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By Lisa Hatfield
The July 12 regular Triview Metropolitan District board meeting was held in a Fairfield Inn meeting room full of residents who asked questions and made comments about the many weeks of emergency water restrictions imposed on Triview residents. This meeting followed an emergency community meeting held outside Bear Creek Elementary School on July 9, and the subsequent discovery of the huge Triview water leak that was found after 36 days. This July 12 meeting lasted over five hours and also covered a new water restrictions policy and fine structure, an emergency agreement between Triview and Donala Water and Sanitation District, and initial future capital projects and budget planning.
Triview, on the east side of I-25, includes two-thirds of the population of the town of Monument and is still growing at a rapid rate. Triview was created as one of the first Colorado Title 32 developer special metropolitan districts within the Regency Park development and was annexed into the town in 1987. Triview provides roads, parks, and drainage maintenance, as well as water and sanitation utility services to the residents of Jackson Creek, Promontory Pointe, and Sanctuary Pointe. Triview’s water system is wholly independent of Monument’s Public Works water system located on the west side of I-25. There is no emergency pipe connection between these two water systems.
President Reid Bolander was excused.
Water emergency due to leak, not residents’ water use
District Manager Valerie Remington explained the precipitous drop in water storage tank levels that led to two outdoor watering bans and some residents having no water at all for several days. Timeline:
• June 3 − Water level in the 31.5-foot deep water storage tank started to plummet. Triview stopped all irrigation of open spaces to conserve water soon after this.
• June 17 − Water levels in the tank approached 5 feet, the lowest level that will sustain fire flows in an emergency. Reverse 911 calls notified residents to stop outside watering.
• June 21 − Landscape watering was again allowed, but only two nights a week.
• July 4 – The water tank level was down to 1.1 foot. Emergency connection with Donala opened. Reverse 911 calls notified residents to stop outside watering again.
• July 8 night – water accidentally shut off to some residents.
• July 9 – Emergency community meeting outside Bear Creek Elementary School attended by over 200 residents.
• July 9 – Leak discovered in beaver pond southwest of Bear Creek Elementary School.
• July 11 − Regular three nights per week summer watering rules resumed.
Remington said about 20-30 million gallons of water was lost and that it was not 50 million gallons as some media reported. Normal water loss for the district is about 11 percent, which is within industry standards, but for June it was 46.97 percent, she said.
Finding the leak was difficult because it was in a beaver pond in a protected Preble’s meadow jumping mouse habitat and because it was on a water line that was one of the first installed in the district and was not shown on the district’s line maps, Remington said.
Engineer John McGinn of JDS-Hydro said that the charts tracking the "relative use ratio," which take the district’s 9 percent population growth into account, "jumped off the chart," indicating that this event was out of normal range even considering growth.
Remington said for weeks there was conflicting data on if there was high use or a leak, but in the end they found, "It had absolutely nothing to do with growth, and everything to do with a mechanical failure of the pipe." She said final repairs were still in progress.
During the budget discussion later, new Triview Water Superintendent Josh Cichocki said, "You guys are at a critical time period right now with the infrastructure. You are about 20 years behind on maintenance. And you have 20 years to go before this place falls apart. You need to optimize what you already have. You are at a threshold now where you could get ahead and stay proactive and have a 50-year system."
Public comments about water emergency
About 27 residents spoke for an hour with questions and suggestions for the district about "the event."
The first speaker was Steve Remington, who was a director and then treasurer on the Triview board starting in 2008 (search "Steve Remington" at www.ocn.me). He was disappointed that local media did not accurately report the water loss and made it sound like the district was trying to hide the finances. He said a neighboring district took four months to find a similar leak, because it "can be very complicated," and he anticipated a lot of "armchair quarterbacking" and said the district had learned a lot of lessons. "We all know this won’t be the last time in the district that a pipe leaks," he said.
However, the feelings of many people in Triview were summarized by another resident, who said, "Triview district management, you have lost our trust. Communication was terrible, there was no transparency, and the story changed. I was hearing everything through rumors. What was going on? You didn’t answer the phone. It is hard for us to trust the district right now."
One urgent theme was that as early as two weeks before the leak was found, at least three residents had noticed the out-of-the-ordinary flow of water in the beaver pond and reported it to Triview via phone calls, emails, and in person, but they were "ignored."
Some of the residents’ comments about the July 9 emergency meeting were:
• Why was it was held in the parking lot at Bear Creek instead of inside the building?
• Some members running the meeting refused to answer questions or did not give proper answers.
• It was an absolute disgrace, and calling the Police Department was not necessary.
Some of the residents’ questions included:
• Why didn’t you ask the residents to help look for the leak? We would love to help.
• If there are still over 100 small leaks, why haven’t these been fixed?
• Who is going to pay for this water leakage and the leak detection company that came out July 9?
• Why was this old water line not on your drawings?
• Valerie, are you going to resign over this?
• Do I need to sign up for Reverse 911?
Note: Each citizen needs to sign up his own land line and/or cell phone for the El Paso County Reverse 911 emergency notification system. See www.elpasoteller911.org. Triview used this system as a tool for communication during this emergency, but it is a separate system administered by the county.
Residents’ suggestions included:
• It would have been more helpful to communicate developments on the website. Instead we heard rumors from neighbors.
• You could provide a form on the website for people to fill out if they see a possible leak so their information won’t get lost in a flood of emails.
• Website information about the watering restrictions was inconsistent. I got a violation letter for non-compliance when I thought I was in compliance based on what I read.
• The district website should be updated with current events but also more detailed financial and long-range plan information.
• We ask the district board to hold staff more accountable to a higher customer service culture.
• I hope the two beavers and their kits living in the pond are protected and have not been chlorinated.
• You need to either put a moratorium on growth or change how you deal with maintaining infrastructure. We can’t keep growing if you guys can’t maintain the system or communicate with us.
• The Monument Board of Trustees dictates landscaping requirements for new homes, and it needs to change. Colorado’s semi-arid climate cannot sustain the amount of water we are dumping on our yards. (See related Monument Planning Commission article on page 15.)
• The board should press staff to present the district’s long-term business plan identifying a specific vision for what is in the best interest of district residents, not any self-preservation interests. There are so many individual special districts in this area that provide municipal services, if it’s beneficial to the members for the district to get out of this business, then that should be assessed.
Note: In 2009, Monument Town Manager Cathy Green said once Triview’s $50 million debt is paid off, the district will be dissolved and the town will pay for services after that. (See www.ocn.me/v9n5.htm#bot420.)
Several residents commended Cichocki for trying to stay on top of the problem after just being recently hired by the district as the operator in responsible charge (ORC). And they thanked board members for their service. Note: Cichocki stated that he worked 100 hours during the six-day emergency and needs the board to hire an experienced deputy superintendent due to the complexities of Triview’s water systems.
Secretary/Treasurer Marco Fiorito said that as new information was gathered, it would be posted on the district website and sent in a letter mailed to all district residents within the next month.
District staffing will increase by one
After a discussion, the directors unanimously directed Valerie Remington to start the hiring process for a Level C water operator and authorized the addition of one additional full-time employee.
Water restriction policy and fines
Some residents thought Triview would be discussing a water rate increase at this meeting, but that was not the case. The "Notice to Amend Water Rate Assessments" listed on the agenda was necessary because it involved fines that could be attached to residents’ water bills, and so technically that was considered a rate increase.
The directors decided to adopt a policy using a combination of old and new water restriction levels with a series of warnings and fines based on the number of violations. Residents would just need to know which "Level" was in effect:
• Level 1 – Oct. 1-April 30 – no restrictions
• Level 2 – May 1-Sept. 30 – three nights a week based on address: two warnings, then fines of $50, $100, $200
• Level 3 – Two nights a week based on Zones A, B, and C: one warning, then fines of $50, $500, $750
• Level 4 – Emergency Irrigation Ban: one warning, then fines of $50, $500, $750
Certified letters would be used to notify residents of violations, and an appeals process was included.
Public comments included:
• How are you communicating with us about what restriction levels are in place?
• You could post notices at the central mailbox areas too so that if people don’t leave the neighborhood, they won’t miss the electronic signs.
Donala and Triview sign agreement
The directors unanimously agreed to sign an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between Triview and the Donala for emergency water system interconnection and mutual aid. It included the provision that Valerie Remington will follow up with Donala about having Triview pay for half the cost of installing a meter at the interconnection point.
Donala provided emergency water to Triview from July 4-9, and this was the first time the emergency connection had been opened. (See www.ocn.me/v16n7.htm#dwsd-0623.)
The board also directed Valerie Remington to do some preliminary research about connectivity possibilities with the Town of Monument water service district west of I-25 and with Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District north of Higby Road. Triview already has an emergency connection with the new Forest Lakes Metro District west of I-25 that could be used in the future.
2015 audit and budget amendment accepted
Two representatives from the district’s auditing firm, Stockman Kast & Ryan, presented their results to the directors. They gave the district an unmodified or "clean" opinion on the 2015 audit. The district’s accountant, Kathy Fromm of Special District Solutions, presented an amendment to the 2015 budget. Both directors and residents asked many questions, and then the board unanimously accepted resolutions on the audit and the amendment.
One resident asked if the details of the resolutions had been posted where the public could see them before the meeting to be able to prepare for the public hearing. Valerie Remington said, "People could have come in to the district office to review it if they wanted to. You just have to come into the office and ask, or send an email requesting specific items." He said he had visited the office several times before the meeting and asked for "whatever was needed to prepare for this meeting," but she had not provided him with either the resolution or the exact numbers for the amended budget. She said notice of the items had been posted as required in legal notices, and that "generally the exact wordings are not posted on the website."
This resident also asked that minutes of previous board meetings be posted ahead of the next meeting. Valerie Remington said those minutes are not approved until the current meeting so cannot be posted ahead of time and that she had gotten behind on some of them.
Budget projections say rate increase will be necessary
In a very lengthy technical discussion, Fromm explained the details of projected revenues and expenditures to consider in the next five years for the district’s assorted funds. Fromm’s thesis was that current water rate and fee levels will not be high enough to sustain the district even at its current debt, staffing or maintenance levels, and it could not afford capital improvements or increases in staffing.
Then, she said even if rates were increased by 4 percent every year for the next five years, the district would still end up with negative fund balances overall. The board consensus was that they needed to be very transparent with all the details so residents will see clearly why a rates increase is needed and exactly how the suggested new rates are calculated and justified.
Furthermore, none of Fromm’s analysis included the adverse financial effects of the recent water leak, Valerie Remington said.
Fromm’s comments included:
• Property tax is currently set at 35 mills. This is as high as it can go without amending the Triview district’s service plan, which would require voter approval.
• Property tax revenue has increased due to growth, but TABOR rules would require that any monies over the "revenue cap" would be returned to residents instead of being used by the district, unless district voters vote in favor of a TABOR waiver in November 2016 to let the district collect, retain, and spend that revenue. See www.ocn.me/v16n6.htm#tvmd0517.
• Property tax and special ownership tax revenue is not keeping up with the debt service schedule of $3.2 million each year.
• For the water enterprise fund, projections show the ending balance being in the negative as early as 2017.
• The directors will need to make decisions prioritizing what maintenance and capital improvement projects to take on, and how much staff to hire in the future.
Water attorney Chris Cummins of Monson, Cummins & Shohet LLC said that Triview’s rates and fees, which at first glance appear to be competitive with other districts, are really misleadingly low, because Triview also has to manage not only water and sanitation but also roads, drainages, and parks.
Valerie Remington said the results of a water rates study done "a while ago" indicated that the district needed to start increasing rates by 3.5 percent each year, but "the district has not kept up with that recommendation." Note: Triview approved a 2 percent increase in December 2015, and the consensus then was it was not enough to meet fixed costs. See www.ocn.me/v16n1.htm#tvmd1208.
Director James Otis said he was afraid 4 percent increases for the next five or more years would not be enough. Melville said the first thing to do was prioritize the capital projects lists and their cost-saving break-even points. "We also carry a high debt load, with a low water rate, and we are tight on employees. I worry that is where we are," he said.
Otis asked about the reuse fee line item in the draft budget. Valerie Remington said some of the work was done a long time ago for the district to be able to take treated effluent from the Upper Monument Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility (UMCRWWTF) and reuse it for open space irrigation. However, the district would have to invest more money to finish the rest of the infrastructure to make this a reality in Triview, and so far the board has not approved this expense.
Note: UMCRWWTF reuse water provided irrigation for the Gleneagle Golf Club, in Donala, in the past. And if developed for Triview, this would be a completely different reuse system than another system involving the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility being discussed with Town of Monument and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation district.
The board consensus was that water rates and tap fees would be topics of discussion in the coming months. Regular board meetings and the extra capital projects and budget planning workshops are open to the public. Timeline tentatively scheduled:
• Aug. 9 – regular board meeting
• Friday, Aug. 12, 2 p.m. – capital improvements workshop
• Saturday, Aug 13, 9 a.m. – budget workshop
• Sept. 13 – board decision needed on specific suggested amount of water rates and fees increase so information can be posted for the October hearing
• October 11 – preliminary 2017 budget to board, and public hearing on water rates
• Nov. 8 – board vote on water rates increase
• January 2017 – new water rates could go into effect
Checks over $5,000
The directors unanimously approved the following disbursements over $5,000:
• JDS-Hydro, Sanctuary Pointe pump station − $8,324
• JDS-Hydro, SP storage tank − $6,045
• Donala, quarterly wastewater − $102,027
• ORC, contract O&M − $5,580
The board went into executive session at 9:06 p.m. to conference with the district’s attorneys regarding legal advice on specific legal questions. Valerie Remington told OCN that no votes or announcements were made after the executive session. The meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
Since the meeting, announcements on Triview’s website explain that as of July 26, the pipe break has not been repaired, because the district is working to obtain the proper approvals from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the property owner. The announcements said water to that pipe has been turned off since July 9, which is affecting irrigation of a few parks but not affecting any residents.
The next Triview meeting will be held Aug. 9 at 5 p.m. at the Fairfield Inn, 15275 Struthers Road, Colorado Springs. Meetings are normally held on the second Tuesday of the month. Also open to the public are capital projects workshop and budget workshop tentatively scheduled for Aug. 12 and 13. Information: 488-6868 or see www.colorado.gov/triviewmetro.
Lisa Hatfield can be contacted at email@example.com.
By Jim Kendrick
At the July 21 Donala Water and Sanitation District board meeting, General Manager Kip Petersen explained Donala’s role in providing emergency water supply assistance to Triview Metropolitan District during its water crisis in June and July. The board conducted interviews of two Donala residents to fill the vacant director seat of the late Bill Nance. The board also awarded a $1.38 million construction contract for a new water pipeline extension.
The planned out-of-town absence of Vice President Ken Judd was unanimously excused.
Synopsis of Triview’s water emergency
Petersen advised the board on June 23 that he had been contacted by Triview District Manager Valerie Remington on June 17 regarding unprecedented Triview potable water consumption that may have been caused either by high customer use or a large distribution system leak that her staff could not find. Remington said water levels in Triview’s single water tank were dropping and Triview may need Donala’s assistance in providing potable water to Triview water customers. This problem began on June 3.
He told Remington Donala would provide emergency water to Triview if it was physically possible, but Triview would have to ban all outside irrigation and preserve emergency fire flows from Triview fire hydrants. Petersen further advised the board that there are two existing potable water interconnections between Donala’s and Triview’s potable water distribution systems along Baptist Road—at Struthers Road (the lowest elevation in the Triview service area) and at Gleneagle Drive. There are no meters at either the Struthers or Gleneagle interconnections, Petersen said, because a former Triview general manager refused to pay Triview’s share of the meter installation costs. (http://ocn.me/v8n1.htm#tmd, http://ocn.me/v7n1.htm#tmd, http://ocn.me/v6n8.htm#dwsd)
Petersen also told the Donala board on June 23 that comparative pressure measurements showed that Donala could not pump water through the Struthers interconnection due to gravity creating a much higher inline head pressure on Triview’s side. Triview’s distribution system components are generally at a higher elevation than Donala’s, causing higher internal downhill Triview water main head pressures, especially at Struthers Road, the lowest point with the highest pressure. For the same reason, it was also not clear at that June 23 meeting whether Donala could successfully pump its water through the Gleneagle interconnection to about one-third of Triview’s customers who live in the highest elevations of Triview, well above the Gleneagle interconnection elevation.
Triview can produce 1.8 million gallons per day (mgd) but Triview water consumption before the irrigation ban on June 17 was about 2 mgd. Triview could not produce enough water to meet this demand. The Triview water tank only holds 1.1 million gallons and was rapidly emptying. Triview banned most irrigation to slow the emptying of its sole water tank. "New sod" permits were exempted from the ban.
Donala has four water tanks with a total capacity of 5 million gallons. The Triview board unanimously approved the $955,102 bid from DN Tanks for construction of a second Triview pre-stressed concrete water tank for Sanctuary Point on May 17. (www.ocn.me/v16n6.htm#tvmd0517)
There were meetings between some Donala and Triview staff on June 17 and June 20. Emergency notification of Triview customers regarding changing irrigation restrictions was unclear to residents due at times due to conflicting information on different pages of Triview’s website. Reverse 911 notifications and neighborhood signs were also used to alert residents of the emergency.
Note: Many OCN-area water customers—including Triview customers—have not individually signed up to be a subscriber to El Paso County’s reverse 911 emergency phone call services. To sign up your landline or cell phone for a free subscription to the county’s reverse 911 emergency notification system, see www.elpasoteller911.org.
July 21 board update
During Petersen’s discussion of the sequence of events in the emergency since the June 23 board meeting, he noted that he had sent daily email updates to all the Donala board directors during the emergency to keep them current.
He said he received an initial call from Remington at 7 p.m. on July 4, wherein Remington advised him that Triview may need emergency assistance because they were still losing water from Triview’s only water tank at a high rate and the tank’s water level was dangerously low.
Petersen said Remington called him again at 9 p.m. saying Triview needed emergency flows from Donala. Petersen had two Donala operators on standby, chief water operator Mark Parker and maintenance operator Troy Vialpando. Petersen called them to send them to the Gleneagle Drive interconnection Parker, Vialpando, and a Triview operator opened these valves at 10 p.m. This was the first time this interconnection had been opened.
After a brief test flow of 500 gallons per minute, a continuous flow of 750 gallons per minute from Donala was established for 111 hours. At 10 p.m. there was only enough water in Triview’s tank for two hours of normal consumer flow. Donala President Dave Powell noted that had there been a fire, there was only about 15 minutes of fire flows available from Triview’s fire hydrants before this lone water tank would have been emptied.
Petersen said consultant firm American Leak Detection assisted Triview in locating the leak on July 9 in a wetlands area––a beaver pond southwest of Bear Creek Elementary School––and isolating the leaking irrigation line. Once all water to the leaking pipe was shut off, Triview closed the Gleneagle interconnection on Saturday afternoon, July 9.
Regular summer Triview irrigation restrictions were restored on July 11. As of July 30, the Triview website reported had it had not received state and federal permission to enter the wetlands to repair/replace the leaking irrigation pipe. (https://www.colorado.gov/triviewmetro)
Triview aggressively restricted irrigation during the 111-hour Donala emergency water transfer. Donala’s current cost estimate for Triview was about $35,000 per day for about 1.08 million gallons per day at 3.25 cents per gallon. This rate includes an industry standard out-of-district 50 percent premium that will be added to Donala’s internal direct renewable surface water cost of 3.453 cents per cubic foot that Donala paid to Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU). Triview will also pay for all Donala’s other direct costs including staff overtime. Petersen said that the Triview board now wants a flow meter installed at the Gleneagle Drive interconnection. The meter will cost roughly $6,000. No design or installation costs for the meter pit had been determined.
Petersen emphasized that the Donala operational staff ensured that every Donala water tank "never dropped below almost full" throughout the 111-hour emergency and no Donala customers were negatively impacted due to the Donala staff’s outstanding efforts and professional planning and preparation. He also emphasized that Donala is not Triview’s "backup water supply" and any future requests for water will be approved only for true emergencies, like this leak.
Some of the "most critical" lessons learned that Petersen listed were:
• We managed this very well, it had never been done before, and I’m real pleased and proud of the way the Donala staff managed this because everybody did a really, really good job.
• After the interconnection was opened, it took Triview five or six days to realize that the problem was a leak.
• They were firmly convinced for the first three or four days of emergency transfer that the problem was just overconsumption—which was really scary, a wakeup call, real close to the edge.
• If they are overconsuming now with their water supplies, what’s going to happen when Sanctuary Pointe really starts to come on line in the next couple of years?
• A new Triview augmentation plan has to be completed and approved.
• Permits for drilling two new Triview wells have to be obtained after the augmentation plan is approved.
• The residents of Triview were fortunate that there was a functional interconnection between Donala and Triview and that Donala had its CSU water supply and treatment capacity available to sustain pumping of Donala’s renewable surface potable water from the Pueblo Reservoir to Triview continuously throughout the emergency. Petersen emphasized that the Willow Creek Ranch water was being used to make up for the water being delivered to Triview, which was coming from Donala’s well fields.
• These kinds of interconnections are very important even if they are never used.
• This was a wakeup call for most of the smaller districts in northern El Paso County as well, when so many people are asking if they will be able to water their lawns the rest of this year.
• Discussions about regional renewable water, reuse water and other provisions of common services need serious discussion and planning attention at the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority.
See the July Triview regular meeting article on page 1 for Triview’s water emergency recap.
New director selected
The board interviewed two residents to replace Director Nance, who passed away on April 20. Michael Lang, an industrial engineer, moved into the Donala district in June 2015, after retiring from a 41-year career in the natural gas industry as a manager of gas control and a qualified gas delivery supervisor. Dennis Snyder, a retired 30-year Gleneagle resident, served in the Air Force, worked 30 years in several corporations as an electronics engineer/marketer/manager/vice president, purchased and operated a business and technology consulting business, and then owned and operated a Colorado Springs shipping company for nine years.
The board unanimously selected Snyder for appointment as a director through May 2018, when there will be two vacancies on the five-member board. Snyder will be sworn in at the next regular Donala board meeting on Aug. 18.
Construction contract awarded
The board unanimously awarded a $1.38 million construction contract to low bidder K.R. Swerdferger Construction Inc. for installing a new water pipeline extension project to connect Donala’s Latrobe Court water tank and to Donala’s Holbein Drive water tanks. On the advice of engineering consultant David Frisch of GMS Inc., a $120,000 Swerdferger bid item for installation of a 16-inch butterfly valve was excluded, reducing Swerdferger’s original low bid amount of $1.50 million. The GMS engineers’ estimate for the extension project was $1.01 million.
Frisch reported concerns from both bidders over the complexity of drilling so deeply with limited access through so many residential backyards. The higher bids were representative of the current bidding climate in the currently booming local construction industry.
Petersen stated that this project will use a majority of the unused $1.80 million line item for Capital Improvements in 2016. These funds come from a low-interest Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority loan. Petersen plans to use all of the remaining power authority loan balance to help pay for other needed Donala capital projects this year and into the next two fiscal years.
Petersen was most pleased to report that Donala Chief Waste Plant Operator Terri Ladouceur announced that she passed her class A wastewater treatment system operator certification, the highest in her profession, on her very first attempt "without fanfare, warning, or advance notice at our last weekly operations meeting." Petersen said this was an even more exceptional achievement now that wastewater treatment plants like Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility’s new sequenced batch reactor expansion are becoming far more complex and technical. The board was equally enthusiastic in praising Ladouceur.
Petersen stated that both 2016 sales revenues and expenses were tracking normal annual patterns through June. The district’s wells and groundwater treatment plant have been turned on to handle summer irrigation surges, but the district is still relying primarily on its Willow Creek Ranch renewable surface water supply that is treated by CSU. An updated district property value assessment to match realistic current values resulted in an extra payment of $3,205 for higher Colorado special district property insurance limits. Board-requested Chandler Fund changes for some of Donala capital-preserving investment accounts have resulted interest rate increases from 0.17 percent to 0.37 percent.
The financial reports were accepted as presented.
The meeting adjourned at 4:21 p.m.
Caption: During public comments of the July 12 regular Triview Metropolitan District board meeting, former Triview board Treasurer Steve Remington was one of 27 residents who spoke about the district’s 36-day water crisis in Jackson Creek and Promontory Pointe. He said a lot of lessons had been learned and he commended "an awful lot of people who put in an awful lot of hours" to solve the problem. However, the overwhelming theme of the public comments was that Triview failed to communicate with residents or listen to people who reported unusual water flows in the beaver pond. District Manager Valerie Remington said almost 30 million gallons of water was lost from the leak in a water main that was not shown on the district’s maps and was camouflaged in the beaver pond southwest of Bear Creek Elementary School. Photo by Lisa Hatfield.
The next board meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 18 in the district conference room at 15850 Holbein Drive. Information: 488-3603 or www.donalawater.org. Meetings are normally held on the third Thursday of the month.
Jim Kendrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lisa Hatfield
The July 12 meeting of the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility (TLWWTF) Joint Use Committee (JUC) included news about the new total phosphorus (TP) chemical removal clarifier expansion project, preliminary discussion surrounding a possible water reuse plan in the Tri-Lakes area, and a summary of results of regional stakeholder meetings.
TLWWTF operates as a separate joint venture public utility and is owned in equal one-third shares by Monument Sanitation District (MSD), Palmer Lake Sanitation District (PLSD), and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD).
The three-member JUC acts as the board of the facility and consists of one director from each of the three owner districts’ boards: WWSD board Director at Large Rich Strom, president; MSD board Chairman Ed Delaney, vice president; and PLSD board and JUC Secretary/Treasurer Ken Smith. Other board and staff members of the three owner districts also attended, including MSD District Manager Mike Wicklund, PLSD District Manager Becky Orcutt, and WWSD District Assistant Manager Randy Gillette.
New TP facility to be showcased at conference
Facility Manager Bill Burks shared the good news that TLWWTF’s new total phosphorus (TP) clarifier project would be the subject of a professional paper, "Bench Scale to Full Scale Phosphorus Removal for Reg. 85 Compliance and Beyond." Tetra Tech will present the paper at the three-state Joint Annual Conference of the Rocky Mountain American Waterworks Association and the Water Environment Federation (AWWA & WEF) in September. The conference attracts watershed environment professionals from Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico.
Construction and plant manager’s report
Burks reported that the "substantial completion date" for the TP clarifier project could be July 29, but it would not start actual operation until completing the final punch list. He said the project seems to be coming in under budget, but all the final invoices are not in yet.
The members unanimously approved two change orders for the project:
• Flood vents required by Pikes Peak Regional Building − $ 3,692
• Culvert under Mitchell Avenue − $6,272
See www.ocn.me/v16n7.htm#tlfjuc-0614 for details.
Burks reviewed the May discharge monitoring report (DMR), saying the results were well within the required parameters.
"Indirect water reuse" plan discussed
Wicklund asked Burks to tell the JUC members more about the proposed water reuse project that was discussed at the June 20 Monument Board of Trustees meeting. Wicklund said he needed information, because several business owners asked him about possible multi-million-dollar revenue bonds and how much the project might increase user fees for individual customers. See www.ocn.me/v16n7.htm#mbot-0620.
Wicklund said he was concerned that after the dramatic and controversial March 7 tiered water rate hike for Town of Monument water customers, any more wastewater service rate increases might choke out commercial businesses in the town water service area, which is west of I-25. He said that a majority of members of the Monument Board of Trustees do not live in the Monument water service area and are not directly affected by the town’s water rate increase. He suggested that the town should form a separate water district board to make decisions solely about the water district.
Burks and Gillette said all proposals for indirect water use in the OCN reporting area are still only in the preliminary discussion phase. The Town of Monument water service district and WWSD are the only two partners looking into the indirect reuse project associated with TLWWTF effluent. The general plan would be to see if their treated effluent from TLWWTF that is currently discharged into Monument Creek could be pumped into Monument Creek at a point upstream of Monument Lake, then withdrawn as surface water to be treated again to reach drinking water standards before being redistributed to west Monument and Woodmoor customers.
Currently, TLWWTF has the uppermost state discharge permit on Monument Creek. For this plan to work, an additional discharge permit further upstream would have to be obtained, Wicklund said. Burks and Gillette added that indirect water reuse could potentially tighten TLWWTF discharge permit limits despite the fact that the very high quality of the effluent already improves the quality of Monument Creek stream flows rather than degrading them.
Wicklund wondered who would be responsible for obtaining the permit for the alternate upstream discharge point and the additional treatment costs for attaining the higher quality of the alternate discharge point. Gillette said that was still to be worked out, but, "it won’t impact the facility here."
Gillette said that Forsgren Associates has been working on the water reuse study and that a lot of alternatives were still being discussed. "It’s not fair to bring it to this group yet," since so much was still undefined, he said.
Delay on statewide temperature standards ruling
MSD Environmental Compliance Coordinator Jim Kendrick summarized the results of the June 13-15 state Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) triennial rulemaking hearing on Regulation 31, Basic Standards and Methodologies for Surface Water. The topic of most relevance to the JUC was the WQCC’s decision that there was not enough data to scientifically evaluate the various new regulation options on temperature proposed by the state Water Quality Control Division or the objections and counter-proposals of numerous statewide stakeholders.
Stream temperatures can affect the reproduction and life cycle of various species of fish. A decision could have directly affected all 11 Monument and Fountain Creek wastewater treatment facilities, including TLWWTF, with far greater additional capital and permanent operational expense increases, but the WQCC postponed its scheduled temperature regulation decision until the next triennial review in 2019.
In response to this overwhelming statewide science-based stakeholder opposition to the temperature proposals of both the state Water Quality Control Division and EPA Region 8 personnel, the members of the WQCC unanimously stated that stream and lake temperature can be affected by physical factors such as solar radiation and the normal progression of seasons as well as by anthropogenic, or human-caused, sources. Each of the commissioners also acknowledged that every Colorado river basin is different and therefore decided not to create any single statewide temperature standards or any basin-specific or discharger-specific temperature standards until enough long-term data on temperature in streams, lakes, and reservoirs can be collected for more sites in Colorado’s eight river basins.
Note: The OCN coverage area is in the Arkansas River basin. For more information on WQCC hearings, regulations and policies, water quality statutes, and monthly meetings, see https://www.colorado.gov/cdphe/wqcc.
Kendrick read portions of the rebuttal testimony presented by attorney Jeff Kane of Maynes, Bradford, Shipps & Sheftel LLP representing the Dolores Water Conservancy District. Kendrick stated, "This hearing is a precedent-setting opportunity to show how the Division, Commission, and stakeholders can develop and implement scientifically defensible methods to refine criteria for complex ‘pollutants’ and environmental variables in a way that protects aquatic life and avoids wasting limited resources on unwarranted use attainability analyses, total maximum daily limits (TMDL) determinations, and new effluent limits that are not attainable, affordable, or sustainable."
Wastewater Utility Council
Kendrick summarized topics covered at the May 11 and June 8 Wastewater Utility Council (WWUC) meetings, which included discussions of how to help smaller treatment facilities which are having trouble adhering to state Reg. 85 total phosphorus/total inorganic nitrogen discharge limits and how to attract more qualified candidates for running treatment plants, since the current senior staffs at the majority of facilities are "aging out."
Kendrick asked the JUC members for direction regarding a possible change in discharger permit fees that would be discussed at July 19 and Aug. 4 stakeholders’ meetings that he would be attending for the JUC. The consensus was that it would be better to continue the current determination of these fees by the state Legislature, which is elected, instead of endorsing the Water Quality Control Division’s initiative to turn over control of fee setting directly to the governor’s political appointees that make up the WQCC.
The meeting adjourned at 12:17 p.m.
The next meeting will be held Aug. 9 at 10 a.m. at the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility, 16510 Mitchell Ave. Meetings are normally held on the second Tuesday of the month and are open to the public. For information, call Bill Burks at (719) 481-4053.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at email@example.com.
By James Howald
The Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD) board departed from its regular schedule in July, meeting on July 21 instead of July 14. The board heard a presentation on adding two new areas to the district, the results of the 2015 audit, a discussion of adding water re-use engineering to the district’s infrastructure, a request from the Colorado Department of Wildlife (CDW) to use Calhan Reservoir as a fishery, and an operational report from District Manager Jessie Shaffer.
Plans to serve Ponderosa Camp and Bald Mountain presented
At a previous meeting, the board asked Shaffer to study the engineering and costs required to extend water service to Ponderosa Camp and Bald Mountain, two neighborhoods adjacent to the intersection of County Line Road and Furrow Road. The neighborhoods are in Douglas County, and together comprise 189 acres. There are a total of 180 taps in the neighborhoods, according to Shaffer.
The planning was to include water service only, not sanitation, and was to be used only as recommendations to the neighborhoods to assist in their decision-making. Both neighborhoods need to address two problems: They are using non-renewable water sources and have high insurance premiums because they lack the flow rates required to fight fires.
Shaffer said there are two legal approaches to extending water service to those areas: extra-territorial service and inclusion, and each approach has its own legal requirements, constraints and costs. Existing conservation easements may prevent water rights from being transferred to WWSD, according to Shaffer.
Shaffer did his planning based on the assumptions that Ponderosa Camp and Bald Mountain would pay for all required construction, that they would cede to WWSD all their surface and ground waters rights in perpetuity, that they would give WWSD a half-acre of land for a well site, and that they would also pay an acreage fee for water service in addition to use-based rates.
Shaffer’s plan called for both neighborhoods to construct some on-site facilities such as fire hydrants, add service lines and metering, and add a booster station to existing WWSD infrastructure.
If the neighborhoods and WWSD agree on extra-territorial service as the preferred strategy, capital costs would fall between $2.2 million and $5.4 million. Also, there would be annual fees totaling $165,000, Shaffer said. Inclusion, on the other hand, would require capital costs from $5 million to $5.4 million, and annual fees of $192,000, Shaffer said.
Shaffer told the board he would present his findings to the neighborhoods in about 10 days and would report back to the board if there was interest in proceeding.
2015 audit approved
District Auditor Uli Keely presented the 2015 financial audit to the board. The report shows "no concerns, nothing unusual . . . business as usual," Keely said.
The district ended the year with a $4 million increase to its net position, or profit, for the year, according to Keely. 2015 was "heavy on revenue and light on expenses," Shaffer said.
The board voted unanimously to accept the report.
Water re-use to be studied
Shaffer asked the board to consider funding a study to determine the feasibility of improving the district’s water infrastructure to include a method to indirectly re-use water for consumption. Wastewater would be treated, pumped upstream to Monument Creek, allowed to flow through natural buffers, and then treated again to a higher standard, and then used for consumption.
Studies of this approach have already been done by some neighboring water districts, according to Shaffer. The designs that have been studied are similar in most ways, but differ in their choice of filtration technologies, he said.
Shaffer proposed that the board hire FEI Engineers to evaluate two existing plans, one developed by Tetra Tech Inc. and the other by Forsgren Associates Inc., along three dimensions: compliance with regulations, water quality, and standards unique to WWSD. The proposed study would cost $21,000 and would help the district develop its long-term planning and communicate the benefits to stakeholders, Shaffer said.
The board voted to authorize the study.
CDW requests access to Calhan reservoir to raise trout
Shaffer said the CDW had asked the district to approve its use of Calhan reservoir as a fishery. The CDW did not offer to pay the district, and asked for four days of access to the reservoir each year to stock it with trout fry and then harvest the fish after they mature, Shaffer said.
Shaffer saw some issues with the request: It might require the approval of the ranching company that is currently leasing the land from the district, and might raise liability issues for which the state does not indemnify the district.
The board felt it was important to have a cooperative relationship with the state, and asked Shaffer to draft a letter accepting the request and submit it to the board.
Operational report mentions few concerns
The operational report made the following points:
• Director Rich Strom mentioned that a $23,000 change order to correct flow-through at the treatment plant had been approved by the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility Joint Use Committee.
• The re-vegetation project at the JV Ranch, required to prevent soil erosion, is on track.
• The technology to aerate the water in Woodmoor Lake will be added in late fall.
• Four wells have failed this year, caused by a variety of factors. The district plans for two failures in a typical year. Two of the four wells have been returned to service.
The next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 11 at 1 p.m. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lisa Hatfield
The July 18 Monument Board of Trustees meeting included a lengthy discussion about the town’s water enterprise fund finances, amendments to the town’s zoning ordinances on "clinics," a call for volunteers for the Board of Adjustments, and news of two arrests associated with marijuana.
Majority of trustees want audit of water fund finances
Trustee comments included a lengthy discussion, with many voices raised, about the town’s water enterprise fund. The topic came up when Trustee Jeff Bornstein asked his colleagues "where are we going?" on providing additional water production to the Town of Monument water service customers west of I-25. "I am disappointed in the new board. We haven’t done anything!"
Trustee Greg Coopman agreed water discussions would come up every meeting as long as he still had "many, many, many unanswered questions" about the water enterprise fund. He is concerned about the prospect of $44 million in possible future projects being covered by only 1,100 customers. He quoted the May 2, 2005 Board of Trustees minutes in which former trustee Glenda Smith said the general fund had been taking money from the water fund in order to cover salaries and franchise fees. See http://monumenttownco.minutesondemand.com and also www.ocn.me/v5n5.htm#bot0502.
Trustee Kelly Elliott asked why some trustees seemed to have no sense of urgency in moving forward despite the water emergency experience by residents of the neighboring Triview water district. See related Triview article on page 1.
Ultimately, Bornstein made a motion that was seconded, then Coopman offered an amendment which was also seconded, asking for a comprehensive audit of the water enterprise fund, based on a list of specific questions to be developed with public input at the Aug. 1 meeting, and once that list was developed, it would be sent out as a request for proposal. The amendment was approved 5-1 (Kaiser opposed), then the amended motion was approved unanimously.
"Clinics" zoning ordinance approved
On July 18, the trustees unanimously approved a new ordinance, taking effect immediately, amending the town zoning ordinance regarding regulations of "clinics." It does not "zone out" methadone clinics for legal reasons listed below. See www.ocn.me/v16n4.htm#mbot0311 for background about the 2015 methadone clinic battle with Colonial Management Group.
The town’s land use attorney, Carolynne White of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP, explained the detailed rationale for the changes at a public workshop on July 7 and again on July 18. White said she worked with attorney Bill C. Berger, of the same firm. The goal of eight months of work was to create a legally defensible system for regulating where health care providers, including methadone clinics, can locate within the Town of Monument. Her comments included:
• An addict is a person for whom the addiction "substantially limits" one or more of their "major life functions."
• Addiction, even addiction to illegal substances, is considered a disability, and is protected against discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
• The town code must be neutral in terms of how it treats individuals with disabilities.
• Many courts have struck down zoning laws designed to discriminate against methadone clinics.
The amendments to town zoning ordinances they suggested would allow certain types of clinics, with doctors on site, to locate in the B and C zoning districts.
However, five types of clinics that do not have doctors on site (clinic, pharmacy, professional services office, small animal clinic, and health services facility) would be allowed to locate only in the PCDH zone, which is located only "in the immediate vicinity of highway access ramps." Part of the rationale is that in a clinic with no physicians on site, it is more critical that emergency personnel can easily access the clinic.
White said some existing "non-doctor clinic health care facilities" already located in the B and C zoning districts of Monument will become "nonconforming uses," a.k.a. "grandfathered in." She said town staff was still analyzing how many existing businesses were likely affected, and anyone with questions should contact the town directly.
Also, the amended ordinance does not "zone out" methadone clinics, White explained. This means that, if a proposed methadone clinic were to propose a new location within the PCDH zones, and it otherwise complies with town code requirements, then the town will have to allow it, White said.
William Louis, the land use attorney that was hired by No Methadone in Monument group, spoke during public comments with a list of suggested changes to the ordinance that he had discussed with White. "We do want you approve something tonight (since the moratorium expires tomorrow), but do come back in a month to close these loopholes," he said.
The board went into executive session with White to discuss Louis’s suggestions at 8:50 p.m. and came back in regular session at 9:25 p.m. They voted unanimously to approve an amended version of White’s ordinance. Several other changes and additions suggested by Lewis might be included as amendments to the ordinance later on.
Board of Adjustment appointments; still missing one
The trustees unanimously approved a resolution to reappoint Don Smith, Kathy Spence, Jeff Bornstein and Robin Yamiolkski to the Board of Adjustment, and now their terms will expire on staggered dates instead of all at once.
One remaining vacancy, the position that had been held by Shea Medlicott, is still open. Planning Director Larry Manning said this opening was advertised in the Gazette and on the town website, but no new applications were received. He said staff then contacted the applicants from the 2015 appointments and three of them offered again to serve if appointed.
Then Jamie Fenley spoke up at the meeting saying she had not seen the notification until the last minute and asking about the status of her application, but Manning said it had been received after the deadline and was not included in the trustees’ packet. Fenley left the meeting.
The consensus of the trustees was for Manning to post the vacancy in local media outlets and also ask the applicants to appear in person so they could be interviewed. They also asked Manning to contact Fenley to let her know her application would still be accepted.
Marijuana arrests made on Front Street
Police Chief Jake Shirk said "some federal partners had been notified" and two people had been arrested after Monument officers responded to a domestic violence call on Front Street on July 16. During the course of the investigation, the officers searched the out-of-state vehicle and found 32½ pounds of marijuana, a .25-caliber handgun, and several identifications and items of paperwork with names different than the two suspects’.
Fuel station and convenience store approved
Planner Jennifer Jones presented an application submitted by GreenbergFarrow for a Final Planned Development Site Plan for a Murphy Express fuel station and convenience store to be located on the southeast corner of Jackson Creek Parkway and Leather Chaps Drive. The application was approved by the Monument Planning Commission on June 8.
The 1.26-acre site will be accessed by driveways onto both Jackson Creek Parkway and Leather Chaps Drive. The applicant needs to provide a will-serve letter from Triview Metropolitan District prior to recordation of the Final PD Site Plan, Jones said.
No members of the public spoke about the application, and the trustees approved it unanimously.
Other trustee comments
The consensus of the trustees was that having past minutes available on the website as they are is very helpful for transparency. Board of Trustee minutes back through 1997 are available at http://monumenttownco.minutesondemand.com. A majority of the trustees had suggestions for sharing more complete meeting content with the public, including asking that every topic discussed be included in the minutes, that meeting minutes be more detailed, and that the public have access to meeting recordings via the website.
Town Clerk Cynthia Sirochman said she could include meeting highlights with her action-only minutes and that in the future live audio streaming of meetings could be an option.
Bornstein thanked Town Manager Chris Lowe for his July 15 press release explaining how the Town of Monument is (and is not) connected with Triview Metropolitan District and what consulting assistance the town offered Triview during the June water emergency. See http://www.townofmonument.org/town-bulletins/.
Bornstein asked what Town Attorney Gary Shupp’s role would be "if it gets ugly" between the town and Triview, since Shupp is also Triview’s attorney. Shupp said he did not anticipate that, but if there were a conflict, he would not represent either client.
Checks over $5,000 approved as part of consent agenda:
• Triview Metro District, May sales tax, June motor vehicle sales tax, June Regional Building use tax – not to exceed $500,541
• Wildcat Construction Co., water line upgrades − $16,396
• CIRSA Insurance, third-quarter worker’s compensation − $15,397
• CIRSA Insurance, third-quarter liability insurance − $23,609
• Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce, third-quarter support − $5,000
• Colorado Water Conservation Board, annual payment for Monument Dam loan − $168,091
The second-quarter financial report from Town Treasurer Pamela Smith included the following note on fiscal impacts:
• General fund revenues were 1 percent more than budgeted.
• General fund expenditures were 1.3 percent more than budgeted.
• General fund net balance was negative by $225,903.
• This included the $350,000 settlement check to Colonial Management Group.
• Water fund revenues were 2 percent more than budgeted.
• Water fund expenses were 62 percent less than budgeted, mainly due to not funding capital projects yet.
• Water enterprise fund net balance was positive by $273,173.
• Net ancillary funds through June were positive by $378,000.
Community Liaison Specialist Madeline Van DenHoek expressed her sincere thanks and presented certificates of appreciation to those who organized Monument’s Memorial Day Ceremony, which grows in attendance each year.
Then she thanked the countless volunteers and organizations that coordinated the numerous July 4 events attended by an estimated 15,000 people this year.
Trustee Jeff Bornstein presented certificates recognizing the herculean efforts of the grassroots No Methadone in Monument group.
Executive session rescheduled
The board agreed to postpone an executive session listed on the agenda to discuss the "purchase, acquisition, lease, transfer, or sale of any real, personal, or other property interest" regarding the water enterprise fund since Public Works Director Tom Tharnish had to leave the meeting by the time this item came up at 10 p.m.
This was the same item that had been scheduled for June 27 but was not conducted that night either, at the request of the trustees. See www.ocn.me/v16n7.htm#mbot-0627.
The meeting adjourned at 10 p.m.
On July 26, Public Works Director Tom Tharnish distributed a press release called "Follow-up From June 20 Monument Water Meeting." In it, he clarified many points that have been disputed at several Board of Trustees meetings. For example, he said the $44 million discussed "would serve the town’s growing needs for the next 20-30 years" and would not drive near-term rate and fee adjustments. See www.townofmonument.org/town-bulletins/ to read the entire two-page press release.
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 meeting is scheduled for Aug. 15. Call 884-8014 or see www.townofmonument.org for information. To see upcoming agendas and complete board packets for the Monument Board of Trustees, see http://monumenttownco.minutesondemand.com and click on Board of Trustees.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at email@example.com.
By Kate Pangelinan
The July 13 Monument Planning Commission meeting featured involved discussions about proposed changes to the town’s landscape ordinance. According to Town Planner Larry Manning’s summary located on the town’s website, these changes would encourage the planting of native Coloradan grasses, limit the number of trees Monument citizens and businesses are required to maintain, and allow the use of products like synthetic turf. The goal of these rule alterations would be water conservation, because the town is dedicated to preserving its water supply so that it will be able to support current and future citizens. See http://monumenttownco.minutesondemand.com for the July 13 meeting packet containing Manning’s staff report, information on what xeriscaping is (and is not), and the proposed changes to the current town landscaping ordinance.
It was decided that before voting, members of the commission needed time to mull over the potential changes to their town, as well as how it would be best to transition into any changes at all. Some commissioners expressed concerns about what a decrease in overall living greenery might mean for Monument, and questioned finer points of the landscape ordinance—for instance, whether scrub oak/gamble oak would constitute a "tree" rather than a "bush," and whether trees should be handled differently according to their susceptibility to fire. They also discussed implementing these new rules across Monument in a gradual manner, if changes are approved by the Board of Trustees. Spence suggested that homeowners should be notified and given the chance to understand what the changed ordinance would mean for them and their property.
In the end, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to postpone further discussion, and therefore voting, on these ordinance changes to their regular August meeting. The previous ordinance from 2014 will also be discussed to give these new changes context, so that the Planning Commission might choose between parts of each proposition.
The next Monument Planning Commission meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 10 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 Pangelinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By James Howald
In July, the Palmer Lake Town Council met twice: on July 14 and 28. At the July 14 meeting, the board debated issues related to marijuana businesses, heard a presentation from Town Attorney Maureen Juran on planned ballot initiatives, listened to a presentation from a resident on watershed planning, and granted a business license.
At the July 28 meeting, the board began discussion of an additional water tank and named members of the town’s Planning Commission.
Board returns to debate on marijuana fees and licenses
Juran proposed to the board that the town change its method of setting fees for marijuana businesses. Currently, those fees are set in the town’s code; Juran said it would be simpler to switch to resolutions to set those fees. That would allow the town to write a unified fee schedule that would allow fees to be defined in one place, and would require fewer updates to the town’s code books, which were expensive to perform.
The board voted unanimously to make the change suggested by Juran.
Following the vote authorizing the use of resolutions to set fees, the board debated a resolution to increase the application and annual licensing fees on marijuana businesses to $500 and $5,000, respectively. This resolution provoked a lengthy debate among the board members and spokespeople for marijuana businesses.
Both Juran and Town Administrator Cathy Green-Sinnard pointed out that fees, unlike taxes, had to be based on services provided by the town to those who pay the fees. Green-Sinnard said that marijuana businesses often have lengthy files that need to kept current and reviewed by town staff. Green-Sinnard said she was not prepared to specify an exact dollar amount spent by the town to manage marijuana businesses, but that she could research that for the board.
Trustee Glant Havenar said that her research led her to believe that Palmer Lake’s current fees were much lower than those in other towns.
Trustee Rich Kuehster pointed out that the town received no tax revenues from the businesses in the town that cultivate marijuana on a wholesale basis, and that he believed a different tax structure would benefit the town.
During the comments from the public on this question, resident Bob Miner pointed out that the application and annual fees could be raised at a later date.
Curt Reece, owner of Premier Organics LLC, a wholesale cultivator who will pay the fees in question, objected to the amount of the increase. He questioned why the fees for his business were being treated differently than the fees for other businesses, since his business is legal and is already heavily regulated by the state.
Another representative of a marijuana business argued that the town needed to define more clearly exactly what services it was providing to marijuana businesses before the new fees could be justified.
Resident Kurt Ehrhardt commented on the amount of water consumed by marijuana cultivators, and recommended that the annual licensing be set at $8,000. Reece said in response that his business used water equivalent to four residences with families of four members.
After the discussion, the board voted to set the application and license fees at $500 and $5,000 by a vote of four to one.
Ballot initiatives reviewed
Juran then reviewed with the board the details of four ballot initiatives that will be voted on in November. The ballot initiatives are:
• An initiative to continue the five-cent sales tax, which is due to expire, in perpetuity for the purpose of funding police, fire, and other municipal services
• An initiative to allow the town to retain tax revenues in excess of the current TABOR limits
• An initiative to allow the town to collect a 5 percent excise tax on unprocessed marijuana grown or sold within the town’s boundaries
• An initiative to allow the town to publish just the titles of ordinances, rather than the complete text, to save money
Monument watershed to get attention
Miner let the board know about an effort by Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control project to manage more actively the Monument Creek watershed. Palmer Lake is part of that watershed, Miner said, and he asked the board’s permission to represent the town’s interest in that effort.
Business license granted
The board voted to grant a business license to Sozo Now LLC, a natural health consultancy doing business as Health Restored, at 439 Upper Glenway. Trustee Mark Schuler did not vote on the license, because the business is run by his wife.
Additional water tank needed, says consultant
At the July 28 meeting, Linda Firth of Water Matters LLC presented her findings concerning the town’s need to add an additional water tank to its infrastructure.
According to Firth, the new tank is needed because the existing concrete tank was built in 1964, and the valves are embedded in concrete under the tank. Should the tank fail, Firth said, to repair it might require the tank to be drained and concrete chipped away to expose the valves. The town would have no water service while this was done, she said.
Firth said the town could obtain a loan from the state’s revolving loan fund at 2 percent interest, a much lower rate than a bank would charge if an emergency loan was needed to fix the existing tank.
Firth recommended the new tank be a concrete tank buried on the same land with the existing tank. Both tanks needed to be at the same elevation for the system to operate, Firth said. A buried tank is preferable given the weather in Palmer Lake, Firth said. The new tank should be the same size as the existing tank: 250,000 gallons, according to Firth.
Firth said the new tank would require the town to borrow $1.1 million if the board approves the proposed design. Town Clerk Tara Berreth said the project would add between $5.29 and $6 monthly to each water bill.
Planning Commission members appointed
The board voted at the July 28 meeting to re-appoint six members to the Planning Commission: David Cooper, Vic Brown, Mark Bruce, Bill Fisher, Kory De Angelo, and Ken Dickinson. The board also appointed Trustee Havenar to the Planning Commission for the first time.
The two meetings for August will be at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 11 and Aug. 25 at Town Hall, 42 Valley Crescent. Meetings are normally held on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. Information: 481-2953.
James Howald can be reached at email@example.com.
By Kate Pangelinan
A short public Board of Directors meeting was held for the Donald Wescott Fire Protection District on July 19, primarily featuring budgetary discussions. This was followed by an executive session. Director Harland Baker and Assistant Chief Scott Ridings were both absent.
A few months ago, the Donald Wescott Fire District contracted with an auditor to review its operations. However, as Executive Administrator Stacey Popovich explained to the board, the auditor did not expect to find such detail in the district’s pension report, and therefore wanted more than anticipated for their services. For this reason, the audit payments went $400 over the allotted budget to obtain financial information on staff pensions for compliance with the new nationwide General Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions. .
The auditor also gave the fire district a "clean bill of health," according to Popovich’s Open Session Summary of the board’s June 21 meeting. Upon reviewing this summary, Director John Fredell recommended changing the language to read, "See attached audit report." His hope is to avoid "substituting our (the fire district’s) words" for the auditor’s.
In other budgetary news, while the fire district still has money in its payroll fund, a little more has been spent than Popovich likes for "this time of the year." This is because a number of part-time employees have picked up hours to compensate for lack of some regular staff. The fire district isn’t in the habit of hiring new firefighters before current firefighters leave, which can lead to some gap periods.
Assistant Chief Ridings was absent from this meeting, but Chief Vinny Burns noted that he had just returned that afternoon, July 19, from two weeks on deployment fighting fires in other parts of Colorado. First, Wescott recruits helped fight the fire in Boulder County for three or four days. Then they returned to Monument for a day or two before going to help with the Hayden Pass fire west of Canon City. Burns predicted that this might prove to be "a busy season." He also applauded firefighters for nearly completing the fire station’s new paintjob.
The executive session’s discussion topic was: "24-6-424E – Determining positions relative to matters that may be subject to negotiations, developing strategy for negotiations and instructing negotiations." The public cannot be present for executive sessions, but Popovich advised OCN after the meeting that the board voted unanimously in favor of supporting "these settlement principles … Based upon the interpretation that Wescott retains 100 percent of the mill levy generated from … the Northgate Exclusion Area in 2017, half of the Northgate Exclusion Area in 2018, and half of the amount of the Northgate Exclusion Area in 2019."
The Donald Wescott Fire Protection District Board of Directors’ next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 16 at Station 1, 15415 Gleneagle Dr. Please call 488-8680, a non-emergency number, for more information, or visit www.wescottfire.org. The district is also on Facebook.
Kate Pangelinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lisa Hatfield
The July 27 Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District meeting introduced a teambuilding study for the district, a grant from the Tri-Lakes Women’s Club, and comments about the conditions of the district’s fire stations and how various pieces of upcoming legislation might affect the district.
Secretary Mike Smaldino and Director Jason Buckingham were excused.
Fire Chief Chris Truty introduced two volunteers from Peak Leadership, Dr. John Anderson and Robert Ginnett, who are both past professors in the U.S. Air Force Academy Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership. They have already begun conducting confidential interviews with all 42 members of the district as part of a leadership development study requested by Truty.
Ginnett said previous entities they have worked with include NASA astronauts, surgical teams, Navy SEALs, commercial airlines, and police forces. "Even with overly qualified individuals, they do not always work well as a team," he said. Anderson said over the next year or more, they will identify the strengths of the individuals and then develop recommendations for training initiatives and more effective teamwork in the organization.
Truty later told OCN they are doing the work pro bono, "a stunning deal for us."
Women’s club grant appreciated
Battalion Chief Mike Dooley said, "Thanks to the Tri-Lakes Women’s Club for keeping us safe!" The club donated $2,500 to the district’s safety committee, making it possible to purchase new traffic safety vests with built-in LED lights. The new vests will be much more visible than the reflective vests the district already had, which met federal standards but were still hard to see.
Station tour feedback
Comments regarding the tour of all three stations plus Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) Station 22 on June 22 included a call from Vice President Roger Lance for a long-term plan to improve the stations and improve the quality of the living environment for the district’s employees.
Highlights from the chief’s report from Truty and Deputy Chief Randy Trost included:
• The second new ambulance, the new brush truck and the new battalion vehicle have all been delivered.
• The other vehicles are "being nursed along" and are becoming expensive, Trost said.
• Trost sent out four conditional offers of employment on July 27. The plan is for these three paramedics and one EMT to complete the firefighting academy by March.
• Results of an impact fees study are expected before the August board meeting. Then the board may make its recommendation on how much "new development should pay its way."
• TLMFPD crews trained in a simulated fire attack at a CSFD structure in July.
Office Administrator Jennifer Martin said she has been researching the complicated web of workers’ compensation, health insurance, and dental insurance choices for 2017. Treasurer John Hildebrandt voiced his concerns about the effects on the district if Amendment 69 were passed in November, because, for example, it would provide insurance for people only while they were in Colorado. He wondered about the ramifications for insurance coverage for firefighters on deployment or on vacation out of state.
Lance also mentioned there were many new 2016 laws that might affect the district and recommended that board members attend the Special District Association conference in September to learn more.
The meeting adjourned 7:55 p.m.
Meetings are usually held the fourth Wednesday of each month. The next meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 24 in the Monument Town Hall at 645 Beacon Lite Road. For information, contact Jennifer Martin at 719-484-0911.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at email@example.com.
By Lisa Hatfield
On July 12, the El Paso Board of County Commissioners denied David Hellbusch’s proposed new 1-acre RV and boat storage yard variance of use within his RR-5 (Residential Rural) 3.75-acre property located north of the intersection Mitchell Avenue and North Monument Lake Road.
This item had been unanimously approved by the El Paso County Planning Commission on June 21. See www.ocn.me/v16n7.htm#epcpc-0621.
According to the unofficial July 12 meeting results posted at http://bcc2.elpasoco.com/bocc/agenda.asp, District 1 Commissioner Darryl Glenn moved to deny the request, and the motion carried 3-1, with Vice Chair Dennis Hisey opposed.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lisa Hatfield
The July 19 El Paso County Planning Commission meeting included over three hours of testimony regarding Jackson Ranch, a multi-phase development north of Higby Road between Roller Coaster Road and Shahara Road. It is southwest of Canterbury Estates (zoned RR-5) and east of Bent Tree Estates (zoned RR-2.5). The commissioners approved Jackson Ranch Phase 2 Rezone, Jackson Ranch Preliminary Plan Amendment, and Jackson Ranch Filing 2 Final Plat.
Background: The staff report noted that the 77 acres of Jackson Ranch Phase 1 was rezoned to from RR-5 to RR-2.5 in May 2014. Because of its location, posting only was required on the property edges but there were no adjacent neighbors that had to be notified. Construction for the first six lots of Phase 1 is under way.
A key component of the arguments on both sides in this hearing was the 2000 Tri-Lakes Comprehensive Plan (Tri-Lakes Plan). See http://adm.elpasoco.com/Development%20Services/Pages/ComprehensivePlans.aspx and click on Tri-Lakes Comprehensive Plan (2000).
Dave Jones of Land Resource Associates represented the Brown family and Four Gates Land Development LLC in the three-proposal hearing and spent most of his presentation advocating for rezoning 60 acres in Phase 2 from 5-acre lots (RR-5) to 19 single-family residential lots with minimum size of 2-1/2 acres (RR-2.5).
He explained at length why this rezoning request was consistent with the recommendations of the Tri-Lakes Plan, the El Paso County Master Plan, and the El Paso County Development Code. Jones’ comments included:
• The Tri-Lakes Plan was a guidance tool, and this proposal is in total compliance since the plan calls for, "primarily," not "exclusively," 5-acre lots in the West Cherry Creek sub-area.
• Zoning "compatibility" has been established.
• This proposed zoning change would not cause negative impacts from dust, visual sightlines, traffic, drainage, noise, or land use.
• This will be a non-equestrian subdivision with asphalt roads. It will not connect with Canterbury’s equestrian gravel roads.
• After community meetings in May and June, the applicant proposed, in the preliminary plan amendment, a 100-foot rear building setback (rather than the 25-foot setback the county currently requires in RR-2.5 zones) for the newly-proposed minimum-size 2.5-acre lots that would be adjacent to the Canterbury West and East Subdivisions.
Attorney Duncan Bremer commented that the applicant owns a lot of water rights, will have generous quantities of water available from the Dawson Aquifer, and that the RR-5 zoning called for in the 2000 Tri-Lakes Comprehensive Plan was "anachronistic and was no longer a good market" standard.
As part of a staff analysis of compatibility, Kari Parsons, county project manager/planner II, recommended a tapering zone in Jackson Ranch similar to the 5-acre lots included in the western edge of Cherry Creek Crossing, to the east of Canterbury East. This feathering of the perimeter lot sizes was suggested so that there could be a more harmonious density transition to be more compatible with adjacent developments and be compatible with the Tri-Lakes Plan.
The rezoning application was opposed by a group of residents from Canterbury Estates, the first subdivision in this sub-area, which was designed as an equestrian subdivision made up of 5-acre lots with gravel roads. Their main spokesman was Canterbury Improvement Association Chairman Chris Davis, but three other residents also spoke in opposition.
One of Davis’ main points was that this proposal ignores the Tri-Lakes Plan, which says on page 125, for example, that "development emphasis should be on rural and/or rural residential uses that focus on harmonizing with the natural rolling hills and open character of the area. This sub-area should remain primarily rural and/or rural residential with lot sizes averaging a minimum of five acres…. Lot clustering options … should be considered only if there is strict adherence to this overall density approach."
Davis’ other comments included:
• The county has rezoned all around us with larger homes on smaller lots that is incongruent with Canterbury’s pre-existing use. They are not looking at the whole sub-area as defined in the Tri-Lakes Plan.
• One planning commissioner (Bob Null) just said that he had not even read the Tri-Lakes Plan.
• We do not have harmonious relationships with the RR-2.5 subdivisions around us that came in after we did.
• This would be a 100 percent increase in density, and it is not congruent with density in Canterbury, which is adjacent.
• When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. It does not make sense to continue to overlook the Tri-Lakes Plan.
The Jackson Ranch Phase 2 Rezone, with four conditions and one notation, was approved 7-1, recommending approval of a rezoning of 60 acres from RR-5 to RR-2.5. Commissioner Allan Creely voted no, because the Tri-Lakes Plan wanted 5-acre lots, and "the county has nibbled away" at this sub-area with 2.5-acre lots over a period of time.
The Jackson Ranch Preliminary Plan Amendment, with five conditions and one notation, was approved unanimously, recommending approval of 37 single-family residential lots on 98 acres, two open space tracts totaling 14 acres, and 2.65 acres of right of way.
The Jackson Ranch Filing 2 Final Plat, with 14 conditions and two notations, was approved unanimously, recommending approval of a final plat for eight single-family residential lots on 22 acres and a 9-acre open space tract and right of way.
The meeting adjourned after 2 p.m.
Caption: This is the area discussed in the three land use applications concerning Jackson Ranch at the July 19 El Paso County Planning Commission meeting. All three items were approved by the commission and have been scheduled to be heard by the Board of County Commissioners on Aug. 16. Map courtesy of El Paso County Development Services.
All three items recommended by the Planning Commission are scheduled to go before the El Paso Board of County Commissioners on Aug. 23. See http://bcc.elpasoco.com/Pages/BoCCMeetingInformation.aspx for information.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at email@example.com.
By Jackie Burhans
The Woodmoor Improvement Association (WIA) board met on July 27, hearing from the Woodmoor Townhomes Homeowners Association (HOA) president and reporting on project and director area updates. Directors Alan Bassett, Robert Benjamin, Per Suhr, and Rich Wretschko were absent.
Woodmoor Townhomes president visits
Trena Thomson, president of the Woodmoor Townhomes HOA, which is a sub-HOA under WIA, attended the meeting to observe its proceedings. She had been invited to attend by WIA Secretary and Community Outreach Director Jennifer Cunningham, who inquired about the townhomes’ parking lot. Thomson noted that efforts had been made under a previous management company that were not completed. She also noted that the HOA was working with residents on architectural control and reviewing its rules for possible revision at its next annual meeting. She mentioned looking into complaints about dogs barking or being off-leash as well as residents who don’t pick up after their dogs.
Community Affairs report
Director Cunningham highlighted a number of community events and opportunities for community members to give feedback. The Young Life teen center at the Tri-Lakes YMCA regularly schedules events such as Real Alternative to Drinking and Drugs (RAD) on Friday nights from 7 to 11 p.m. No membership is required by either Young Life or the YMCA to attend. More information is available on Facebook at http://bit.ly/yl-rad.
Citizens and businesses in El Paso County are being asked for input on the county’s future transportation system at http://epcroadplan.com. She noted that the county plans to work on the frontage road by Palmer Ridge High School starting in the fall and will be accelerating the expansion of Highway 105 out east.
Board report highlights
• HOA Manager Denise Cagliaro reported that the Colorado Unemployment Insurance office performed a random audit, which was easily passed with no issues.
• There was a large uptick in June of covenant violations compared to previous years. Some were due to the busy real estate market, and most were taken care of by staff without going to a hearing.
• WIA Public Safety Chief Kevin Nielsen noted that school starts Aug. 17 and residents should watch their speeds in the morning and afternoon as kids go to and from school. WPS will be directing traffic at both Lewis-Palmer Middle School and Palmer Ridge High School.
• Architectural Control Director Mark Ponti reported that there are a lot of projects underway this summer and that 2016 has seen an uptick each month from the previous year. WIA staff has approved 84 percent of the projects and the Architectural Control Committee has approved another 14 percent, with a total approval rate of 98.3 percent to date.
• The last chipping day for Woodmoor is on Saturday, Aug. 6 at Lewis-Palmer Middle School.
• The board is finalizing its fire mitigation contract and planning to remove dead trees and scrub oak in common areas. Nielsen noted that the county is responsible for mitigation and trimming along the roadways, especially when the roadway or road signs are blocked.
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 Aug. 24. The WIA calendar can be found at: https://www.woodmoor.org/wia-calendar/. WIA board meeting minutes can be found at: https://www.woodmoor.org/meeting-minutes/ once approved and posted.
Jackie Burhans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Bill Kappel
Overall, July was a warm and dry month, with most days reaching well into the 80s and a few afternoons even reaching the low 90s. There was a lot of thunderstorm activity during the month, but in most cases the heavy rain just missed us. There were also several days with large hail and if you were unlucky enough to be caught in one of those storms, it probably didn’t seem like a quiet weather month for you. Temperatures for the month averaged nearly 3°F warmer than normal, and precipitation was well below average for most of us.
It was a typical start to July, with warm conditions most days and drier than normal through the period. There were several days with afternoon and early evening thunderstorms. Temperatures were a little below average during the first four days of month. Highs were in the upper 60s to low 70s on the 1st and 2nd, then upper 70s on the 3rd. Warmer air moved in for the rest of the period, with highs reaching into the 80s each afternoon. Highs topped out in the low 90s on the 16th. These temperatures were about 5-10 degrees above normal for the time. Rainfall was hit and miss, with some areas receiving brief heavy rain while others missed out completely, typical for the summer thunderstorm patterns.
Rinse and repeat was the mantra for the week of July 18. Every day saw basically the same pattern, with quiet conditions each morning giving way to building clouds by early afternoon, and scattered thunderstorms by mid- to late afternoon. Only a very subtle difference in the atmospheric flow allowed stronger storms to develop, mainly affecting areas to our east. Each afternoon saw high temperatures reach into the mid- to upper 80s, about 5°F warmer than normal for mid- to late July. For the week, most of us picked up 1-2 inches of rainfall, but as usual in these types of patterns, it was hit and miss. If you were under one of the heavy showers, you picked up more and probably saw some brief flash flooding.
The month ended with more of the same. Each afternoon saw high temperatures reach the mid- to upper 80s with the exception of the 29th. Just about every afternoon and early evening saw thunderstorms develop in the area. But again, without any organized system, the storms were hit and miss depending on where localized boundaries or other interactions set up that day. If you were under one of those storms, you may have been hit with heavy rain or large hail. The worst of the storms affected the region late on the 28th into the early morning of the 29th. Heavy rain and damaging hail, up to tennis ball-size in some areas, pounded much of Colorado Springs along the Powers Corridor and points east from there. The southern areas of the Palmer Divide caught the edge of these storms as well. The final couple of days were hot with just some brief thunderstorms—an appropriate ending to an overall warm and dry month.
A look ahead
August is the last true "summer" month for the region. We are often greeted with sunny, pleasant mornings that turn into afternoon and early evening thunderstorms. Highs during the month range from the mid-80s at the beginning of the month to mid-70s at the end. Temperatures at night get more comfortable as well, often dipping into the 40s, making for better sleeping weather.
July 2016 Weather Statistics
Average High 85.5° (+3.0°)
100-year return frequency value max 87.6° min 75.3°
Average Low 52.3° (+1.3°)
100-year return frequency value max 56.2° min 46.9°
Highest Temperature 93°F on the 16th
Lowest Temperature 44°F on the 4th, 13th
Monthly Precipitation 2.00" (-1.25" 39% below normal)
100-year return frequency value max 6.03" min 0.98"
Monthly Snowfall 0.0"
Season to Date Snow 0.0" (the snow season is from July 1 to June 30)
Season to Date Precip 2.00" (-1.25" 39% below normal) (the precip season is from July 1 to June 30)
Heating Degree Days 9 (-23)
Cooling Degree Days 128 (+40)
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 Monument Hill Kiwanis Club members
My name is Elizabeth Reich and I’m a senior at Lewis-Palmer High School. I want to thank the Monument Hill Kiwanis Club members for making the Rocky Mountain Youth Leadership Conference happen this summer. It was an unbelievable experience. I met so many talented and educated people, and learned so many valuable lessons. It was an eye-opening opportunity that I hope to share with others in my school and community. Thanks so much again for all that you have done.
Youth Leadership Conference was amazing
Dear Monument Hill Kiwanis Club members: Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to attend the Rocky Mountain Youth Leadership Conference at Colorado State University Pueblo. The entire experience was amazing. I met new and different kinds of people from all over Colorado, listened to several great speakers, and learned overall how to be a better Samaritan. Lessons included how to "Master Your World," free enterprise, patriotism, dealing with social media, and law. We were also given the chance to come up with new and creative ways to solve national issues we face today.
I absolutely recommend this for future students and leaders today, and I hope future generations will enjoy the conference as much as I did.
Katherine Mallory Lager
Conference "opened my eyes"
My name is Jordyn Spresser, I am a senior at Lewis-Palmer High School, and I attended the Rocky Mountain Youth Leadership Conference last week. As a resident of the Monument area and having had knowledge of Kiwanis for quite some time now, I would like to express my gratitude toward them for their donation and sponsorship of this conference and for the great opportunity to represent Lewis-Palmer and the town of Monument at such a prestigious gathering. It truly was a life-changing experience, as it has opened my eyes on the path I will head down in the future regarding both my profession and my interest in possibly pursuing a military lifestyle.
I know this conference would not have occurred without the help of the Monument Hill Kiwanis Club and its members, and I want all of the members to know how truly thankful I am and how blessed I am to be able to have experienced and attended this life-changing event. I look forward to possibly attending next year as a counselor hopefully with the aid of the Monument Hill Kiwanis Club. Once again thank you for all you have done to make this possible.
By the staff at Covered Treasures
The National Park Service turns 100 on Aug. 25. Here are some great books to help you celebrate with adventures at any of the 59 national parks.
Backpacker; The National Parks Coast to Coast; 100 Best Hikes
By Ted Alvarez (Falcon Guides) $26
Choose an adventure from any of the 44 national parks profiled throughout this gorgeous book. With jaw-dropping photos, detailed hike descriptions and maps, ranger profiles, and more, this book is an intimate look at the best our national parks have to offer.
National Parks of America: Experience America’s 59 National Parks
(Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd.) $29.99
From Acadia to Zion, this beautiful introduction to all 59 parks is packed with panoramic photography, original illustrations, practical information, and inspiring tips on what to do and see in each. You’ll have all the tools to plan many exciting trips. Contains illustrations of wildlife to watch for in each park, activities for every season, suggested itineraries, the best places to stay, and more.
Images of Rocky Mountain National Park
By Erik Stensland (Skyline Press) $9.95
Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park is home to 60 peaks over 12,000 feet, nearly 150 lakes, a diverse and abundant wildlife population and 450 miles of streams and rivers, including the headwaters of the mighty Colorado River. Photographer Erik Stensland takes you on a journey to some of its most familiar places, as well as some of its most remote. Through the seasons, Erik captures the many moods of the park, emphasizing the beauty of its most dynamic and fleeting moments.
Roosevelt the Explorer; Teddy Roosevelt’s Amazing Adventures as a Naturalist, Conservationist, and Explorer
By H. Paul Jeffers (Taylor Trade Publishing) $18.94
No American president has been more enthusiastic in appreciating the wilderness and in conserving our nation’s natural treasures than Theodore Roosevelt. In the book, Jeffers describes T.R.’s efforts, against fierce opposition, to establish an unprecedented system of national parks and to ensure the safety of America’s vast federal forests and wetlands.
See America; A Celebration of Our National Parks & Treasured Sites
Illustrated by the Artists of Creative*Action*Network (Chronicle Books) $19.95
To coincide with the anniversary of the National Park Service, the Creative Action Network has partnered with the National Parks Conservation Association to revive and reimagine the legacy of Works Progress Administration travel posters. Artists from all over the world have participated in the creation of this new collection of See America posters for a modern era. Featuring artwork for 75 national parks and monuments across all 50 states, this engaging keepsake volume celebrates the full range of our nation’s landmarks and treasured wilderness.
National Geographic Kids: National Parks Guide USA Centennial Edition: The Most Amazing Sights, Scenes, & Cool Activities from Coast to Coast
(National Geographic Society) $14.99
From Acadia to Zion you’ll discover the wonder and amazement of our country’s majestic national parks in this fun, informative, and adventure-filled guide. Fully revised and updated, it has all you need to make your visit to these treasured parks an unforgettable experience. Features include vibrant photographs and maps, lively text and fun facts, checklists of "must-do" activities, cool excursions and best views, animals you might see, park ranger tips, and more.
Rocky Mountain National Park: Peril on Longs Peak
By Mike Graf (Falcon Guides) $12.95
Join the Parkers, an intrepid family of four, as they head to Colorado to visit the stunning, high peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park. The family plans to hike up Longs Peak, but afternoon thundershowers and hailstorms pelt them during their training hikes. Will injuries, exhaustion, and dangerous weather take their toll? Each book in the exciting Adventures with the Parkers series for kids ages 8-13 explores a popular national park and is packed with adventure as well as engaging and educational facts about nature, outdoor safety, and much more.
Living in Colorado, you don’t have to go far to celebrate our national parks. We’re home to Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Parks, and Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. All four feature activities and programs year-round, and many are organizing special events to recognize the centennial. Until next month, happy reading.
The staff at Covered Treasures can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Harriet Halbig
The 2016 Summer Reading Program ended on July 30, topped off with a festive party at the Palmer Lake Village Green featuring many animals, games, and treats. During the summer program, over 2,000 babies, kids, and teens participated in the program at the Monument Library, and 200 participated in Palmer Lake.
We thank our many teen volunteers for their help during the program and at the party. We couldn’t have done it without you! For those wishing to volunteer for next summer, watch for announcements around the time of spring break when we will begin to accept applications.
Monument’s Story Times on Tuesdays will return to their regular schedule of 10:30 and 11:15 beginning the first week of August. All summer reading programs have come to an end. AfterMath free math tutoring will resume after Labor Day.
August’s Family Program on Saturday, Aug. 13 from 2:30 to 3:45 is a presentation by Science Matters, a demonstration for all ages to show the charm of science with a Glowing Pickle, Rainbow Connection, and Elephant Toothpaste.
The Legos Club will meet from 10 to 11:30 on Saturday, Aug. 20. We provide the Legos, you bring your imagination.
There will be a meeting of the Teen Advisory Board on Friday, Aug. 12 from 4 to 5 p.m. Help us plan future events and parties for teens at the Monument Library. Meet us in the study room for snacks and conversation. You must fill out a volunteer application to get credit for volunteer hours.
Join us for a Teen Arts and Crafts Open Studio on Wednesday, Aug. 31 from 4 to 6 p.m. Come use our Meeting Room as space to create! You can draw, paint, paper craft, write—whatever your heart desires. Extra supplies will be provided as available; however, feel free to bring whatever materials you are currently working with and use the space. No registration required.
Come join the new Monument Teen Creative Writing Group, which meets the first Wednesday of each month (Sept. 7) from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the study room. This group is for ages 12 to 18. No registration required.
The Second Thursday Craft on Thursday, Aug. 11 from 2 to 4 p.m. is Jewelry Making. We will create beaded jewelry. Registration is required and opens one week before craft day.
Having challenges with your computer? Come in every second Friday of the month (Aug. 12) from 9 to 10 for help with your questions during our Computer Help Lab. Registration is required and opens one week before class.
Friday evening, Aug. 12 from 8 to 10 p.m. there will be a concert at the Pikes Peak Brewing Co., 1756 Lake Woodmoor Drive, with music by Grant Sabin, sponsored by the Tri-Lakes Friends of the Library.
On Sunday evening, Aug. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m., come to the library for a free concert by Mike Clark, with music sponsored by the Friends of the Library and beer provided by the Pikes Peak Brewing Co.
Yoga at the Monument Library will resume on Thursday, Aug. 18 from noon to 1. This is the library district’s first established yoga group and meets every Thursday. Classes are held following D-38’s calendar.
The Monumental Readers will meet from 10 to noon on Friday, Aug. 19 to discuss Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America. All patrons are welcome to attend this monthly book group.
In the display cabinet during August will be Depression Glass from Roberta Hankins, and on the walls will be oils/pastels/fabric by Le Veda Frasier.
Palmer Lake Library Events
Children’s story time and crafts for ages 3 and older are offered on Wednesdays at 10:30, and Toddler Time, stories and activities for 1- and 2-year-olds, is offered on Fridays at 10:30.
The Palmer Lake Book Group normally meets at 9 a.m. on the first Friday of each month. They will meet on the second Friday in September due to the Labor Day weekend. All patrons are welcome to attend. Please call 481-2587 for the latest selection.
Harriet Halbig may be reached at email@example.com.
By Sigi Walker
On July 21, Larry Schlupp of Historic Douglas County Inc. presented "The Goodnight Legacies" to the Palmer Lake Historical Society as part of its Monthly History Series. It was the premier showing of the program in its entirety, two years in the making and incorporating much original research, although some portions had been presented before.
Just like the fictional character in Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove, Charles Goodnight was primarily a self-educated man and a key contributor to the growth of the cattle industry in the mid-19th century West. Goodnight’s strong moral character, far-ranging insight, inventiveness, and his ability to attract and establish beneficial relationships established the foundation of what today is the oldest ranch in the Texas Panhandle, the JA Ranch, which also had operations near Pueblo, Colo. One of the original barns on the site near Pueblo is being restored.
Interestingly, we learned that Goodnight developed the chuck wagon. He adapted a Studebaker metal-frame wagon to support all of the cowboy gear, supplies, food, and cooking utensils needed and to withstand the rigors of the trail.
Schlupp incorporated many details of Goodnight’s early life (his father died when Goodnight was 5), his education (formal schooling ended at age 9, when his mother began to home-school him), and the many different types of jobs he worked before he began ranching. The presentation was professionally illustrated and included photos of longhorn cattle drives from Texas to the railheads in Cheyenne, Wyo., (the Goodnight-Loving Trail), and Abilene and Wichita, Kan., (the Chisholm Trail).
The Goodnight-Loving Trail entered Colorado over Raton Pass, where "Uncle Dick Wooten" exacted 10 cents a head for them to travel over his toll road. From there the trail passed through Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Palmer Lake, and Larkspur on its way through Denver to Cheyenne, much the same route as I-25.
Chautauqua set for Aug. 6
Mark your calendars for Aug. 6, when the Palmer Lake Historical Society presents its eighth annual "The Return of the Rocky Mountain Chautauqua." Enjoy a day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., of vintage folk arts and crafts, 19th-century durable goods and educational exhibits, a great lineup of wonderful portrayers of early Colorado historic ladies and gentlemen, a visit from Teddy Roosevelt, wildlife displays, a railroad motor car, and bluegrass music.
Chautauquas began in New York state in 1874 as an adult education movement and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920s. They brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers, and specialists of the day. Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that Chautauqua is "the most American thing in America."
Caption: Larry Schlupp, right, and Palmer Lake Historical Society President Tom Baker talk following Schlupp’s program. Photo by Mike Walker.
For more information, visit our website at www.palmerdividehistory.org or call 719-559-0837.
By David Futey
From July 15 to 17, the Western Museum of Mining & Industry hosted its Museum Expo. The Expo had a variety of activities, vendors, food, and fun for families. Attendees could try their hand at gold panning and watch the operation of the Yellow Jacket Stamp Mill, Osgood Steam Shovel, H.K. Porter trammer, and a variety of steam engines. There was a range of vendors that offered jewelry, gems and minerals, books, railroad items and other items. Once hungry, visitors could also select items from a farmer’s market, food vendors offering barbecue and other delectables, and a sale of jams and jellies.
Caption: Stan Gurley, of the Gold Prospectors of Colorado, demonstrates gold panning techniques to visitors of the Museum Expo.
Caption: Inside the WMMI’s Yellow Jacket Stamp Mill, a Wilfrey Shake Table is the last step in the ore separation process. The table violently shakes to settle denser minerals, and water is used to remove lighter sediment.
Caption: A young visitor to the Museum Expo gets to toot the whistle of the H.K. Porter compressed air trammer. The trammer was operated by museum volunteers for visitors of the Museum Expo and had been used at a mine near Lead, S.D.
Information on upcoming events at the museum, including the Sept. 10 Reynolds Ranch Restoration Day, is at www.wmmi.org.
David Futey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Janet Sellers
My garden was so mangled from the hailstorms in June/July that we had to start seeding completely over again. We now have small plants a few inches high, but not much is going well except potted geraniums and a garden full of purple sage about to explode into bloom any day now. My kids call the purple Russian sage the "back to school flowers" because the plants bloom in our area just about when kids go back to school.
It’s time for harvesting our summer crops, possibly removing spent plants and putting in seeds for the fall crops. I have a hard time pulling out my beloved crop plants, but beans and others need to be removed to make space, and beans in particular have nicely left nutrients in the soil that the next batch needs.
I think I’ll put in some kale again and lettuces and anything quick to grow in our last three months of gardening, but my restarts of 2-inch tomatoes will be in pots for later frost safety. Maybe I’ll get some action from them by December—we did that last year and had cherry tomatoes for the holidays. Kind of silly, I know, but I wanted to see if the perennial part of tomato life was true, and it is. Not the tidiest of plants, but fun to keep it going.
News flash! The Palmer Lake noxious weed group needs you. Volunteers meet on the second and fourth Saturdays at the Town Hall at 9 a.m. and they take out weeds until about 11 a.m. or so. This very important task is done by volunteers for the trails and surrounds to keep the area safe from these poisonous plants that can actually kill pets and are also so toxic they can harm or kill children and adults. The group is very knowledgeable and can answer your questions as you work, and there is also a grant for citizens to get help to eliminate noxious weeds on their property.
There are some fun and informative garden walks coming up in the area. Check out the Facebook page for Monument Community Garden updates at https://www.facebook.com/MonumentCommunityGarden. Walks are free, but there’s a limit on attendees.
Janet Sellers is an avid HANG gardening newbie. Send in your tips and more to her at email@example.com.
By Janet Sellers
"Henry Moore’s art is not narrative, it’s not contextual, it is about exploring the invented object in front of you."—Mary Moore, daughter of Henry Moore.
In terms of "exploring invented objects," my favorite being culturally modified nature in the form of trees, rocks, and so on, I continue visiting the Ute Sacred Prayer Trees, bringing my students to them to draw and paint in watercolors and learning about the forest and the amazing healing properties in the ponderosa pine environment. I do love the sacred prayer trees—I write about them here quite often—as an art form and more, but now it seems the entire forest has something wonderful to embrace and respect. A walk in the forest for at least a half-hour to two hours creates a healthy experience that is fun and energizing.
I’ve mentioned the Shin Rin Yoku (a Japanese term pronounced "sheen reen yoh-ku"), the forest bathing visit with life-giving benefits, and I can say again that the tech-free walks in the woods can be life changing. So, no, my friends, Pokeman Go does not count for any health benefits of Shin Rin Yoku. The human system needs its full absorption with open awareness to the forest, not a gizmo. The forest itself will take us on the feel-good journey via the sights, sounds, physical touch, smells, and air that are all embodied with the organic, antimicrobial volatile wood essential oils (called phytoncides) that the trees emit as a fine mist for their own well-being, and we get the benefit as well.
Each summer, I meet my art students, adults and kids alike, at local flower gardens, forests, and lakes to paint outdoors every chance we get. I have planted my garden to have something in bloom from March to October, so we have a lot of flowering trees and perennials to choose from right out the studio door as well.
Let me encourage everybody to visit our local Art Hop (third Thursdays in Historic Monument, 5-8 p.m.). It’s in full swing, and new art classes are starting up for fall at many artist studios and art venues, and more and more of our local shops are putting up art for sale and for us to enjoy.
Janet Sellers is an artist, local art teacher and writer. She welcomes your questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
900 compete in July 4 Fun Run
By David Futey
Caption: At 7 a.m. on the morning of July 4, nearly 900 runners convened along the shores of Palmer Lake for the annual July 4 Fun Run. Proceeds from the Fun Run support programs at Palmer Lake Elementary School (PLES). Race Coordinator and member of the PLES PTO Lindsey Leiker said proceeds from this year’s Fun Run will be used to update the school’s library with furnishings, technology, and other necessities. Leiker thanked all the participants and sponsors for supporting this event. Eric Hamer finished with a time of 20:27 to lead the male finishers and Hannah Capek had 24:00 to lead the female finishers. Both winners are Monument residents.
David Futey can be reached at email@example.com.
Caption: Charlotte McClure, left, of Colorado Springs and Gwen Wells of Monument participated in the race from Palmer Lake to Monument.
Caption: For as far as the eye can see, runners assemble near the starting line.
Caption: Runners make their way around Palmer Lake at the start of the Fun Run. Photos by David Futey.
Caption: The Knights of Columbus Council 11514 hosted its annual Fourth of July Pancake Breakfast at St. Peter Church. The aroma of pancakes and sausages along with patriotic music filled the air as over 1,400 pre-parade attendees sampled those and other delights. Jim Rech, coordinator of the breakfast, said this acts as a fundraiser for college and high school scholarships, Tri-Lakes Cares, and other local agencies.
Caption: Children anticipate the start of the parade near the corner of Lincoln and Jefferson in Monument.
Caption: Boy Scout Troop 17 from Monument leads the Fourth of July Children’s Parade.
Caption: Some of the many participants.
Caption: Jasmine Joslyn completely covered her car in patriotic decorations.
Caption: Brian and Heather Hawkins displayed their patriotism with fully decorated bikes.
Caption: Quillan Edwards, El Paso County Fair queen
Caption: LP Elementary School-PTO float
Caption: Pikes Peak Brewing
Caption: Lewis-Palmer High School Ranger Poms
Caption: Palmer Ridge High School cheerleaders—Colorado High School 4A Cheer state champions
Caption: Monument Academy Lynx cheerleaders
Caption: El Paso County Sheriff’s Office-Wildland Fire received a cheer from spectators.
Caption: Wescott Fire Protection District
Caption: WireWood Station was one of the many bands to entertain parade-goers with music at Limbach Park after the parade. Photo by David Futey
Caption: Legacy Sertoma used the Rocky Mountain Sertoma Club’s Hearing Van to offer free hearing screenings at the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce Street Fair on July 4 in Monument. They also gave away foam ear plugs to promote hearing health during noisy Independence Day events. From left are Jack Rinedollar and Bob Swickert, who are the HEARS van drivers and hearing screeners. See www.legacysertoma.org for information. Photo by Jim Fitzpatrick.
Hendrix and Maines: "Faith and hope"
By David Futey
Caption: On July 23, Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines brought a 20-year musical partnership to the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA) stage with a show of "faith and hope given what’s going on outside these (TLCA) doors" in the world.
With Hendrix on guitar, mandolin, and inspirational harmonica play backed by longtime Austin City Limits (ACL) session player and ACL Hall of Fame member Maines on guitar and Gibson Dobro, the duo provided a full and complex sound to complement Hendrix’s powerful songwriting and vocals.
Hendrix said since starting their tour, and having not been to the state for a number of years, she was reminded how "people in Colorado live with a passion." Their passion shone through playing Hendrix’s songs, including selections from her recent album release Love You Strong, to covering Elder Rosa Wilson’s Ain’t It a Shame.
David Futey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by David Futey
Students learn about robotics at WMMI
Caption: During the week of July 18, Science Matters held a camp on robotics at the Western Museum of Mining & Industry (WMMI). Camp Coordinator Brady Nickerson led the students in the design of a vibra-doodle—one of the creations made during the week. Students created their own vibra-doodles, consisting of a motor, marking pen, control switch, and holder, and then demonstrated their creation on a large sheet of paper. Information on Science Matters camps is at http://www.sciencematters.tv. Information on upcoming events at the WMMI is at www.wmmi.org. Photo by David Futey.
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.
Senior lunches are now served Mondays-Fridays, noon-12:30 p.m., at Mountain Community Mennonite Church, 643 Highway 105, Palmer Lake. Lunches are now provided by Silver Key Senior Services Golden Circle Nutrition Program. A voluntary donation of $2.25 is requested. Stay for bingo the second Thu. each month. Reservations are requested; call 884-2304.
Slash Mulch site open
The Black Forest Slash-Mulch Program is a wildfire mitigation and recycling program. Slash drop-off ends Sept. 11; mulch pickup ends Sept. 24. For the schedule and other details, visit www.bfslash.org or call Carolyn, 495-3127; Chuck, 495-8675; or Jeff, 495-8024.
YMCA fall sports, register now
Registration is now open for soccer, ages 3-14; flag football, grades 1-6; volleyball, grades 1-8. Register until Aug. 9, practices begin the week of Aug. 29, and games are Sept. 10-Oct. 15. Financial assistance is available. See the ad for a free one-day pass during July. Register at www.ppymca.org or at the Y, 17250 Jackson Creek Parkway, Monument.
Forest steward training, register by Aug. 12
The Colorado State Forest Service is offering the course to develop trained volunteers who assist the Colorado State Forest Service in your community. Volunteers who complete the 36-hour course will become master volunteer forest stewards and receive a name tag from the State Forest Service. The training will take place Sept. 12-Oct. 11, Mon. & Tue., 6-9 p.m., at the Black Forest Fire Station, 11445 Teachout Rd. The course includes a one day, hands-on training workshop Oct. 15. Cost: $80. Register by Aug. 12. To find out more, contact Dave Root, Colorado State Forest Service, 719-440-9371.
Monument Board of Adjustment vacancy, apply by Aug. 25
The Board of Adjustment considers variances and appeals from the zoning ordinance. Candidates must be at least 18 years old and be a U.S. citizen. Residents who have lived in the Town of Monument for at least the last 12 consecutive months are preferred. Applications are due by Aug. 25. To request an application or additional information, contact the Town of Monument Planning Department at 488-8019 or email Larry Manning, Lmanning@tomgov.org.
Volunteers for chipping and mitigation projects needed
Black Forest Together continues to coordinate service projects to assist homeowners in Black Forest with chipping and forest management projects to reclaim their land from the devastation of the 2013 fire. This is a great community service opportunity for ages 14 and up. For more information about upcoming projects, contact Donna Arkowski at email@example.com or call 495-2892.
St. Peter Catholic School enrolling for 2016-2017 year
The school offers full and half-day preschool, Core Knowledge Curriculum with small class sizes, Christ-centered education, athletics, and more for preschool-eighth grade. Call or visit: 124 First St., Monument; 481-1855; www.petertherock.org.
SunDance Studio fall registration now open
Register now for fall classes for girls and boys, toddler-adult. Classes include numerous dance classes, gymnastics, tumbling, Ninja, and cheer. For more information, call 481-8208 or visit www.thesundancestudio.com. See ad on page 10.
Woodmoor Waves offers swim coaching for ages 6-18
Woodmoor Waves is a competitive, year-round swimming team at The Country Club at Woodmoor, 18945 Pebble Beach Way, Monument. The club offers professional coaching and technique instruction for all ages and abilities. To find out more, visit www.woodmoorwaves.org. See ad on page 16.
Would you like to honor a member of your family who served honorably in our U.S. military? Join American Legion Post 9-11 in honoring your family hero by having an 18-by-36-inch banner flown in the Tri-Lakes area featuring his/her photo in uniform with area and dates served on active duty. The banner will be attached to town posts by Palmer Lake Legionnaires and flown from Memorial Day through Veterans Day. The cost to each family is $125. To order or for more information, call Post Headquarters at the Depot Restaurant, 481-8668.
Help Black Forest Animal Sanctuary (BFAS)
Southern Colorado Animal Rescue needs volunteers and donations to continue its work at the sanctuary in Black Forest. BFAS is an animal rescue and rehab farm that has been helping animals since 1994. The all-volunteer organization has rescued thousands of horses, farm animals, dogs, cats, and various small wild animals and birds. BFAS provides rescue operations, adoption programs, foster and sponsorship programs, student/horse education program, service dogs to veterans, and local and national rescue efforts. They also work with local schools and scouts. Donations are needed for animal feed and veterinary care, hay, sand for the training arena, a horse stall barn, and office supplies. Volunteers are needed for day-to-day operations. To find out how you can help, call 494-0158, email BFASFarm@gmail.com, or visit www.bfasfarm.org.
Tri-Lakes Silver Alliance needs volunteers
The Tri-Lakes Silver Alliance is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that serves and supports seniors in our community. The Alliance currently needs volunteers, three hours a week; and active board members, eight to 10 hours a month. For more information, call Program Coordinator Sue Walker, 719-464-6873. Volunteers are also needed to work a three-hour shift once a week in the thrift store, to move items from storage into the store, or to pick up and transport donated items. To volunteer, call 488-3495.
County expands vet services
Three El Paso County agencies providing services to veterans are making it easier to receive assistance by opening satellite offices at the Mount Carmel Center of Excellence, 530 Communications Circle in Colorado Springs. The Veterans Service office at Mount Carmel is open Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-4 p.m., and closes noon-1 p.m. for lunch. Call 667-3816 for an appointment. The Pikes Peak Workforce Center (PPWFC) has also opened an office to serve veterans and transitioning military personnel at the Mount Carmel location. The PPWFC Mount Carmel office is open Tuesdays, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (closed for lunch noon-1 p.m.), and is staffed with two workforce center employees who specialize in helping veterans with their employment needs. Call 667-3729 for an appointment. The county Department of Human Services also has an office open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. at the Mount Carmel Center of Excellence. For more information, contact Dave Rose, 520-6540, DaveRose@elpasoco.com.
Free 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 wheelchair ramp to your door, or repair of stairs or railings, please call Cindy Rush, 488-0076, and leave a message. 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.
Tri-Lakes Silver Alliance Senior Center programs
The Tri-Lakes Silver Alliance Senior Citizens Center is next to the Lewis-Palmer High School Stadium (across from the YMCA) and is open 1-4 p.m., Tue.-Fri., and earlier for scheduled activities. The facility has a lounge, craft room, game room, and multipurpose room. Programs include bridge, pinochle, National Mah-jongg, line dancing, tea time, bingo, and more. Ping-pong, Wii video games, puzzles and board games, refreshments, a lending library, computers with Internet connections, and an information table are also available. For information about programs for seniors, visit www.TriLakesSeniors.org.
Senior Beat newsletter—subscribe for free
Each monthly Senior Beat newsletter is full of information for local seniors, including the daily menu of the senior lunches offered Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in Monument. It also contains the schedule of the classes and events for the month at the Senior Citizens Center. To subscribe, send an email with your name and mailing address to SeniorBeat@TriLakesSeniors.org. Senior Beat can also be viewed online at www.TriLakesSeniors.org/newsletter.php.
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
WEEKLY AND MONTHLY EVENTS
Our community calendar carries listings on a space-available basis for Tri-Lakes events that are sponsored by local governmental entities and not-for-profit organizations. We include events that are open to the general public and are not religious or self-promotional in nature. If space is available, complimentary calendar listings are included, when requested, for events advertised in the current issue. To have your event listed at no charge in Our Community Calendar, please call (719) 339-7831 or send the information to email@example.com or P.O. Box 1742, Monument, Colorado 80132.
Contact us at (719) 488-3455, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or P.O. Box 1742, Monument, Colorado 80132-1742.
This page was last modified on February 02, 2022. Home page: www.ocn.me.
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