25. TLMFPD firefighters fought the truck fire and assisted other agencies fighting the grass fire in 20-25 mph sustained winds.
Caption: On Aug. 26, a tanker truck carrying aviation fuel caught fire on I-25 between Greenland Road and County Line Road, shutting down the highway for hours that afternoon. Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District (TLMFPD) was one of the responding agencies to fight the volatile truck fire and the associated grass fire. The TLMFPD crew, including firefighter Will Vogl, left, and fire medic Jon Bodinsky, was part of nearly two dozen fire agencies called to assist Larkspur in the grass fire, which burned 250 acres, including part of Devon’s Dog Park on Greenland Road. Chief Chris Truty said, "Our guys did a stunning job." Photo by TLMFPD Fire Marshal John Vincent.
Truty and Deputy Chief Randy Trost’s report included:
• Vincent will coordinate a community open house next year.
• Three TLMFPD firefighters deployed to California have moved to Washington.
• The Station 1 training room is available to groups and clubs again.
Office Administrator Jennifer Martin reported on recent community events including the Relay for Life (Fundraiser for Cancer), Safety Day at US Taekwondo Center, car seat checks, fire mitigations, and CPR classes.
Upcoming district calendar:
• Sept. 11—Jog A Thon at Lewis-Palmer Elementary
• Sept. 23—2015 budget amendments, 2016 budget discussion begins
• Sept. 26—Zombie Run at Fox Run Park (Emergency Preparedness event)
• Oct. 28—station tours open to the public
• Nov. 17—public hearing for 2016 budget
The meeting adjourned at 8:13 p.m.
The next meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept 23 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.
By Harriet Halbig
The Lewis-Palmer D-38 Board of Education discussed new instructional materials, introduced a new member, and discussed plans for the coming year at its Aug. 20 meeting.
Board President Mark Pfoff introduced Matthew Clawson as the new member of the board from District 5. Clawson is an attorney and father of four students in the district. It was determined that Julie Jadomski, the formerly appointed director, did not live within District 5. Clawson’s position and three others will be involved in the November election.
Instructional materials discussion
Two members of the public expressed concerns about textbooks that were offered for parental review.
The first individual commented on the social studies textbook for high school use, saying that it misrepresented the Muslim religion as one of peace and one that does not seek to convert others. She also objected that the text refers to the Islamic world as a geographical location, ignoring the fact that Judaism and Christianity were also founded in that area.
The second individual commented that she was unable to view the materials when she first appeared at the office. She commented that publicizing the review of the materials only through Facebook and Twitter does not reach all parents. She was notified that in the future the review would be publicized through Infinite Campus. She also commented that, once she was able to review a new sociology text, it appeared to have an intolerance of Christianity and view the presence of man as a scourge on the planet.
Board members’ comments
Board Vice President John Mann commented on the high student Advanced Placement (AP) test scores, saying that students make a personal decision to undertake such studies. The district’s participation figures and scores prove that Lewis-Palmer students are exceptional, as are their parents and the district’s staff.
Director Sherri Hawkins commented that she had read an article about a student who had previously been homeschooled and how well she was received on her first day at Lewis-Palmer High School. Hawkins commented that this was another example of the good qualities of our students, not only academically but socially.
Pfoff commented that some statements about student privacy are overstated. For example, the district opted out of participation in the Healthy Kids survey. This was a district decision and an example of local control of access to student data. He also said that it is not true that biometrics are used in the district.
Superintendent Karen Brofft reported that Monument Academy wishes to renew its contract with the district. Treasurer John Magerko will be meeting with representatives of the academy monthly to develop a new contract for board approval.
Brofft also said that 50 students attended the Convocation earlier in the week. These students, some of whom had previously graduated from district schools, told the teachers and administrators what they valued most about attending Lewis-Palmer schools.
Brofft reported that superintendents from throughout the state are meeting to discuss such issues as unfunded mandates, local control, and privacy issues. The group is creating a list of costs of unfunded mandates. Monitoring the changes in graduation requirements is also a costly activity.
Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Wangeman reported that the previous estimates of enrollment will be exceeded. Additional staff has been hired to accommodate the growth in student population.
Wangeman also listed summer projects undertaken throughout the district. The new buses have not yet been delivered. Replacement of library windows in Palmer Lake will begin shortly.
Director of Assessment and Gifted Education Lori Benton reported that 1,183 AP tests were administered to 677 students last spring. Seventy-six percent of the students scored proficient in college level studies. The exams encompassed 25 subject areas. LP students generally score a point higher than average in the state.
Benton also reported that district students outscored themselves on the ACT test, improving by a whole point over the previous year. She said that administration of a practice ACT seems to have made the difference.
Brofft also reported on a new policy regarding assessments, which would make the use of pencil and paper an option in test administration. Parents and guardians may also request an exemption from assessments, and assessments could be offered when they fit in best with a district’s calendar. No college or career assessments would be administered to sophomores or juniors.
Director of Instructional and Informational Technology Elizabeth Walhof reported that data privacy is a major concert in the IT community, with over 120 new laws proposed. She said that it is critical that staff or student data not be personally identifiable.
Walhof also said that policies regarding communication should be directed at keeping students safe. All tools being used should be carefully vetted.
Wangeman said that the district hired a consultant to vet all software contracts.
Director of Exceptional Student Services Mary Anne Fleury reported on developments resulting from a result audit of paraprofessional (para) services. Among the subjects examined were instructional support, safety, and accountability, noting that development of independence and inclusion of students were the goals.
Suggestions included inclusion of paras in staff discussions regarding safety, offering increased training for teachers, increased interaction between paras and teachers, and additional professional development for paras.
Fleury said that many of the paraprofessionals have advanced degrees and choose to work part time. Taking advantage of their expertise is wise, she added.
Policy discussion regarding staff conduct
Director of Personnel and Student Services Bob Foster provided a draft of policy GBEB regarding staff conduct. Following an extensive discussion, the board requested that Foster redraft the policy to stipulate a zero tolerance for the use of intentionally offensive language, profanity, and gestures in the classroom and at all school-related events such as sports, music or drama events.
Foster said that volunteers also sign a contract and that this stipulation could be added to it.
Other action items
The board approved a new textbook for Ancient World History. Director of Curriculum Sheila Beving said that this textbook had been reviewed by parents, teachers, and others before being presented to the board. The text involves broad topics such as culture, religion, and agriculture and it is to be used as a reference, not a core text. The course is an elective at the high school level and covers the period between pre-history and 1500.
The board approved an intergovernmental agreement involving district participation in the Nov. 3 election, appointing Vicki Wood as the district’s election official.
The board approved a list of routine matters regarding personnel, finance, and operations.
Caption: The board awarded the Woodmoor Improvement Association (WIA) a certificate for its support of the district. Left to right are Board President Mark Pfoff, Woodmoor Public Safety Chief Kevin Nielsen, WIA administrator Denise Cagliaro, WIA President Jim Hale, and D-38 Superintendent Karen Brofft. Photo provided by Harriet Halbig
The next meeting of the Board of Education of Lewis-Palmer District 38 will be on Thursday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. in the district’s Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. The schedule change is due to a scheduling conflict.
Harriet Halbig may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jim Kendrick
At the Aug. 14 Baptist Road Rural Transportation Authority (BRRTA) board meeting, BRRTA’s district manager, Elaine Johnsen, who is the funding optimization manager for El Paso County Budget Administration, advised the directors that sales and use tax revenues had increased enough over the first six months of 2015 to reduce concerns about a shortfall for future BRRTA revenue bond debt repayment. Her five-year projected budget shows growing annual budget surpluses starting in 2018.
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. Mayor Dominguez did not attend this meeting.
The county staff members now performing staff tasks for the board are Johnsen, Sales and Use Tax Manager Brian Olson, Finance Manager Nikki Simmons, Sr. Asst. County Attorney Lori Seago, and Asst. County Attorney Kenneth Hodges.
Simmons first recommended approval of the BRRTA first-quarter financial report. The March 31, 2015 report was unanimously approved as presented without discussion.
Simmons pointed out that the second-quarter financial report also included a general fund revenue line from the 2015 BRRTA general fund budget that listed $100,000 for total annual road use fee revenue and a 2015 year-to-date total revenue of $3,000 that was collected by the Town of Monument for road use fees from Classic Homes and Vantage Homes in early December, before the road use fee was suspended as of Dec. 19, 2014, but this $3,000 amount was not included in the financial reports until 2015. Simmons said no BRRTA road use fees have actually been charged in 2015.
Background: On Dec. 19, 2014 the Baptist Road Rural Transportation Authority (BRRTA) board unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with El Paso County to have county staff take over district management from consultant firm CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, starting in 2015. The county takeover proposal said "free" county staff services would save BRRTA about $53,000 per year in annual consultant administration fees. (http://www.ocn.me/v15n1.htm#brrta)
On Jan. 16, 2015 BRRTA unanimously suspended collection of its road use fee even though it was BRRTA’s main source of operating revenue, other than interest on 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. The suspension of the road use fee is retroactive to Dec. 18, 2014. (www.ocn.me/v15n2.htm#brrta)
Some of the total expense items from the former BRRTA management/legal consultants that Simmons noted in the June 30 financial report for the first half were:
• District management fees – $4,786
• Accounting fees – $13,439
• 2014 audit fee – $4,500
Some of the I-25 Baptist Road interchange construction debt service fund line items that Simmons noted in the June 30 financial report for the first half were:
• Sales and use tax revenue – $679,682
• Interest income – $192
• First semi-annual bond sales tax revenue bond interest-only payment – $375,855
• Second semi-annual interest payment and the annual principal payment are due in November
• Collection expense - $1,735
• Fund balance increase – $301,535
• Fund balance on June 30, 2015 - $2.74 million
The June 30, 2015 financial report was unanimously approved as presented.
Acceptance of Annual Memorandum with PPRTA
The board unanimously approved the annual IGA with Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) for a 50-50 split of motor vehicle sales tax revenues, taxes on home businesses, and sales taxes on two regular businesses from the parts of the BRRTA and PPRTA service areas that overlap. The total annual amount to be split in half for the period July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016 was $41,742.02. BRRTA will receive two equal semi-annual payments of $10,435.51, in August and March.
Review and approval of 2015 sales and use tax collections
Johnsen introduced a new slide presentation on sales and use tax collections that she said used the same format that the staff uses for Board of County Commissioners meetings. Total BRRTA first half 2015 sales and use tax revenues, combined with 50 percent of the revenues BRRTA shares with PPRTA, were $679,691. This first half total was 16.31 percent higher than the first half total collections of 2014 – $18,740 or 2.84 percent more than budgeted. Due to a recent surge in new construction, BRRTA’s first half use tax revenue was up 560 percent from 2014 to $69,478 – $21,265 or 44.1 percent more than budgeted.
The board unanimously approved the June, 2015 sales and use tax report.
Review and ratify accounts payable
The board unanimously ratified/approved the following disbursements in the Aug. 14, 2015 vendor balance detail/check listing:
• $6,637 to CliftonLarsonAllen LLP for March to May 2015 management and accounting services
• $1,261 to the Town of Monument for February through July 2015 use tax collection fees
• $4,500 to BiggsKofford P.C. for an annual audit contract
• $7,244.73 to T Charles Wilson Insurance for the annual premium for BRRTA general liability insurance, up 7 percent from the previous year
Adoption of the 2015 amended budget resolution
Johnsen proposed the following revenue amendments to the 2015 BRRTA budget based on 2015 revenue results to date:
• Increase budgeted sale tax revenue by $47,850
• Increase budgeted use tax revenue by $15,366
• Reduce budgeted road use impact fee revenue by $97,000
• Reduce total revenue by $33,784 to $1.42 million
Johnsen proposed the following expenditure amendments to the 2015 BRRTA budget based on county staff takeover of BRRTA administration at no cost:
Johnsen explained that these amendments result in a net total revenue increase of $12,067. They reduce the original budgeted total BRRTA net loss from $102,450 to $90,382. Losses in the debt service fund were reduced by $63,216, from the increase in sales and use tax revenue noted above.
The board unanimously approved the 2015 budget amendment as presented.
Presentation of the 2016 preliminary budget and five-year projection
Johnsen presented her preliminary working draft of the 2016 BRRTA budget and five-year projection for review by board members. State law requires preliminary special district annual budgets to be presented by Oct. 15.
Total 2016 estimated revenues were $1.478 million and total estimated expenditures were $1.534 million for an annual net impact loss of $56,527. The beginning 2016 fund balance was estimated at $2.916 million based on a conservative 7 percent increase in total 2015 collections, based on 16 percent first half increases in 2015 collections to date. The estimated increase in collections for 2016 was 4.5 percent.
Johnsen gave a lengthy technical explanation of how to manage month-to-month cash flows in the various BRRTA funds in the five-year projection. The conservative estimates used for annual sales and use tax collection increases produce positive growing annual net impact surpluses starting in 2018.
The beginning 2016 balance for the debt service fund is $2.376 million while the minimum required fund reserve in the revenue bond covenants is currently $1.582 million—10 percent of the current unpaid principal, $15.82 million. The increasing sales and use collections coupled with any leftover money in the interest and principal funds reduces the outstanding principal used to calculate the required fund reserve, which will help sustain the existing $800,000 surplus in the debt service fund. This surplus will be used to pay the next two annual interest and next one annual principal payment in 2016 as well as in each year of the projection through 2020 without touching the reserve fund.
Johnsen noted that her five-year projection does not assume there will be any additional reimbursements to BRRTA from the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) or the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) in addition to the first and only $3 million reimbursement in 2012.
The board unanimously accepted the preliminary 2016 budget as presented.
Update on meeting with Dan Hunt of CDOT
Johnsen noted the special meeting BRRTA board members and staff members had on June 29 with Shailen Bhatt, executive director of CDOT, CDOT Region 2 Transportation Director Karen Rowe, and several CDOT staff members to discuss CDOT reimbursement of BRRTA’s cost of construction for the expansion of the I-25 Baptist Road interchange (Exit 158.) (ocn.me/v15n8.htm#brrta0729)
Johnsen said the CDOT representatives recognized and stated at this June 29 meeting that CDOT was obligated to repay BRRTA for this construction cost but when and how still were questions. Johnsen stated that it was also agreed that she would meet with Dan Hunt, CDOT’s project engineer and manager for coordinating the interchange expansion with BRRTA and the county (ocn.me/v7n1.htm#brrta) to figure out the bottom line reimbursable construction cost.
Johnsen and Hunt then met to review the historical documentation provided to the county staff by CliftonLarsenAllen. Johnsen said she had completed a preliminary draft work product analysis of all the financial documentation, including determination of which costs were not a reimbursable construction cost. She said her preliminary draft total reimbursable construction cost from this analysis was very close to the total reimbursable construction cost determined by CliftonLarsenAllen. She will meet again with Hunt to discuss her preliminary analysis of the large amount of documentation. When Johnsen and Hunt are in agreement, Hunt will go back to Rowe with their settled upon total construction cost.
Update on property owned by BRRTA
Jennifer Irvine, engineering manager for the county’s Public Services Department and chair of the PPACG Transportation Advisory Committee, gave an information briefing to the board on possible resale of some or all of the 4.76-acre rectangular lot that BRRTA owns on the southwest corner of the intersection of Baptist Road and Leather Chaps Drive. BRRTA will go away once its revenue bond debt is paid off, so this property needs to be transferred to a new owner in the future.
This vacant residential property was acquired by BRRTA for construction of a frontage road that extends from this intersection to the parking lot for the Family of Christ Lutheran Church. Baptist Road became a major county collector road when it was widened. The church and the two adjacent existing homes to the east each had driveways that accessed the south side of the original two-lane roadway, but these accesses had to be eliminated for safety when the required curbs for the collector road were constructed. The only available access to the church, these homes, and either Lot 1 or Tract A is from the frontage road.
The frontage road right-of-way, 0.79 acre, divides Lot 1, 1.58 acres on the northeast corner, from Tract A, 2.36 acres on the south side of the property. The right-of-way is s-shaped running from the northwest corner of the property to a point on the south half of the east side of the property due to a median for the northbound left-turn land on Leather Chaps at the intersection for cars turning west onto Baptist Road. Because of the right-of-way’s s-turn shape, both Lot 1 and Tract A are irregular in shape. In addition, Tract A requires wetland mitigation. The county is maintaining the frontage road and wetland.
Irvine said the property has existing Chaparral Hills subdivision covenants that do not allow subdivision into lots smaller than 2.5 acres. The land use restrictions limit potential uses to residential homes, country estates, or a country home, church, or community center for the benefit of Chaparral Hills residents. If the county rezoned the lot to some other use such as commercial, it would be vulnerable to a lawsuit from Chaparral Hills residents.
The lot is not in the Donala Water and Sanitation District service area and has no water and sewer service from Donala. The lot would have to be included into the Donala district and the distance from the current Donala service area boundary would make connections for water and sewer very expensive.
The lot would have to be annexed by the Town of Monument to be eligible for water and sewer service from Triview Metropolitan District. Construction of water and sewer connections to Triview under Baptist Road would also be very expensive.
Irvine noted that the county wants to retain ownership of the frontage road right-of-way, but the lot’s restrictive subdivision covenants may require the county to obtain an access easement for the roadway and wetlands instead. The county could take over the whole property or see if the Chaparral Hills homeowners association would like to take it and give the county an access easement for the roadway.
This agenda item was continued to the next BRRTA meeting in November.
Artwork for Old Denver Road roundabout
Sky Hall, president of Tri-Lakes Views, gave the board a progress report on the original sculpture by Reven Marie Swenson that his group has proposed for decorating the center of the new roundabout under construction at the intersection of West Baptist Road and Old Denver Road. These unique original pieces of art will be metal aspen trees about 25 to 27 feet tall. The trunks will be powder-coated stainless steel pipes gracefully bent in a random pattern with stainless steel wire branches starting no less than 12 feet above the ground for vehicle clearance. These wire branches will support a canopy of multi-colored stainless steel "Aspen Cups."
Irvine said she endorsed the project’s engineering and maintainability in the middle of a county roadway and described all her coordination steps in gaining all the various approvals for long-term county ownership.
Tri-Lakes Views, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, will hold a fund-raising campaign to raise the estimated $30,000 total cost for installing three of these sculptures. Upon completion the sculptures will be donated to the county.
A hint of the appearance of this design is available at www.trilakesviews.org/pages/FS2310.tml?page=P2310-2.html.
For more information on Swanson, see http://suindependent.com/art-around-the-corner-featured-piece-dancing-aspens-by-reven-marie-swanson/
Dancing Aspens by Reven Marie Swanson.
The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.
The next meeting will be held on at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 13. The location has not been determined yet. 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 email@example.com.
By Jackie Burhans
At the Woodmoor Improvement Association (WIA) board meeting on Aug. 25, Woodmoor resident and ham radio operator Stu Turner discussed upcoming federal legislation and the board voted to increase the number of licensed vehicles that can be parked in residents’ driveways from two to three.
Ham radio legislation
During the owners’ comments portion of the meeting, 13-year Woodmoor resident and ham radio operator Stu Turner discussed a recent letter sent out by the Community Associations Institute (CAI) about upcoming legislation they characterize as an unnecessary federal pre-emption of association CC&Rs and by-laws.
According to the CAI website (www.caionline.org), the bills, H.R. 1301 and S.B. 1685, would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to pre-empt any private land use restriction that prohibits amateur radio broadcasting, fails to reasonably accommodate amateur radio broadcasting or fails to constitute the minimum practical restriction to accomplish an association’s legitimate purposes. Community associations would need to make reasonable accommodations for ham radio equipment; including amateur radio towers, antennas, and other external devices.
Turner, of www.hamradioschool.com, who has written two books on how to obtain a ham radio license, characterized the communication on these bills as inaccurate and untruthful and wanted to provide up-to-date information to the board. He noted that, as a resident of Woodmoor, he had a vested interest in maintaining his property values and offered his organization as a resource, should the bills pass, to craft rules that would work for all.
Driveway parking extended to three cars
Erik Stensland requested a vote on proposed changes to WIA rules and regulations, specifically Part I, Section K regarding motor vehicles. The rule currently says "Up to two (2) currently licensed motor vehicles may be parked in the resident’s driveway, not on the street." And the proposal is to increase the number of allowed vehicles to three. No other rules regarding motor vehicles would be changed. During discussion, Stensland noted that these days families have more vehicles as kids begin to drive in addition to parents or adult children return home due to economic difficulties. He further noted that the board receives on average three variance requests per month, requesting at most three cars. The proposal passed on a unanimous vote.
• The board unanimously voted to begin foreclosure proceedings on lot 41WCC as discussed in executive session.
• There has been an increase in bear sightings and residents are reminded to store pet food and trash indoors.
• There has also been an increase in reports of solicitors ranging from cleaning products to water conservation to magazine sales. Solicitors have a first amendment right but once asked to leave may be cited for trespassing.
• A meeting was held in August to review the WIA covenants. A second meeting will be held on Sept. 21 at 6:30 pm at The Barn for further review and a discussion on how to get them approved.
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 Sept. 23. WIA board meeting minutes can be found at: http://www.woodmoor.org/content/admin-bod-meeting-minutes.html once approved and posted.
Jackie Burhans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Bill Kappel
After several months of cool and wet weather, August finally produced higher than average temperatures and generally drier than normal conditions. Temperatures averaged around 2°F warmer than normal for the month, while precipitation was slightly lower than average. Once again, we failed to reach the 90°F mark for the month, thereby almost guaranteeing this will end up being one of those rare summers where we don’t reach 90°F for most locations above 7,000 feet.
August started off mild and mainly dry, with just a couple scattered afternoon and evening thunderstorms. These produced some light rainfall on the afternoon of the 2nd. Temperatures reached the low to mid-80s on the 1st and 2nd, which is just slightly warmer than normal for this time of the year. But again, because of all the moisture in the region the last few months, temperatures were held down slightly lower than would otherwise be expected because so much of the sun’s energy was going toward evaporating moisture instead of heating the air.
It was a dry and warm start to August. After a few thunderstorms and light rain on the 3rd held highs to below normal levels, highs reached the low to mid-80s from the 4th through the 8th. During this time, only a few isolated storms developed, with almost no rainfall during the period. Moisture moved back into the region late in the weekend, as the area of high pressure that had been blocking moisture from moving into the region finally shifted further to the east. As this happened, monsoonal moisture flowed back into the area and widespread thunderstorms developed. These storms produced from a 1/10th to a half inch of rain and signaled the start of another wet period around the region.
An unsettled pattern returned during the week of August 10th. Thunderstorms and at times heavy rainfall occurred on a couple of afternoons. Temperatures were below normal on the 10th and 11th, with highs in the mid-70s. Plenty of clouds were around each day, with scattered thunderstorms in the morning and afternoon on the 10th. A few sprinkles developed the next afternoon. Drier air continued to dominate over the next two days and temperatures responded. Highs reached well into the 80s from the 12th through the 16th, peaking with upper 80s—our warmest temperatures of the summer—on the 15th. Only a couple of sprinkles developed on the 12th, then conditions were dry on the 13th. A few thunderstorms developed on the afternoon of the 14th, but on the light rain fell. Heavy rain occurred with the thunderstorms over the weekend, with over an inch accumulated late Saturday afternoon in a short time with some of the storms.
A continuation of the active and wet weather stuck around for the beginning of the week of the 17th. Strong thunderstorms with brief heavy rain occurred on the 17th, then more storms during the afternoon and evening of the 18th. Cooler air filtered in behind the system that was responsible for these storm, with highs holding in the low to mid-60s on the 19th. This front gave us our first taste of fall-like conditions and was probably a little early for most of us. High pressure built back into the region from the Southwest over the rest of the week. This brought dry and warm air with it. It also locked in lots of smoke from the wildfires in the Pacific Northwest. So, we were warm, dry and smoky from the 20th through the 23rd. A quick moving cold front did pass through late on the 22nd and held highs to the upper 60s and low 70s on the 23rd. This cooler, dry air mass combined with the slightly longer nights to produce lows that reached the upper 30s and low 40s that morning.
The month ended with generally mild to warm weather and mainly dry conditions. Temperatures jumped back into the low to mid-80s from the 24th through the 26th. An isolated round of thunderstorms developed during the late afternoon on the 27th that brought our only measurable rain during the period. This line of thunderstorms put down a half to over 1 inch of rain in about a half hour as they moved through. Temperatures again moved to above normal levels during the last weekend of the month, reaching into the mid- and upper 80s on Sunday the 30th. A strong push of monsoonal moisture made a final appearance on the 31st, producing mostly cloudy skies and area of thunderstorms and rain showers.
A look ahead
September is a transition month for the region, with the last tastes of summer mixed in with our first morning freezes. Leaves begin to change by the end of the month as well, and it’s not uncommon for some snow to fall. The overall weather pattern is generally one of tranquility, with our chances for thunderstorms dwindling and blizzard conditions not quite ready for prime time. We are often greeted with sunny, pleasant afternoons, with highs from the mid-70s early in the month to the mid-60s later in the month. Our first sub-freezing low temperatures usually occur during the third week of the month, so prepare those tender plants.
August 2014 Weather Statistics
Average High 80.9° (+2.7) 100-year return frequency value max 83.9° min 72.9°
Average Low 50.1 ° (+0.9) 100-year return frequency value max 55.2° min 46.8°
Monthly Precipitation 1.92" (-1.06", 36% below normal) 100-year return frequency value max 6.07" min 0.94"
Monthly Snowfall 0.0"
Highest Temperature 89° on the 15th
Lowest Temperature 40° on the 23rd
Season to Date Snow 0.0" (the snow season is from July 1 to June 30)
Season to Date Precip. 6.64" (+0.41", 7% above normal) (the precip season is from July 1 to June 30)
Heating Degree Days 41 (-22)
Cooling Degree Days 57 (+16)
Bill Kappel is a meteorologist and Tri-Lakes resident. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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
Thanks to a true angel
I was involved in a two-car accident on Jackson Creek Parkway and Baptist Road on July 28 around 12:45 p.m. The other car involved ran a red light westbound, my car being northbound, and my car was devastated by crash.
I would like to thank the young lady by the name of Kelly who pulled up behind my car, put her flashers on, and came to my aid giving me moral support until the firemen and police arrived. Kelly is a true angel—only having lived in this area for the past year. My husband was home alone, totally disabled and I had gone to get him lunch as we had just been referred to a hospice that morning for his future care.
Kelly made sure she stayed with me, called a friend of mine on my cell phone to let her know the situation, and made sure the firemen knew our address to come and assist my husband. I continued on to the hospital via ambulance for checkup care. I am happy to say I came home that evening.
Thank you for your help, Kelly.
Jan from Monument
Support Sampayo for school board
Sarah Sampayo is a parent, attorney, a tireless advocate for kids’ privacy and protection, and a candidate for the D-38 School Board. Thanks to her presence at the State Capitol, helping to write legislation with state Rep. Paul Lundeen, our kids in this district were not subjected to the sexually intrusive and biased Healthy Kids Survey. Sarah brought this issue to the attention of our board and superintendent, applying pressure until our district opted out of the survey.
Sarah has testified at the state Legislature, written letters to every legislator and superintendent in the state, and challenged the state attorney general on several points of law to protect our children and provide for an education environment that benefits them versus transforming them into social experiments. Sarah has exhibited the kind of informed leadership we need on the school board. As parents ourselves, we have been surprised by the board’s lack of knowledge and leadership regarding some issues critical to our children, including Common Core, privacy for children’s data, and even the proposed methadone clinic in Monument. It is parents who have brought these issues to the board and to our community; the board looked to the parents to lead on these issues as opposed to taking leadership themselves.
Sarah is one of the parents who has done her research, educated our board and administration, and held them accountable. Let’s put her on the board to inform and lead on these important issues. She has proved a knowledgeable and committed advocate for the protection of our children. She deserves your vote this November. Local politics matter!
Dennis and Diana Helffenstein
Vote for four school board candidates
This coming November, there will be four School Board seats open. I am running for another term as are two other current school board members. I believe our school board has shown its dedication to our community and our kids. I’m proud of our many awards and recognitions received over the years for our high student achievement. We even have the highest graduation rate in the state! Along with high academics, we have also maintained a balanced budget, increased our reserves, and paid off all operational debt. Many individuals move to this area because of our community values and great schools. Not only do our schools provide a great education, but they support a strong community.
I hope you will join me in continuing our "Tradition of Excellence" at Lewis-Palmer. I have chosen to run with individuals (two current board members) whom I support. We do not all share the same ideas or views, but we share the same goals and values; putting our kids first and preserving our tradition of educational excellence.
The others joining me are Kris Beasley, Matthew Clawson, and Sherri Hawkins. Between us we have nine kids in the district, so we have a vested interest in the success of our schools.
Our community is one of the best places to raise a family and to retire. I love our community and would like to see our "small town" traditions and values continue.
I hope we can count on your vote this November.
By the staff at Covered Treasures
"Reading to children even before they can understand words, teaches them to associate books with love and affection."—Apples to teacher.com
Reading aloud to children from birth to school age is a win-win situation. These children are more likely to succeed in school and in life, and there’s nothing quite like the bond a caring adult forms while sharing a book with a child. From old favorites to some inviting new offerings, there are many "read aloud" books to choose from.
Green Eggs and Ham
By Dr. Seuss (Random House) $8.99
As Sam I Am tries to convince a grouchy character that green eggs and ham are a real delicacy, children will delight in the repetition and the exciting places—from a box to a car to train and a tree and a boat. "You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book, and read to a child."—Dr. Seuss
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
By Laura Numeroff; illustrated by Felicia Bond (Harper Collins) $16.99
The consequences of giving a cookie to an energetic mouse can run a boy ragged, but young readers will come away smiling at the antics that tumble like dominoes through the pages of this delightful picture book. The mouse will ask for a glass of milk to go with the cookie, and then he’ll ask for a mirror to make sure he doesn’t have a milk mustache, and then he’ll ask for a pair of scissors to give himself a trim—and on and on it goes.
Are You Ready to Play Outside?
By Mo Willems (Hyperion) $8.99
When Piggie and Gerald the Elephant get ready to play outside, rain threatens to spoil their fun. But the friends soon discover that running and jumping and skipping and splashing in the rain can be delightful. (This is one of a series of Elephant and Piggie books, all of which use humor and friendship to address the many moral issues of growing up.)
By Emily Gravett (Simon & Schuster) $17.99
It was nearly Cedric’s bedtime. He’d had his cookie and milk, brushed his teeth, had a bath and was ready for his mom to read his favorite book. It was about a dragon so much like him that he wanted the book read again, and again, and again. Delightful illustrations make this a fun read-aloud for adults and children alike.
The Little Engine That Could
By Watty Piper; art by Loren Long (Penguin) $17.99
"I think I can. I think I can," said the Little Blue Engine, and she hitched herself to the little train." In one of the most popular picture books of all time, the happy little train breaks down, and the clown and the elephant are in despair—until the littlest engine of all decides to give them a hand. Over the years, the book’s title and refrain of "I think I can" have become a permanent part of the American vernacular.
Dig Dig Digging
By Margaret Mayo; illustrated by Alex Ayliffe $17.99
Trucks and tractors, fire engines and helicopters—they all like to work hard. But after a long, happy day of beep-beeping and vroom-vrooming, even the busiest engines need to rest. This bright, bouncy, noise-filled book brings together the vehicles that children adore and will have the child "reading" the last line of each page with you: "they can work all day!"
Otis and the Scarecrow
By Loren Long (Penguin) $17.99
On the farm where Otis the tractor lives, the farmer has introduced someone new—a scarecrow to shoo away the pesky crows. But when Otis and the animals greet the scarecrow with friendly smiles, the scarecrow’s frown never leaves his face. Day after day, alone, he stares out into the cornfield. But then one cold, rainy day, Otis can’t seem to take his eyes off the lonely scarecrow. This is a deeply resonant book about subtle acts of kindness, compassion, friendship, and standing up for others.
Until next month, happy reading.
Did you know? Children read to three to four times a week at home show a marked difference in skills compared to those who are not read to: 26 percent recognize letters vs. 14 percent of those not read to; 60 percent count to 20 or higher vs. 44 percent; 54 percent write their own names vs. 40 percent, and 77 percent read or pretend to read vs. 57 percent.—National Education Association
By Harriet Halbig
Thank you to all who joined us at our Ice Cream Social on Aug. 1 in Palmer Lake. Sponsored by the Tri-Lakes Friends of the Library and the Palmer Lake Historical Society, the event was well attended, with live music (and some dancing on the Village Green) and costumed historical figures.
The Family Fun program for September is the chance to meet Marshall the miniature horse on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Marshall is a rescued miniature horse who will come to the library to meet you. You will learn about horse care, horse safety, and much more. This program is presented by the Colorado Horse Rescue Network.
The Legos Club will meet on Saturday, Sept. 19 from 10 to 11:30. Bring your creativity and we will supply the Legos. Open to all ages.
Fourth Fridays Kids Crafts will be on Friday, Sept. 25 from 4 to 5 p.m. Each month will feature a different craft.
The Homeschool Program for September will be "All About Coffee" on Monday, Sept. 28 at 1 p.m. Join Lindsey of Wesley Owens Coffee to learn about coffee from plant to cup.
Teen and tween programs
Come to the library for free AfterMath math tutoring on Mondays beginning Sept. 14 from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Experienced math tutors will help students of all ages and grade levels. Drop in for help with your math questions.
Patrons aged 9 to 12 are invited to Tween Time on Friday, Sept. 18 from 4 to 5 p.m. This month’s project is designing a Dale Chihuly-inspired chandelier made out of melted plastic cups. Results are quite stunning. Registration is required at 488-2370.
Teens are invited to a Hand-Stitched Bookbinding for Teens program on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. Create your own art book or journal with Kim Hetherington. All materials are provided. Registration is required at 488-2370.
Discuss climate developments in the Climate Reality Project on Saturday, Sept. 5 at 10:30. Susan Permut will lead a presentation and discussion about climate change, the Sixth Great Extinction, and what we can do to mitigate the effects of carbon pollution on our planet. No registration required.
The Monumental Readers will meet from 10 to noon on Friday, Sept. 18 to discuss In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides. This is one of the titles in the 2015 All Pikes Peak Reads program. All patrons are welcome to attend this monthly book group.
As the growing season reaches a close, learn about Fermenting Basics for Food Preservation on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 10 until noon. No registration required.
On Saturday, Oct. 3 from 1:30 to 3:30, Sheriff John Anderson will give a one-hour presentation on the cultural and historical significance of the Ute Prayer Tree, followed by a signing of his recently published book on the topic. Several of these trees can be found in the Pikes Peak Region. No registration required.
Palmer Lake Library events
Palmer Lake’s September Family Fun program will be Zumba Kids! It’s easy, it’s fun, it’s a fitness party with certified Zumba Kids instructors from My Gym of Colorado Springs. Participants should wear sneakers and comfortable, stretchy clothes. Best for ages 4 and up.
Story Time and Crafts for ages 3 and older are offered on Wednesdays at 10:30.
Please note that all Pikes Peak Library facilities will be closed Sept. 7 for Labor Day.
Harriet Halbig may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Al Walter
On Aug. 1, the Palmer Lake Historical Society and the Tri-Lakes Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District joined to host the 2015 Return of the Rocky Mountain Chautauqua to Palmer Lake. President Theodore Roosevelt (ably portrayed by Don Moon) provided an overview of the Chautauqua Movement that spread across the country in the late 1800s, and officially opened the 2015 Palmer Lake Chautauqua Assembly by reading the Chautauqua Proclamation.
Over 200 people enjoyed ice cream served by the Friends and listened (and danced to) bluegrass music by Wild Wood Station on the Village Green. Following the music, about 75 people moved into the Town Hall to hear rousing portrayals by Colorado’s Legendary Ladies of famous women who influenced Western history and events.
Film depicts mysterious trees
On Aug. 10, the Historical Society hosted a special screening of the film Mystery of the Trees attended by over 175 people from the local community. About 10 years ago, while clearing old trails in northern Georgia, the Mountain Stewards noticed a number of oddly shaped trees. Further investigation found that the trees most likely had been shaped by ancestors of the local Cherokee Tribe and used for spiritual ceremonies as well as trail markers, burial trees, directional trees, and other purposes. Subsequently, similarly shaped trees have been identified in over 40 states and linked to many Native American Indian tribes.
When visiting the area last year, Don Wells, the president of the Mountain Stewards, was introduced to a number of local "Prayer Trees," which had been shaped by the ancestors of the local Ute Tribes. In an effort to educate people about the significance of these trees as living artifacts and their importance to the culture of local Native tribes, Wells produced a film to document the various types of trees found across the country. During the question-and-answer period following the film, it was clear that a number of local residents have "Prayer Trees" on their property.
On Aug. 20, local historian Eric Swab shared the results of his research into the history of the Monument Nursery with over 75 people from the local community. Several folks in the audience either had family members who worked at the nursery or knew someone who had worked there. Swab described the steady growth and expansion of the nursery from a few acres to a facility that produced millions of pine seeds each year. He also discussed the role played by the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was housed on the site. Some of the seeds were planted at the nursery to grow seedlings for use in reforestation efforts on Pikes Peak and other sites in Colorado and surrounding states, while other seeds were shipped to other Forest Service nurseries to be grown into seedlings. Swab took the audience through the steps followed by the nurserymen to gather the seeds, prepare the planting beds, protect the seedlings from weather, pests, and other hazards, and harvest, package, and ship the seeds and seedlings.
Throughout his presentation, Swab provided humorous stories concerning the workers and events at the nursery, which evoked more than a few chuckles from the audience. Swab ended his presentation with the sobering statistic that in its 58-year history, the Monument Nursery produced over 37 million pine seeds for use in reforestation activities throughout the West.
On Saturday, Sept. 12, the Historical Society will offer tours of Estemere Mansion, the fully restored Victorian Mansion built by Dr. William Findlay Thompson, the founder of Palmer Lake, in the 1880s. This is one of the rare times the mansion and grounds will be open to the public.
Step back in time as you stroll the grounds of the estate and visit the many outbuildings that have also been restored. Enjoy art exhibitions, purchase fresh-baked goods, treat yourself to hot dogs and snacks sold by the Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department, take in presentations by local historians on the history of Estemere, the Town of Palmer Lake, the Palmer Lake Star, and local Ute Indian "Prayer Trees." The current owners will be available to answer questions about the mansion, their restoration efforts, and future plans for the estate.
Admission to the grounds and outbuildings is free. Tours require a ticket. Tours will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. No advanced ticket sales. General admission is $10. Tickets for members of the Historical Society are $7. Children 12 and under are free. Tours will be given on a first-come, first-served basis. Last tickets sold at 3:30 p.m. The estate is located at 380 Glenway St. in Palmer Lake. The mansion is not handicapped accessible. For information on tours, call 719-559-0837. For more information, visit our website at www.palmerdividehistory.org.
At 7 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Palmer Lake Town Hall, storyteller and author John Stansfield will recount the life of Enos Mills, the individual who played a major role in the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park. Mills had a special bond with the mountains and wilderness, especially the area surrounding Estes Park. He became a successful speaker, writer, naturalist, and businessman, and the driving force behind establishing the park. Stansfield will give us a brief glimpse of Enos Mills as he reenacts key moments in Mills’ remarkable life.
By Janet Sellers
Fall is near, and soon most HANG gardeners will hang up the hoe and prep their garden beds for winter. We’ll turn in leaves, grasses, llama beans, eggshells, and more to aerate and remineralize the garden soil, and pot up herbs for indoor sunny windows.
Windowed favorites from my garden that thrive for months, and sometimes all winter, are: basil, cherry tomatoes, and leafy greens. Greens also grow from seed in a few inches of good soil. Just add sun and water, and they’ll grow—even in a lasagna pan.
Another idea to grow indoor veggies is to make a "zombie" garden from kitchen scraps. Start water rooting ends of: scallions, romaine, celery, cabbage, lettuce, bok choy, ginger, onions, garlic and potatoes (both white and sweet). I googled "zombie gardens" for ideas.
The easiest to harvest? Scallions and potatoes, but the lettuces, garlic and others do grow, just keep them going by harvesting from the tops or outside leaves (scallions and greens).
Remember, share your garden bounty with Tri-Lakes Cares, 235 Jefferson St. #B, Monument, and for local garden events and tips visit: www.facebook.com/monumentcomunitygarden—do look for the Facebook page for our big group: Tri-Lakes gardening community.
Janet Sellers is an avid HANG newbie, and welcomes your garden tips and handy hints to share with others here at our high altitude. She can be reached at: JanetSellers@OCN.me.
By Janet Sellers
What would you rather be, a young art genius or sage art master? Is there still time to become the artist you long to be and be appreciated for your love of art? Well, I am here to tell you that mastery starts at any age, because "Creativity follows mastery." That is a quote attributed to educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom, but I found written in old European guild quotes. In any case, I subscribe to that idea in my art and when I teach art to others, and it’s not just to make everybody feel good. It’s time tested.
I believe we have to have a good level of skills mastered to use them truly freely and creatively. By looking into the history of art and artists, it seems that the older the artist got, the greater their art became, with the exception of the young art genius. To my surprise, the genius is over the hill way before the master has just gotten started. Caravaggio’s best work was in his youth, and he frittered away the rest of his life. In contrast, Rembrandt was good at art most of his life, but his greatest works came in his later years.
The lifespan of a young genius’ output is, remarkably, only five years. The output for a master takes a lifetime, but the master has to grow into the work. Picasso, considered genius to this day, was out of genius work in a mere five years, by age 26. And speaking of genii, so was Einstein. They both spent the rest of their lives revolving about that five-year period of genius activity. It’s like they ran out of ideas. The data for this in art is based on sales values. Picasso’s "best" work was in his early 20s and still commands the highest prices for his art. The highest regard for a master such as Rembrandt or Cezanne has been for art works from the end of their careers.
In the 2007 book, Old Masters and Young Geniuses, David Galensen reveals that genius is for the young, along with the pressures, while mastery is for the long-term effort. And in two revealing quotes from artists who changed the face of art for the modern era, we heard opposite statements, "I seek in painting" from Paul Cezanne, and "I don’t seek, I nd" from Pablo Picasso.
As an artist, I feel I need both of the above, because I am exploring and discovering all at once. It is in the putting down the paint, or manifesting the idea, that one no longer seeks, but has already found, the inspiration and makes something of it.
Many times in the act of attempting to do something, we find what we are looking for, and may not ever have found it if we didn’t just start someplace. A case in point is the new trend of beautiful crayon coloring books for grownups—a new art genre complete with international contests and favorite colorists.
Artists are creating coloring pages for others to color in book form, single pages, and for gatherings or wine nights. Some pages are of landmarks, local scenes, and local history. Many are complex mandalas or abstract in nature. And of course there are plenty of pages for all kinds of flowers, birds, and hobby favorites such as trains, cars, gardens, and Tiffany glass inspirations.
We can enjoy our local art by making it as well as by going out and seeing it and getting some for ourselves to enjoy all the time. Our September art scene has quite a variety of venues, so don’t miss out on them! Here are some ideas to get you started, and keep your eyes open for more all month. You never know when a trendy pop-up shop will appear here in town.
Local studio tour: Sept. 12, 13, Front Range Open Studios. Maps are all over town, and online here: http://www.frontrangeopenstudios.com/map.php.
Our last Art Hop is Sept. 17, 5-8 p.m. including these venues and artists:
• Wisdom Tea House—Carol Losinski Naylor, watercolor batik artist. 65 Second St., Monument.
• Bella Art and Frame Gallery—Ann Barhyte photographs. An all-September show, artist reception on Art Hop night. 183 Washington St., Monument.
• Bliss Studio and Gallery—Jodie Bliss’ new work, jewelry by Frank and Ginny Maiolo, and gallery artists Bryon Sutherland and Noa Tam. Gallery is located "just past the Wisdom Tea House on the alley."
Janet Sellers is a local artist, art teacher and Mini-cine/online video maker. Her art and sculptures are on exhibit locally and all over Colorado. Sellers can be reached at email@example.com.
DWFPD - Relay for Life, Aug. 1
Overnight on Aug. 1-2, 18 teams walked the track for 12 hours at Lewis-Palmer High School in honor of cancer battlers and survivors in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life event. Event Chair Lee Henry said Steve and Andrea Brown got the relay started in the Tri-Lakes area six years ago to save lives from cancer and to remember loved ones who have been lost. See www.cancer.org for more information.
Clean-up for Devin, Aug. 15
The Second Annual Clean-Up for Devin event was held on Aug. 15 at Dirty Woman Park with over 130 attendees. Organized by the family of Devin John Seifert to honor his love of the outdoors and keep his memory alive in a positive way, the group sponsored a second annual cleanup of Mount Herman. Donations and discounts were provided by Safeway, Starbucks, and Monarch Merchandising, and lunch was catered by La Casita Mexican Grill. Special mention was given to The Compassionate Friends organizations who support families after a child dies. The event was also attended by members of the Begier and Pappas families whose boys lost their lives within the last year. Next year’s event in August will coordinate with The Friends of Monument Preserve to plant seedlings.
Caption: Devin’s father Steve Seifert addresses attendees while his sister Laura Bramschreiber, who led the organization of the event, looks on. Photo by Jackie Burhans.
WMMI Hosts Tiny House Jamboree
From Aug. 7 to 9, the Western Museum of Mining & Industry (WMMI) hosted the First National Tiny House Jamboree. The event was co-sponsored by eco-cabins, hOMe, Parade of Homes, and the Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs. There were an estimated 40,000 visitors to the jamboree with representation from all 50 states and at least 10 countries. A tiny house is generally considered 200 square feet in size. It provides an option from a second home in the woods, to portability, to someone interested in having a small-footprint home and thus less use of utilities and space. There were over 20 different styles of tiny houses and yurts on display with lines taking up to an hour for viewing the inside designs. Visitors could visit with vendors providing related items, like self-contained composting toilets, and also listen to a variety of speakers who talked about tiny home design, lifestyle, and living a minimalist life. Information on upcoming events at the WMMI is at www.wmmi.org.
Caption: From Aug. 7 to 9, the Western Museum of Mining & Industry (WMMI) hosted the First National Tiny House Jamboree. The event was co-sponsored by eco-cabins, hOMe, Parade of Homes, and the Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs. There were an estimated 40,000 visitors to the jamboree with representation from all 50 states and at least 10 countries. A tiny house is generally considered 200 square feet in size. It provides an option from a second home in the woods, to portability, to someone interested in having a small-footprint home and thus less use of utilities and space. There were over 20 different styles of tiny houses and yurts on display with lines taking up to an hour for viewing the inside designs. Visitors could visit with vendors providing related items, like self-contained composting toilets, and also listen to a variety of speakers who talked about tiny home design, lifestyle, and living a minimalist life. Information on upcoming events at the WMMI is at www.wmmi.org.
Black Forest Festival, Aug. 15
Caption: Black Forest firefighters walk in the Black Forest Festival Parade on Aug. 15, flaunting their uniforms and gear to promote the education and practice of safe fire techniques. On Black Forest Road, people gathered from all parts of El Paso County to appreciate and extol their firefighters and the arduous tasks they combat daily, which included the unforgettable Black Forest Fire in 2013. Photo by Alexis Olmstead.
Controversial intersection reworked
Caption: El Paso County Engineer André Brackin said the county is shouldering most of the cost of construction involving the realignment of Lake Woodmoor Drive adjacent to the private subdivision entrance for Brookmoor Estates at Moveen Heights. He wrote, "The purpose of the project is to correct a sight distance issue that has long affected the intersection and will allow for safer access to and from the subdivision. After the conclusion of legal action, the developer and the homeowners association settled and both made payment toward correcting this safety deficiency. The county road and bridge (Public Services) is funding over 75 percent of the $200,000 construction cost." Photo by Lisa Hatfield.
DePuy Synthes fishing fundraiser, Aug. 15
On Aug. 15 at Monument Lake, DePuy Synthes teamed up with Pikes Peak United Way for its first annual fishing tournament fundraiser. Tournament Director Jeff Reising said, "With help from several sponsors, it was a great turnout." Participants competed in a catch-photo-release event open to hand-launched boats (non-motorized canoes, kayaks, pontoons, etc.) for "biggest fish," "smallest fish," and "most fish" awards. Contact Reising.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to participate in the next event. Photos by Dave Kooser.
Caption: From left are Tournament Director Jeff Reising and first-place finisher Arjun Roth who caught 26 fish
Caption: The DePuy Synthes Event Team generated momentum for the new event.
Black Forest Together seeks volunteers to help with clean-up
Caption: Austin Jones, left, a student at Lewis-Palmer Middle School, teamed up with other Black Forest Together volunteers to drag branches at a burned home site in Black Forest on Aug. 18. He helped a family make a dent in the chaos around their property, learned many new skills, gained an appreciation for how many more burned trees need to be cleared, and earned volunteer hours for National Junior Honor Society. Black Forest Together is still seeking volunteers for work projects: work team crew members, chipper operators, and resource center helpers in the office. The 501(c)3 has work days scheduled on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays through October (or even longer if the weather holds). Contact volunteer coordinator Donna at email@example.com or 719-495-2892 or see www.blackforesttogether.org to get involved. Photo by Lisa Hatfield.
Peter Yarrow at TLCA, Aug. 21
On Aug. 21, Peter Yarrow of the folk group Peter, Paul, & Mary entertained the sold-out audience at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA) with songs, stories, and encouragement to make a statement. Recalling when Peter, Paul & Mary sang at the march on Washington in 1963, Yarrow said that as they sang the people in attendance were "saying the words with us, and together we were making a statement together." He encouraged the audience to make a statement and "be an instrument" of change. He continued that "change happens when people say it is the right thing to do." Noting "music speaks louder than words" and "hearing someone sing takes off their mask," he encouraged audience participation throughout the evening with songs including Leaving on a Jet Plane, We Shall Not be Moved, and Puff the Magic Dragon. Besides performing worldwide, Yarrow spoke of his work with Operation Respect, a nonprofit education and advocacy organization he co-founded in 1999. It seeks a "safer, more respectful, and bully-free environments for children and youth." Information on upcoming events at the TLCA is at www.trilakesarts.org.
Caption: Peter Yarrow leads a group of audience members in the singing of Puff the Magic Dragon, which he co-wrote in 1959 while attending Cornell University. Photo by David Futey.
Heartsaver CPR First Aid, Aug. 222
Caption: Teri Stephens administered CPR and heat stroke first aid to an "infant" who had been left in a hot car at the Heartsaver class held Aug. 22. Students practiced multiple real-life scenarios as directed by EMT Instructor Carley Lehman. The class highlighted how first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and the use of an Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED) can allow regular people to help save lives. Contact Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church Emergency Preparedness Group at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check with your local fire district, to find out when the next class will be offered. Ask about Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) classes coming this fall, too. Photo by Susan McCreedy.
Legacy Sertoma honors Cooper
Caption: Legacy Sertoma recently presented its annual Sertoman of the Year award to David H. Cooper in recognition of his lifelong history of volunteerism. "From the age of 8 until today, Dave has truly lived his entire life volunteering and helping others in need. Whether as a charity fundraiser, Boy Scout leader, civic volunteer, or OCN volunteer, he has always stepped forward to serve," according to the award. Photo courtesy of Legacy Sertoma.
Business Accelerators help MCG
Caption: The Tri-Lakes Business Accelerators lead group sends their volunteers weekly to Monument Community Garden (MCG) as their 2015 community service project. The members help plant and harvest crops from MCG to share with Tri-Lakes Cares. Shown here are some of the members of the group who look to encourage other businesses and gardeners to "harvest and share with Tri-Lakes Cares." Photo by Janet Sellers.
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
Sep. 9: Italian sausage sandwich with peppers and onions, coleslaw, chips
Sep. 16: Chicken Marsala over fettuccine, salad
Sep. 23: Chicken Caesar salad, garlic bread
Sep. 30: Tuna on a croissant, avocado, 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. $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.
Volunteers needed for weed removal, September and October
The Palmer Lake Noxious Weeds Eradication Team seeks volunteers to help remove noxious weeds; come help one or all the events! Volunteers meet the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, 8-11 a.m. Bring gloves and wear long pants, long sleeves, sturdy shoes, and a hat. Dates: Sep. 12, 26; Oct. 10, 24. Volunteers meet at Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent, Palmer Lake. For more information, phone 481-2953 (then press 0), or www.townofpalmerlake.com.
Black Forest Together (BFT) needs volunteers; Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays
BFT is 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. In September, volunteers are needed Saturdays, Sep. 12, and 19, and every Tuesday and Thursday. Workers are also needed Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in October and through Nov. 21, weather permitting. For more information, please contact Donna, 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.
Volunteers needed for County’s Highway Advisory Commission, apply by Sep. 18
The El Paso County Board of Commissioners is seeking community-minded citizen volunteers to serve on the Highway Advisory Commission. Applications are due by Sep. 18. The volunteer application is located at www.elpasoco.com. Click on the "Volunteer Boards" link. For more information, call 520-6436 or visit www.elpasoco.com.
Rocky Mountain Music Alliance (RMMA) returns to Monument, Sep. 20
RMMA’s concerts this season will be held at their new venue, Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church (TLUMC), 20256 Hunting Downs Way, Monument. The nonprofit group has been bringing classical music to the region since 2006. The 2014 concerts were in Briargate, after many years at Forestgate Presbyterian Church. The first concert of the 2015-16 season is Sep. 20, 3 p.m., at TLUMC. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.rmmaonline.org.
Slash-Mulch season ends this month
The El Paso County Black Forest Slash and Mulch season continues! Slash (tree and brush debris only) will be accepted until Sep. 13, $2 per load. Mulch will be available until Sep. 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.
Monument School of Fine Arts, enroll now
Art and movie classes for kids and adults, every skill level. Join award-winning art classes for traditional art and painting instruction. For more information, contact Janet Sellers, 387-1890, www.JanetSellers.com.
SunDance Studio Fall registration is open
Register now for dance and fitness classes for toddler through adult, gymnastics, tumbling, cheer, and more. 1450 Cipriani Loop, Monument. For more information, contact 481-8208, www.thesundancestudio.com.
Monument Academy enrolling for preschool-eighth grade
Waitlists are moving, some seats are still available in this free public school of choice. For more information, contact 481-1950, www.monumentacademy.net.
St. Peter Catholic School enrolling for preschool-eighth grade
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.
SafeCare Colorado services now in El Paso County
Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains (LFS) now provides SafeCare Colorado Services in El Paso County. SafeCare Colorado offers proactive in-home, voluntary services that support at-risk families in understanding the health, development, and safety needs of young children. LFS home visitors will deliver the SafeCare curriculum to parents through weekly visits over a four to five month period. The curriculum covers: Infant and Child Health, Home Safety and Parent/Child Interaction. The goal of SafeCare is to build parental skills and consistently reinforce positive communication and problem solving skills—helping to prevent child abuse. For more information, contact 303-217-5854, www.lfsrm.org.
Mountain View Electric Association (MVEA) Essay Contest, apply by Nov. 18
High School juniors can win an all-expense-paid trip to either Washington, D.C., or a week at Leadership Camp in the mountains. "What does having electricity and the "cooperative difference" mean to you?" is this year’s topic. For more information, contact 494-2670, www.mvea.coop/community/essay-contest/.
Handbell ringers needed
The Tri-Lakes Community Handbell Choir based in Monument needs ringers, high school and adult, (especially guys), and preferably experienced. If you are interested, please contact Betty Jenik, 488-3853
Tri-Lakes men’s a cappella singing group forming
Singers are wanted for a unique men’s singing group that will feature close harmony, a cappella singing, somewhat in the style of the Four Freshmen and Vocal Majority. For more information, call John Hobson at 368-7833.
Volunteer drivers needed for cancer patients
Help transport cancer patients to and from medical treatments. The American Cancer Society provides free rides through its Road to Recovery program. For information about the Road to Recovery program or to volunteer, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.
Bustang & Park-n-Ride improvements
Bustang, the new interregional express bus service from the Colorado Department of Transportation, has begun. Along I-25, there are seven round trips per day, Mon. to Fri., from Colorado Springs to Denver, with a stop at I-25/Monument Park-and-Ride. Single ride tickets from Monument to Denver’s Union Station cost only $9, $7.50 for seniors. Each coach is equipped with restrooms, bike racks, free WiFi, power outlets and USB ports. Parking lot improvements include new asphalt paving, lighting, striping, signing, and new shelters equipped with lighting and infrared heating units. For information or to buy tickets online, visit www.ridebustang.com, or phone 800-900-3011.
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. For more information, contact
Master Nic, 776-9169,
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.
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.
Monument Marketplace Facebook page
Tri-Lakes residents can sell their used items, trade items, and chat about anything local goings-on at https://www.facebook.com/groups/monumentmarketplace/.
Get volunteer help for your nonprofit
Due to popular demand, the Lewis-Palmer School District is adding a list of volunteer opportunities to its Youth Activities Directory online. If your nonprofit has a need for volunteers for a one-time project or an ongoing effort and can use volunteers under age 18, obtain a directory listing form on the district website www.lewispalmer.org under the community tab. Nonprofits may list their volunteer needs in the directory free of charge. For information, contact Robin Adair, P.O. Box 40, Monument, CO 80132; call 785-4223 or email email@example.com.
Attention Tri-Lakes residents with medical conditions
If you have a medical condition or a physical disability, please contact Jennifer at Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District, 484-0911, to register for emergency assistance if evacuation is required.
Tri-Lakes HAP Senior Center programs
The Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership Senior Citizens Center is next to the Lewis-Palmer High School Stadium (across from the YMCA) and is open 1-4 p.m., Tue.-Fri., and earlier for scheduled activities. The facility has a lounge, craft room, game room, and multipurpose room. Programs include bridge, pinochle, National Mah-jongg, line dancing, tea time, bingo, and more. Ping-pong, Wii video games, puzzles and board games, refreshments, a lending library, computers with Internet connections, and an information table are also available. For information about programs for seniors, visit www.TriLakesSeniors.org.
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 branch libraries are closed for Labor Day, Sep. 7
The Palmer Lake Library hours are Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 66 Lower Glenway. Info: 481-2587, www.ppld.org.
The Monument Branch Library hours are Mon.-Thu., 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. & Sat, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun., 1-5 p.m. 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
WEEKLY AND MONTHLY EVENTS
Our community calendar carries listings on a space-available basis for Tri-Lakes events that are sponsored by local governmental entities and not-for-profit organizations. We include events that are open to the general public and are not religious or self-promotional in nature. If space is available, complimentary calendar listings are included, when requested, for events advertised in the current issue. To have your event listed at no charge in Our Community Calendar, please call (719) 339-7831 or send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 1742, Monument, Colorado 80132.
Contact us at (719) 488-3455, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or P.O. Box 1742, Monument, Colorado 80132-1742.
This page was last modified on February 01, 2019. Home page: www.ocn.me.
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