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  Volume No. 16 Issue No. 7 July 2019  

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  FFPD August board meeting
  By Robin Widmar

   The Falcon Fire Protection District held its regular board meeting Aug. 15. All board members were present as were attorneys Richard Shearer and Joan Fritsche, legal counsel for the district.
   Falcon Fire Chief Trent Harwig administered the oath of office to Brent Millwright, who was promoted to fire lieutenant.
   Treasurer’s report
   Harwig reported that 58 percent of the fiscal year was complete as of July 31. The general fund had received 93 percent of its anticipated revenue. Special ownership taxes were a little less than expected. Expenditures were at 51 percent, which was 8 percent (about $190,000) under budget. Tax abatement refunds increased a little more than what was estimated. Expenses for medical supplies are up a bit, but call volume is also up. Harwig had no concerns with the budget overall.
   The capital projects fund had received 97 percent of anticipated revenue, while expenses were at 42 percent.
   Harwig said that Deputy Chief Jeff Petersma was meeting with representatives from apparatus manufacturer Rosenbauer to discuss the late completion of the district’s second new engine, and whether any contractual penalties could be applied to the cost of the third new engine being ordered.
   Reserve standby hours
   Harwig reported that reservists logged 652 standby hours in July. There were no station brownouts.
   Harwig also said that all recruits in the current reservist academy passed their Firefighter I written and practical tests on the first try.
   Incident statistics
   There were 240 calls for service in July, which was a 3.9 percent increase over July 2017. The year-to-date total through July 31 was 1,557 calls, which was a 12.9 percent increase over the same period in 2017.
   New construction
   Harwig said 700 plats have been approved for residential construction in the last month. He has issued commitment letters for about 2,000 new residences so far.
   Land parcel for Meridian Road extension
   Attorney Richard Shearer reported that the agency agreement with the metro district that bought the property from FFPD has been signed. The quit claim for the Highway 24 parcel is pending.
   Shiloh Mesa exclusion
   Attorney Richard Shearer reported that the city is working with him on the Shiloh Mesa exclusion and the process is moving forward. He also said there should not be any further costs to the district.
   Special needs access playground IGA
   Shearer said he spoke with a representative of the metro district that will manage the playground. The grant consultant will work with FFPD to clarify responsibilities and create an intergovernmental agreement for the metro district to maintain, insure and repair the playground with FFPD retaining ownership of the property, which is adjacent to Station 1. Shearer also said he would review the property deed to ensure no plat restrictions exist.
   U.S. Highway 24 and Old Meridian Road intersection redesign
   Director Tom Kerby said he has requested that the county provide PDFs and CAD drawings to the district when they are ready. He said both intersection projects are hung up in land acquisitions and the tentative start date is now November 2018.
   Ballot issue
   Attorney Joan Fritsche discussed Resolution 8-15-2018-1, which calls for a TABOR election as part of a coordinated county election; appoints the district’s designated election official; and certifies the ballot question.
   The board discussed the wording of the ballot question amid concerns that the amount of the mill levy increase could be misconstrued as the new total mill levy amount.
   The resolution was passed with amended wording to clarify ballot language.
   Legal counsel discussed the TABOR summaries for the election “blue book” that will be crafted by a committee and submitted to the DEO, who will summarize the information for publication.
   The board voted to enter into an intergovernmental agreement between the fire district and El Paso County for the election. The county has estimated the cost to FFPD for the election as $41,591.74.
   Shearer said he will answer any questions from district board members or employees regarding the Fair Campaign Practices Act. “We don’t want to cause the public any doubt that we did it right,” he said, adding that the goal is to protect the district and ensure the integrity of the voters’ decision.
   Amended notice posting locations
   The board voted to adopt Resolution 8-15-2018-2, which changes public posting locations for agendas and meeting notices to Stations 1, 3 and 4.
   Harwig explained that board meeting agendas and notices must be posted in a minimum of two public locations. The fire district has posted its notices at Big R and Diamond Shamrock, but the bulletin board has been removed from Diamond Shamrock. The new locations will be in the publicly accessible areas of the three staffed fire stations.
Falcon Fire Chief Trent Harwig administered the oath of office to Brent Millwright, who was promoted to fire lieutenant at the Aug. 15 board meeting. Photo by Robin Widmar
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