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Our Community News - Home Vol. 3 No. 4 - April 5, 2003

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Major big box retail center proposed for Jackson Creek

View plans for Monument Towne Center Plan

By John Heiser

In March, plans were unveiled for a large retail center in the Jackson Creek development. The 88-acre parcel is between the eastern edge of I-25 and the northern extension of Jackson Creek Parkway. It is about one-third of the way north from Baptist Road to Lewis-Palmer High School (see vicinity map). The proposed Monument Towne Center would include 662,800 square feet of destination retail and 3,315 parking spaces. The site is within the Town of Monument and within the Triview Metropolitan District, which would supply water and sewer services.

Rick Blevins, of Jackson Creek Land Company and Vision Development Inc., made presentations on the plan to the Monument Board of Trustees, Monument Planning Commission, and the Triview Metropolitan District. Kimberly Harvey, project manager for CLC Associates in Greenwood Village, a development planning company, provided additional details at the board of trustees and planning commission presentations. The concept plan lists the developer as Monument Towne Center, LLC. According to Blevins the final structure of the LLC is not yet set. Greg Geertsen, managing partner of Western Development Partners, Walnut Creek, California, participated in the presentation to the board of trustees.

Blevins said the concept plan incorporates elements of Monument’s revised draft comprehensive plan. Harvey described the project as "high quality, unified, organized. Not like north Academy [Boulevard in Colorado Springs]." She said, "It meets the zoning and the comprehensive plan." Mike Davenport, town planner and assistant town manager, noted that the current zoning, regional commercial, is appropriate for the planned center.

The site plan incorporates three "big box" sites on the north and south sides of the parcel, with parking predominantly in the center (see site plan.) Blevins said Target, Home Depot, and Lowe’s are among the companies that might be included in the project. He added that a movie theater or theater complex might be an alternative to one of the big box sites.

Planning Commissioner Kathy Spence urged Blevins to seek businesses that will not directly compete with downtown merchants.

The plan includes a variety of smaller sites, seven of which border I-25. Blevins said these would be ideal for medium-scale restaurants. The frontage on I-25 would be landscaped. Harvey added, "The restaurants might bring out umbrellas and tables for outdoor eating. That would soften the look."

The larger and taller buildings would be on the north and south sides of the parcel further from I-25. According to Harvey, this would afford views of Pikes Peak and the Front Range and give a view into the project from I-25.

A focal point and gathering place, with a fountain and a string of retail sites, is envisioned for the east side of the parcel. The focal point would face and be visible from I-25. Those buildings would back to Jackson Creek Parkway, but would be designed with attractive architecture and landscaping facing the parkway.

Harvey said the project is designed to be "pedestrian friendly," with reduced driveway crossings, wide sidewalks around the periphery, and promenade walkways from the interior parking to the store sites.

The architectural details were described as "Colorado mountain style," with peaked metal roofs, stucco, and fractured face masonry similar to the Castle Pines Marketplace in Douglas County. Blevins said design standards for the project would demand high-end architectural treatments. The entries would use various canopies, awnings, and architectural details to lend differing character to each.

Planning Commissioner Skip Morgan suggested the name Monument Towne Center would lead to confusion with the "center of Monument," which is generally viewed as the historic downtown area and the town hall. One suggestion was that the new project be called the Jackson Creek Center.

Planning Commissioner Bob Burgess suggested underground parking like that found in Europe would reduce the visual impact of the 3,300 parking spaces. Blevins replied, "We plan to use landscaping and trees to break up the parking lot appearance."

In response to a question from Planning Commissioner Tom Donnellan about the traffic impact, Blevins said, "Two lanes of Jackson Creek Parkway will be connected north to Higby Road at the high school." He also said they are looking at connecting Leather Chaps from the Creekside Middle School area to Jackson Creek Parkway. Blevins added that the plan is for Jackson Creek Parkway to be four lanes, with a median from Baptist Road to the project.

The concept plan shows five closely spaced accesses onto the parkway. That may conflict with the anticipated design standards for the parkway.

At the board of trustees meeting, Trustee Byron Glenn asked Blevins if the developer would pay for the improvements to Jackson Creek Parkway. Blevins replied that they would not pay for all improvements, but maybe for some. After the Triview meeting, Blevins said funding for road building would come from additional bonded indebtedness issued by the Triview district. The Triview district, with about 560 occupied houses, reportedly has approximately $22 million in outstanding debt or about $39,000 per house. Revenue from the 3 percent town sales tax collected at the center would be evenly split between the town and the district. The district’s portion would be used to help pay off the debt.

According to Blevins, storm water drainage from the center would flow south to the on-site detention pond shown in the concept plan and north to a planned Triview regional detention facility and re-use water storage pond.

In response to a question from Burgess regarding trail access to the center, Davenport said, "It would most likely be at the intersection of two trails. One along Jackson Creek Parkway and one along Leather Chaps." Davenport noted that the map and zoning would have to be revised to bring Leather Chaps south to the connecting point shown on the concept plan.

Blevins said, "I have been working on this for two years. We hope to submit an application in the next couple months and a phased development over two to three years." Once the application is submitted, the town’s committees would review it and it would be the subject of hearings by the planning commission and board of trustees. If the plan receives approval, the anticipated opening date for stores is the end of 2004 or beginning of 2005.

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For more information on the project, contact Rick Blevins at Jackson Creek Vision Development 385-0555 or rblevins@jacksoncreek.com.

View plans for Monument Towne Center Plan

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County recall effort failed

An attempt to recall two El Paso County commissioners–Tom Huffman of District 2 and Chuck Brown of District 3–fell about 2,000 signatures short of the number required to force an election. El Paso County election officials verified 7,511 signatures out of 11,423 gathered in Huffman’s district; however, 8,556 signatures were needed. Officials verified 10,101 signatures out of 14,034 in Brown’s district; 11,199 were needed.

The group organizing the recall, Together for Effective Alternatives, began its efforts after the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners voted to build additions to the county courthouse and jail. Last November, voters had rejected a proposal to raise taxes to fund the jail expansion. The commissioners then decided to use a financing method that doesn’t need voter approval to fund the additions. Only two of the five commissioners were targeted because commissioners Ed Jones and Duncan Bremer left office in January, and Jeri Howells voted against the expansion. Huffman and Brown maintained that commissioners had to find a way to pay for the expansions in order to be in compliance with state law. Huffman has since announced he won’t seek reelection when his four-year term ends in January 2005.

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Baptist Road design open house April 7

The Baptist Road Rural Transportation Authority (BRRTA) will hold an open house meeting on the preferred design alternative for Baptist Road on Mon., April 7, at Monument Town Hall, 166 2nd Street, from 5 to 8 p.m. There will not be a formal presentation. Area residents are encouraged to stop by, review the design, ask questions, and make suggestions.

This is the third public meeting on the project. Prior meetings were held March 18, 2002, and October 28, 2002. Each of those meetings attracted more than 200 residents.

Based on the results of the April 7 open house and on comments and approval from the BRRTA board at its meeting April 11, the project’s design consultant, Loris and Associates, will develop a preliminary design for the Baptist Road corridor from Tari Drive on the east to the railroad tracks west of I-25. The preliminary design is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2003.

Since 1987, Baptist Road has been shown as a major east-west arterial on the county’s major transportation corridors plan. At full build-out based on current plans, Baptist Road is projected to carry up to 55,200 vehicle trips per day. The greatest traffic would be seen in the segment from I-25 to Jackson Creek Parkway.

The Baptist Road design project started in October 2001. In 2001 and 2002, the Baptist Road design work cost a total of $112,265. An additional $190,000 is budgeted for 2003, for a total of about $302,000 to complete the process through the preliminary design. Those costs are covered through fees paid by builders at the time building permits are granted.

The cost of preparing final designs and constructing the various improvements is estimated at $9.4 million, not including the upgrade to the Baptist Road interchange. The interchange work is the responsibility of the Colorado Department of Transportation. Funding for that work is not likely until after 2008.

Because of funding limitations, the Baptist Road final designs will be developed in phases. Construction of the improvements could begin as early as next year, based on funding availability.

Upcoming BRRTA board meeting

The next meeting of the BRRTA board of directors will be held Friday, April 11, 1:30 p.m., at the Monument Town Hall, 166 2nd St. Items on the agenda for that meeting include approval to proceed with the preliminary design and the outcome of discussions with the Lewis-Palmer school district regarding the BRRTA fee for Creekside Middle School.

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Articles on prior Baptist Road-related meetings are posted at www.ourcommunitynews.org/top_stories.htm#baptist. There is also background info at www.elpasoco.com/Transprt/baptist_rd.asp and www.coalitiontlc.org/baptist_road.htm.

To get more information and provide comments on the Baptist Road Improvement Project, contact:

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Second Street and I-25 on-ramp to be closed

View a map of the street closures

The southbound on ramp from Highway 105 to Interstate 25 and Second Street at the Highway 105 intersection will both be closed from about April 14 through June 1 to accommodate construction and improvement efforts.

To access southbound I-25 from downtown Monument, traffic will be routed along Highway 105 to the southbound onramp located near the Port of Entry/weigh station north of the Conoco gas station (see map).

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For more information on this project, contact Mark Andrew, Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Region 2 Project Engineer, at (719) 4840695 or visit www.interstate25.com.

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County planning commission recommends approval of Misty Acres and Greenland Preserve final plats

View vicinity maps for Misty Acres and Greenland Preserve

By John Heiser

At the March 18 meeting, the El Paso County Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the final plats for Misty Acres filing 2 and Greenland Preserve filing 1.

These planning commission recommendations will be forwarded to the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners for final action.

Wal-Mart status

At the beginning of the meeting, Ken Rowberg, director of planning for the county, announced that the proposal for a Wal-Mart store on Baptist Road would not be heard until the May 20 planning commission hearing, at the earliest. As of press time, the revised traffic report for the Wal-Mart project, requested by county planning in September 2002, had not yet been submitted.

Misty Acres filing 2 final plat

View the Plat Map for Misty Acres

The 124-acre Misty Acres development is east of Monument Hill Road and west of Doewood Estates (see vicinity map). The board of county commissioners approved the Misty Acres sketch plan on December 14, 2000, the Planned Unit Development (PUD) re-zoning on June 28, 2001, the preliminary plan on March 28, 2002, and the final plat for filing 1 on February 27, 2003.

Filing 1 covered 35.3 acres and consisted of 26 single-family lots with a minimum ½-acre each and one multifamily lot. As part of filing 1, Misty Acres Boulevard on the western side of the project would be constructed through the project, connecting south to Monument Hill Road. Two road connections to Doewood Estates are part of the approved filing 1 plat.

Woodmoor Water and Sanitation has committed to provide water and sewer service. At the preliminary plan stage, the developer, Rick Rafter’s Serenity Ranch, LLC, projected a total of 444 dwelling units (128 single-family and 316 multifamily) for final build-out of all filings in Misty Acres.

The final plat for filing 2 reviewed at the March planning commission hearing shows 22 single-family lots and four multifamily lots on 59 acres.

Taken together, the two plats total 48 single-family lots and five multifamily lots on 94 acres of the 124-acre parcel.

As part of filing 2, the Colorado Department of Transportation is requiring the developer to make some improvements to County Line Road, Misty Acres Boulevard, and Monument Hill Road.

During the hearings on this project, residents expressed concern about the increased traffic on Monument Hill Road and the additional traffic on Woodmoor Drive. Completion of Misty Acres Boulevard north to County Line Road has not been required as part of this project, so in the interim northbound traffic will likely use Doewood Drive. This has been a source of concern to residents in Doewood Estates.

No one came forth to request a full hearing, so the item was unanimously approved on the consent agenda.

Greenland Preserve filing 1 final plat

View the plat map for Greenland Preserve filing 1

Greenland Preserve, formerly known as Greenland Forest, is located roughly one mile east of I-25 on the south side of County Line Road (see vicinity map). The preliminary plan was approved for 51 single-family lots on the 55.6 acres.

The final plat for filing 1 shows 20 single-family lots on the easternmost 22.7 acres of the parcel. Lot sizes range from 22,000 square feet (0.52 acre) to 136,000 square feet (3.1 acres), with an average of about 1 acre.

The county land development code calls for sidewalks on both sides of the street. The planning commission recommended approval of a waiver to allow sidewalks on only one side of the street. Developer Jack Wiepking said, "This is the only place in our part of the area that will have sidewalks." Approval was also recommended for a temporary waiver of the county requirement that there be no more than 10 lots on a non-through street. The road connections proposed to be constructed as part of filing 2 would ultimately eliminate the need for this second waiver.

Woodmen Road access plan

An item that drew considerable interest was review of the access management plan for the Woodmen Road corridor. The 6.5-mile corridor extends between Powers Boulevard and Highway 24.

The entire Woodmen Road project is estimated to cost more than $40 million, of which approximately $30 million would be federal tax dollars. The other $10 million would come from sale of special district bonds, to be repaid by future residents of the Woodmen Road area.

Part of the access management plan is to use the existing two-lane Woodmen Road as a frontage road on the north side of a new six-lane Woodmen Road. Intersections on the new road would be spaced at least one mile apart. Rowberg said, "The one-mile spacing has been planned since 1985."

Greg Timm, of Signet Land Development Company, spoke in opposition to the plan. He criticized lack of timely notification of the hearing and loss of access to Woodmen Road. He said, "We are wasting taxpayers’ and developers’ money."

Developer Perry Thomas said, "It seems like a very rushed process," and added, "It doesn’t feel like a partnership."

Final action on the plan by the board of county commissioners is scheduled for April 10, 9 a.m., County Building, 3rd Floor Hearing Room, 27 E. Vermijo St., Colorado Springs.

Some future items

The following are Tri-Lakes area items scheduled to be heard at the April 15 planning commission hearing:

  • Tri-Lakes Fire Protection District Station 2 approval of location and subdivision exemption. The proposed station would be a 6,576-square-foot, two-story manned station, replacing the existing 1,800-square-foot equipment shed on the 0.367-acre site on Roller Coaster Road near Highway 105.

  • Monument Business Park off-premise V-shaped 8-by-12-foot sign east of I-25 and about ¼ mile south of County Line Road

  • Final plat for Hay Creek Ranch: a 10-lot single-family residential subdivision on 50.2 acres off Baptist Road on the south side of Hay Creek Road.

Tri-Lakes items expected to be heard in the future by the planning commission include:

  • Final plat for the Oldborough Subdivision, formally known as Phillips Ranch: 7 single-family residential lots on 35 acres, with a minimum lot size of 2.8 acres and an average lot size of 4.5 acres. The parcel is west of Roller Coaster Road and south of Higby Road.

  • Rezoning to PUD and preliminary plan for Struthers Ranch: 180 single-family lots, with up to 540 residents, 8.9 acres of Planned Business Center commercial, and approximately 44 acres of open space and habitat preservation area on 105.3 acres east of I-25, approximately ¾ mile south of Baptist Road. The planned three final plat filings are proposed to contain 70, 53, and 57 lots.

  • Reconsideration of an expired variance of use to allow a 50-foot Qwest communication tower to be disguised as a cross at the Family of Christ Lutheran Church on Baptist Road, ¾ mile east of I-25.

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The planning commission normally holds hearings on the third and, if necessary, the fourth Tuesday of each month. The next hearing will be April 15. The agenda for that hearing will be posted at http://adm.elpasoco.com/planning/Agendas/PC/PC-Agn.asp. The hearings start at 9 a.m. in the 3rd floor hearing room of the county building, 27 E. Vermijo St., Colorado Springs.

For more information on these and other projects within the county, contact the planning department at 520-6300 or visit www.elpasoco.com/planning.

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Monument Board of Trustees Meetings March 3

By Judy Barnes

Special Meeting: Referendum Topics for November Election

Town staff provided answers for questions that arose at the Feb. 3 meeting concerning Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights Amendment (TABOR) issues and lodging tax.

TABOR exemption: The vote count for the April 2, 1996, election referendum asking voters’ permission to retain excess revenue was 108 for and 36 against. The vote count for the November 1999 revenue referendum was 147 for and 56 against. The board was in favor of pursuing a TABOR exemption in November 2003.

Lodging tax: Castle Rock does not have a lodging tax. Colorado Springs has a 2 percent lodging tax. Both are home rule cities. The board was in favor of charging a lodging tax, but a question remained about whether a statutory town can legally charge a percentage lodging tax as opposed to a flat fee. Town Attorney Gary Shupp is still researching the question, and the town is seeking information from the Colorado Municipal League (CML) about how other statutory municipalities charge lodging tax. Funds from a lodging tax would possibly be earmarked for economic development.

Home rule: The town clerk found it would take approximately 34 weeks for the Town of Monument to achieve home rule status. Trustees Byron Glenn and Doug Warner noted the need for a process of educating the public and holding public meetings to hear people’s concerns. The last two attempts at home rule for Monument failed. Mayor Betty Konarski felt that trust is a big issue. "People have to believe that they trust the council. They need a couple of years to develop trust," Konarski said. She also noted that home rule would give the town more flexibility with water rights. The trustees agreed to begin studying the risks and benefits of home rule, and will host a speaker from the CML or other agency.

Trustee Christopher Perry brought up financing options for a new Town Hall. He said a new building in the town of Fountain was funded by a utility. Konarski suggested a storm water utility or perhaps the sewer district could pay for the building. Town Planner Mike Davenport noted that in the city of Lakewood, a public building authority, which doesn’t need voter approval, funded a new building. Konarski told the board the school district was open to the old town and new town ideas, particularly a "town square" concept located next to Big Red, the Lewis-Palmer school district administration building on 2nd Street. The board will continue to explore ways of funding a new building or a town square. The special meeting adjourned at 6:20 p.m.

6:30 p.m. Regular Meeting

Former Trustee Ed Delaney led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Monument Towne Center presentation:

The board of trustees received a presentation on the plans for Monument Towne Center, a retail shopping center proposed in the Jackson Creek area (see front page article).

Proposed ordinance assigning sidewalk repair to the town

A small section of sidewalk in the West Oakridge development needs repair, and the residents wanted the town of Monument to fix it. Shupp said he checked the ordinance and found it is not the town’s responsibility. The property owner is responsible for repairing sidewalks. He noted that the ordinance could be more clearly worded. Warner suggested a revised ordinance for clarification of responsibility and revised design standards for sidewalks as recommended by Glenn.

Personnel policies

The board continued its discussion of personnel policies begun at the Feb. 18 meeting. Konarski suggested changing the town’s "at will" termination policy to "for cause." The board decided to keep the "at will" policy.

Vacation and sick leave

Warner noted that the personnel manual specified that vacation and sick time should not be included in overtime computing. The current practice is in violation of current policy. Warner felt that vacation time should be counted in the computation of overtime, but not sick time. Discussion followed about how employees would perceive changing the practice to reflect the policy. Public Works Superintendent Tom Wall felt the change would be demoralizing. Warner agreed. Trustee George Brown felt the policy should be changed. A motion to change the policy to accept vacation time as counting toward overtime computation, but not sick leave, failed. A motion to change the policy to include vacation and sick time in overtime computing passed, 5-2, with Glenn and Trustee Frank Orten dissenting.

Amending police department overtime rule

Under the old overtime policy, Monument police officers were paid at a rate of 1½ times their hourly rate after working in excess of 43 hours per week. Under the new policy, they are paid at a rate of 1½ times their hourly rate after working 40 hours per week. The motion passed unanimously.

Jackson Creek Filing #5

A motion to postpone the matter of the final plat, combined preliminary plat, and final PD site plan to March 17 passed unanimously.

January Financial Report

Town Treasurer Judy Skrzypek will work on the audit report once she gets information from Kyle Logan, of Swanhorst, Dragon and Cutler. The Fishing is Fun grant money was received by the town Feb. 28. The King Soopers revenue was also received.

Disbursements over $5,000

The board approved the following disbursements:

  1. Aramark Education Resources, $6,050.00 (Release Landscape Bond)

  2. GMS, Inc., $28,545.43 (Various 2002 Invoices)

Parks, Trails, and Open Space Plan

The Parks & Landscape Committee (P&L) will begin working with the Colorado Center for Community Development (CCCD) on two more elements of a parks, trail, and open space plan for the town of Monument. The Highway105 entry element has been completed, and CCCD has started investigating the possibility of a trail crossing under I-25 (such as at Teachout Creek).

The first public meeting regarding the plan was scheduled for March 11 at the Monument Town Hall Auditorium. The purposes of the meetings are to hear suggestions and ideas from citizens at the start of developing a plan for parks, trails, and open space, and to hear suggestions and ideas from citizens regarding a Corridor Enhancement Plan (along 2nd Street from Highway 105 to Monument Lake) as an element of the overall plan.

Committee Reports

Glenn reported on several meetings he had attended. At one, the Colorado state financial officer spoke about a growth trend of only about 1 percent and said that not much change in the state’s financial circumstances is expected until about 2005. At the meeting of the Baptist Road Rural Transportation Authority (BRRTA), discussion focused on Wal-Mart and how Triview and the county might use Wal-Mart’s impact fee to help pay for the construction of Baptist Road from Jackson Creek Parkway to Leather Chaps. The BRRTA is still negotiating with the school regarding the impact fee previously assessed by the authority. At the committee meeting of the Fountain Creek Watershed Floodplain Administration, it was noted that FEMA was interested in participating in the funding for some of the committee’s plans. Economic Development Committee was studying possible financial impact of the closure of the Woodmoor exit from I-25.

Konarski passed around the first entry submitted for a new town logo.

Wall discussed the need to put water back into the aquifer (natural storage) and how on the Western Slope this was being done, as opposed to building water storage facilities. Konarski and Wall will bring the board information concerning water-related projects the town and other members of the water group might become involved in. Discussion continued about various locations for proposed wells in the northern portion of the county.

Town Manager’s Report

Town Manager Rick Sonnenburg reported on the following items.

  1. The ordinance ratifying the recent resolution regarding the three-year dog license (from $25 down to $22) was deferred from the March 3 agenda to the March 17 agenda at the request of Dr. Metzler from the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, so he can determine how his agency will implement the change.

  2. The results of a title search have determined that the land under the Chamber of Commerce building is owned by the Colorado Department of Transportation, not the town.

  3. The Colorado Department of Transportation will pave the final "lift" on the northern two-thirds of Jackson Creek Parkway this summer, to avoid conflict with school traffic.

  4. The screening committee for the staff civil engineer position narrowed the field to eight candidates and sent them questionnaires, with a March 12 due date for their responses. The committee will then review the responses and select an interview group.

  5. The town received ten responses to the Request for Proposal for Salary Survey Proposals. The staff committee is narrowing the field for interviews with the top firms, with the goal of presenting the recommended firm and draft job descriptions to the Board of Trustees at their March 17 meeting.

Executive Session–Personnel Matter

The board went into executive session at 8:40 p.m. to discuss Sonnenburg’s annual evaluation.

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Monument Board of Trustees Meeting March 17

By Judy Barnes

Trustee Byron Glenn presided at the March 17 meeting. Mayor Betty Konarski and Trustee Glenda Smith were absent.

Public comments

Stephanie Johnson, representing the West Oak Ridge subdivision homeowners association, appeared before the board to discuss her continuing concerns about the responsibility of maintaining the sidewalks. Trustee George Brown noted that he had an issue over the fact that the town owns the right-of-way on which the sidewalk lies and is responsible for inspection, yet the homeowner is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk. Glenn noted that the curb and gutter should not be included, only the sidewalk. There was also concern that the 90-day deadline for repairs is too short. The wording of the ordinance was amended to specify that only sidewalks would be included as the homeowner’s responsibility.

Sidewalk repair ordinance

The proposed ordinance accomplishes three things. It assigns the repair to the property owner; establishes conditions that need repairing; and establishes an inspection, notice, and compliance procedure. The ordinance will be changed to give 180 days to make repairs and to reflect improved specifications for sidewalks.

Dog license fee

Senior citizens, age 65 and older, will be charged $52 for a three-year license for each non-neutered male or unsprayed female dog. The fee is $22 for neutered/spayed dogs, $5 less than the regular (non-senior) rate. The measure passed unanimously.

Valley Ridge

Steve McFarlane, for applicant McFarlane Development, LLC, sought approval of a minor plat and final PD site plan for 32 single-family detached patio homes on a 10-acre site located southwest of the intersection of Old Denver Road and Santa Fe Avenue. The anticipated price range of the 2,400- to 2,800-square-foot homes is from $225,000 to $250,000. John Anderson of Anderson Homes will do the building. McFarlane described the project as a "long-term commitment to quality."

The original application in 1999 had proposed 41 detached and attached dwelling units. In December 2000, the board of trustees denied (did not approve) the application. Subsequent discussion between the town and the applicant led to the application being revised and resubmitted and reviewed under an abbreviated process: The application would be reviewed by the planning commission but not by the three advisory committees. In December 2002, the planning commission recommended approval of the revised application, subject to several conditions.

Public hearing

Neighboring property owners from the Pastimes development expressed concerns about issues such as drainage from the detention pond, traffic impact, inadequate street parking, and spacing between the homes in the new Valley Ridge neighborhood. The town’s current standards require setbacks of 15 feet, but some of the setbacks in Valley Ridge are only 10 feet. Town Planner Mike Davenport explained that, because this is a reconsideration of the original proposal, not a new one, the developer was allowed to follow the standards in place when it was submitted.

The board voted 3-2 to continue the public hearing until the next meeting on April 7. The board wanted to see more drawings and elevations and also was awaiting a ruling on the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse habitat boundary from the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Jackson Creek Filing #5

Wendell Ayers of Paragon Engineering, for owner PRD-4, LLC, sought approval of a combined final plat and preliminary plat/PD site plan for 89 single-family lots on a 30-acre site, located northeast of Leather Chaps and Lyons Tail. A motion to approve the plan passed unanimously.

Colorado Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant

In November 2002, the board decided to pursue grants for the following three projects:

  1. Historic Monument sidewalks (curb extensions on Second Street at Front, Washington, and Jefferson; sidewalk/curb/gutter on the north side of Third Street, from Front to Highway 105; sidewalk/curb/gutter on the east side of Jefferson from Second to Third; and sidewalk/curb/gutter on the east side of Front, from Second to Third.)

  2. Study of a bike/pedestrian crossing at Interstate 25 ($16,900)

  3. Santa Fe Trail connection to Monument Lake ($334,087)

Deadline for the grant application is April 16. Because of the unknown budgetary impacts to the town’s sales tax revenue in FY2004 and FY2005 by the closing of the I-25 exit at the weigh station and by the county’s potential approval of Wal-Mart, Town Manager Rick Sonnenburg recommended the board’s top priority project: Historic Monument sidewalks, a $699,776 project over a two-year period ($350,000 and $349,776), with a $70,000 match in FY2004 and a $69,995 match in FY2005. The motion to approve the grant application passed unanimously.

Disbursements over $5,000

The Town of Monument wired $33,570.68 to the Triview Metropolitan District on March 18, broken down as follows:
Motor Vehicle Sales Tax – Jan. $ 4,667.55
Motor Vehicle Sales Tax – Feb.$ 4,119.13
Sales Tax – Dec. 2002 $19,057.50
Sales Tax – Jan. $ 8,696.50
Street Sweeping – Jan. ($1,485.00)
Street Sweeping – Feb.($1,485.00)

Status report of Broiler Room

The last payment received from the Broiler Room was Feb. 18, for $2,250. The remaining balance due is $11,250. To date, there has been no payment for March.

Following adjournment, the board went into executive session for legal advice regarding the Second Street right-of-way acquisition eminent domain case.

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Monument planning commission discusses kiosk businesses

View pictures from the planning commission hearing

By John Heiser

In addition to a variety of other topics at the March 12 meeting, the Monument Planning Commission discussed how to address the growing trend of businesses operating in the parking lots of other businesses. Commissioners Dave Mertz and Joe Martin were absent.

Kiosk businesses

Mike Davenport, town planner and assistant town manager, reported that a complaint had been received regarding the operation of a business in the parking areas of other businesses. He said these are termed kiosk businesses and are viewed by opponents as having an unfair advantage over businesses operated within structures and with connections to central water and sewer systems. Davenport also noted that kiosk businesses provide a service to the public in a convenient manner and can be operated so as to mitigate problems with traffic, parking, and restrooms. Davenport added that kiosk development is a growing trend in retailing. He proposed amendments to the town regulations that would set out requirements to be satisfied by such businesses. A controversial provision was the requirement that a kiosk business not be operated within 1,000 feet of another kiosk business or within 1,000 feet of another business offering the same goods or services.

Karen Evans of A Chick and a Windshield mobile service company, which has operated from the Safeway and King Soopers parking lots for several years, presented some alternative portable and nonportable kiosk structures they are considering for installation in the King Soopers lot if approval can be obtained (see drawing.)

Davenport said, "The King Soopers parking lot has a large surplus of parking space. It wouldn’t create a problem complying with the [proposed] regulation."

Marylou Doehrman, director of the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce, and Suzanne D’Innocenzo, president of the chamber, commended Evans for her contributions to the community and cited the benefits of making allowances for kiosk businesses.

Merrill Austin asked whether the proposed regulations would allow food service vehicles to be stationed in parking lots on a regular basis. Davenport said that such mobile businesses would not be allowed except for special events.

Planning Commissioner Bob Mooney said, "The town’s definition of a kiosk is a structure that is fixed to a foundation. Many other communities allow mobile businesses, ‘hot dog carts.’"

Planning Commissioner Skip Morgan said, "I am libertarian on this kind of thing. They aren’t creating a nuisance. The regulation is overkill for a nonproblem. I would encourage the board of trustees to allow mobile businesses. I also don’t like the 1,000-foot rule."

The planning commission unanimously approved a motion to continue the item to the next meeting so the draft regulation can be revised to reflect the discussion.

Other topics

The planning commission received and commented on a presentation of the Monument Towne Center concept plan (see front page story).

Dwayne Black of Black and Associates sought approval of a preliminary plat and final plat for a subdivision consisting of nine single-family lots at the southwest corner of First and Washington Streets and a 20,600-square-foot-tract adjacent to the Limbach Park, proposed for dedication as parkland.

Due to some additional work needed on the drawings, the hearing on the project was continued to the April 9 meeting.

Planning Commissioner Bob Burgess suggested that regulations be enacted to ensure that developers replace topsoil removed during grading. He also suggested that the regulation requiring replacement of trees removed during construction be changed to apply to trees as small as 2 inches in diameter.

April 9 Meeting: Comprehensive Plan and Jackson Creek Rezonings

The revised update to the Monument Comprehensive Plan is scheduled to be a major topic at the April 9 planning commission meeting. Davenport said to the commission, "The board of trustees is eager for you to get started reviewing the comprehensive plan."

In addition to the items continued from this meeting, other topics at the April 9 meeting include the third amended development and rezoning plan for Regency Park (Jackson Creek) and the rezoning east of the Jackson Creek Crossing/King Soopers shopping center.

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The Monument Planning Commission meets on the second Wednesday of each month at Monument Town Hall, 166 2nd Street. The next meeting will be April 9. A work session will be held at 6 p.m., followed by the meeting at 6:30 p.m. For additional information, contact Mike Davenport at 481-2954.

View pictures from the planning commission hearing

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Palmer Lake town council workshop and meeting March 13

By Judy Barnes

Lake dredging

Kurt Ehrhardt will head a group that will complete the dredging of the south end of Palmer Lake. That part was not done in 1999 as originally scheduled due to flooding. The $3,500 cost will come from the lake maintenance fund.

Reservoir/water status

Mayor Nikki McDonald reported that according to water supervisor Steve Orcutt, the water in the reservoir is still low. Even a wet spring would not be enough to allow the easing of water-use restrictions. The town is receiving bids for a water filtration plant for the new well, which is hoped to be fully operational by September.

Town economy

McDonald voiced her concern that the town will not be able to sustain itself on its current income. Due to the water shortage, no new building permits or water taps have been issued, which means no new user tax money for the town. McDonald indicated that a large retail business would help the town’s economy. She asked for volunteers to serve on a committee to develop a shared vision for the town’s future over the next 20 years. Seven citizen volunteers signed up for the committee, which will be headed by Trustee Susan Miner, who is currently in charge of the town’s community and economic development.

McDonald announced that the Mardi Gras casino night raised $3,300 for Palmer Lake’s new fire truck. Additional donations brought the amount raised to $4,135. The yearly lump-sum payment for the truck is $26,425. There will be another fund-raiser, a concert by Chuck Pyle at Estemere, May 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Fire consolidation

Trustee Scott Russell explained that Palmer Lake was still participating in the consolidation efforts, but was not a part of phase one because of the cost; the town does not have the money to fund their share of the project. There will be a FireWise seminar April 16, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Lewis-Palmer High School.

Business licenses

Donna and Michael Howard will open an indoor tanning salon, Tantastic Corp, at 755 Highway 105, Unit F. Joe Donaldson will give music instruction at Tri-Lakes Guitar Studio at 22 High Street. Kari Bauler plans a children’s consignment store, Second Paige, at 84 Highway 105, Unit 2. Mardel Brown will have a single-chair hair salon, Mardel, Inc., at 84 Highway 105, Unit 3. Robin Green-Gaita, of Auto Marketing Inc., will take photos of used autos and put them on Web sites for dealers.

Fireworks

The board gave tentative approval for the annual fireworks display, depending on the fire season. Susan Miner will be in charge of other activities around the lake accompanying the fireworks.

The meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

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Lewis-Palmer school board meeting March 20

By Tommie Plank

Mar. 20: Due to the snowstorm a very abbreviated school board meeting was held. There were some issues of a timely nature that needed to be addressed, and Superintendent Bauman and Board President Jeffrey Ferguson felt a short meeting to take care of them was necessary.

Mrs. Julie Jadomski was officially hired as the principal of Lewis-Palmer Elementary School for the 2003-2004 school year, taking the place of Dr. Kaye Branine, who is retiring at the end of this school year. Mrs. Jadomski has been the principal of Stratmoor Hills Elementary School in Harrison School District #2 for eight years, and is a resident of District 38.

The Board extended the contracts of central office administrators and principals for the 2003-2004 school year. They also accepted the resignation of Lewis-Palmer Middle School principal, Jerry Califano.

It was decided to hold another meeting for people in the community who might be interested in becoming candidates for the school board. Due to term limits Dr. Ferguson and Ms. Tommie Plank will be finishing their years of service this coming November, and their Director District positions will be open. Ms. Jes Raintree must also run for her District position, as she was appointed to fulfill the remainder of the term created by the resignation of Mike Burris. The informational meeting for the public will be held May 22; detailed information will be publicized later.

Reports and commendations that were scheduled for this meeting were postponed until the next regular meeting, which will be held April 17, 7 p.m. at the Administration Building, Second and Jefferson Streets.

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Tri-Lakes Fire Protection District board meeting Feb. 20

View or download the 5-minute drive time map

By John Heiser

Potential merger with other fire districts in the Tri-Lakes area was again a major topic of discussion at the Tri-Lakes Fire Protection District Board of Directors meeting. The meeting was postponed from March 20 due to bad weather. Director Gary Morgan was absent.

District merger issues

The district merger joint working group consists of two representatives from the Tri-Lakes district, the Woodmoor-Monument Fire Protection District, the Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department, and the Donald Wescott Fire Protection District.

Tri-Lakes district president Charlie Pocock reported that a protest was filed to require that meetings of the joint working group be open public meetings with meeting announcements posted and minutes prepared. Previously, the joint working group met in private. Pocock said the group felt the requirements of the "sunshine law" open meetings statute did not apply since only two representatives from each department attend the meetings. The sunshine law applies when three or more members of a board attend. The attorney for the joint working group said that there is a good legal basis for meeting in private but urged the group to consider the political implications and impact on public acceptance of the group’s recommendations.

District treasurer John Hildebrandt, who, with Pocock, serves as a Tri-Lakes district representative to the joint working group, said there is a requirement that the decisions of the group not encumber the board of the merged district. That has raised the possibility that the merged district board might change the degree of dependence on volunteers or eliminate the in-house ambulance service—two points the Tri-Lakes board wants to see preserved. Hildebrandt said, "I am concerned Woodmoor-Monument and Wescott district people would vote out the heart and soul of this district."

Station location is another contentious issue. The Woodmoor-Monument district is looking at a possible site for a new station at Furrow Road and Highway 105 to replace the Woodmoor Drive station. Pocock used a five-minute driving time map (see map) to conclude that Tri-Lakes district’s station 1 on Highway 105 and planned station 2 on Roller Coaster Road cover most of the area served by Tri-Lakes and Woodmoor-Monument districts. He said the Woodmoor Drive station and the proposed Furrow Road stations would be redundant.

Director Rick Barnes cited the differing property tax rates as another source of friction. The Woodmoor-Monument district’s rate is 9.92 mills, whereas the rate is 7 mills for the Donald Wescott district and the Tri-Lakes district. The Palmer Lake department is funded through the town’s budget.

Barnes said elimination of the Woodmoor Drive station would reduce the Woodmoor-Monument district’s costs by 41 percent and would mean more paid staff for the Tri-Lakes and Wescott stations.

The board voted unanimously to support holding joint working group meetings as public meetings.

Financial Report

Hildebrandt reported that as of the end of February, district expenses were about 4 percent under budget.

Chief’s Report

Chief Robert Denboske reported that the district responded to a 30-car accident on the afternoon of the meeting. Ice under the County Line Road overpass led to an auto accident, followed by a jack-knifed truck that blocked Interstate 25. Surprisingly, only three people had to be transported to area hospitals.

Denboske said all 11 people who took the Firefighter II practical test passed. Once the written test is completed, the next step is Fire Officer I training. Denboske said, "We are on schedule, in good shape." Pocock said, "This is a big deal in the professional development of the department."

On Denboske’s recommendation, the board voted to retire from service a 1972 tender (tank truck). The district will seek federal grants to purchase a replacement.

Denboske reported on his progress toward a degree in fire management from Arizona State University funded by a $4,200 grant. Denboske said, "I thank the board for allowing me to do this." He said, "It is exciting. We have spent more training money in the last nine months than in a long time."

Ron Thompson, assistant chief and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) coordinator, reported that the North Group of Chiefs is refining the automatic mutual aid matrix to improve efficiency in using equipment and personnel. They are also developing a simplified, uniform equipment numbering system. He said, "This will help regardless of the merger plans."

Palmer Divide Public Service Group

District administrative assistant Paula Abrahamson reported on meetings of the Palmer Divide Public Service Group. The group grew out of the Hayman fire experience and has representatives from the Lewis-Palmer school district, water districts, and public safety organizations including fire and police departments. It is looking at homeland security protocols. Abrahamson noted that due to funding limitations, reverse 911 will not be implemented for at least two years. Woodmoor-Monument Chief David Youtsey was named to head the group.

Snowstorm

Denboske reported that the recent blizzard resulted in more than 30 calls, most of which were rescues from vehicles and delivery of medications. He said, "It went very well. We had 18 people, two search and rescue, and two snowmobiles. There were three paramedics available throughout the storm. Fortunately, there were no deaths in the area. Many of the personnel stayed up 36 to 40 hours."

EMS Report

Thompson reported that the district is making good progress implementing the new system for automated electronic billing to Medicare. He said the district will be Health Information Protection Act (HIPA) compliant by April 14. HIPA mandates privacy of medical patient information.

Station 2

View station 2 floor plans

The proposed building would be a two-story manned fire station with 6,576 square feet total, replacing the existing 1,800-square-foot metal equipment shed on the 0.367-acre site on Roller Coaster Road near Highway 105.

Pocock reported that Barnes Architects has estimated the cost for station 2 at $840,000. Furniture and fixtures will add another $20,000. With a loan origination fee of $21,200, the total estimate is $881,200. After some discussion, the board agreed to a 20-year loan at 5 percent. for a total annual payment of $71,093.

The project is scheduled for an April 15 hearing before the El Paso County Planning Commission. The specific items on the agenda for that meeting are an approval of location and subdivision exemption. Some adjacent property owners have cited lighting and noise issues and said the architectural design does not fit with the neighborhood.

The county planning department produced an October 1982 letter listing a condition imposed by the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners that the station not be manned. As a result, a waiver of that condition will be required as part of the processing by the county.

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The Tri-Lakes Fire Protection District board normally meets at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the district firehouse, 18650 Highway 105 (near the bowling alley). The next meeting is scheduled for April 17.

For more information, call Chief Denboske at 481-2312.

View or download the 5-minute drive time map

View station 2 floor plans

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Triview metro board meeting March 26

By John Heiser

The Triview Metropolitan District Board of Directors held its regular monthly meeting March 26. The only district residents in attendance were board members Martha Gurnick and Linda Jones.

Meeting time changed to 4:30 p.m.

The board unanimously approved setting 4:30 p.m. as the time for future board meetings.

District engineer’s report

District engineer Chuck Ritter of Nolte and Associates reported on two ways to provide a gravity sewer from the Monument Towne Center project (see front page article) to the main sewer line that runs along Baptist Road. The question is whether to pass to the east or west of the Foxworth-Galbraith (formerly Brookhart’s) lumber company property. The route to the east would not require any additional utility easement acquisition but would require a trench that at points would be 20 to 23 feet deep. The route to the west along the Struthers Road right-of-way would reduce the maximum depth to 15 to 16 feet but would require the district to get a utility easement along the western edge of the Foxworth-Galbraith property. Director Jim Perry suggested the district offer sewer service to the parcel in exchange for the easement. Ron Simpson, Triview manager, said he will discuss it with the property owners.

Ritter reported that the draft mouse habitat plan for the Monument Creek interceptor was sent to the Fish and Wildlife Service. The interceptor is a planned 5,000-foot sewer line to serve proposed commercial and industrial properties west of I-25.

Landscaping

Simpson reported that two bids for landscaping along Leather Chaps are being reviewed. The low bid is $45,025 from Timberline. Simpson said further discussion of the bids must wait until the bondholder returns from a trip and added, "I will try to get his blessing in writing on the concept." Two homestead area builders are contributing $5,000 each toward the cost. So far, there has been no response from Classic Homes. Gurnick said, "They need to remember how much all us homeowners put into that area."

Clerk position filled

District administrator Dale Hill introduced newly hired clerk Kathy Porch. Hill said, "She is just doing great. A great asset to Triview." The transition of billing from Donala to Triview is scheduled to be completed by June.

Parkway preliminary design

The board unanimously approved an increase from $7,000 to $9,500 in the amount to be paid to CLC Associates to prepare a preliminary design of Jackson Creek Parkway. The design is needed as part of the Monument Towne Center proposal.

The Blizzard of ‘03

Noting that Jackson Creek received about 40 inches of snow, Simpson said, "The [snow removal crew] did a tremendous job. We couldn’t break the drifts with plows and had to use big front-end loaders." He said that with 562 occupied houses, the district received only one complaint. Most of the calls were inquiries.

Simpson reported that it cost $16,800 for the four-day event. At the suggestion of Tom Wall, Monument public works director, the district applied for a FEMA grant and stands to receive $3,700.

Palmer Divide Water Group

Simpson said the group has six entities participating: Donala, Monument, Palmer Lake, Triview, Woodmoor, and a Douglas County district. The goal of the group is to study joint water projects. Simpson expressed concern about expenses, saying Triview owes $1,700 and more funding will be needed after that. "We didn’t budget that level of expense," he said.

Peter Susemihl, attorney for the Triview district, added, "How much do we spend in study mode for multimillion dollar projects we can’t afford. It is a cart and horse problem."

Simpson also questioned the need to pursue a satellite well field when another 10 to 12 wells could be drilled within the district. He asked, "Why buy a water right we already have?"

Monument Towne Center

Rick Blevins of Jackson Creek Land Company and Vision Development, Inc., presented an overview of the Monument Towne Center project (see front page article).

Public Facilities Authority

Susemihl reported that Miles Grant is considering using a public facilities authority (PFA) to construct infrastructure for the proposed Jackson Creek filing 5 development north and east of King Soopers. The project includes a multifamily complex combined with a commercial strip and two separate commercial pads. Susemihl said a PFA is the same as a public improvement corporation (PIC), like the one that would do roadwork for the proposed Wal-Mart. Susemihl said the PFA would be authorized by the district and could then sell tax-exempt bonds to fund the improvements. He added that the debt would be paid off as the developer sells lots. According to Susemihl, Grant is offering to include the cost of drilling the needed well within the scope of the PFA.

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The Triview Metropolitan District Board of Directors normally meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month, 4:30 p.m., at the district offices, 174 N. Washington St. The next meeting will be April 23.

For further information, contact the Triview Metropolitan District at 488-6868.

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Heights at Jackson Creek update

G. B. "Steve" Stephenson reports that the Heights at Jackson Creek Community Organization (see article in our March 1 issue) held its annual meeting March 13 and elected five board members: Rich Case, Paul Curtis, Craig Rae, Chad Randis, and Mike Wagner.

As planned, the covenant amendment ballot packages have been mailed to all residents of the Heights. Ballots must be returned no later than April 24. Of the 313 owners, 209 must vote to approve the amendment to the covenants in order for the change to take effect. The principal change is authorization of an annual assessment.

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For further information, contact G. B. Stephenson at 488-2327 or by e-mail at peakview@codenet.net.

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WIA tackles weed ordinance

By Chris Pollard

There was only one Woodmoor Improvement Association (WIA) meeting in March because of the snowstorm later in the month. First on the agenda was the announcement that Wayne Pinkstaff, who had recently been elected to the board, had resigned because of unexpected work commitments. Rather than holding a new election, WIA rules allow for the appointment of a successor; so, Laurie Healy, one of the original candidates, was nominated and elected to join the board. She will fill the position of covenant enforcement director. One of her first tasks will be to meet with Bonnie Hawkins, director of forestry, to discuss the recently discovered El Paso County weed ordinance.

In previous meetings, the board had agreed to put together a committee to discuss the writing of a revised weed ordinance with representation from both sides of the argument. Upon discovering a county ordinance covers much the same areas, the board decided to have only the two directors look at the issue.

The most relevant section of the ordinance is in the definitions section, which reads:

Removal of Weeds and Brush: …. the removal of weeds and brush may be accomplished by the continuous control/temporary removal of such weeds and brush including, by way of example only, the periodic mowing or cutting down of such weeds and brush or the complete destruction and eradication of weeds and brush.

Weeds and Brush: Generally include any brush shrub or low growth (but not less than 9" in height) forms of plant material which:

a) Ordinarily grow without cultivation (i.e. not grown for the purpose of landscaping or food production) and are allowed to grow in such a manner, extent or condition that present problems related to public health, safety or welfare considerations: or

b) Will attain such (not less than 9") or grow in such accumulation or reach a level of dryness as to present a potential fire hazard.

Brush will typically not include any tree form of plant material. However, brush materials shall include any bush, shrub or tree form of plant material that is allowed to grow and develop with multi-cane or multi-trunk characteristics and that is growing in such locations that the plant material obscures, obstructs or otherwise impedes sight vision along such public access ways or obscures, obstructs or otherwise impedes sight vision along such public access ways, to the detriment of public health and safety.

Given that most of the Woodmoor area is not under cultivation, it would be expected that the two directors will need to address the relevance, implementation, and enforcement of the ordinance. John Ottino, board vice president, suggested that priority be given to addressing the noxious weed and fire hazard aspects in any such ordinance.

President Susan Cooley suggested that some form of orientation be created that could help homeowners coming to Woodmoor. In particular, this would probably address such items as services, covenants, and expectations. Discussions centered on a suggestion by Executive Director Camilla Mottl that this might be best implemented in the form of a short video.

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Letters to Our Community

BRRTA’s fees not authorized by the RTA law

The Baptist Road Rural Transportation Authority (BRRTA), in a letter from its attorney requesting that Lewis-Palmer District 38 pay a fee of about $100,000, quoted as its authority to assess fees Section 43-4-605(1)(d), C.R.S. This section grants the rural transportation authority the power "to establish, collect, and from time to time, increase and decrease fees, tolls, rates, and charges for the privilege of traveling on or using any property included in any rural transportation system financed, constructed, operated, or maintained by the Authority." This would seem on its face to mean that BRRTA cannot collect fees under this section for the following reasons:

  • Rural transportation system is a term that is required by law to be set out in the contract between El Paso County and the Town of Monument for the creation of their Rural Transportation Authority. BRRTA defined their rural transportation system as "a portion of Baptist Road, El Paso County, Colorado, located between the Mitchell Avenue extension on the west and Tari Drive on the east." Therefore, BRRTA could assess fees for the privilege of traveling on Baptist Road between Mitchell Avenue and Tari Drive if they had "financed, constructed, operated, or maintained" this portion of Baptist Road.

  • Baptist Road was an existing road when BRRTA was formed and was not financed or constructed by BRRTA. Operated refers to the operation of tollbooths and associated equipment. BRRTA has no tollbooths. Maintenance on Baptist Road is the responsibility of El Paso County and is paid for by the county, not BRRTA. The only funds BRRTA may have used for Baptist Road appears to be about $20,000 for temporary deceleration lanes at Leather Chaps Drive.

Currently, BRRTA has a fee structure under which it collects fees from persons owning property within its boundaries who apply for a building permit. The fee is collected by the Town of Monument and sent to BRRTA.

These fees are not authorized under the Rural Transportation Authority Law. In fact, this type of fee structure was expressly removed from Colorado House Bill 97-1273 by an amendment moved by Representative Smith, seconded by Representative Johnson, and approved by roll call vote of 12 for and 1 against. HB 97-1273 then became the Rural Transportation Authority Law.

The language removed by this amendment said, "to establish and, from time to time, increase or decrease rural transportation expansion fees and collect the fees from persons owning property located within the boundaries of the Authority who apply for a building permit for improvements on the property, which permit is issued in accordance with applicable ordinances, resolutions, or regulations of any county or municipality. After the fees have been established by the Authority, a county or municipality shall not issue a building permit for any improvement constructed within the boundaries of the Authority until the fees have been paid." This is exactly what BRRTA is doing, even though the state legislature, in its wisdom, specifically amended the Rural Transportation Authority Law to remove this revenue-raising power.

Once again, BRRTA simply ignores the law and does what it pleases. Not even the illegitimate "election" by its chosen two voters grants BRRTA the power to ignore the Colorado Legislature when it passes a law.

Stephen C. Plank

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Setting the record straight on the formation of BRRTA

Our Community News, March 1, 2003, page 2:

"Peter Susemihl, attorney for the Triview district, who was also involved in the formation of BRRTA, described how special districts are often formed when there are no residents. In the case of the statute authorizing rural transportation authorities, the law requires that residents vote. Susemihl said, "Phil Weinert called me and said, ‘If you need electors, I am willing to put my property into the district.’ This is not atypical of how these things are done. It is totally legitimate, totally legal. The intent was not to include any other existing developed properties."

Brown added, "It was [the Weinerts’] desire to see the road built."

To set the record straight regarding the above comments made by those involved in the Baptist Road Rural Transportation Authority (BRRTA), here are the facts.

I did not initiate the formation of the Authority. I was asked by a friend, Pete Susemihl, on the basis of correcting basic problems with the road—not to help developers or finance studies that do not make sense.

Had my wife and I known what BRRTA would do, we would not have participated in its formation.

The interests of the Kingswood Property Owners Association have been ignored, even though the proposed so-called improvements front on much of the development. The BRRTA study has ignored legitimate interests of Kingswood.

The only financing discussed at the outset was through construction assessments to the developers.

Phil Weinert

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The beetles are here...Are you ready?

View photos of beetle damage and spraying

By Jill Bealmer

Last spring, the beetle attacks on pines were so prominent that Tom Flynn, owner of Front Range Arborists, Inc., could actually hear them tunneling when walking through the Black Forest. Our trees are under an undue amount of stress because of our extreme drought, and these conditions are prime for mountain pine beetle (MPB) and ips beetle. We have already lost a substantial amount of trees, and it appears the beetle problem could be worse this year. The only proven method of controlling beetle attacks is through preventative spraying, but only if it is performed correctly. There are different application methods for treating different types of beetle.

The MPB produces one generation per year and attacks mostly ponderosa, lodgepole, limber, and Scots pine. The optimum time to spray for MPB is between May 1 and June 15, and it should be done every year while the threat of MPB is high. The application must cover the circumference of the tree from the ground up to 30 feet—unless the trunk narrows to 6 inches before 30 feet—in order for it to be effective. Branches over 6 inches in diameter should be sprayed as well. Tree selection may also be important. If a property owner has many trees, only those trees that are most valuable to the property should be sprayed. Trees less than 8 inches in diameter are rarely attacked by MPB and therefore generally are not candidates for preventative spraying.

Another type of beetle infestation is the ips beetle. There are 11 species of this beetle in Colorado, and they attack spruce, pinyon, ponderosa, lodgepole, and limber pines. Unlike the MPB, the ips beetle can produce anywhere from two to four generations per year; because of this, it is difficult to time preventative applications. Therefore, it is necessary to implement multiple treatments (early spring, summer, and early fall) to prevent infestation during high-risk periods. The application must cover the trunk and larger branches to be effective. It is very important to note that if a tree is over 50 feet tall, an aerial lift truck must be used to ensure adequate coverage. All trees at high risk for an attack by ips beetle should be treated. This includes newly planted trees, trees under stress (due to construction, drought, etc.), and trees that are near other trees that have been attacked by the beetle.

Mountain pine beetle and ips beetle are treated with a permethrin (Astro) or carbaryl (Sevin). It needs to be applied at a higher rate than for other pests. Should a treated tree become infested and die, it is usually caused by wrong application timing, diluted material, or inadequate coverage, or it could be that the tree was already infested. It is necessary, as well as extremely important to hire a licensed arborist and make sure the company has a commercial pesticide applicator’s license, with a qualified supervisor on staff.

Jill Bealmer is with Front Range Arborists, Inc., a locally owned and operated company that can service all tree and shrub health needs and has a certified arborist, degreed horticulturalist, and qualified supervisor among its staff

View photos of beetle damage and spraying

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The Vial of Life: A lifesaver in emergencies

The Vial of Life Program is coming to the TriLakes region, Black Forest, and the Larkspur area. This program is designed to provide important medical information to paramedics and law enforcement agencies in an emergency. The information is stored in The Vial of Life—a compact, easily recognizable plastic container that should be kept in your home on the top shelf of your refrigerator door. You may also obtain a second vial for the glove compartment of your car.

Information included in this vial would be serious chronic health concerns, medications taken (prescribed, overthecounter, and herbal supplements), serious drug allergies, a point of contact in case of an emergency, a doctor’s phone number, and health insurance details. Anyone taking medications for chronic health conditions, especially the elderly and those who live alone, should consider this program. Those participating in the program would secure a special decal on the front door or window of the main entrance of their home and on their car windshield, if applicable, to alert emergency personnel of their participation.

The Woodmoor-Monument Fire Protection District, TriLakes Fire Protection District, Donald Wescott Fire Protection District, Black Forest Fire/Rescue, Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department, Larkspur Fire Protection District, the Monument and Palmer Lake police stations, and the public safety office in Woodmoor all enthusiastically support this program.

The Vial of Life with instructions can be picked up at all of the above locations during regular office hours, except for Palmer Lake where vials can be picked up at the town office. Those who are elderly and homebound in the Palmer Lake area can request a special delivery by notifying the volunteer fire personnel through the town office at 481-2953.

The Vial of Life Program is a public service of Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart Pharmacies and is free to all participants. The Respect Life Ministry of St. Peter Catholic Church in Monument is introducing it in the northern El Paso County and southern Douglas County areas. For more information, call the St. Peter church office at 481-3551.

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Cub scouts earn awards at Derby Day

Lewis-Palmer Elementary School’s Cub Scout Pack 117 held its annual Pinewood Derby on March 15 at the school gym. This year’s event wrapped up with an exciting final race pitting Brandon Schow, a Webelo, against Misha Krasikov, a Bear. After his car jumped the track twice, Brandon was able to hang on in the final race to win first place. Misha took second place, and third place went to a new Tiger scout, Austin Feil.

The following winners in the den races were:

Tigers: Austin Feil, 1st; Adam Ross, 2nd; Chris Marty, 3rd

Wolf 5: Phillip Underwood, 1st; Brandon Kass, 2nd; Goeff Kalford, 3rd

Wolf 6: Christopher Schneider, 1st; Harrison Tremaine, 2nd; Christian Egdahl, 3rd

Bear 2: Misha Krasikov, 1st; Wesley Gough, 2nd; Nate Keisling, 3rd

Bear 1: Matthew Lindsey, 1st; Alex Turner, 2nd; Naveed Ghasem, 3rd

Webelos: Cole Smith, 1st; Brandon Schow, 2nd; Kyle Wenner, 3rd

Design awards included: Best Cubbiest Theme, Goeff Kalford; Best Design, Alex Turner; Most Original, Patrick Normile; Most Realistic, Ryan Kocher; Most Creative, Austin Feldman; and Best Paint Job, Austin Feil.

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Fire Wise presentation April 16

The North Group Fire Prevention Bureau will present a FireWise program on Wednesday, April 16, at 7 p.m. at Lewis-Palmer High School.

The program will include a presentation by Raymond Blake, fire marshal from Woodmoor/Monument Fire Protection District, a video titled "Fire in the Hills: The Oakland Story," vendors, displays, and a question-and-answer period for community residents. At the conclusion of the evening, refreshments will be served.

The group is hoping the program will help inform local residents of the upcoming fire danger and to help them become more aware of how they can make their homes and communities fire safe.

The event is a joint effort of the Woodmoor/Monument, Black Forest, Donald Wescott, Palmer Lake, Tri-Lakes, and Woodmen Valley Fire Districts.

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Palmer Lake Mardi Gras casino night fire truck fundraiser a great success

View photos from the event

It was a Mardi Gras theme for Casino Night on Friday, February 28. Many of the townspeople weathered the snowstorm to lay down some cold cash to benefit the new fire engine purchased by the town last summer.

Fire Chief Greg Lokken, a resident of Palmer Lake for 13 years, heads up the volunteer fire department. He expressed the importance of the town having a fire truck , he says the respond time is about 5 minutes to outlying areas of Palmer Lake. It would take longer for a truck from Monument or Woodmoor.

Pianist Joseph Bohler provided the music at the event. His CD, Rocky Mountain Blues, was on sale at the event. He donated half of the sales, and 10 CD’s for raffle.

The evening raised $3,300 for the new fire truck.

Also, Fire Chief Greg Lokken wanted let the public know they can call him if they are interested in training as a volunteer firefighter, 499-1065 or 1066.

View photos from the event

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Pine Forest Antiques Show and Sale April 26 and 27

The Tri-Lakes Women’s Club is hosting its 27th annual Pine Forest Antiques Show and Sale April 26 and 27 at Lewis-Palmer High School. The show draws antique vendors from several states and is considered "one of the best in Colorado." This year’s show will feature more than 60 vendors who will display and sell all kinds of quality antiques, including furniture, jewelry, crystal, china, pottery, clocks, and quilts from around the world. The show runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $5; children under 12 are free.

Club members will host a homemade bake sale "like no other." Many items sell out early; if you want to buy your baked goods as you enter the show area, they can be held for you while you shop. Food will also be available at the Country Café, where you can enjoy steak soup, croissant sandwiches, warm cinnamon rolls, pies, and Serrano’s coffees. The café will be ready to serve cinnamon rolls and coffee when the doors open at 9 a.m. Lunch is available after 11 a.m. Your ticket gets you a free cup of coffee, generously donated by local coffee roaster Serrano’s.

Over the past 26 years, the women’s club has given more than $340,000 back to the community from these shows. Last year’s sale raised more than $36,000. The entire Tri-Lakes community, including the police and fire departments, schools, and public service organizations all benefit directly from the success of this event.

Lewis-Palmer High School is located on the east side of I-25 between Baptist Road (Exit 158) and Highway 105, the Monument exit (Exit 161). Follow the signs to the show. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.tlwc.net.

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Between The Covers at the Covered Treasures Bookstore: Bet you’re a "Broupie"

By Judith Pettibone

You might be a certain kind of groupie and not know it. Do you have notes in our customer file requesting to be notified when Author X has a new book? Do you frequently ask us to check our database as to the exact release date for Author Y’s next book? Do you know that Author Z’s most recent hardback will come out in February in paper? And when you find a new series or author to explore, do you read each book in order, skipping nary a one? If any of these are true, you qualify to be a book groupie—or broupie.

It is very easy to be a broupie. First of all, you don’t have to decorate an old VW bus and follow anyone from book signing to book signing. You don’t ever have to scream or faint when you read a review. You just have to be rather passionate about your reading selections.

So what are broupies reading? The most popular category has to be mystery. Because there are so many series that qualify, we will have to discuss other non-broupie material next month.

Mystery
prices quoted may vary according to published date

Alphabet Murders by Sue Grafton, $7.99

Beginning with the letter A in 1981, Grafton is all the way up to Q. Her fans do not seem to tire of her appealing, but down-to-earth Kinsey Milhone solving those southern California mysteries in her old VW. Some of us wonder what will we do after Z.

Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich, $7.99

Evanovitch has crafted a riotous and slightly naughty series about a sassy bounty hunter from Trenton. The series begins with One for the Money and is up to Hard Eight. We all wonder who will play the grandmother in the bound-to-be-made movie. The most common remark we hear is, "I laughed out loud!" Now, how often do you hear someone say that about a mystery? It’s highly recommended that you begin with her first book.

The Dirk Pitt Series by Clive Cussler, $7.99

The main character’s name, "Dirk Pitt," must be said in a very deep bass voice. Cussler’s yarns are far-fetched but completely entertaining. We have a number of young readers who enjoy these books plus, of course, many adult fans. What is fun about Cussler is that you know he puts his money (literally) where his pen is, as he actually "owns" his fantasy NUMA and has an incredible antique car collection, as does Mr. Pitt.

Anna Pigeon Series by Nevada Barr, $7.99

Beginning in 1994, Nevada Barr introduced us to Anna Pigeon, forest ranger, firefighter, medic, and, of course, member of the U.S. Postal Service law enforcement team. We faithful have followed Anna all over the country, from one national park to another. We have explored Liberty Island (my favorite), Glacier National Park, our own Mesa Verde, and her most unusual locale to date, Dry Tortugas National Park off the Florida Keys. While we all like Anna Pigeon very much, many of us like the parks equally as well—a very major supporting character in all her books.

Catering to Nobody Series by Diane Mott Davidson, $6.99

For those who like mysteries about Colorado and cooking, we have Colorado’s own Diane Mott Davidson, who creates a mystery and a cookbook in one read—all with charming titles like Sticks and Scones and Killer Pancakes. The setting is Aspen, with all the panache that name conjures.

The Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith, $11.95

This is an almost brand-new discovery. We in the U.S. did not have to wait for each book in the series, which was first published in England. We received the first three titles in paperback, all at once. The first book is titled with the series name, followed by Tears of the Giraffe and Morality for Beautiful Girls. All three feature Precious Ramotswe (or, as reported, the Miss Marple of Botswana) as the owner of her own detective agency. This completely charming series has captured many hearts. The first book in the series was nominated for the Man Booker Award, one of the British Commonwealth’s most prestigious literary awards.

Navajo Tribal Police Series by Tony Hillerman, $6.99

Fifteen books under his belt and Hillerman continues to engage us. Recently, Skinwalkers successfully became PBS’s first American edition of the long popular Mystery series. What to say about the man who has given us such an accessible look at one of our major southwestern Native American cultures? His group of characters is complex and engaging, and like Nevada Barr’s books, the locale is definitely another character as well. If Thief of Time doesn’t make you want to explore the Southwest on foot, I think you might be immune to its allure.

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National Quilting Day comes to Monument

View photos from National Quilting Day

On March 16, Palmer Divide Quiltmakers celebrated National Quilting Day with special activities at the Monument Branch library. Quilts were on display at the library March 8 through March 30.

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Reception for the Countess April 25

The Countess Cordelia of Spain has chosen interior designer Susan Miner ASID of Susan’s Place and Monumental Miniatures of Monument to do the design work for her Boudoir. The Countess, a diminutive 5 ½" tall, has graciously offered her project for auction, along with eleven others, to benefit the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys. The auction will be held in Denver at The Denver Design Center Thursday, May 8, 7 p.m.

Under Miner’s direction many local craftsmen have offered their skills for this exquisite suite. The room is furnished by Monumental Miniatures and features venetian plaster walls by Sherry Hunt of Surface Impressions, murals by Kathi Lee of Distinctive Artistry, millwork by Dan Kunze of Colorado Cabinets, floral arrangements by Petal Pushin, pottery by Ann Shimek, jewelry by Cathy Virden, and original art by Janice Reese framed by Folk Art Gallery.

The real estate representatives, Ron and Donna Anderson of Prudential have arranged to unveil the scaled model at a wine and dessert reception to be held at Petal Pushin, 251 Front Street April 25, 7 p.m. Tickets are $15.00/person and proceeds will benefit local charities.

Rumor has is that the Countess has been seen shopping at Susan Helmich Goldsmith Gallery and has chosen one of Susan’s exclusive "Angel’s with Attitudes" pendants to wear at this reception.

For ticket information call Susan Miner at 488-9866,

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Big turnout for chamber annual dinner

View photos from the annual dinner

A bit of snow did not dampen the spirits of those who attended the chamber’s annual dinner and silent auction on March 1. The theme was Mardi Gras, and tables were decorated with masks and beads to create a New Orleans-style setting for the more than 200 people who braved the weather to gather at the Air Force Academy’s Officers Club. Hundreds of items, from skis to a doggy gift basket, lined the silent auction table. While some kept vigil over silent auction items they wanted to preserve, others enjoyed camaraderie among friends and colleagues and dancing to the tunes of Reckless. All savored a delightful buffet dinner.

Chairperson Bonnie Biggs, owner of Lake of the Rockies, and committee members Cheryl Rogers, Chyann’s Pet Care; Jeremy Diggins, the Coffee Cup Cafe; Kim Carson, Nationwide Floor & Window Coverings; George Wilkins, Tidbits; and Linda Groendyk, vice president of First National Bank, did an outstanding job of putting the 25th annual chamber dinner together.

Karen Evans, owner of A Chick & A Windshield, was named Business Person of the Year. Evans has been very involved in this community through her efforts with the Tri-Lakes Women Business Owners and Managers group (she started the group) and fund-raising efforts for the firefighters and Dress for Success. Last year’s business person of the year, Kelly McGuire, owner of Folk Art Gallery, presented the award to Evans.

Two scholarships were presented to Lewis Palmer High School students. Foxworth-Galbraith, represented by general manager Dan Jensen, awarded $1,000 scholarships to Meredith Cleve and Jimmy Brown.

Marylou Doehrman, executive director of the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce, served as emcee for the evening and credited the evening’s success to sponsors Aquila, Mountain View Electric, Peoples National Bank, Stewart Title, U.S. Waste Industries, Liberty Heights, First National Bank, IREA, Foxworth-Galbraith, the YMCA, Lewis Palmer School District 38, and all of the business people who donated to the silent auction.

Suzanne D’Innocenzo, owner of Petal Pushin’ in downtown Monument and 2003 chamber president, introduced the chamber’s board of directors and thanked Gov Vaughn for his leadership and contributions as 2002 chamber president.

View photos from the annual dinner

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The Society Page: Chuck Pyle

By Leon Tenney

The Palmer Lake Historical Society heard the nationally renowned voice of Chuck Pyle at its gathering on March 20. Pyle has produced seven records (or CDs, for the younger generation) since the mid-1980s. He also wrote songs for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and John Denver. His song "Colorado" was chosen for the PBS show "Spirit of Colorado." The society was well represented with more than 40 local die-hards who braved the snow to hear live music at the Palmer Lake Town Hall. Some of those stalwarts were Tim and Cindy Allen, Grace and Bill Horn, Carla Ryan, Dorothy Yoder, Rogers Davis, Bonnie Allen, Mary Myer and daughter, and Anne Shimek. As always, our hardworking president, Sam DeFelice, was present to start the proceedings.

Chuck Pyle was raised in Iowa and "sometime in 1964" attended college in Steamboat Springs. After wandering around many different places, including Amsterdam, he finally discovered the good life in Palmer Lake in 1981. He lives on Hillside Road, where the Estemere is actually his front yard.

As all of us do in life, Pyle has seen the good times and the not-so-good times. Much of his music reflects these highs and lows as well as his impressions of where he is and what is happening. Pyle told us where the inspirations for his all-too-poignant songs came from. He told us how he wrote the song "Colorado" as he topped a pass on Highway 285 in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and saw the country spread out in front of him. The producer of the show "Spirit of Colorado" later contacted him. Pyle finished the song on the way to the meeting. Some of those who heard Pyle’s inspiring "Colorado" thought it should become the state song. He also sang about one of his traveling low points when he was "driving behind slow people," also along Highway 285.

In 1976 he was inspired to write a song about a Colorado State trooper who sacrificed his life to save others from a flash flood near Johnson’s on the Big Thompson River. He had some trouble remembering the name of a fiddle player he usually performs with, so he sang "The Remember Song." He also sang about one of his lost loves in Palmer Lake called "‘97 Hillside Road."

His last song was called "Keeping Time by the River," where he related to us some of these time-honored quips of profound truths. Some of these were from Will Rogers, who said, "It is damn good that we don’t get all the government we pay for." Some were from the bumper stickers he notices, like "Drink until he is cute" and "I’d rather push a Ford than drive a Chevy." Some others were "Take the high road, there is less traffic," "More positive, less perfect," and "Hang out with those people who search for the truth and run from those who say they have found it."

For those of you who were too timid to brave the snow and thus missed the show, Pyle is doing a benefit for the Town of Palmer Lake Fire Department to raise money for the new fire truck on Thursday, May 8, at the Carriage House of the Estemere. If you can’t attend, you can buy the CD and listen to Pyle at your leisure.

Next month, the society will host two great acts: Cowboy Steve and his whirling lasso, and Steve Bacon, who gives a personal fashion show of Union and Confederate uniforms and equipment. For those who want to move in society, you must attend in person to view these live performances. This show is open to all. Programs are held on the third Thursday evening of the month at the Palmer Lake Town Hall.

 

Return to the top of the pageTLCA Profile: Lyne Lundquist

by DeAnn Hiatt Green

Lyne Lundquist, new administrative coordinator for the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts, sits at the computer at her desk and clicks the print key to generate a contract for a photographer who is leasing one of the last few artist studio spaces left at the center. A photographer herself, she chats amicably about digital transfer and camera preferences as the printer produces the two-page document. Her fashionable black Oriental silk tunic sets off a cluster of antique pendants on a long gold chain. Neatly folded newspapers and files she magically produces for reference fill a large designer bag on the floor next to her desk. Stylish in every way, Lundquist is quick to note that she would rather be in hiking boots than panty hose.

Lundquist and her husband, Daryl, moved to Colorado 14 years ago when Daryl received a corporate transfer from his job in California. Lyne, with a degree in Human Communications from Denver University, got a job with the Arapaho Philharmonic, Denver’s 98-piece volunteer symphony orchestra. When asked why the move to Palmer Lake, her direct response—"Because I wanted to"—left little doubt of her commitment to this area where she can interact with a small-town community. "This is a great place to live–everybody pitches in. I have to take a protein shake every morning just to keep up." But appearances indicate that Lundquist is not merely keeping up. She is setting the pace.

As we talked, she not only generated the artist studio contract, but also scanned the computerized calendar confirming dates of upcoming events (the exhibit "Tri-Lakes: An Artists’ View" opening in June, the Brain Bowl on April 12), reviewed the four new art course offerings for spring 2003 (beginning mosaics, mixed media and collage, life drawing, and portrait painting), and handled six inquiries ranging from filing taxes to volunteer outreach—without losing track of our conversation. "All I do is answer the phone and pay the bills," she claims.

This is hardly the case. Because of Lundquist (and Tuesday volunteer Marie Dante), the galleries are now open Tuesday-Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. During these hours, patrons can call and get information on classes, openings, and events. Information on membership and volunteer opportunities is also readily available. By the way, Lundquist also plays the piano and dulcimer, writes, loves to fish, and volunteers to restore trails. She even sat in as a model for the art center’s Tuesday night life drawing class.

Lundquist encourages everyone to come visit and reminds the community to keep the following upcoming events in mind:

Spring Art Classes: Registration is now being taken for 12 affordable art classes taught by professional artists and art educators. Classes include pottery, stained glass, sculpture, oil painting, pastels, life drawing, landscape drawing, and mosaics. Call 481-0475.

April 12, Fourth Annual Brain Bowl: Four-member teams will compete in fast-paced matches testing their knowledge in the arts, science, sports, geography, and literature.

June: Opening of "Tri-Lakes: An Artist’s View," a multimedia show highlighting local artists and local scenes.

DeAnn Hiatt Green is a local freelance writer and head of Shameless Self Promotions.

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Trivia fans wanted for brain bowl competition April 12

The Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts will hold the 4th annual Brain Bowl on Saturday, April 12. This popular intellectual trivia competition offers a day of wit and wisdom for teams competing to win the coveted ceramic Phrenological Head. Each team of four will play three fast-paced matches, with the two final teams competing in the championship round. The public is invited to watch this fun, rapid-fire competition.

Brain Bowl team registration forms and a fee of $100 are due by April 7. Late registrations will be accepted through April 11 at a fee of $125. Participants can order prepaid box lunches in advance. Registration forms and details can be found at www.trilakesarts.com or by calling the center at 719-481-0475. The competition will take place at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts, in the historic Kaiser-Frazer building at 304 Highway 105 in Palmer Lake. Team check-in that day is at 9 a.m., and the competition starts at 10. The event will run until 2 p.m.

This is a great opportunity for community groups or businesses to get together to challenge one another and stretch their brains to support a good cause. Last year’s winning team, School in the Woods, will not participate this year, so there’s no incumbent team to worry about! All proceeds from the event benefit the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts.

The Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization with a mission of creating community partnerships for demonstrating, teaching, exhibiting and promoting the arts. Its vision is to celebrate and share the arts. The center is located in the historic Kaiser Frazer building at 304 Highway 105 in Palmer Lake. Check the Web site, www.trilakesarts.com, regularly for upcoming performance events, resident artists, classes, and exhibitions. Call 719-481-0475 for more information.

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