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“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.”
– Shirley Temple  
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  Volume No. 14 Issue No. 12 December 2017  

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  FFPD March board meeting
  By Lindsey Harrison

   All members of the Falcon Fire Protection District’s board of directors were present at the March 15 monthly meeting. Richard Shearer, the district’s legal counsel, was also present.
   
   Treasurer’s report
   Harwig said that 17 percent of the fiscal year is complete. The district has received 3 percent of its anticipated revenue and has spent 13 percent of the budget, which is 4 percent below the budgeted amount for this time of the year.
   
   Regarding the capital projects fund, Harwig said there is about $300,000 left in the lease purchase agreements on Stations 1 and 4, about $200,000 of which the district is responsible for. “We should have plenty of money to finish the project (Station 4),” he said. Harwig also noted that a $312,000 truck payment will be withdrawn from the capital improvements fund in mid-April.
   
   Chief’s report
   The FFPD noticed a drop of 7.52 percent in the year-to-date call volume for February, Harwig said. Districts 3 and 4 had 79 calls each, district 1 reported 125 calls, and districts 6, 2 and 5 received a combined 60 calls, he said. The average response time for calls was 10.42 minutes, which will drop once Station 4 is up and running, bringing the average response time down to about five to six minutes, Harwig said.
   
   Dan Kupferer, board president, and Harwig attended a meeting on fire department impact fees, which is a fee the district can impose on new developments to defray costs for protecting that development. To do so, El Paso County must create intergovernmental agreements with the various fire protection districts to determine how those impact fees can be spent, Harwig said. The district must also have a study completed to determine the level of impact of the new development before it can collect the fees, he said.
   
   Old Meridian Road/U.S. Highway 24 intersection redesign
   Tom Kerby, secretary, said the county is working on the final design for this intersection but there is nothing new to report.
   
   Station 4 – cold weather change order
   Harwig said the district received a change order for about $18,000 from Hammers Construction Inc.; and, per the board’s instructions from February’s meeting, he looked into the charges and asked a representative from Hammers to attend the meeting. Dave Hammers attended and answered questions about the timeliness of the concrete pour related to seasonal cold weather conditions.
   
   “Based on the project schedule, all exterior concrete was supposed to be done before any of the work had even been started,” Harwig said. “Ninety-five percent of it would not have been delayed or had cold weather issues if it was started on time.”
   
   Hammers said his company has already reduced the change order amount and was asking for labor costs. Kerby said, “I have a hard time for us bearing the cost for a choice Hammers made.”
   
   “We tried to keep the cost low,” Hammers said. The change order did not reflect the cost for ground thaw machines and a few other items, and had already been adjusted by $5,000.
   
   The department and Hammers agreed to each pay half of the $7,921 that was not strictly for labor and the basic raw costs for use of equipment. Hammers’ portion would be considered a donation in the form of parts and labor.
   
   Harwig reported there was a problem with a part of the concrete slab that was poured at the new station; thus, a large chunk was removed to make sure it was not a concrete mixture problem. Instead of patching concrete into that area, the contractor will lay tile instead, at no additional cost to the FFPD, he said.
   
   The grand opening is tentatively set for May 13 at 11 a.m. at Station 4.
   
   Member handbook revision
   The board unanimously approved an amendment to the member handbook to include a change to the Pregnancy Leave Act, which stipulates the district’s involvement in determining when a pregnant employee should quit working.
   
   Gallagher Amendment
   Harwig said there was nothing new to report, but he should know the actual assessment rate number soon. He said he thinks the rate will be 6.52 percent.
   
   Shilo Mesa subdivision exclusion
   Attorney Jane Fredman, representing the development arm of AspenView Homes, presented a request to have the Shilo Mesa subdivision excluded from the FFPD to prevent those property owners from having to pay taxes to both the FFPD and the city of Colorado Springs.
   
   Shearer said the district will not oppose the exclusion but will not expend any money to make it happen. He suggested that Fredman ask the city to sign off on the exclusion paperwork, if the FFPD does all the work to prepare it and also gets paid to do so.
  
Fire Chief Trent Harwig swears in new firefighter Joey Callahan (left) at the regular FFPD March board meeting. Photo by Lindsey Harrison
 
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  Safety Tip - Calling 911
  By Robin Widmar

   There was a time when residents had to call the fire department directly to summon help, but those days are long gone. Falcon residents should call 911 for any emergency that requires an immediate response from firefighters, emergency medical personnel or law enforcement officers. Some residents insist on calling the fire department directly for emergency help, but that only creates unnecessary response delays, especially if fire crews are away from the fire station.
   
   Here are some tips for calling 911:
  • Remain calm, be patient and answer all of the call taker’s questions. It may seem like questions delay the process; but, in most cases, crews are being dispatched while information is being gathered.
  • Provide an accurate address or location of the emergency. If an address is hard to locate, provide good directions; including major cross streets and landmarks.
  • Be clear about the nature of the emergency.
  • Follow the dispatcher’s instructions.
  • Don’t hang up. If 911 is called by mistake, stay on the line to let the call taker know about the error.

   Use 911 only for emergencies. For non-emergency assistance in the Falcon area, call the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office at 719-390-5555.
  
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