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By James Howald
The Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD) board met on June 8 to debate a request from a developer for the district to supply water to a development outside the area WWSD serves, to update the operating agreement with the Chilcott Ditch Co., and to hear operational reports.
King’s Deer developer seeks additional water
A request from Dan Potter, the developer of King’s Deer, a covenant-controlled community to the northeast of WWSD and outside of the district’s service area, led to a lengthy discussion between District Manager Jessie Shaffer and the board. Potter asked the district to agree to sell him water that he could then re-sell to homeowners in King’s Deer. The homes in King’s Deer have wells, and have an annual appropriation of water that they cannot exceed. Potter sought water to augment what King’s Deer currently owns.
According to Shaffer, the proposed agreement would put in place a 100-year commitment for the district to supply water. The accounting and usage tracking would be difficult, Shaffer said, adding that he saw little benefit for the district in the proposal beyond the payments it would generate. Shaffer mentioned that WWSD already has one augmentation agreement with King’s Deer.
The district currently has two such agreements, Shaffer said, one with Prairie Winds Elementary School and the other with a customer he did not name. Shaffer added that, in his opinion, some customers in the district would object to the agreement.
In response to a question from Director at Large Brian Bush, Shaffer explained that the agreement would commit the district to discharge water into streams to replace water that is currently discharged by King’s Deer. This would allow King’s Deer to retain more of the water from their wells, and use it for landscaping and other outdoors uses. Other water that Potter already owns is in the wrong watershed to be delivered to King’s Deer, according to Shaffer.
Bush questioned whether the district should facilitate pumping more water from the aquifers that the wider community relies on, especially for uses such as landscaping. He also pointed out the agreement could conflict with the district’s plans to implement water re-use in the future.
Shaffer said in the case of non-payment, the water delivery would be difficult to shut off. He advised the board to reject the request.
The consensus of the board was to refuse the request.
Agreement with Chilcott Ditch Co. updated
The board voted unanimously to approve an operating agreement with the Chilcott Ditch Co. that will cover 2018. The company maintains the canals that transport water between the JV Ranch and storage facilities. The terms of the updated agreement were identical to the previous agreement.
Drivers asked to keep repair teams safe
In his operational report, Assistant District Manager Randy Gillete asked for the cooperation of local drivers in keeping repair teams safe as they do their work. Gillette mentioned that whenever repairs must be done to infrastructure under streets, the work is planned very carefully to minimize the impact on traffic, but added that some drivers were not obeying speed limits and the signals of the flaggers and were endangering work crews. Gillette hoped the community would slow down to keep district employees safe.
Other operational reports mentioned:
• Ozone purifying equipment has been rented for a project to improve the taste and odor of district water.
• Three new housing developments are coming to the area.
The next meeting is scheduled for July 13 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.
7 a.m., Palmer Lake Fun Run, Palmer Lake Santa Fe Trailhead. Register at www.july4funrun.com.
7-10 a.m., Pancake Breakfast, tickets at the door, St Peter Catholic Church, 55 Jefferson St.
8 a.m.-3 p.m., Monument Street Fair, 2nd Street and Washington Street
9:30 a.m., Monument Hill Kiwanis Children’s Parade, Starts at Grace Best School
10 a.m.-noon, Monument Hill Kiwanis 4th of July Parade. Register to participate: www.monumenthillkiwanis.org.
10 a.m.-7 p.m., Tri-Lakes Chamber Beer Garden, family friendly, Limbach Park, 2nd and Front St.
Noon, Monument Community Presbyterian Church Open House, 3rd & Jefferson St. - cool air, treats, and rest rooms available.
Noon-7 p.m. Live music in Limbach Park, 2nd and Front St.
Noon-7:45 p.m., Live Music at Bliss Studios, 143 Washington St.
Palmer Lake Events
8 a.m.-9 p.m. Fourth of July at The Speedtrap, 84 Hwy 105
7 p.m., Music and fun at Palmer Lake, fireworks at dark.
Parade spectators are encouraged to come early, park at Palmer Ridge High School, 19255 Monument Hill Rd., or Lewis-Palmer High School, 1300 Higby Rd., and ride the free bus to and from downtown Monument.
By James Howald
Preparing for the town’s annual Fourth of July celebration was the big job at the Palmer Lake Town Council meeting on June 8. The council heard presentations and worked on the details of two main holiday events: the fireworks display and the July Fun Run, which raises funds for Palmer Lake Elementary School. Also, the council addressed a request to vacate a portion of Largo Street, a request for an easement, and the purchasing policies governing the town’s administrative staff.
Council signs off on fireworks, with contingencies
Jennifer Coopman, speaking on behalf of the group organizing the annual fireworks display, told the council that proof of insurance for the event had been provided to town staff, that the official application had been filed, that insurance specific to the fireworks display would be in place within seven days, and that DD Group LLC had been hired to provide security. The security company also had insurance for the event in place, Coopman said.
Adam Coleman, representing the Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department, said recent precipitation had reduced the risk of fire, but he would continue to assess the situation up to the event.
The council voted unanimously to approve the event, contingent with receiving the final proof of insurance and approval from the Fire Department.
July Fun Run at the starting line
Megan Smallman, the current Palmer Lake Elementary School PTO president, told the council about the plans for the July Fun Run. The July 4 race will be the 35th, and up to a thousand runners participate, Smallman said. Previous races brought in as much as $31,000 for the school, according to Smallman, and paid for water fountains, Chromebook computers, classroom furniture, and field trips. Money raised in the upcoming race will likely go to playground equipment, Smallman said.
The council voted unanimously to approve the permit for the race, and to waive the fee for the permit.
Largo Street vacated
Claudia Dimidik, on behalf of Joseph Beltran, asked the council to vacate a portion of Largo Street, between Rosita Avenue and Verano Avenue, effectively giving ownership of the land to Beltran.
The vacation had already been approved by the Palmer Lake Planning Commission, who determined it was too steep to be used as a road, as originally planned.
Council member Paul Banta said he would like to have time to visit the property in question before voting.
The council voted unanimously to approve the vacation.
Council grants easement
Town Administrator Cathy Green-Sinnard filled the council in on the discussion that had preceded the request for a revocable easement affecting 1.7 acres of land just north of Grand Avenue, between Canon City Crest and Wheatridge Street, in Block Six of the Glen Park neighborhood of Palmer Lake. Once again, the underlying issue is that the land was originally to be used as a road, but the road was built elsewhere, Green-Sinnard said, and that decision created a small triangle of land that belongs to the town. The town does not want to maintain the property, Green-Sinnard said.
The property to the south of the land in question is owned by Ken Dickinson, and he has agreed to take over stewardship of the land through a revocable easement, Green-Sinnard said. The revocable easement would allow the town to take back ownership of the land at a future time, if the town chooses to do so, and it also prohibits Dickinson from building on the land, according to Green-Sinnard.
The council voted unanimously to approve the revocable easement.
Town purchasing policy updated
Green-Sinnard asked the council members for their thoughts on some changes to the town’s purchasing policy. The town’s auditors asked that this policy be improved in the town’s last audit, she said.
Green-Sinnard said the updated policy states that all employees will seek to purchase in the best interest of the town, and purchases must align with the town’s budget and its line-items. Green-Sinnard asked the council to provide guidance on some additional issues to be included in the policy: what items any town employee can purchase, under what circumstances a purchase must go out to bid, what items the council would need to approve, and what spending limits would be put in place.
Green-Sinnard said she would return to this discussion with the council at future meetings.
The two meetings for June will be at 6:30 p.m. on July 13 and July 27 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 Jim Kendrick
On June 22, Donala Water and Sanitation District General Manager Kip Petersen reported successful completion of the Laughlin Ditch renewable surface water rights purchase. The board also unanimously approved the contract award for the Doral Way pipeline construction project and unanimously accepted the district’s successful 2016 audit.
Additional renewable water rights purchase completed
Petersen reported that Donala had formally closed on its purchase of the Laughlin water right on May 23 for 324 acre-feet per year of Fountain Creek renewable surface water. This purchase increases Donala’s surface water right portfolio up to roughly 70 percent of Donala’s potable water demand at build-out. For more information, see www.ocn.me/v17n5.htm#dwsd.
Petersen said that all the ground and surface water and wastewater treatment facilities are operating very well. He praised the staff for taking all their diverse responsibilities very seriously to protect Donala customers in every way, noting the leadership of Chief Water Operator Mark Parker and Superintendent Robert Hull. An inspector stated during a May 31 state triannual sanitary facility inspection that Donala’s are some of the cleanest facilities he’s ever seen.
Petersen introduced newly-hired water operator Kevin Bolinsky to the board. He just moved here from Pennsylvania with an A license and extensive expertise and experience in surface water treatment operations, "which will be invaluable." Bolinsky said, "Every day reassures me that I made the right choice applying here. I truly believe that the way Kip operates and the rest of the staff operates, in a family atmosphere, trickles down from the board. I expect to be here for a long time."
Doral Way construction contract awarded
The board unanimously approved the recommendation of its engineering consultant firm GMS Inc. to award the construction contract for the new Phase 4 Doral Way water transmission line (3,230 lineal feet) and associated distribution system improvements to the lowest bidder, KR Swerdfeger. This winning bid was $754,988. Surface restoration will include seeding of native grass, placement of sod material, and street surface restoration. Swerdfeger previously completed its successful construction of Donala’s phase 3 Latrobe tank transmission line in 2016. www.ocn.me/v17n4.htm#dwsd.
Petersen also reported that a half-hour question-and-answer open house meeting was held on June 13 for Doral Way residents, who were advised by Petersen and Directors Ken Judd and Ed Houle that their driveway access is expected to be restricted for only one day each.
2016 audit accepted
Auditor Tom Sistare of Hoelting and Co. Inc. presented his "unmodified" or "clean" 2016 Donala audit, which contained no findings. He praised the district board and staff for Donala’s tight internal control policies as it invests heavily in renewable surface water rights and infrastructure to replace finite groundwater reserves, the staff’s thorough accurate work throughout 2016, and their assistance to his on-site auditing team. Petersen congratulated General Manager Betsy Bray and highlighted new Donala staff accountant Christina Sawyer for her successful support throughout her first audit cycle. The board unanimously approved a statement of recognition to the entire Donala staff for their continued success. Sistare will forward the 2016 Donala audit to the state.
Petersen noted that sales of new district residential taps ($31,800 each) have been slower than expected this year. On May 23, the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) finally approved only the original 44 homes in the amended proposal for 56 new homes to be built on now-vacant former Gleneagle golf course land. The BOCC also finally approved the commercial development proposed for the vacant land between I-25 and the intersection of Struthers Road and Gleneagle Drive on May 23.
Petersen briefed the BOCC on how Donala’s renewable water and resource management policies will guarantee water service to both projects as total Donala dependence on groundwater evaporates. Petersen also pointed out at the May 23 BOCC hearings the negative tap fee revenue impact to Donala caused by the BOCC stormwater drainage decision to deny approval of the additional 12 houses for now.
Petersen stated that on May 24, district employees conducted their first Baptist Road cleanup of the year. "Disturbingly, we found a large number of alcohol containers. This leads me to believe that a number of individuals are consuming ‘shooters’ as they drive on Baptist Road. That could be one of the reasons we see so many car parts in the ditch and at intersections."
Water service to the former Gleneagle golf course building that was used for live structure fire training by several districts was shut off on June 12 for final site demolition and cleanup.
Peterson reported that the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority (PPRWA) held its final meeting on June 7 before taking a break until Nov. 1. PPRWA sponsored 10 of the 30 water-related bills presented to the state Legislature this year. State Water Engineer Dick Wolff has retired, and Kevin Rein is the acting replacement for now. The next Legislature will probably focus on the November 2018 election. The county is expected to hire a consultant by the end of July for creation of its own county water master plan in order to have it completed by the end of 2018.
Petersen, Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District Manager Jessie Shaffer, and Triview Metro District Manager Valerie Remington will participate in a Northern El Paso County Coalition of Community Organizations (NEPCO) panel discussion on future plans, water acquisition, reuse, and joint infrastructure plans at the July 15 NEPCO meeting.
Petersen said water sales will go up now that the weather has become "warm and dry" even though irrigation is limited to three days per week. The district will begin monitoring irrigation and sending warning notices if residents are not complying with the odd/even address restrictions on Monday through Saturday. Sunday irrigation is not allowed.
The normal surge in demand will be met with as much renewable surface water as possible from the district’s Willow Creek Ranch. The rest of the summer demand will be supplemented by non-renewable groundwater from the district’s wells, which have now been turned on for the onset of the irrigation season.
The rest of his financial report showed that the district is on track in terms of water revenues and normal expenditures through May, which Sistare concurred with. Capital expenditures will be high again this year, starting in July. Most of this construction will be paid for with existing one-time low-interest state loans.
Willow Creek Ranch update
Petersen noted that there is still a "respectable amount of snow" on Mount Massive, adjacent to the district’s Willow Creek Ranch, which has led to substantial spring runoff from the ranch again this year. He has received two separate notices this year already from the federal Bureau of Reclamation that Donala’s "if and when" (or "space available") storage for up to 499 acre-feet of renewable surface water in the Pueblo Reservoir might have to be released to the Arkansas River to prevent a reservoir overflow. However, neither involuntary "spill" came to pass after a few nervous days each time.
An acre-foot of water is 325,851 gallons, the amount of water that would cover a contained flat one-acre surface to a depth of one foot. Donala currently delivers about 800 acre-feet of water per year.
Preliminary Engineering Infrastructure Report presented
Engineer Will Koger of the Forsgren Associates engineering firm presented the PPRWA Area 3 Infrastructure report. Area 3 is the northern El Paso County portion of PPRWA. Petersen, who is president of PPRWA for 2017, and Koger will also present this PPRWA study to the Colorado Special District Association annual conference meeting Sept. 13-15 in Keystone.
For details on the study’s findings, see the Triview article.
The meeting adjourned at 3:25 p.m.
The next board meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. on July 20 in the district conference room at 15850 Holbein Drive. Information: 488-3603 or www.donalawater.org. Regular meetings are normally held on the third Thursday of the month, except in June and November. http://donalawater.org/images/stories/pdfs/Board%20Meeting%20Annual%20Schedule.pdf.
Jim Kendrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lisa Hatfield
The board members of the Forest Lakes Metropolitan District (FLMD) and Pinon Pines Metropolitan Districts 1, 2, and 3 (PPMD 1, 2, and 3) met jointly, and briefly, on June 5. Tom Blunk of CP Real Estate Capital, representing Forest Lakes LLC and Forest Lakes Residential Development, attended the June 5 meeting by phone. District Counsel Russell Dykstra was absent.
The board unanimously approved a resolution to adopt development fees for commercial and multi-family facilities located within Pinon Pines Metropolitan District 3, the commercial section inside the Monument town limits, southwest of I-25 and West Baptist Road. Builders will be required to pay the development fees necessary to assist with the financing of public infrastructure within the district. The system development fees assessed will be 75 cents per square foot of the gross square footage for commercial, industrial, or retail space. No specific fee was set yet for multi-family units.
Also, District Manager Ann Nichols said that the email she had recently circulated to the board members indicated that all the 2016 financial audits by Hoelting & Co. were complete and had already been filed with the State of Colorado. She said, "They are done. And I may just put it onto the agenda next time for ratification, just for the heck of it." Note: No board member commented on the fact that these ratifications should have occurred before the audits were filed, or questioned this violation of Colorado Statutes.
As at the May meeting, no monthly financial reports were presented. See www.ocn.me/v17n6.htm#flmd.
Note: FLMD, west of I-25 at the end of West Baptist Road, is a Title 32 service district in El Paso County established in 1985. FLMD is the half-acre operating district responsible for the public infrastructure and utility and general governmental services for the residents of PPMD 1, 2, and 3, which actually collect the property taxes. PPMD 1 and 2 are not part of the town of Monument, but the commercial section PPMD 3 is within the town limits. FLMD holds joint board meetings with PPMD 1, 2 and 3, which were established in 2004.
The meeting adjourned at 10:15 a.m.
The next joint meeting of FLMD and PPMD 1, 2, and 3 may be scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, July 3, or Monday, Aug. 7 in the Classic Homes office at 6385 Corporate Drive, Suite 200, Colorado Springs. Meetings are usually held the first Monday of each month. Meeting notices are posted on the district website http://forestlakesmetrodistrict.com and at 3625 Mesa Top Drive, Monument, which is an open-space tract owned by all four districts. For general questions, contact Ann Nichols at 719-327-5810 or at email@example.com.
Lisa Hatfield can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lisa Hatfield
The Joint Use Committee (JUC) of the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility (TLWWTF) accepted the 2016 financial audit at its June 13 meeting with the modifications that the JUC directors requested.
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 Director Pat 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 Assistant District Manager Randy Gillette.
2016 audit accepted
Tiffaney Kolander of John Cutler and Associates LLC presented the facility’s 2016 audit with an "unmodified" or "clean" opinion, and it was accepted unanimously after Kolander answered several questions and made comments including:
• $2.5 million was added to non-current assets since the new total phosphorus (TP) chemical clarifier expansion plant was completed in December.
• The Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) requires that state-incurred pension liabilities of $432,863 for TLWWTF staff members’ currently unfunded PERA guaranteed pension benefits have to be recorded in the TLWWTF annual financial statements and audits even though it is not a liability TLWWTF would have to pay.
Orcutt said PLSD line cleaning was still in progress and going slowly. Gillette and Wicklund had nothing to report.
Facility Manager Bill Burks presented the monthly discharge monitoring report. The high note was that the facility’s influent total phosphorus (TP) concentration was 7.9 mg/l, but the TP concentration was reduced to 0.5 mg/l in the treated effluent discharged to Monument Creek. This TP reduction more than meets the state’s Control Regulation 85 TP discharge effluent limit of 1.0 mg/l that TLWWTF needs to meet every month starting in November 2020, when its required rolling average median calculation begins. He also said he is studying the steady increase in sulfate in the effluent that has occurred since they began using aluminum sulfate to remove phosphorus as part of the new chemical clarifier removal process.
Burks was glad to report that, with the help of two manufacturer representatives who got the two systems to communicate with each other, the TP plate settlers can now be controlled from the main building using the new TP Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) instead of only from the control panels in the new TP chemical clarifier building. He is still waiting for a final Fire Department sprinkler inspection for the chemical clarifier building.
Burks’ other comments included:
• New plant operator Kevin Love passed his D wastewater certification.
• Weather delayed the biosolids press work for biennial sludge removal, but it would still be completed in June.
• The Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) is considering removing treated wastewater sulfate limits, although the EPA still thinks these limits are warranted.
• He submitted a permit modification request to CDPHE to change the start date of meeting the 1 mg/l total phosphorus level from Nov. 1, 2019 to Nov. 1, 2020 to allow the TLWWTF staff one full year to collect 12 monthly effluent TP concentration samples in order to be able to correctly calculate the first rolling annual effluent TP median concentration.
Burks said TLWWTF’s environmental attorney, Gabe Racz, will be at the JUC’s July 11 meeting to talk about the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission’s (WQCC) triennial San Juan/Gunnison Water Quality Standards Regulations 34 and 35 rulemaking hearing, held in Durango on June 12-13, and other regulatory issues.
MSD Environmental Compliance Coordinator Jim Kendrick said that, from the point of view of discharge permit holders, the continuing concern regarding the Gunnison and San Juan Basin hearings held in Durango hearing on June 12 and 13 was that the WQCC would be changing rules on allowable stream temperatures for that particular river basin as an experiment and then the commission might try to shortcut the normal regulation change process and apply those same rules to each of the eight Colorado river basins statewide before holding a hearing to first implement statewide standards in the basic statewide Regulation 31 document as has been required for all other regulatory standards until now.
Racz has formally submitted objections for all his numerous waste water clients stating that a statewide Reg. 31 standard should be approved first that would address the requirement that the commission formally acknowledge all the substantial differences in geography and ambient temperature regimes in each of the disparate basins across the state, Kendrick said. Racz was concurrently attending this Durango hearing and presenting these various rebuttal statements on behalf of stakeholder wastewater treatment facilities throughout Colorado, including the unique TLWWTF geographic and temperature situation at the top of the Palmer Divide.
The meeting adjourned at 10:59 a.m.
The next meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. July 11 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 Lisa Hatfield
At the June 13 Triview Metropolitan District meeting, the directors heard about the choices they need to make in the foreseeable future about water supplies and possible regional efforts, upcoming roads projects, and more questions about district landscape maintenance.
Triview is a Colorado Title 32 special district, completely within Monument’s town boundaries, on the east side of I-25. Title 32 special districts are local governments authorized by the Colorado Revised Statutes for specific functions, and their activities are subject to strict statutory guidelines. This land was a developer special district called Regency Park when it was annexed by the town in 1987.
Triview provides roads, parks, and drainage maintenance, and water and sanitation utility services, to the residents and businesses in the district roughly bordered by Old Denver Road, Higby Road, and Baptist Road. Triview’s water system is wholly independent of Monument’s Public Works water system located on the west side of I-25. Residents of Triview should call the district directly when they have questions about these items. For a map, see www.townofmonument.org/230/Triview-Metropolitan-District-Map.
The Town of Monument (organized under Colorado Revised Statutes Title 30) provides land use planning, police, and general governance for property owners in the whole town, which includes Triview. Residents of Triview should call the town with questions on those topics.
It is time to make decisions about regional water supplies
Denver Basin aquifers in our region are not replenished by rainwater and snowmelts. Because these aquifers will eventually dry up, the Tri-Lakes region is heading into a "water supply gap" that the remaining available finite supply of well water literally will not be able to fill. The goal of the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority (PPRWA) is to get smaller water providers from Fountain to Monument to work together to save money on water projects and develop a regional renewable water supply system to replace the diminishing supply of groundwater from area wells. See www.pprwa.org.
Jonathan Moore and Will Koger of Forsgren Associates presented a one-hour overview of PPRWA’s Preliminary Engineering Report for Area 3, which includes Monument and surrounding northern El Paso County. Forsgren has done two regional water studies for PPRWA over the last three years, he said.
Moore said, "We assume that by 2035 only 35 percent of your wells (drilled into aquifers) will be economical to pump. By 2050 zero percent of your wells will be economical."
Note: The standard unit for bulk utility and water rights discussions is an acre-foot of water. One acre-foot is equal to a football field covered one foot deep with water, Moore said. By 2050, the Colorado Water Plan projects a 500,000 acre-foot gap all along the Front Range, a 22,600 acre-foot gap in El Paso County, and a projected gap of 10,000 acre-feet every year just among the members of PPRWA (including Triview, Woodmoor Water and Sanitation, Town of Palmer Lake, City of Fountain, Town of Monument, and Cherokee Metro District).
Moore said at least 8,600 acre-feet of renewable water would be needed annually to relieve PPRWA members in the Tri-Lakes area from dependency on diminishing well water. The members need to start making the transition from non-renewable well water to renewable surface water.
Moore said that each water district needs to purchase renewable surface water rights (such as Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD), Triview, and Donala Water and Sanitation District have already begun doing). Then each needs to figure out its own way of financing its share of PPRWA’s proposed $280 million regional project, which would help districts share costs of building pipelines and other infrastructure to bring renewable water up to this area from the Arkansas River as well as costs of building water storage for the water once it is here. Lake Woodmoor and Monument Lake do not hold a big enough volume of water to do the job. His comments included:
• Cherokee Metro District has built the Sundance pipeline to transport water south from their well fields in Black Forest (between Hodgen and Shoup Roads).
• This flow in that pipeline could also be reversed to pump water uphill from Fountain for PPRWA.
• If you have a mile of pipe that is perfectly aligned that everyone wants to use, others will pay you to use it. If you must use someone else’s line, you will have to pay them.
Treasurer Marco Fiorito summarized Moore’s points, saying districts have 13 years to get the PPRWA project approved and financed so it can be built by 2050 when the water will be needed. "Time is running out," Moore said.
Moore then discussed several options districts could plan for to store that renewable water when it is available (in the off-season for junior water rights, for example) until it is needed in the heat of summer:
• Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) – if water is treated to "drinking water standards," it can be pumped back down into an aquifer and stored there until it is needed. This could include renewable water or reuse water such as the town of Monument and WWSD are planning. Costs $150,000 to retrofit an existing well to pump water into an aquifer. No worries about evaporation.
• Build a new reservoir in the Tri-Lakes area.
• Alluvial storage.
Moore explained how a possible new reservoir in Homeplace Ranch, right in the middle of Triview, north of Promontory Pointe, could be the key facility to manage all these aspects. It is under consideration by PPRWA to build an 86-acre water storage reservoir that could store 2,750 acre-feet of water. He said a reservoir and dam such as the one Forsgren Associates has sketched out would help Triview, WWSD, and Monument store either renewable or reuse water. His points included:
• $20 million cost to build the reservoir and dam.
• That cost does not including buying the land or buying the water to put in it.
• Permits would be needed to build a dam in the protected Preble’s meadow jumping mouse wetlands habitat.
• If a reservoir is built, a separate authority would run it, divided up by ownership shares.
Dan Potter and Brian Bahr of Challenger Homes attended the meeting because of Challenger’s ownership and immediate development plans for Homeplace Ranch. Their comments included:
• We are here to observe and see if you want to buy some land!
• We want to work with you, but we also don’t want to wait three to five years for a decision. We want to move ahead in the next six months.
• We have been approached by another party to keep this as an open space and not develop it.
• We would like to know in next few months which way it is going and work together collaboratively.
President Reid Bolander said the district had a lot of thinking to do and that it would be a cooperative agreement with other entities to purchase the land for the reservoir, which would help with water storage as well as property values and recreation. He said the development of Homeplace Ranch would help Triview with its debt payments, too.
Triview roads maintenance going out to bid
District Manager Valerie Remington said that the street improvements already authorized by the board will be going out to bid soon, and that while the project was a little delayed, she hoped to have a contract for the directors to approve at the July 11 meeting. "We have it in the budget. We are getting roads done," she said.
Note: The directors had said at the Dec. 13 meeting that capital expenditures planned for 2017 included $830,000 in street improvements and at least $570,000 in water system improvements. They discussed the progress of the roads project again at the April 11 and May 9 meetings. See www.ocn.me/v17n1.htm#tvmd, www.ocn.me/v17n5.htm#tvmd.
Landscaping maintenance deficiencies questioned
Resident Anthony Sexton spoke on behalf of Promontory Pointe, "the district’s newest landscaping," during public comments about whether or not there was a plan to maintain the parks and other common areas. "This is the fifth year in a row I am asking the same questions at this meeting. What is happening with maintenance of the areas you have accepted responsibility for from the developer?" His concerns included:
• I have not seen any evidence of watering. The grass is the park is about as dead as it gets.
• I have called the office several times, as recently as yesterday, and have not heard anything back.
• I have repeatedly offered my assistance. I am at a loss.
• I am not looking for perfection. I am not looking for Flying Horse landscaping. But I am looking for something that doesn’t look like the median of the interstate.
• Landscaping is part of the property taxes we pay directly to you. At some point, it amounts to theft; you take the money but we don’t get anything in return.
Bolander thanked Sexton, saying Triview had done a lousy job with landscaping management in general and when the district landscaping plan is approved, better accountability would come with it.
Water Superintendent Josh Cichocki said he knew about one leak in the irrigation system, but that all the water in the common areas should be working. Remington said this was the first she was hearing about the current complaints. Director Jim Otis said the board needed to follow up on the communications issues.
Later in the meeting, the directors discussed the newly proposed landscaping policy. The purpose of the policy is to outline an orderly, consistent, and fiscally responsible process to be used by the Parks Department staff in determining which open areas, parks, and trails are to be maintained by the district and the standards under which they will be maintained.
The consensus of the directors was that they liked the policy but wanted to know how much money it would cost to meet the standards as outlined and if it would be committing to too much. They planned to discuss it again at the workshop on June 21, and they directed Remington and Cichocki to fill in the financial piece, too. Secretary Mark Melville said that the document was detailed enough that it could even be used by an outside landscaping firm to bid the work, if the district decided to contract it out.
Also during public comments, Mike and Karen Halenkamp asked questions about who was in charge of maintaining the fence bordering their property, and they also had questions about installing a gate. They had contacted the office and been told to come to the board meeting to get their questions answered.
Western Monument interceptor project
At the May 9 meeting, engineer John McGinn of JDS-Hydro had presented the directors with an outline for the construction of a sewer line serving the new developments in the north-central and northwest areas of the district, most immediately the new senior living facility under construction on Jackson Creek Parkway at Harness Road. The new line sections would connect to the existing sewer line at the corner of Old Denver Road and Baptist Road that leads to the Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility.
On June 13, Triview’s water attorney, Chris Cummins of Monson, Cummins & Shohet LLC, presented the directors with a resolution adopting a policy regarding the funding strategy for construction of the $2 million western Monument interceptor project. He explained that property owners benefiting from the project would pay for it, and then as several other anticipated land owners came in, they would do cost recovery from each other.
The directors approved the resolution unanimously.
Remington presented the financial report as of April 30 (33 percent through the year) for the district general fund; water, wastewater and reuse enterprise fund; and capital projects fund. Her comments included:
• Drainage and erosion control had not yet started for this season.
• Only 21 percent of the parks landscape and open space budget has been expended so far.
• Outsourced billing by AmCoBi is more expensive than anticipated.
• Water and tap fees revenue was ahead of 2017’s conservative budget, making up for last year’s over-estimation.
• Landscape and irrigation improvements are coming up.
Checks over $5,000:
• Golder Associates Inc. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system upgrades, $63,056
• Terracon, engineering services, pavement management field inspections, $16,290
Cichocki’s comments included:
• The Water Department just hired two more certified water operators, for a total of five professionals holding 16 certifications.
• Public Works Foreman Gerry Shisler started work for Triview on June 12. He will manage all public works operations, including streets and parks, and brings with him a broad range of skills that the district did not have before.
• We are documenting residents’ requests and action taken to resolve issues.
• Well A4 is in service again, and water quality is good.
• Final punch list items are being completed for installation of the new Sanctuary Pointe booster pump.
• SCADA upgrade is ahead of schedule in some respects, and Golder Associates is going above and beyond.
• Hydrants and valves are being cleaned and exercised prior to a flushing project.
• A few parks need attention; irrigation repair work and grass rehabilitation in Ox Bow Park, Mistry Creek Park, and Creekside Park.
• Many irrigation timers don’t work, and the district system is in disarray. We are still finding things we had no idea about. Bear with me and the staff; we are struggling … but we are finally getting answers.
• Drainage area landscaping is in progress.
• Stormwater collection system cleaning is coming up.
The directors asked residents to call Triview directly if they had problems with water pressure instead of just posting complaints on social media. Cichocki said he could offer specific advice to homeowners who contacted the district, and that often a failed pressure reducing valve inside the home is the source of pressure issues.
Bolander will not run for re-election
President Bolander announced that he would not run for re-election next year, so there would be three board seats open for the election. The deadline for interested candidates is in early 2018. "A lot of people care, but we need someone who would be willing to attend all the meetings!" He said he would be willing to step down from the president role sooner than that so he could help the new president with the transition.
At 7:56 p.m., the meeting went into executive session to confer with the district’s attorney regarding legal advice on specific legal questions. Remington told OCN that no votes or announcements were made after the executive session.
The next Triview meeting will be held July 11 at 5 p.m. at the Fairfield Inn, Mt. Herman Conference Room, 15275 Struthers Road, Colorado Springs. Meetings are normally held on the second Tuesday of the month. Information: 488-6868 or see www.colorado.gov/triviewmetro, Triview Metropolitan District on Facebook, or Twitter.com/@TriviewMetro.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jennifer Kaylor
The Donald Wescott Fire Protection District (DWFPD) board met June 20 to receive the auditor’s report from Hoelting and Company Inc., which was presented by CPA Tom Sistare, to hear public comments, and to conduct regular administrative business. Board members provided their individual perspectives regarding the challenges of DWFPD’s current financial situation and the proposed mill levy.
All board members were present. Assistant Chief Scott Ridings, was excused. Attorney Dino Ross of Ireland Stapleton Pryor and Pascoe PC also attended.
Auditor’s report highlights material weaknesses and deficiencies
Sistare explained that the audit first tested internal controls and then designed the remaining procedures based on the results of those tests. The audit found that the financial statements are fairly presented in all material respects. Sistare reviewed the audit report that identified two deficiencies in internal control as material weaknesses. A material weakness is defined in the report as a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies in internal control, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the entity’s financial statements will not be prevented, or detected or corrected, on a timely basis. The material weaknesses included:
• Year-end closing procedure—This procedure includes posting approved audit adjustments in the general ledger to the financial statements. Holting, the auditing agency, recommends that management develop year-end closing procedures that provide for posting audit adjustments and agreeing the resultant balance to the prior year financial statements.
• Segregation of duties—The limitations of the district’s size and staff availability precluded segregation of duties for certain procedures involving the initiating, authorizing, recording, and reconciling of transactions. This requires management and those charged with governance to remain involved in the review of financial information to mitigate the risks involved with this condition.
The audit also defined a significant deficiency as a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control that is less severe than a material weakness, yet important enough to merit attention by those charged with governance. Two significant deficiencies were identified:
• Backdating checks—Holting recommended that management establish a cut-off date and use the special functions in QuickBooks to record accounts payable and prepaid transactions.
• Preparation of financial statements—The auditors’ assistance to the district in preparing the financial statements and year-end balances cannot satisfy the control function that would enable management to prevent or detect misstatements in the financial statements. Management and the board should consider the cost/benefit of implementing additional controls over preparation of the financial statements.
Board members offer their perspectives
The five board members voiced their perspectives regarding the district’s present circumstances. Due to an annexation of the southern half of DWFPD initiated by the City of Colorado Springs in 2004, the district will realize a 33 percent tax revenue loss in 2018 and a 66 percent tax revenue loss in 2019. See www.ocn.me/v17n2.htm?zoom_highlight=wescott+annexation#dwfpd for more information. The board intends to propose a mill levy increase of 14.9 mills from the current 7 mills for a total of 21.9 mills.
Board member Joyce Hartung affirmed the board’s commitment to the firefighters and its desire to represent them well. She spoke of Chief Vinny Burns’ and Ridings’ experience and expertise with managing the district and maintaining strict control over the budget. Hartung praised the exemplary training and physical conditioning standards set by the district, adding that Ridings has mentored other districts in these areas.
Hartung and fellow board member Bo McAllister reminded meeting attendees that the impending financial limitations were set in motion 17 years ago McAllister emphasized the board’s open communication throughout the mill levy discussions; his responsibility as a representative of taxpayers in the district; the much higher mills paid by customers of surrounding districts, which tend to preclude any interest by those districts to merge or consolidate; and the selflessness demonstrated regularly by DWFPD crews.
Board member Rachel Dunn expressed grave concern "that a lesser levy will put our community at risk…. There is no guarantee that another district will be able to provide aid. I cannot in good conscience let my children, neighbors, and friends be part of a second-class district. We deserve better."
Not having received prior communication regarding the board presentations, board member Harland Baker spoke spontaneously of his appreciation as the father of five children for the district’s involvement in the community. Baker reinforced previous statements regarding the stewardship of the 7 mills levied in the district over the past several years.
Board Chairman Greg Gent concluded by praising the deep and caring commitment exhibited by Wescott firefighters and stated that their connection to the community is essentially irreplaceable. He compared the difficulty of increasing the mill levy to the resistance one feels when having to pay full price once a discount ends.
Mill levy proposal initiated
Gent called for a motion to direct Chief Burns and the district’s consultants to prepare a proposed resolution and related documents, which includes the special sub-district that was formed last year, for a tax increase election to increase the mill levy from the current 7.0 mills to 14.9 mills to be held in November 2017. This proposed resolution should be ready for board consideration and possible action at the July board meeting. The motion was approved unanimously.
The meeting agenda limited comments to a total of 12 minutes (three minutes per person) at the beginning of the meeting and another 12 minutes (also three minutes per person) at the end of the meeting.
Resident Gary Rusnak noted that he requested that the taxpayers’ forum be placed on the June 20 meeting agenda, but his request was denied. Rusnak objected that DWFPD’s April meeting minutes inaccurately reflected the anonymous steering committee vote as 2 to 1 in favor of fully funding the 14.9 mill levy increase. Using information obtained under the Colorado Open Records Act, Rusnak calculated that of the 30 votes, there were 14 "no" and 16 "yes," but three "yes" votes were qualified. He requested that the May meeting minutes correct the vote to read 50 percent in favor and 50 percent against the increase.
Addressing the April vote for a new board member, Rusnak requested that the minutes confirm that four individuals submitted letters of interest and that when the vote was taken, only board Gent made a recommendation. The two other board members voted based on Gent’s recommendation and without comment.
Directing his attention to the Pinnacle Consulting Group Inc. financial information posted on DWFPD’s website (http://wescottfire.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Wescott-Fire-Financial-.pdf), Rusnak referred to paragraphs three and four under "Findings" that discuss his analysis. Paragraph four begins, "Finally, this solution is dependent upon the sale of Station 2." Rusnak stated that he never recommended selling Station 2 and requested that the statement and related commentary be removed. Rusnak concluded by expressing concern over the district’s communications regarding ISO ratings which, according to his research, are considered proprietary information. See related story at http://www.ocn.me/v17n4.htm?zoom_highlight=vol+17+no+3#nepco.
Gent read a letter submitted by Kenneth Judd who was unable to provide his comments in person. Judd, a board member of the Gleneagle Civic Association (GCA), denounced the efforts of a homeowners’ association (HOA) member to represent the GCA. Judd stated, "Nobody within GCA—no individual member, nor any member of the GCA board, including myself—has been empowered to speak for our property owners on the subject of the proposed mill levy increase that is under consideration by Wescott. It is not a legitimate function of an HOA board to become activist or to represent its constituents on any matter on which they have individual voting rights, as is the case with the mill levy." He added, "Therefore, the GCA Board of Directors does not take a position on the mill levy but will instead depend on our individual residents to speak for themselves through their ballot. We have informed and will continue to inform objectively but will not attempt to influence votes."
Tom Nettles, who’s not a district resident, cautioned that the mill levy must be supported by a cost-reduction plan or it is likely to fail.
Resident, and former Wescott board treasurer and volunteer firefighter, Dennis Feltz expressed admiration for DWFPD firefighters and especially the volunteers, but added his disappointment in the board’s communication. He declared a lack of support for the proposed increase of 14.9 mills, stating that it was simply too high.
Regular board business
DWFPD Administrative Assistant Stacey Popovich reported on bank balances and financials. Total cash held as of May 31 equaled $1.661 million, an increase of $203,369 from April. The board voted to accept the May financials and, after a brief review, voted to approve the May meeting minutes.
Burns said that at the Gleneagle Clubhouse training conducted on June 8, DWFPD firefighters gained experience with a rapid fire spreading in a large building, as well as building component failure. The clubhouse suffered structural collapse within 20 minutes of ignition and total collapse about 30 minutes later. Burns thanked Capt. Sean Pearson and Assistant Chief Ridings for coordinating the event and ensuring the safety of all involved. Burns also recognized the appreciation by Colorado Springs School District 11 (D-11) for Pearson’s fire safety presentation to a D-11 class and for DWFPD’s participation in and support of Antelope Trail Elementary School’s Bike Safety Rodeo.
Recognizing additional good deeds, Burns noted that Lt. Curt Leonhardt, Driver Roger Lance, Firefighter Eric Bogenrief, and Paramedics Dennis Wesselink and Doug MacIntyre built a handicap-access ramp onto the home of an elderly couple in the district. The men were featured in a story in The Gazette on June 18. DWFPD volunteers showcased the fire station and sold hot dogs during the recent Gleneagle HOA garage sale.
Burns reported that he, Dunn, Ridings, and Popovich attended a Special District Association presentation on legal and legislative updates and items concerning special district boards. All attendees found the class informative and helpful.
In Ridings’ absence, Burns reported on the May call volume comparison. There were 207 total calls in May 2016 and 251 in May 2017, an increase of 21 percent. DWFPD responded to two fires in May. Both were mutual aid.
The board adjourned at 8:25.
Caption: The Donald Wescott Fire Protection District Board of Directors meeting was held in the equipment bay on June 20 to ensure there would be enough room for all members of the public who wished to attend. All five directors offered their comments on the district’s present financial circumstances, the board’s commitment to the firefighters, and examples of superlative service by the firefighters to the residents of Wescott. From left, Chairman Greg Gent, Treasurer Joyce Hartung, and Director Bo McAllister. Photo by Jennifer Kaylor.
The next Donald Wescott Fire Protection District Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on July 18 at Station 1, 15415 Gleneagle Drive. Please call (719) 488-8680, a nonemergency number, for more information, or visit www.wescottfire.org. The district is also on Facebook and Twitter.
Jennifer Kaylor can be reached at email@example.com.
By Lisa Hatfield
Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District (TLMFPD) sent out a press release on June 14 saying that on June 13, it had responded to "a report of an outside fire" in the area of Lockridge and Roaming Drives in the Wissler Ranch subdivision off of Palmer Divide Avenue/County Line Road.
"Originally dispatched as a small outside fire, firefighters arrived on scene to find a three-car attached garage completely engulfed in flames with fire already extending into the living spaces. Firefighters quickly attacked the fire but were limited in their progress due to available water. The fire was declared under control at 1:43 a.m.
"Damage to the home was extensive with the home not safe for occupancy. Residents had evacuated prior to the Fire Department’s arrival, however one family dog perished. Damage to the home is estimated at $400,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
"TLMFPD firefighters were assisted at the scene by the Wescott, Black Forest, Larkspur, Falcon, and Peyton Fire Districts, along with Air Force Academy Fire Department and Colorado Springs Fire Department providing district coverage. The Red Cross was available at the scene to assist the residents."
See http://tlmfire.org to read the June 14 press release and the June 22 "Lockridge Fire Follow-up" memo with more details about the battle, or call TLMFPD Battalion Chief Jamey Bumgarner at 719-484-0911 with questions.
Fire Chief Chris Truty told OCN that TLMFPD had scheduled a Wissler Ranch community meeting for June 30 at the site of the structure fire on Lockridge Drive and that the district would be sending out notifications of that meeting using NextDoor.com to three neighborhoods in the vicinity. The goal of that meeting was to answer residents’ questions.
Note: Because of timing to get the newspaper to the printer, the June 28 TLMFPD board meeting article will be included in the Aug. 5 issue of OCN.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lisa Hatfield
On June 5, the Monument Board of Trustees discussed the proposed town emergency water interconnection and the proposed town potable water reuse plant. The board appointed two regular and two alternate Planning Commission members.
Emergency water interconnection, reuse, and the bigger risk picture
Public Works Director Tom Tharnish and engineers Will Koger and Jonathan Moore of Forsgren Associates addressed the "Town of Monument Water System – Risk Analysis" technical memo and answered trustees’ questions regarding risks to the town’s water system, and Town Manager Chris Lowe discussed his "Review and Analysis of Emergency Interconnection" memo.
The memos emphasized that while the authors understand that people want to guarantee that the town’s water system west of I-25 does not suffer a catastrophic leak like the one experienced by Triview Metropolitan District’s separate water system east of I-25 last summer, the town staff believes that the chance of a major supply loss is extremely low. That is because the town’s infrastructure technology (including sensors), management, maintenance, redundancy in the system, and staff training, are superior to Triview’s, according to the memos.
Because of that, instead of hurrying to get an emergency-only water connection with another district done in a year or two, staff recommended some other options:
1. Emergency raw water interconnection in conjunction with the proposed indirect water reuse plant interconnection: The town could create such an emergency interconnection with Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD) to take WWSD’s raw water from Monument Creek in case of emergency, if WWSD had water available to share. Three to five years to complete. Estimated cost very minimal since no additional infrastructure would be needed beyond the unspecified construction cost of the proposed potable water reuse plant.
2. Emergency potable water interconnection with WWSD: The town could build a pipeline that could take treated drinking water from Woodmoor under I-25 to the town. Estimated cost is $737,000 to $1 million, and the timeframe is 1 to 1-1/2 years.
3. Donala Water and Sanitation District emergency treated water interconnection: This would include building a longer pipeline, but Donala already has access to renewable (but expensive) "gold-plated" (this is the town staff’s adjective) water. Estimated cost is $3.3 million with a timetable of 1 to 1-1/2 years after an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) is signed.
4. Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) treated water interconnection: This would include building an even longer pipeline all the way to Gleneagle, but the advantage is that CSU has access to renewable "gold-plated" water. It would be harder to get an intergovernmental agreement with CSU. Estimated cost is $5.1 million with a timetable of 2 to 2-1/2 years after an IGA is signed.
The staff’s overall recommendation to the board was that it would be better to spend money on a second water storage tank and then create an emergency water interconnection as part of the proposed potable water reuse plant project instead of wasting money on rushing to a solution in the next year to build an interconnection that could only be used for emergency water. See www.ocn.me/v17n1.htm#mbot and www.ocn.me/v17n5.htm#mbot0417.
The June 5 board packet included a memo from WWSD District Manager Jessie Shaffer dated Feb. 7, 2017 to Tharnish, Koger, and WWSD Assistant District Manager Randy Gillette that summarized some of the assumptions and discussions Tharnish and Shaffer had up to that point about options for both potable and raw water interconnections. It also reiterated that WWSD could not guarantee water to the town even in a declared state of water emergency. Lowe said Shaffer had a fairly comprehensive discussion with the WWSD board, and it supports partnering with the town.
Trustee Jeff Bornstein said regional solutions were a good idea, but he wondered if WWSD would be absorbing a larger percentage of the cost of construction and operations of a reuse plant since the town has 1,800 water customers and WWSD has over 10,000. Lowe said the details were yet to be worked out on operating costs but that they would come to an agreement where each side paid its proportion, and that there would also be fixed costs. Lowe did not discuss construction cost-sharing ratios. Overall, "It would be cheaper than doing it on our own," Lowe said.
Koger said that a water reuse system would essentially double the use of the water that goes through the system.
Separate from the emergency interconnection question, Trustee Dennis Murphy asked again about the town’s access to new connections with renewable water that the town could use for its water supplies as the aquifer water is being depleted. Trustee Greg Coopman emphasized the importance of a regional system too, asking, "Who are we connecting to when we don’t have any more (ground) water?"
Lowe agreed that purchasing firm portfolio water rights for long-term renewable water supplies was critical and was on the longer-term horizon to come before the board. He said having more partners than Woodmoor would mean even more time to organize financing and agreements on construction design. "We all know the Denver Basin is going out. Will it last 10 years? We don’t know.… Nothing on this interconnect is preventing us from a larger connection to a larger system." For more on regionalization of small water districts, see related Triview article on page 8.
Lowe said the only reason he has not spoken yet to the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility (TLWWTF) folks is that the town and WWSD don’t know what type of reuse technology will be used yet, but as soon as they knew, they would share information with the TLWWTF Joint Use of Facilities Committee (JUC). WWSD is one of the JUC’s three voting owners. See related TLWWTF JUC article.
Four new members of Planning Commission appointed
On May 15, Principal Planner Larry Manning introduced the trustees to four candidates for the Monument Planning Commission, whom they interviewed that night. That same night, he said he would also ask for feedback from the seated planning commissioners and show them the four resumes. Sometime after that, Vice Chair Kathy Spence had decided to resign, Manning said. See related Monument Planning Commission article on page 17.
Because Spence is leaving, and there was already one long-open regular position and two long-open alternate positions, all four new candidates who applied were appointed to the commission by a unanimous vote of the trustees on June 5.
Lowe suggested, and there was consensus among the trustees, to pursue some kind of ordinance setting term limits for the planning commissioners.
The two new regular members will be Kevin Geisbert and Ken Kimple, and the two alternates will be Melanie Strop and Daniel Ours. They will join current Monument Planning Commissioners Ed Delaney, Jim Fitzpatrick, John Dick, David Gwisdalla, and Michelle Glover. See www.ocn.me/v17n6.htm#mbot0515.
Village Center Metro District communication resumes
As he and members of the Village Center Metropolitan District (VCMD) board have been doing since Nov. 7, Forrest Hindley asked during public comments for the town’s help with the revenue gap VCMD has. All of the current VCMD mill levy revenues are restricted to construction bond repayment, and 300,000 square feet of Village Center’s vacant land in Filing 4A that was originally zoned for commercial development was changed by the Planning Commission on Oct. 8, 2014 and BOT on Nov. 3, 2014 to residential zoning, reducing property tax revenue from 330,000 square feet of planned commercial space from the rezoned lots by a factor of four (29 percent to 7 percent). These revenue reduction implications were not discussed. See www.ocn.me/v14n11.htm#mpc1008 , www.ocn.me/v14n12.htm#mbot1103 , and https://monumenttownco.documents-on-demand.com.
Hindley said none of the now-reduced total VCMD property tax revenue is left over for street maintenance and other maintenance that the district is required to perform per its previously approved service plan. VCMD has sent representatives to previous BOT meetings to ask for help, but were never allowed to speak for more than three minutes during public comment. VCMD’s service agreement is with the town of Monument. "We are running out of money fast," Hindley said. Then his three minutes were over again. See www.ocn.me/v16n12.htm#mbot1107, www.ocn.me/v17n2.htm#mbot, and www.ocn.me/v17n6.htm#mbot.
Note: During public comments, this reporter asked why VCMD was not allowed to do a 20-minute presentation, as it had been requesting, when other groups such as the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, that had not even been approved during "board authorization items," were given a scheduled 20-minute board presentation agenda item every year.
Later, during trustees’ comments, Trustee Murphy asked if Hindley could be given one more minute to finish reading his statement. Mayor Jeff Kaiser asked why VCMD "fell off" the presentation list after the board had approved it.
Town Manager Chris Lowe’s comments included:
• One of the reasons a VCMD presentation "fell off" the BOT presentation schedule was that representatives of the VCMD board mentioned taking legal action against the town. When that happens, it has a chilling effect on the level of information I am willing to exchange with a group.
• I have seen what they are suggesting. I would not characterize a lot of that content as factual. My response would be diametrically opposed to a majority of what VCMD is saying.
• I always like to meet with folks…I can sit down with them anytime, as quickly as tomorrow. We are open to cooperative solutions.
Hindley said he did not remember any time when VCMD suggested it might sue the town. But Kaiser confirmed that a lawsuit was threatened during a public meeting. Hindley then said he would meet with staff at any time, because the district was in "a real time crunch."
The consensus was that Lowe and the town attorney, and anyone from town staff who needed to attend, would have a meeting with representatives from VCMD to re-engage the discussion. Hindley and Kaiser both stated that they thought they "could work this out." Lowe said he would contact Hindley the next morning and set up a time to meet very soon.
New town attorney will be "staff" position
Trustee Coopman thanked Lowe for working with the trustees on creating the job description for the new town attorney.
Note: It was a revelation to this reporter when Coopman said, "This will be a town attorney as before but this is the first time to have a staff attorney." OCN missed this point when the resolution presented by Human Resources Director Robert Bishop on May 1 referred consistently to "the town attorney" but did not spell out the fact that this person would also be a staff member. Knowing this, the trustees’ May 1 questions about job description, salary, cost savings, and the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency (CIRSA) now make more sense.
Town Attorney Gary Shupp submitted his resignation as of Aug. 1, just before the new town attorney Alicia Corley was appointed on May 1. See www.ocn.me/v17n6.htm#mbot.
Triview Metropolitan District notes
Trustee Kelly Elliott said she and Mayor Pro-Tem Don Wilson had attended the May 9 Triview board meeting and learned that Triview is working on hiring a new public works manager. She wondered if that new employee might be one who could present information to the BOT.
Lowe said he had talked with Triview Board President Reid Bolander, and they were working on a format for communication.
Elliott also said there was no comparison between the customer service in Triview and the town’s. Lowe said the town gets most of Triview’s customer service phone calls (since residents do not understand which services their metro district provides) and that the town was keeping a tally sheet on types of problems being reported, as well as sharing the calls with Triview.
Note: Triview, on the east side of I-25, includes two-thirds of the population of the town of Monument. Triview, which was created as one of the first Colorado Title 32 "special districts," provides roads, parks, and drainage maintenance, and water and sanitation utility services to the residents of Jackson Creek, Promontory Pointe, and Sanctuary Pointe. Triview’s water system east of I-25 is wholly independent of Monument’s Public Works water system located on the west side of I-25. The Town of Monument provides land use planning, police, and general governance for the Triview’s property owners. No information clearly directing Triview residents to the separate Triview website is obvious on the new town website.
Lyons Tail traffic study observes "no traffic issues"
Coopman asked Manning about the results of a traffic study the board had requested in January for the intersection of Jackson Creek Parkway and Lyons Tail Road. Manning said the observation study included West Baptist Road, Jackson Creek Parkway, and Lyons Tail Road, and no traffic issues were observed, except that the placement of telephone boxes and landscaping interfered with the line of sight. "No changes for that intersection were demanded," Manning said. Lowe said he would get a copy of the traffic study results to the trustees. See www.ocn.me/v17n1.htm#mpc, and www.ocn.me/v17n2.htm#mbot.
IGA with CDOT about bulk water fill station
Public Works Director Tharnish presented an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) regarding the recent move of the town’s automated bulk fill water station to the cul-de-sac at 538 W. Highway 105, between the Safeway shopping center and the filling station on Highway 105. In exchange for allowing the town to relocate the bulk water station, the town agreed to do trash pick-up and weed control at the Bustang park-n-ride on the east side of I-25. The trustees voted unanimously to approve the IGA.
Background: In 2014, Trails End residents spoke to the trustees with concerns about truck traffic using the bulk fill water station then located at the northwest corner of Wagon Gap Trail and Old Denver Road, in the Trails End subdivision. Because of residents’ advocacy, the town eventually found a way to move the site to the Highway 105 location. The move cost $66,000 plus engineering fees. See www.ocn.me/v14n8.htm?#mbot0721, www.ocn.me/v16n2.htm#mbot0119.
Town manager’s report
Lowe’s report included in the board packet summarized 2016-17 activities and accomplishments of the town staff, including:
• $527,218 in sidewalk, park and street improvements
• $536,413 in water department repairs and capital investments in infrastructure done using revenue from the new water rates structure
• $1 million in 2A Water ASD Funds to buy land for a second water storage tank, new reuse treatment facility, and possible new public works facility
• The 2017 budget includes funding for a water splash park and other improvements at Limbach Park, an emergency generator for the booster station, and engineering for radium removal at Well 9.
• Other capital improvements in the works include street repairs, trailhead parking repairs, skate park improvements, Dirty Woman Park basketball court and baseball field improvements, Lavelett Park improvements after removing a section of Fourth Street, water system SCADA upgrade, Well 9 radium removal improvements, and other water capital improvements.
The meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m.
Lisa Hatfield can be reached at email@example.com.
By Kate Pangelinan
June 14 was Commissioner Kathy Spence’s last Monument Planning Commission meeting. She has resigned, following almost 16 years of serving the town as a commissioner. New planning commissioner candidates have been interviewed and selected, so that there is now a full commission as well as two alternates. The new regular commissioners are Kenneth Kimple and Kevin Geisbert, and the two alternate commissioners are Melanie Strop and Daniel Ours. The Board of Trustees approved these appointments unanimously on June 5.
A troop of Boy Scouts was also present at the meeting, with some of the members participating in public hearings.
The main subjects covered during the June 14 meeting were a Final PD Site Plan for a coming Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant and a Major PD Amendment for the Anderson Substation.
Restaurant’s Final PD Site Plan approved
A Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant is proposed for a site along Jackson Creek Parkway, right next to Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers and the Wells Fargo bank. It will fill the shopping center’s last remaining vacant lot. It will be on a .90-acre parcel of land and feature a drive-through. Steven Brown, senior project manager of Near Design and Planning Inc., representing Kentucky Fried Chicken, provided and discussed designs for the planned restaurant, including a picture of the already existent businesses with the new building sitting among them. Efforts were taken to keep the new restaurant compatible with the shopping center’s architectural themes, such as a modification of Kentucky Fried Chicken’s building color scheme from red and white stripes to beige and cream stripes. The restaurant will feature stucco and timber, to mirror the developments already in place around it. Most signs will be lit only from above.
Commissioner Spence expressed concern about parking availability at the new Kentucky Fried Chicken, wondering if employees might try to park where Freddy’s Steakburgers employees already park. At the moment, the plot of land where the new restaurant will be built sometimes serves as overflow parking for Freddy’s, too, which could cause confusion as the new development takes root. Brown said that the 30 provided parking spaces at the Kentucky Fried Chicken should be sufficient, given that even fewer parking spaces have served similar restaurants well. A great deal of the restaurant’s business is expected to come from drive-through sales, where customers will not necessarily require a parking space.
Valerie Remington, a Jackson Creek resident and Triview Metro District manager, spoke during the public hearing. She urged the planning commissioners to do what they could to get rid of the stripes along the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant’s building, out of concern that it would clash with existent buildings. Commissioner David Gwisdalla was also unsure about the restaurant’s striped pattern, although he was more worried about the red and white stripes featured in the official logo. He and Commissioner Spence wondered if there could be a way to change this particular restaurant’s rendition of the logo to have softer, less dramatic stripes. Brown said he would be willing to consult with Kentucky Fried Chicken officials to discuss changing either striped pattern, but also explained that the red and white stripes are intended to resemble a bucket of the restaurant’s chicken. It is a very intentional design element and logo, and he didn’t have the authority to just strike it out of the restaurant plans.
Commissioner Spence made a motion to approve the Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Final PD Site Plan with the condition that they tone down their logo by turning the bright white stripes to beige. This motion failed, with Ed Delaney and Spence voting for it and John Dick, Jim Fitzpatrick, Michelle Glover, and David Gwisdalla voting against. Then, Fitzpatrick made a new motion, to accept the Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Final PD Site Plan without any changes to the logo sign. This new motion passed 4-2, with Spence and Gwisdalla voting against.
Anderson Substation amendment
The Final PD Site Plan for the Anderson Substation, Jackson Creek Parkway and Harness Road, was approved on Jan. 6, 2014. The project is now complete, except for previously agreed-upon perimeter landscaping. At the June 14 meeting, Mountain View Electric Association Inc. Manager of Engineering David Waldner represented the substation in requesting that the PD Site Plan be amended to delete all landscaping required in a portion of the area adjacent to a Triview well site and a self-storage building. The landscaping could jeopardize the quality of the Triview well, Waldner said. It is advisable to have 100-foot buffers around well sites, he said. Instead of the previous plan, a 6-foot planted area in rock and/or mulch would be installed along the planned decorative wall. Asphalt would have to be removed to comply with the previous plan, too, causing a potential hassle. The decorative wall will already exist around the site, except for along the driveways where there will be gates.
Remington—who spoke earlier about the Kentucky Fried Chicken’s stripes—stepped forward to answer questions for the Planning Commission here, too. Commission Glover asked why Triview sited the well there, knowing all the other landscaping requirements. Remington explained that the well was opened in the spot that would produce the most water, which might not always be most preferable. Gwisdalla made a motion to approve this amendment, which received unanimous approval.
Further information on this June 14 Monument Planning Commission meeting is available for public view online at the Town of Monument’s website, by going to the "Documents-on-Demand" page and selecting "Planning Commission Packets." Recordings of Monument Planning Commission meetings can now be found there, too, by selecting "Planning Commission Recordings." https://monumenttownco.documents-on-demand.com/
Caption: Commissioners Kathy Spence and Ed Delaney at the June 14 meeting of the Monument Planning Commission. This was Spence’s last meeting. She resigned, following almost 16 years of serving the town as a commissioner. Photo by Kate Pangelinan.
There will be no Planning Commission meeting in July. The next meeting will be on Aug. 9. Monument Planning Commission meetings are normally held on the second Wednesday of the month, at 645 Beacon Lite Rd. To check meeting times or find information, call 884-8017 or go to http://www.townofmonument.org/meetings/.
Kate Pangelinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lisa Hatfield
On June 19, the Monument Board of Trustees heard a presentation about how to focus on procuring renewable water supplies for the town’s water customers west of I-25, saw a draft of the 2016 financial audit, and set term limits for the Monument planning commissioners. They also talked about fireworks and approved improvements to the intersection of Second Street and Front Street and an application for a new liquor license for a business on Jackson Creek Parkway.
Prioritizing to get to renewable water for the town
Gary Barber, who has done water resources issues and water rights consulting for the town since 2002, gave a presentation to the board about renewable water, trying to help them prioritize how to proceed in the search for the town’s future renewable water supplies. The Denver Basin aquifer, which is the town’s primary water source and water storage location, becomes less economical to mine for water.
Barber said that as the town moved away from exclusively counting on non-renewable well water from aquifers, it needed to come to a common understanding and then prioritize:
• Sources of renewable water
• Storage of water at the source
• Transmission of water
• Local storage and treatment to manage daily, monthly, and seasonal peak demands
• Potable storage
• Distribution system to customers
Fundamental questions that Barber said the town needs to answer:
• Go with regional partners, some of which are better than others in terms of reliability, price, ease of making agreements, etc.?
• Go it alone and go into the water business for yourself?
• Are we also going to do reuse to extend the life of the water we have?
Barber said the cheapest water would be the tremendous amount of reusable water that is already in the town’s system but currently being lost downstream after one use.
Some of Barber’s other comments included:
• Since you are a town with land use authority, and not just a water district, you have advantages others don’t have.
• There is a lot of duplication of staff and services in northern El Paso County.
• Regionalization of water distribution and treatment gives you more bang for the buck.
• You need to consider both the initial capital cost of the new infrastructure and the operations and maintenance cost to keep it running.
• Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District has purchased renewable water in Fountain. They need to build 40 miles of pipe to bring that water to Woodmoor. If they built four miles a year, they could have the water here in 10 years.
• "I approached the town as a seller’s agent in 2014 with renewable water they could buy, but they did not pursue it." In 2017, Donala Water and Sanitation District finally bought this water after three years of negotiations.
• The town has not made the effort to acquire renewable water rights.
• Even Colorado Springs Utilities has recently said it would discuss regionalization and initiatives with other water partners (something they would not do before.)
Barber mentioned the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority (PPRWA) Area 3 study that Forsgren and Associates just completed, which looks at storage. Monument Lake will not provide enough storage space as the town acquires renewable water that is sometimes only seasonally available, he said. Forsgren engineers Will Koger and Jonathan Moore gave an overview of this project at the Triview Metropolitan District meeting on May 13 and at the Donala meeting on June 22. See related Triview article.
2016 audit presented
Kyle Logan, independent auditor for the town of Monument, presented the 2016 audit findings to the trustees. He said he had an "unmodified" or "clean" opinion of the 2016 financial statements.
In the management letter, his comments included:
• The general fund no longer subsidizes the town’s water fund since the May 1, 2016 water rate increases took effect.
• In the town’s policies and procedures that are in the review process now, be sure to address who can initiate purchases, using checks instead of invoices, approval limits for checks, etc.
A vote to accept the audit is expected at the July 17 meeting.
Term limits set for planning commissioners
Principal Planner Larry Manning presented an ordinance approving an amendment to the Monument municipal code setting a limit of eight years of consecutive membership of the Planning Commission members. The ordinance was approved unanimously.
Fireworks sales in Monument questioned
Kings Deer resident Steve Fogler reminded the trustees of the anxiety and clogged roads caused by residents evacuating from both the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires. He said the fireworks sales tents at two locations inside the Monument town limits increased the fire risk and should never have been approved.
"We have a (safe) fireworks display in Palmer Lake. Why not just go watch them?" he asked. He asked the trustees to reconsider allowing fireworks sales after all the town has been through, adding that he had talked to the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District but did not get to finish the conversation because they had to leave to fight a brush fire.
Later in the meeting, Trustee Greg Coopman asked the same question about who approved the licenses, and Town Clerk Laura Hogan said they have to apply for a business license and a temporary use permit, and if El Paso County enacted any fire restrictions, the kiosk would have to shut down. The town always has a ban on open fires and fireworks, she said.
Vendors are only allowed to sell what is legal in the county, which are fireworks that "don’t leave the ground and don’t have a ‘report’ (boom)," Monument Police Commander Steve Burk explained. The police have officers focus on the most egregious violations of fireworks use.
Town Manager Chris Lowe said that if the town wished to ban the sale of all fireworks in the future, the trustees could consider that, but current stands already licensed and set up were allowed. "They are non-discretionary. We don’t want to judge your business," he said, adding that it was not right to suggest that Manning made a careless decision.
Trustee Jeff Bornstein asked that during the July 4 parade and street fair, the town would post "no fireworks within town limits" information on the LED boards to inform the thousands of visitors who come to Monument that day.
Second and Front Street intersection redesign approved
Town Engineer Tom Martinez presented a resolution awarding a $232,260 contract to Habitat Construction for the redesign of the intersection of Second Street and Front Street. The goal is to raise the elevation of the low spot in the intersection so trucks do not "bottom out," and install proper stormwater drainage. The project will be funded by the Traffic Impact and Stormwater funds. The resolution was approved unanimously.
Work on the intersection will begin soon after July 4, Public Works Director Tom Tharnish said.
New liquor license approved
Town Clerk Laura Hogan presented an application by 3 Agaveros LLC, DBA Don Tequila Mexican Grill and Cantina, for a new hotel and restaurant liquor license. The restaurant will be located at 15910 Jackson Creek Parkway. Co-owner Luis Armando Gutierrez represented the business and answered questions from the trustees, who then unanimously approved the application.
Revisions to fee schedule approved
The trustees unanimously approved a resolution presented by Hogan authorizing a revision to the town’s fee schedule, including the addition of a lake use permit fee, an increase in the research and retrieval fee in response to a public records request, and the addition of a water meter fee schedule in tabular form.
Town manager’s report
Lowe’s written report included:
• The Police Department has reposted a police officer position, since it was still looking for qualified applicants after background checks.
• New Finance Department office space is under construction, moving to the first floor of Town Hall.
• The Planning Department is working with Classic Homes on Sanctuary Pointe residential subdivision road design.
• The Police Department has received grants from the Tri-Lakes Women’s Club and two other organizations totaling over $12,000.
• Awaiting dock installation at Monument Lake.
• The Well 9 radium piping project is under way.
• Second and Front Street intersection work to start after July 4.
• Little League fields are in full use.
Lock your doors; don’t leave valuables in your car
The Monument Police Department’s written report implored residents to be more watchful. "We have had a busy time dealing with almost 40 vehicles that were entered (CTA – Criminal Trespass Auto), due to people leaving them unlocked. We did several public announcements to lock your car and don’t leave valuables in them, and we worked with El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and Colorado Springs Police to help identify suspects. Several arrests have been made and the CTA’s have slowed down. One of our victims chased a suspect down I-25, during which the suspect fired rounds, striking the victim’s vehicle. Since the shots fired happened in Colorado Springs, they are handling the case as an attempted homicide. Twelve of our cases have been solved."
USAFA Chapel to close for renovations
Mayor Jeff Kaiser shared information with citizens, including:
• Senate Bill 267 awarded $1.8 billion to Tier 1 Colorado Department of Transportation projects, but actually $3 billion or $4 billion was requested, so the money falls far short.
• In September, the U.S. Air Force Academy Chapel will close for two to four years of renovations. See www.usafa.af.mil/Leadership/Chaplain-Corps/Cadet-Chapel/ for information.
At 8:31 p.m., the trustees voted to go into executive session to receive legal advice on litigation. Hogan told OCN that no announcements were made nor votes taken when they returned to open session.
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 July 17. Call 884-8014 or see www.townofmonument.org for information about live video streaming. To see upcoming agendas and complete board packets for the Board of Trustees or to download audio recordings of past meetings, see http://monumenttownco.minutesondemand.com and click on Board of Trustees.
Lisa Hatfield can be contacted at email@example.com.
By Jackie Burhans
The Monument Academy (MA) School Board met on June 15 to modify board policies, approve a slight change to the calendar, celebrate outgoing board members, and induct new board members. Board member Andy Gifford was absent.
Board policy changes and calendar approval
The board unanimously approved several revisions to board policies. Policies 1518A Staff Grievance and Conflict Resolution and 1518B Student/Family Conflict Resolution were changed to reflect the new administrative changes by including deans in the process, with further escalation to the school principal. These policies can be found at http://bit.ly/ma-policy1518a and http://bit.ly/ma-policy1518b.
Due to House Bill 17-1301, the board unanimously approved changing policy 1521 Student Fees to remove any language regarding withholding of transcripts for non-payment of fees or failure to return or replace school property. HB17-1301 removed the authority of schools to withhold records required for enrollment in another school or institution of higher learning due to failure to pay any fine or fee. Board President Sonya Camarco noted that the school can still refer the unpaid debt to a collection agency. You can read the policy at http://bit.ly/ma-policy1521.
The board approved a revision of the 2017-18 school calendar that changed the last day of school to Thursday, May 17, as a full day with regular dismissal. Friday, May 18 will not be a teacher work day and checkout day. The board also noted that the calendar has built in extended weekends and Thanksgiving, giving kids and teachers a much-needed break.
Board member changes
Board member Scott Saunders recognized outgoing board President Camarco, noting that she worked on refinancing the bonds in 2014, was involved in contract negotiations with the Lewis-Palmer School District (LPSD) in 2015, and went to Capitol Hill to testify on behalf of charter schools. Camarco noted that having a great administration made her job on the board easier. Board member Gifford, who was absent, also reached the end of his term. Camarco then administered the oath of office for new board members, Mark McWilliams and Mike Molsen, who will begin their three-year term on July 1.
• Executive Director Don Griffin highlighted that MA’s high school application has been sent to Lewis-Palmer School Distrit Superintendent Karen Brofft, Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Wangeman, and Dr. Lori Benton for review and recommendations. The formal review window will be in the fall.
• Treasurer Patrick Hall noted a net income loss for Madg et despiteing teachers raises thanks to Director of Finance Nancy Tive.
• Principal and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Elizabeth Davis reported that this time of year is used for planning and reflection. She said she would look at training teachers in the appropriate use of technology in the classroom based on the indicators from the School Accountability Advisory Committee (SAAC) report about iPads.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, July 20 at the Monument Academy library at 1150 Village Ridge Point. The Monument Academy usually meets at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. Information on the MA School Board, including schedule, minutes, committee and finances can be found at www.monumentacademy.net/school-board.
Jackie Burhans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caption: From left are MA board members Scott Saunders, Sonya Camarco, Julie Galusky, Matt Dunston, and Patrick Hall. Camarco, outgoing MA School Board president, displays her certificate of appreciation along with members of the board. Photo by Jackie Burhans.
By Harriet Halbig
The D-38 Board of Education approved a district budget, which includes an unanticipated boost of nearly $1 million, and a list of new or revised school policies at its June 20 meeting.
Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Wangeman said the proposed district budget for the 2017-18 school year is balanced and meets all TABOR and other legal requirements.
Due to an unexpected infusion of nearly $1 million from the state, the board was asked to consider applying the funds to teacher compensation, maintenance projects that had been deferred due to lack of funding, or additional classroom space, or to be saved for construction of new schools in the future.
Wangeman cautioned that such revenue was unlikely to recur.
Goals for the coming year include site-based budgeting, allowing principals and staff to determine use of funds, maintenance of class size and teacher workloads, completion of the long-term planning process, and incorporation of increased alternative learning opportunities at the secondary level.
The per-pupil funding for the coming year is expected to increase by $231, and 219 new students are anticipated. Wangeman suggested that expenditure of these additional funds should be deferred until after the October student count.
Wangeman explained that state funding includes money for special-needs students, English Language Learners, vocational programs, and such fees as preschool and extended-day kindergarten tuition, rental of facilities, and other fees.
Asked about the step system of salary increases, Wangeman said that the district tries to keep salaries in line with those of nearby districts. Salary increases are not equal across the board as employees at the entry level often receive a higher percentage to remain competitive. Health insurance is considered to be part of an employee’s compensation.
Superintendent Karen Brofft commented that the administration is considering the same percentage of increase for all employees and to compensate those employees whose salaries had been frozen. These options are under discussion.
Vice President Matthew Clawson asked if there were particular concerns about the use of the budget, Wangeman responded that the many maintenance projects that had been deferred should receive priority.
The board voted to approve the budget. Treasurer John Magerko reminded the board that the budget is constantly under review and may be amended during the year.
Policies get OK
Director of Personnel and Student Services Bob Foster presented a list of policies recommended for adoption by the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB). These included policies involving safe schools, sexual abuse and assault, accident reporting, security access to facilities, and video surveillance.
Foster reminded the board that many of these policies are part of a manual presented to staff and students at the start of the school year and therefore should be passed immediately.
The board approved the policies with the understanding that they may be later amended.
Foster then introduced policies that CASB recommended be amended immediately. These included policies regarding staff conduct and staff/student interaction.
Policy GBEB involves staff conduct. Board Secretary Mark Pfoff expressed concern that this policy is not being followed, especially regarding profanity at sports events. He said that he is familiar with the policy but disappointed that it is not being enforced. He requested that this subject be put on the agenda for a future meeting.
Policy ADD regarding safe schools requires that the district develop training to prevent sexual abuse and assault. Community member Melinda Zark requested early in the meeting that such training be videotaped so that parents may view it. She requested that only the presenter be recorded and that parents be given two weeks’ notice of such training and be allowed to attend. Vice President Matthew Clawson agreed that this was a good suggestion but suggested that the viewing of the video should take place in a school environment rather than online.
Director Sarah Sampayo requested that policy IC/ICA be amended to include passing periods and PE time in staff contact time. Foster agreed, and the amendment was approved.
The board approved these policies.
Policy JICJ addresses the use of cell phones and other personal electronic devices by students. It states that such devices may be used for learning in class if approved by the teacher. They should otherwise be in silent mode and put away. The policy also prohibits the use of any device with camera or video capability in locker rooms, bathrooms, or anywhere where privacy is expected. Devices may be confiscated and not returned until the parent of the owner attends a conference with the teacher. The policy was temporarily approved and will be discussed at the August meeting.
Foster explained a revision in Policy GBGH that involves the use of the district’s sick-leave bank and allows its use for up to two days of bereavement leave. This revision was approved.
Founder Susan Pappas and student leaders of the group RAD (Real Alternatives to Drugs and Drinking) spoke of their program, co-sponsored by the YMCA, which offers a gathering place for teens on Fridays between 8:30 and 11:30 p.m. The program was founded after an automobile accident killed several Palmer Ridge students, some of whom had been drinking.
The students accompanying Pappas said that many of the activities, including a graduation party and several competitions, have been popular, and the attendance at the weekly events has been steady and encouraging.
Students from Palmer, Discovery Canyon, and Air Academy High Schools have also attended the evenings, and there are plans to expand to other YMCA locations.
The program will continue throughout the summer.
Brofft introduced Elizabeth Davis, the new school administrator at Monument Academy. Davis has diverse experience, including founding a charter school in District 20, serving on a legislative task force for online education, and as a consultant to the Colorado Charter School Institute where she reviewed charter school applications. Her education includes degrees in political science, licensure as a principal, and a doctorate in education in leadership for education equality.
The board approved a resolution to notify the county of its intention to participate in the November 2017 election. Two board seats are up for election.
The board approved a resolution to advertise for nominations for two positions on the board.
Treasurer John Magerko reported on goals for the board in the coming year. These included educating themselves and others in the school financing process, supporting the long-range planning process, improving the on-boarding process for new board members, and offering board coffees in a variety of environments, including coffee shops and homes.
The board met in executive session to discuss potential lease or sale of real property. No action was taken.
The Lewis-Palmer D-38 Board of Education meets at 6 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month except July at the district’s Learning Center at 146 Jefferson St., Monument. The next meeting will be on Aug. 17.
Harriet Halbig may be reached at email@example.com.
Caption: Representatives of RAD (Real Alternatives to Drugs and Drinking) include, from left, Jeffrey Dunston, Liz Phillips (behind Susan Pappas), Susan Pappas, Jonathan Neptune, Brandon Pappas, and Eve Phillips. Photo by Harriet Halbig.
Caption: New Monument Academy School Administrator Elizabeth Davis, left, was introduced by Superintendent Karen Brofft. Photo by Harriet Halbig.
The following sampling was compiled from the monthly El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) Neighborhood News. This report covers only EPSO District 1, does not list every crime reported to EPSO, and does not include criminal activity from Monument, Palmer Lake, or Colorado Springs addresses:
Animal Complaint: 22700 block Jones Rd., 18800 block Cloven Hoof Dr., 15400 block Paddington Cir.
Bomb Threat: 1800 block Woodmoor Dr.
Burglary: 1600 block Kings Cross Ln., 15600 block Falcon Ridge Ct., 800 block Caspian Ct., 1700 block Deer Creek Rd., 3300 block Mesa Top Dr.
Criminal Trespass Auto: 15200 block Jessie Dr., 2100 block Stella Dr.
Indecent Exposure: Lakefront Dr./Forest Lakes Dr.
Menacing: 18700 block I-25.
Motor Vehicle Theft: 18200 block Knollwood Blvd., 7400 block Tudor Rd.
Reckless Endangerment: Rampart Range Rd.
Theft: 14600 block Club Villa Dr., 19600 block Still River Ct.
Coffee with a Cop—July 15 from 10 a.m. to noon at Wesley Owens Coffee, 1773 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Monument. This is an opportunity for informal and friendly conversations with local law enforcement.
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) raid on a marijuana grow operation in Kings Deer on May 12 is not included in the EPSO report since it was conducted by the DEA, but for more information, see:
FOR EMERGENCIES: DIAL 9-1-1
El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch (non-emergency crime reporting): 390-5555
EPSO Telephone Reporting System (for minor crimes without suspect information: 520-7111
EPSO Traffic Hotline (for reporting problem areas or traffic violations): 390-5555 option 5
EPSO Tip Line (for reporting suspicious activity or the location of wanted persons): 520-7777 Always remember to report criminal activity or suspicious behavior promptly.
For more information, contact Crime Prevention Coordinator Merody Broom at 719-520-7151 or MerodyBroom@elpasoco.com.
By Helen Walklett
Following discussion at its June 27 meeting, the El Paso Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) agreed to withdraw the resolution to adopt the El Paso County Fire and Emergency Services Impact Fee Policy. The item had been continued from the BOCC’s June 13 meeting to allow Lori Seago, senior assistant county attorney, time to review last-minute comments from all parties.
The proposed resolution, intended to meet the statutory requirements of the 2016 state impact fee statute, would have provided a process through which fire and emergency services providers could request the imposition of an impact fee within their districts to mitigate the impact of new development on existing capital facilities. Introducing the proposed resolution at the June 27 meeting, Seago said that county staff, fire departments, and the building industry had been working on the issue for a year.
Seago said that there was still disagreement between parties, particularly regarding the point at which the fee should be levied. Kevin Walker, policy advisor at the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs (CSHBA), said that the industry felt the best point at which to apply the fee was at the platted lot stage when building permits are applied for. He said a precedent existed as this is the point at which transportation impact fees are applied. Walker further stated that the fee should apply only to future platted lots.
However, fire district chiefs expressed concern at the number of already-platted lots that exist but are not yet being developed within districts. Fire Chief Chris Truty of the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District said that growth was impacting the district and there should be some way of mitigating this. Walker said that there were 400 existing platted lots in the Tri-Lakes district, of which about 100 were being actively developed, but that each was subject to a commercial tax that benefited the fire district.
Commissioner Longinos Gonzalez Jr. said that imposing the fee at the time of permitting seemed the most broad and fair approach. Commissioner Mark Waller expressed his concerns, noting that platted, undeveloped lots already pay commercial tax rates until the permitting process takes place. He feared that all fees would ultimately be passed on to homebuyers, making homes more expensive. He said, "Our responsibility is to the citizens that live in El Paso County … housing needs to be affordable for the people." He stated that he was at best disappointed with the effort being brought forward and thought it barely met the statutory requirements.
Commissioner Stan VanderWerf said, "If we are going to be the first in the state [on this issue], we have to continue to take the time to make sure this is right." He noted that there was some concurrence and some agreement but that the vagueness of the state statute and the complexity of different neighborhoods made it a difficult task. VanderWerf finished by saying, "I am not necessarily opposed to the idea. I just want to make sure we do this right."
Commissioner Peggy Littleton suggested a way forward might be to talk with other counties to see what they are doing on the issue. Commissioner Gonzalez said talks with the fire chiefs and the CSHBA could move the matter forward. Seago said that some of the commissioners’ concerns might be better addressed at the individual district level once a policy was in place.
After a short break, President Darryl Glenn said that, considering commissioners’ concerns, there could be no affirmative motion to approve the resolution at this time. It was agreed that the item would be withdrawn and not continued to a later date.
Helen Walklett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Bill Kappel
After a wet and cool past couple of months, dry and warm weather returned for June. Most of us received less than a half-inch of rainfall compared to an average of nearly 2 inches a month. Temperatures also reached the upper 80s to low 90s on several afternoons. This resulted in a month that was significantly warmer than average and one of the drier Junes on record.
The first part of June saw temperatures that were close to average during the first week of the month, with highs reaching into the 70s each afternoon, peaking right around 80 on the 4th. There were a few thunderstorms around on several afternoons and early evenings, typical for June. However, most of the heavy rainfall from these events missed the region, staying just to our north and east. The exceptions were the 6th and 7th, when some areas along and west of I-25 were hit with locally heavy rainfall. This resulted in some brief flash flooding and a little hail in some spots.
Warm and dry air them moved in behind this active pattern over the next few days, bringing temperatures to just shy of record high levels on the 9th and 10th. Temperatures soared well into the 80s both afternoons under mainly clear skies. Bouts of high and midlevel clouds then held temperatures back to the upper 70s on the 11th, but also limited any chance of thunderstorms development, leading to dry and warm conditions.
Hot and dry conditions continued as we officially transitioned from spring to summer during the third week of June. High temperatures reached into the 80s on Monday the 19th. Temperatures continued to warm over the next few days with high temperatures closing in on record high territory on the 20th and 21st as highs reached the low 90s. Temperatures reached the upper 80s on the 22nd; still about 10 degrees warmer than normal, but big changes were about to move in.
A cold front (strong by late June standards) moved through during the mid-afternoon hours on the 22nd. This was accompanied by gusty winds, and increasing low-level moisture as the flow turned upslope. This helped low clouds and fog develop quickly that evening. Drizzle and areas of rain showers developed by the next morning as well.
Also, the clouds and cooler temperatures held temperatures in the 50s on the afternoon of the 23rd, about 40 degrees colder than the previous few days! Temperatures then remained a little cooler than average through the weekend, with highs only reaching the low to mid-70s each day with areas of low clouds sticking around. Unfortunately, no significant rainfall occurred during the week. We did see areas of brief thunderstorms on the afternoon of the 20th and rain showers with the cold air on the 23rd, but neither of these events produced enough moisture to bring us out of the dry period we’ve seen most of this month.
The month ended with more of the same, mainly dry conditions and temperatures at or above normal. Some relief from the heat did return on the 30th, as a cooler northerly flow kept temperatures in the 70s and helped produce a few thunderstorms.
A look ahead
July can be an active weather month around the region, as the Southwest Monsoon season gets going. Afternoon and evening thunderstorms are a common occurrence, and when they are able to tap into higher levels of moisture, flash flooding can result. Hot, stagnant weather can also take hold for a few days at time, with highs hitting well into the 90’s.
June 2017 Weather Statistics
Average High 80.1° (+2.7°) 100-year return frequency value max 82.5° min 66.3°
Average Low 47.4° (+3.0°) 100-year return frequency value max 50.7° min 40.2°
Highest Temperature 91°F on the 20th
Lowest Temperature 38°F on the 3rd
Monthly Precipitation 0.24" (-1.71" 78% below normal) 100-year return frequency value max 6.94" min 0.15"
Monthly Snowfall 0.0" (-0.1" 100% below normal)
Season to Date Snow 97.8" (-24.5" 20% below normal)
(the snow season is from July 1 to June 30)
Season to Date Precip 17.09" (-4.57" 22% below normal)
(the precip season is from July 1 to June 30)
Heating Degree Days 86 (+12)
Cooling Degree Days 49 (+21)
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.
Tri-Lakes residents urged to join PPACG panel
It is just about impossible today to travel anywhere in El Paso or Teller Counties and not encounter orange cones. The cones are a clear sign that leaders across the region have placed new emphasis on repairing and improving area roads and bridges.
Just about every project has been reviewed and approved by regional leaders as part of the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG). In recent years, those projects have included the I-25 and Fillmore Street intersection; the I-25/Cimarron Street (U.S. 24) intersection, and I-25 widening from Academy Boulevard North to Monument. Current projects pending final funding include widening I-25 from Monument to Castle Rock
These projects, initially identified by local, county and state agencies, are reviewed and approved for funding by the PPACG staff and the PPACG board. In the process, technical experts and community representatives review each project to identify issues affecting their respective areas.
Today, northern El Paso County is underrepresented in the PPACG process. While Monument’s mayor sits on the board itself, the Community Advisory Committee (CAC), which is charged with providing a more citizen-centric perspective, is missing the insights of a representative from the towns of Monument or Palmer Lake. (There are also three seats for El Paso County residents, but they are currently filled). The CAC meets monthly for about two hours and preparation (reviewing meeting materials) can take another two to four hours, depending on the details of the agenda.
I strongly encourage any Tri-Lakes residents interested in being a community voice on this important committee to contact Monument Town Manager Chris Lowe, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Palmer Lake Town Administrator Catherine Green-Sinnard, email@example.com, and express your interest in either of the two positions. For more information on the CAC, see the PPACG website (www.ppacg.org) or contact Bethany Schoemer, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments
Observe rules for trail vehicles
Hey everybody! Just a reminder that if you or your kids have non-registered and no Colorado plates on your UTVs, ATVs, and dirt bikes, you cannot drive on blacktop roads in Red Rock Ranch or on Mt. Herman Road. You can’t ride until you get to the Y at the bottom of Mt. Herman. It is illegal and dangerous for them and the people walking down the road.
Please be responsible and stop. Trailer them to the bottom of Mt. Herman, and the speed limit up there is 20 mph, not 50 mph. Be careful everyone and wear helmets, which could save your life or mobility.
Thank you all very much.
Proposed development alarms resident
I am writing to bring awareness to a situation that I never imagined could happen in Woodmoor---a covenant-protected community that has the reputation of being a place where one aspires to live precisely because it is off the beaten path and away from the relentless over-building that has taken place in other nearby neighborhoods---until I attended last Tuesday’s meeting at the Barn and discovered that a proposed new subdivision of 35 homes, similar to The Dunes being built on Woodmoor Drive, is about to be plopped on the scenic corner of Lake Woodmoor Drive and Lower Lake Road.
Two new roads will be built on both sides of Lake Woodmoor Drive in the short distance between Lower Lake Road and the spillway to accommodate these 35 homes to the detriment of dozens of existing residents in the immediate vicinity as well as hundreds of residents who use Lake Woodmoor Drive for egress.
Several years of construction activity on that corner will not only disturb the tranquility for residents anywhere near the area, but will also likely cause traffic (especially during LPES start and end times), pedestrian, and bike riding hazards. There is a good possibility that Lake Woodmoor Drive will also need to be widened, adding more construction inconveniences to the mix.
There are numerous important considerations that need to be taken into account before this project goes forward and it should not be rubber-stamped before all residents of Woodmoor who will be affected have their say. This is not a situation that WIA alone can prevent from happening because of a legal issue the developer won years ago. It is vital that residents express their concerns to the El Paso County Planning Commission and to county commissioners.
Editor’s note: The proposed development is called The Beach at Woodmoor, and the meeting where Sandra Yates heard this was the Woodmoor Improvement Association (WIA) Architectural Control Committee meeting. OCN will report on this when and if it is discussed at WIA or at the El Paso County Planning Commission.
By the staff at Covered Treasures
Summer is finally here. No matter whether you are in the mountains of our glorious state, or on a sunny beach, or traveling by plane, car, or boat, enjoy these great summer reads!
"If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books."—Roald Dahl
"Wherever I am, if I’ve got a book with me, I have a place I can go and be happy."—J.K. Rowling
The Whip: A Novel
By Karen Kondazian Collier (Hansen Publishing Group) $15
The Whip is inspired by the true story of a woman, Charlotte "Charley" Parkhurst (1812-79) who lived most of her extraordinary life as a man in the Old West. As a young woman in Rhode Island, she fell in love with a runaway slave and had his child. The destruction of her family drove her west to California, dressed as a man, to track the killer. Charley became a renowned stagecoach driver for Wells Fargo. She killed a famous outlaw, had a secret love affair, and lived with a housekeeper who, unaware of her true sex, fell in love with her. Charley was the first woman to vote in America in 1868 (as a man).
Stalking the Wild Dragonfly
By Nancy Rivest Green (Vishnu Temple Press) $15.95
Nancy Rivest Green describes her personal encounters with wildlife in nature and presents scientific research on each creature for greater understanding. She shares a unique perspective drawn from a lifetime of living in national parks with her ranger husband as well as her travels to wilderness areas all over the planet.
New Mexico: A Novel of the Old West
By Bert Entwistle (Black Mule Press) $16
The late 19th century in the New Mexico Territory was a haven for outlaws who were being pushed out of their territory as civilization continued to move west. Jose Taylor was one of the last of the old-time man hunters tracking down the murderers, robbers, and rustlers working in the territory. His last warrant was for his longtime nemesis and cold-blooded murderer. Their final showdown will cost the life of one and scar the other for life. New Mexico is Entwistle’s fifth novel based in the West.
Dinner with Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship
By Isabel Vincent (Algonquin Books) $14.95
When Isabel, a hard-working journalist going through a divorce, meets Edward, an indomitable 93-year-old widower who has just lost his wife, she has no idea that the man in the kitchen baking the sublime roast chicken and light-as-air apricot soufflé will end up changing her life. As these two unlikely dinner companions meet weekly for the glorious meals that Edward prepares, he shares so much more than his recipes.
As Good as Gone
By Larry Watson (Algonquin Books) $15.95
It’s 1963, and Calvin Sidey has long ago left his family to live a life of self-reliance out on the prairie. He’s been a mostly absentee father and grandfather until his estranged son asks him to stay with his grandchildren for a week while he and his wife are away. Calvin agrees to return to the small town where he once was a mythic figure, and soon enough, problems arise. Calvin knows only one way to solve a problem: the Old West way, in which scores are settled, ultimatums are issued, and your gun is always loaded.
Like Water for Chocolate
By Laura Esquivel (Anchor Books) $15
Like Water for Chocolate is the All Pikes Peak Reads 2017 adult selection. Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit.
Under a Painted Sky
By Stacey Lee (Speak) $10.99
The All Pikes Peak Reads 2017 teen/young adult selection. All Samantha wanted was to move back to New York and pursue her music, which was difficult enough, being a Chinese girl in Missouri in 1849. Then her fate takes a turn for the worse after a tragic accident leaves her with nothing, and she breaks the law in self-defense. With help from Annamae, a runaway slave, the two flee town, disguising themselves as boys, traveling the Oregon Trail to California from Missouri.
"Books are a uniquely portable magic."—Stephen King
Spend some time with a good book this summer and, until next month, happy reading.
The staff at Covered Treasures can be reached at email@example.com.
By Harriet Halbig
Summer Adventure, this year’s summer reading program, will continue through the end of July, with many more special programs throughout the month. The Summer Adventure Party, celebrating the program, will be held on Friday, July 14 on the Village Green in Palmer Lake. There will be games and activities for all ages, plus many guest presenters such as the Zoomobile and the zoology program from Pikes Peak Community College. Also, face painting and snacks for all. Bring the whole family!
The library thanks all the teen volunteers who have been such a help in explaining and administering the Summer Adventure and who will also be assisting at the party.
Children’s and family programs
There will be two art-related programs on Mondays during July. On July 10 from 2:30 to 3:30, children ages 7 and up are invited to use your Minecrafter skills to construct towers, bridges, and more. On July 17 from 6:30 to 8:30, attend a watercolor demonstration by Jean Pierre DeBernay, whose works are on display during the month.
Tuesday mornings feature a variety of programs from 10:30 to 11:30. Subjects include alpacas, an original show on the theme of building a better world, and a puppet show.
The Lego Build club will meet from 10 to 11:30 on Saturday, July 15.
Teen and tween programs
Ages 9 to 18 are welcome to make Paracord survival bracelets on Tuesday, July 11 from 3:30 to 4:30.
On Friday, July 14 there will be a teen program, Cooking 101, where you learn about making tasty snacks and meal planning.
Tuesday, July 18 from 4 to 5:30 there will be a teen program on journal making and zentangles. We will be sewing simple journals and drawing zentangles on the finished product. There will be tea, snacks, and tips for de-stressing. Registration required.
Intergenerational knitting is offered on July 5 and 19 from 3 to 4:30. Practice materials are provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own projects. Some instruction provided.
The Teen Arts and Crafts Open Studio will be on Wednesday, July 26 from 4 to 5:30. Use our meeting space as a space to create. Supplies will be provided as available, but feel free to bring your own as well.
The final Summer Adventure program will be on Friday, July 28. An engineering competition will challenge teens to make toothpick towers, spoon catapults, and weight-bearing bridges. There will be prizes for the winners! Ages 12 to 18 are welcome.
The Monumental Readers will meet from 10 to noon on Friday, July 21 to discuss Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.
On Saturday, July 22 from 1:30 to 3, local historian John Anderson will present a program on "Discovering the Anza legacy: Juan Bautista de Anza 1779 Comanche Campaign." The program tells the story of Gov. Juan Bautista and Cuerno Verde (green horn), the Comanche war chief, both determined to protect their people and preserve their cultures. Books by the author will be available for purchase.
On the walls during July will be watercolors by Jean Pierre DeBernay. In the display case will be a collection of paper currency from around the world from Jim Nelson.
Palmer Lake Library programs
Summer Adventure programs at Palmer Lake are on Wednesdays at 10:30.
On July 5, there will be a program for ages 5 to 11 with animal ambassadors from Pikes Peak Community College, July 12 will be a Musical Story Time for kids up to 7 years old, July 19 will be a puppet show for ages 3 to 8, and July 26 will be a Community Drum Circle with Helen, the Percussion Lady, for ages 5 to 11.
The Palmer Lake Book Group will meet at 9 a.m. on Friday, July 7 to discuss Circling the Sun by Paula McLain. All patrons are welcome to attend this monthly book group.
The 7-Up program for July is a Construction Challenge using Minecraft methods to build towers, bridges, and more. Call 481-2587 to register for this program.
We hope to see you at the party on July 14 from 10 to noon on the Village Green!
Please note that all Pikes Peak Library District facilities will be closed on July 4.
Harriet Halbig may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Sigi Walker
The snowstorm on May 18 caused the cancellation of the Palmer Lake Historical Society’s May monthly history series program. It was rescheduled for June, which made for a very busy month.
On June 15, the Historical Society’s history series featured "Hummingbirds—Up Close and Personal" presented by Jerry DalFerro. Illustrated by photographs taken by the presenter, the audience learned about his experiences in adapting hummingbird feeders, preparing simple cane sugar syrup, and providing fresh water baths for the birds. He showed how he set up perches using fallen tree branches. This variety helped to attract the birds so that he could photograph them in a natural setting. DalFerro’s photographs also included hummingbirds being banded by professional handlers during the annual census.
On June 18, the Palmer Lake Town Hall was filled to capacity to hear Laurel Campbell and Linda Crawford tell the story of Charles Goodnight (1836-1929), legendary cattle rancher and longhorn enthusiast, partner of Oliver Loving in blazing cattle drive trails, chuck wagon inventor, and Colorado pioneer rancher. In 1868, he settled the Rock Canyon Ranch near Pueblo and constructed a magnificent stone barn on the property in 1870. The historic barn still stands and is under preservation, with plans for a full restoration. Campbell and Crawford used both vintage and present-day slides to illustrate their presentation. These included pictures of work already accomplished and underlined the urgency of what needs to be done to preserve the unique stone barn by the Goodnight Barn Preservation Committee.
Also on June 18, following the "Goodnight" program, the Historical Society continued its tradition of treating the community to free pie, ice cream, and entertainment in honor of all fathers with the annual Father’s Day Ice Cream Social. Singer/guitarist Nick Davey entertained for almost two hours, strolling among the attendees after performing in the gazebo. The event drew almost 200 people, and the weather couldn’t have been more pleasant.
Mark your calendars for Thursday, July 20, for a unique experience as Dan Blegen presents "Pete Seeger: A Musical Portrait." The presentation will be in "docu-concert" format, created by Blegen. A retired teacher, author, poet, and playwright, he interweaves the music and historical highlights of the musician in his presentation. Plan on singing along! This program is free and open to all. Venue is the Palmer Lake Town Hall. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7. Light refreshments are served after the presentation.
Caption: Laurel Campbell, left, and Linda Crawford presented "Charles Goodnight in Colorado." They are pictured with Historical Society President Tom Baker. Photo by Mike Walker.
Caption: Many attended the PLHS’s June History Series/Father’s Day Ice Cream Social. Photo by Mike Walker.
By Elizabeth Hacker
I’ve always considered the wren to be the Napoleon of the bird world. It’s a small energetic bird with a big attitude. Short and pudgy in stature, it holds its head high and points its tail upward as if it is ready to conquer the world.
Range and characteristics
Many wren species and subspecies are found across the country. There are four wren species found on the Palmer Divide: house, rock, Bewick’s, and canyon. Most wrens are less than 5 inches in length but at 6 inches, the canyon wren is bigger. Male and female look similar and are generally grayish brown on top and buff underneath. Wrens have a subtle stripe at the end of their short covert wings, an eye ring, an eyebrow, a thin, slightly down-turned beak, and pink legs. For me, the features that distinguish a wren from other little brown birds is a tail that tilts up and a perky song, which is only heard during mating season.
In comparison to the dull brown wrens in North America, the wrens in Australia are very colorful! Depending on the region, their coloring varies. Some are red but most are blue. However, the feature that distinguishes all wrens is their perky song. When I hear it, no matter where in the world I am, I know it’s a wren before I even lay my eyes on it.
Wrens will nest almost anywhere, including nest boxes, old woodpecker holes, flower pots, and other unsuspected places such as in the pocket of a scarecrow. Often, wrens return to the same territory each season. I often see them in old bluebird nesting boxes along the Santa Fe trail and wonder if the ones I see are descendants of the ones that nested there last year.
Males arrive a week or two earlier than the females and in their few days as bachelors, they build several nests to show to the females when they arrive, generally a week or two later. Females inspect the nests of several males before choosing a mate. Once a pair bond is secure, the pair remains monogamous for at least for one breeding season. I often wonder why males spend so much time building nests to show to the female because once they pair up, the female chooses a new location where she then builds a new nest for her eggs.
Friend or fiend?
Many birders discourage wrens from nesting in their yards because of the tactics these little tyrants use to defend their territory. A single wren can wreak havoc on other birds by poking holes in eggs, destroying nests, and filling bird boxes with debris. One day I stopped by a friend’s ranch and found this otherwise sweet diminutive lady to be distressed. A wren had gone down her line of bluebird boxes and poked a single hole in every egg. She was beside herself. Given that she had at least 20 boxes, it is a safe say that more than 60 eggs were destroyed.
Decline in nesting birds
Often, I received emails from readers who are concerned that they were not seeing the number of birds nesting that they usually see on the Divide. I am not an expert, so when I’m asked questions like this I consult one. I was told that many migratory birds can arrive two weeks late due to the cold, wet or dry, spring weather. Birds are already stressed from their long migrations and conditions they encounter along the way, especially when they encounter unusually harsh conditions. Once they arrive and establish a territory, courting, breeding and nest building consume huge amounts of energy for these little birds. Many birds’ diet shifts from carbs to protein from insects. Often weather inversions will delay or reduce the insect population, which puts even more stress on an already stressed-out bird and seasonal numbers may go into a decline.
Birds are resilient, and even though the numbers may be in decline one year, as conditions improve most birds will recover. For many years, our state bird, the lark bunting, was in decline. The long drought we experienced at the turn of the century put stress on many animal species. The resilient lark bunting moved north to nest in Wyoming and Montana. When conditions improved in Colorado, it returned.
Keeping track of the number of birds is an ongoing challenge. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology developed a cell phone app to help birders keep track of the birds they see. It’s called ebird. It’s free to download. When I lead birders on a walk, I list all the birds we see and then submit the list to ebird, so they will have a record of the birds in an area.
Elizabeth Hacker is a writer and artist. Email her at email@example.com to share bird pictures and stories.
Caption: Hear that loud bird song? It’s probably a wren! Photo by Steve Davis.
By Janet Sellers
Current hot weather means it’s time for summer crops and flowers, even though we’ve had some wild weather temperature changes. We must protect our ponderosa habitat and not deplete its need for its own food cycle of growth and decay in place if we wish to have trees, so for non-forest or "foreign" flowers and food plants, raised beds are optimal in our area, and keep the nutrients from our kitchen compost available on the spot for our food plants. Food soil from kitchen food scraps, how simple! Forest soil from forest habitat, even simpler.
In containers or raised beds, we can still seed baby lettuces, scallions, chives, etc., and staying on top of harvesting keeps plants producing, especially in the shade of the three sisters garden of corn, squash and beans, the symbiotic sisters. I’ve even seeded the three sisters garden in July and had a harvest September/October. Use 50-day corn!
Propagate tomato plants and other leafy crop plants like basil easily by taking large stemmed leaves—leaf top clusters of four for basil—gently stripping the bottom 4 inches of leafy part for a stem of sorts, leaving at least 3-5 inches of leaf. For basil, just pop the stem in water and in 2 weeks you have a rooted plant. With tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and Russian sage, cover the stripped stem with good, composted soil in the raised bed where the parent plants are. Put a rock on top to keep the stem down and moist in the soil, water well but gently, and don’t let it dry out! Same process for many ornamentals, too.
In about two to three weeks, gently check for root hairs, and after that, put the new plantlet where you like. It may flower if the temps stay warm, but can also over-winter indoors and be a great plant for next year. Tomatoes can live for years indoors/outdoors if cared for and no frost. Believe it or not, we can start some fall seeds the end of July, mid-August tends to have the cool nights that are good for fall crops
New columbine tip: pinch off the immature seed heads from the spent flower of the columbine, and the plant will continue to bloom. Unlike dead-heading petunias and marigolds for optimal long blooming, the columbine needs the actual seed head off and it will do its continued blooming.
Janet Sellers is an avid nature and garden enthusiast. For local high-altitude nature and garden information collected just for you, visit http://facebook.com/MonumentCommunityGarden. Janet can be reached at JanetSellers@ocn.me.
By Janet Sellers
The newest blue-chip artists are actually older women, now called "OWA" for Older Women Artists. The term "blue chip" comes from a trader on Wall Street in the 1800s who coined the term for stocks that consistently held their value at the top, and the blue poker chip that holds the highest value in poker.
It wasn’t long before the art world took that moniker and applied it to art with consistent value as a commodity, to give some substance or consensus to the high priced and highly volatile albeit one of the few unregulated commodity markets, which is fine art. The Wall Street Journal reports that older women artists are now the historically undervalued niche, and that women artists are now sought after by collectors and dealers as they attempt to identify the undervalued female artists. Age aside, the quality and power of the work still have to have teeth, value, and meaning not only to the artist but also to the collectors, for whom the dealers scramble to please, and of course sell, the works.
It appears the women artists were vastly overlooked by 20th-century scholars and museums, but the art world has taken notice now, and the OWA are in demand, fetching the highest millions of dollars in the history of female artists in sales, and just plain popular as the next big blue-chip artists.
Legitimate demand exists when there is a large interest with buyers. If not, applied influential factors of interest, such as with institutions, critics, and those with the wherewithal to artificially buy out art shows, may come into play. Art is not fungible, so influence and interest play a huge part in the art world, but it is certainly not the only source of demand, sales, or collecting.
Like many artists in history, particularly the avant garde, women artists are a mix of being in and out of favor, some never succeeding financially or famously, working as unknowns and in isolation with a few rare women artists holding their place in the art world. The difference for women now, especially OWAs, is that they are sought after, and there is a growing momentum among collectors and dealers to value them, which translates into collections and sales dollars of course, and spurred by a huge public interest that finds relevance in the works of women artists, especially as old institutional hierarchies break down.
And it helps that institutions are speaking out in the last few years. Frances Morris, head of Collections for International Art and curator at the Tate, stated, "Recognized male artists can become dull and repetitive later in the careers," she explains. "They no longer have to strive. But these women continue to struggle and understand the fragility of their success. It makes them more innovative in their later careers and keeps their work young."
I agree to disagree with Morris somewhat. Artists who begin to do their work in their later years, male or female, bring a lot to the art table. Likely they are bringing a rare combination of stability and drive that is lost to art school whiz kids, but appreciated and sought after by collectors and the art world at all levels, from novice collectors and beyond.
Janet Sellers is a local artist, writer and teacher. Her artworks have been exhibited in the United States and abroad. Her paintings, monumental murals, environmental art installations, and sculptures have been exhibited at museums in Japan, Korea, Los Angeles, and Colorado. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Silver Alliance’s Spring Fling
Caption: On Friday, June 2, the Tri-Lakes Silver Alliance hosted its first annual Spring Fling fundraiser to benefit its senior citizen center at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts. Silver Alliance received over 50 generous donations from local businesses and private donors for the silent auction. Attendees had a chance to bid on items such as a Lowe’s spring basket, Vera Bradley handbags, PetSmart grooming services, jewelry, gift cards to local restaurants, various tools from Home Depot and many, many more. While engaging in great conversation, there was also a chance to participate in a drawing for a magnum of wine and enjoy some tasty food and drink. The event was a huge success! From left are Dorothy Silvanic, Sue Walker, Melissa Bagnall, and Marianne Black. Photo courtesy of Tri-Lakes Silver Alliance.
Birders sighted, June 3
Caption: An informal group of Tri-Lakes residents with an interest in bird watching met on June 3 in Glen Park in Palmer Lake. With a range of experience from novice to expert, the birders saw flickers, blue jays, and even a lazuli bunting along with other birds native to the area. Anyone interested in birding should post on http://Nextdoor.com to locate others with similar interests. Photo by Jackie Burhans.
Tri-Lakes Views installation
Caption: From left, Angela Seals, deputy director, Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, Andy Vick, executive director, Copp’r, artist Jodie Bliss, Barbara Westwood, Dr. Betty Konarski, and Sky Hall of Tri-Lakes Views celebrate the installation day on June 7 for the new outdoor artworks sponsored by Tri-Lakes Views, a local arts organization that supports and showcases the region’s fine arts and preserves the region’s unique history. Photo by Janet Sellers.
Palmer Lake Fishing Derby
Caption: Jeb Johnson and his son, Braden, head to the lake with hope of reeling in the big one and taking home the grand prize on June 3 at the Fishing Derby at Palmer Lake sponsored by the Lions Club. Photo by John Howe.
Park bench dedicated, June 7
Caption: From left: Tri-Lakes Chamber representative Merrilee Orcutt, Barb Allen, Tom Allen, Jaime Fenley, Jeremy Fenley, Town of Monument Trustees Greg Coopman, Shea Medlicott, and Dennis Murphy, and Tri-Lakes Chamber representative Frances McLavrin attended the ribbon cutting for a park bench dedication June 7, in the Limbach Park tot lot playground. The Town of Monument and the grassroots No Methadone in Monument group dedicated this park bench in honor of Jamie Fenley, in recognition of her efforts fighting an attempt to bring a methadone clinic to Monument. For background example see www.ocn.me/v15n9.htm#mbot0803. Photo by Janet Sellers.
ACT II gives back
Caption: ACT II has started its disbursements into the community. Yeah! So far, we have given to Mountain Community Senior Services and the Little Glimmer Lyme Foundation. In July, we are donating to Pike Peak Library District (locally). We have a few others that we are looking at for August and September (our fiscal year ends Sept. 30).ACT II is a unique community thrift shop that will benefit Tri-Lakes area nonprofits. The shop is located at 245 Jefferson St., next to Tri-Lakes Cares and across the street from Northland Community Church. Volunteers and donations of gently used articles and money are needed. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, visit the website, www.mynorthlandchurch.org/act-ii, or contact Executive Director Cara Vanderkolk, email@example.com or 487-3268. Photo courtesy of ACT II: A new community thrift store.
MVEA Annual Meeting
Caption: Mountain View Electric Association’s (MVEA) 76th Annual Meeting of Members took place June 8 in Limon. Activities included bucket truck rides (shown above), high voltage demo, a barbecue dinner preceded by musical entertainment, and many information booths. For example, always remember to "Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig!" to avoid injury. A few of the dozens of prize winners included local residents Dean and Robin Snow, Daniel Rivers, and Marv Young. Prizes included two MVEA $500 Whole Home LED Lighting systems, several large-screen televisions, cash prizes, and gift cards. Rick L. Gordon of District 2 and Donna Andersen-Van Ness of District 7 were re-elected for a new term. Board President Joe Martin and Chief Executive Officer Jim Herron gave their reports on the state of the cooperative and legislative issues that impact MVEA’s services, rates, and members. MVEA, incorporated in 1941, is a not-for-profit member-owned electric cooperative providing member-first electric service to over 43,000 members in a 5,000-square-mile territory with over 52,000 meters and 6,000 miles of energized lines. For additional information about MVEA and the electric cooperative difference, visit www.mvea.coop. Photo courtesy of Mountain View Electric Association.
PLAG Summer Show
Caption: Margarete Seagraves poses on June 9 next to her award-winning abstract painting at the Palmer Lake Art Group Summer Show at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts. High school art students were also honored with college scholarships. Photo by Janet Sellers.
Tri-Lakes Cares graduation
Caption: This is the proud and powerful June 2017 graduating class of Tri-Lakes Care’s "Getting Ahead" program designed to help people living in generational or situational poverty to identify needed resources to help them improve their economic class and set goals to become self-sufficient or get back to self-sufficiency. TLC Executive Director Haley Chapin said the "bridges out of poverty" concepts teach that moving to a new economic class means learning the hidden rules and identifying and utilizing a list of specific resources that are not obvious to the person in poverty. It costs about $1,000 per person to run the class, but it is an investment in each individual’s future self-sufficiency. Photo by Monument Trustee Jeff Bornstein.
100 attend movie nights
By Chrystie Hopkins
On Friday, June 9 at the Monument Marketplace Clock Tower, the town of Monument presented the Disney film Moana. About 100 people, mostly families with young children, enjoyed the free movie screening. The event, which was sponsored by Mountain View Electric, Christian Brothers Automotive, Challenger Homes, and Goodwill, was the first of the free summer movie series.
Prior to the movie screening, children romped on a giant bouncy house provided by the U.S. Taekwondo Center, the entertainment sponsor. Also, students from the Taekwondo Center entertained the crowd by performing choreographed skills demonstrations.
The evening was clear with very high winds, which made inflating and securing the large inflatable screen quite a challenge for organizers and delayed the start of the movie. There will be four more movie screenings: Pete’s Dragon on June 30, Finding Dory on July 21, The Secret Life of Pets on Aug. 11, and Sing on Aug. 18.
Caption: Before the movie screening of Moana, children enjoy the bouncy house sponsored by U.S. Taekwondo Center. Photo by Chrystie Hopkins.
Art Hop and entertainment
Caption: Covered Treasures Bookstore showcased author Brendan Leonard at Art Hop on June 15 as interested buyers have their purchases signed.
Caption: "Cinnamon Tea Flutes," guests of Black Forest Foods Café and Delicatessen, entertained diners and passersby. Photos by John Howe.
Monument Outdoor Quilt Show
Caption: The first annual Monument Outdoor Quilt Show happened June 17 at Limbach Park. Here, members of the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild stood in front of the guild’s charity quilt, composed of blocks made by members, and laid out and completed by Anna Ortiz. The quilts to the right were made by Christine Doiron (Preppy Whales) and Abby Leonard (Huckleberry). The Front Range Modern Quilt Guild was founded in 2010 to build a community of modern quilters along the Front Range. Modern quilting has become a popular form of quilting in the last decade, with guilds and members all over the world. Modern quilting, while difficult to define, is often recognized as having bold, saturated colors and solid fabrics, more negative space than traditional or contemporary quilts, and strong contrast among the fabrics. For information about the guild or participating in next year’s show, see http://frontrangemodernquiltguild.webs.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for information. Photo courtesy of Front Range Modern Quilt Guild.
Senior Living groundbreaking
Caption: On June 20, over 50 people attended Jackson Creek Senior Living’s groundbreaking ceremony on Jackson Creek Parkway at Harness Road. This facility plans to offer independent living, assisted living, and memory care units starting in fall 2018. The community will be built by CSI Construction based in Colorado Springs and managed by WellAge Senior Living. Photo by Lisa Hatfield.
Monument drum circle
Caption: The Monument drum circle made music at Limbach Park on Monday, June 19. This group meets on the third Monday of every month to collaborate and express creativity in an open environment as well as to create rhythm by improvisation. In the summer months, they meet in Limbach Park next to the bandshell. Beginners are welcome to join. Contact Nan Graber at email@example.com for more information. Photo by Lauren Jones.
Climb for Courage, June 24
Caption: Participants rapidly descend stairs at Falcon Stadium during the 2017 Climb for Courage event benefiting Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation. Two-thousand seven hundred. That’s the number of stairs that participants in the annual Climb for Courage ascended at the U.S. Air Force Academy Falcon Stadium. In fairness, there was some descending too, but most will likely remember the burning lungs, the aching calves, and the sweaty joy of participating in this event. When some of the more than 500 participants were asked about their motivation to put their bodies through the abuse of scrambling up (and down) 2,700 stairs, their response was simple—it’s for the kids! Climb for Courage benefits Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation and the funds raised will be used to expand their programs and services through the building of a new hospital in northeast Colorado Springs, scheduled to open in 2019. The event, in its third year, brought out many individuals and families whose lives have been touched by Children’s Hospital Colorado. The competitive, timed waves of participants were followed by a Fun Wave, where families and people of all ages could give those stairs a try at their own pace. Adding to the fun morning was a free Family Festival where families could get free food samples, learn biking skills, make giant bubbles or grab coupons for local stores. Participants were asked to raise money through sponsorships and top fundraisers raised over $2,000 each. The event raised over $150,000 in 2016 and hopes to top that amount in 2017. To find out more about the nonprofit Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation, go to www.childrenscoloradofoundation.org. Photo by Erin Poole
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.
Free wildfire risk home assessments for Palmer Lake residents, ends this month
The Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP) is partnering with the Town of Palmer Lake and the Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department to offer free home assessments to make site-specific recommendations to reduce wildfire risk. To schedule a home assessment in July, phone 719-748-0033.
Slash-Mulch season continues
The El Paso County Black Forest Slash and Mulch program will accept slash (tree and brush debris only) through Sept. 10. Mulch will be available until Sept. 23 or when mulch runs out. Hours of operation are: Saturdays, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sundays, noon-4 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 5-7:30 p.m. The mulch loader schedule is Saturdays only, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. The cost for slash is $2 per load. The mulch loader fee is $5 per bucket, about 2 cubic yards. The slash and mulch site is located at the southeast corner of Shoup and Herring Roads in the Black Forest area. For more information, visit www.bfslash.org or phone Carolyn, 495-3127; Chuck, 495-8675; Jeff, 495-8024; or the County Environmental Division, 520-7878.
National Night Out Aug. 1, register your neighborhood event by July 7
National Night Out (NNO) is an annual event promoting crime prevention and drug prevention in communities across the country. The concept is to turn on porch lights and join neighbors outside to make a show of solidarity and strength, and send the message to criminals that we won’t tolerate crime in our neighborhoods. Residents can hold a block party, barbecue, neighborhood walk, or other activity to show their participation and let the Sheriff’s Office know about it. Sheriff’s Office employees will travel around the county to attend the neighborhood celebrations. Tips on planning your NNO event and the registration form can be found at www.natw.org. Registration forms must be returned by July 7. For more information, contact Merody Broom, crime prevention coordinator, 520-7151, MerodyBroom@elpasoco.com, or visit www.natw.org.
Woodmoor Waves Summer Swim Clinics, enroll now
Two three-week swim sessions will be held at the Country Club at Woodmoor, 18945 Pebble Beach Way, Monument. Classes are Mon., Wed., & Thu., 10-10:45 a.m., July 10-27. Registration forms are available at the pool or online at www.woodmoorwaves.org. For more information, contact Chris Bains, 303-506-0089, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tri-Lakes Y Summer Swim Camps, register now
For children 6-12 years old, Mon.-Thu. sessions through July 31, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Cost: $95 members/$120 non-members. Financial assistance is available. For more information, call 481-8728 or stop by the YMCA, 17250 Jackson Creek Pkwy., Monument.
Monument Hill Kiwanis annual peach sale, order by July 21
Fresh Colorado Palisades freestone large peaches, handpicked and specially delivered in two days, are still just $35 per 18-pound box. Get your prepaid order in by July 21. Pick up your peaches July 29, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at Lewis-Palmer High School, 1300 Higby Rd., Monument. All net proceeds go back to the community through projects supported by the Monument Hill Kiwanis Club. See the ad on page 10. Order online at www.monumenthillkiwanis.org or phone Mark Zeiger, 488-5934.
Tri-Lakes Y 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. 8, practices begin the week of Aug. 28, and games are Sept. 9-Oct. 14. Financial assistance is available. See the ad on page 6 for a free one-day pass during July. Register at www.ppymca.org or at the Y, 17250 Jackson Creek Parkway, Monument.
Monument Academy now enrolling for 2017-18 school year
Monument Academy, a free public school of choice, features academic excellence, award-winning programs, and more. For more information or to schedule a tour, call 481-1950 or visit www.monumentacademy.net.
St. Peter Catholic School now enrolling for the 2017-18 school 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. See the ad on page 2. Call or visit: 124 First St., Monument; 481-1855; www.petertherock.org.
Forest Lakes/Pinon Pines residents needed for Citizens Advisory Council
Forest Lakes Metropolitan District (FLMD) seeks five Pinon Pines residents to serve on a Citizens Advisory Council. The council will serve as a forum for Pinon Pines residents to learn about district issues and to advise FLMD on resident issues. If you are interested in serving on this advisory council to FLMD, please contact your HOA administrator, Steve Emery of Hammersmith Management, at 719-389-0700.
Plant a row for Tri-Lakes Cares
Local gardeners from the Monument Community Garden encourage all gardeners in the area to plant a row in their vegetable garden for the Tri-Lakes Cares food pantry. Find out more at http://facebook.com/Monument_community_garden. To arrange a time to drop off your harvest when it’s ready, call 481-4864.
Become a CASA volunteer
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) offers a volunteer opportunity like no other. As appointed representatives of the court, CASA volunteers are empowered to make a lifelong difference in the lives of abused and neglected children. To learn more visit www.casappr.org or contact Kelly, 447-9898, ext. 1033; email@example.com; www.casappr.org.
Free transportation and handyman services for seniors
Mountain Community Senior Services offers free transportation and handyman 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 need grab bars in the bathroom, a ramp to your door, or repair of stairs or railings, please call Cindy Rush, 488-0076, and leave a message or visit www.coloradoseniorhelp.com.
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, new expanded hours
The Tri-Lakes Silver Alliance Senior Citizens Center is next to the Lewis-Palmer High School Stadium (across from the YMCA). With the addition of 16 morning exercise classes, the new hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday, 8:45-10 a.m.; and Sunday, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. The facility has a lounge, craft room, game room, and multipurpose room. Programs include bridge, pinochle, bingo, National Mah-jongg, Zumba, Line Dancing, Yoga, Chair Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, Total Body Strength, Better Balance and Strength, and many more! There’s also ping-pong, Wii video games, puzzles and board games, refreshments, a lending library, computers with internet connections, and an information table. For information about programs for seniors, visit www.TriLakesSeniors.org or call Sue Walker, 719-330-0241.
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 Mon.-Fri. at the Mountain Community Mennonite Church, 643 Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake. It also contains the schedule of the classes and events for the month at the Senior Citizens Center and senior-friendly library programs. 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.
County launches new community website
Check out all the interesting county data available for you at http://community.spatialest.com/co/elpaso/.
CSU Extension launches "Your Energy" website and blog
The Colorado State University Extension now has a "Your Energy" website to help Coloradans make more informed energy decisions. The site includes decision tools, fact sheets, and a blog. The decision tools can help you figure out energy savings from using more efficient lighting, low-flow showerheads, heating and cooling systems, water heaters, and more. Other tools can help you understand how much you spend on heating, cooling, and baseload electricity and your bottom line if you install a wind turbine or solar array. Visit the site at http://yourenergy.extension.colostate.edu.
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
The Palmer Lake Library hours are Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 66 Lower Glenway. Info: 481-2587, www.ppld.org.
The Monument Branch Library hours are Mon.-Thu., 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. & Sat, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun., 1-5 p.m. 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.
WEEKLY AND MONTHLY EVENTS
Our community calendar carries listings on a space-available basis for Tri-Lakes events that are sponsored by local governmental entities and not-for-profit organizations. We include events that are open to the general public and are not religious or self-promotional in nature. If space is available, complimentary calendar listings are included, when requested, for events advertised in the current issue. To have your event listed at no charge in Our Community Calendar, please call (719) 339-7831 or send the information to email@example.com or P.O. Box 1742, Monument, Colorado 80132.
Contact us at (719) 488-3455, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or P.O. Box 1742, Monument, Colorado 80132-1742.
This page was last modified on November 30, 2020. Home page: www.ocn.me.
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