Volume No. 16 Issue No. 11 November 2019  

  FFPD October board meeting

     The October meeting of the Falcon Fire Protection Board of Directors was held Oct. 16, with all directors present. Director Joan Hathcock was absent with approval.
   Treasurer's Report
   Chief Trent Harwig said, “All the funds are in good shape; we should underspend all funds.”
   The chief reported that as of the end of September, with 75 percent of the fiscal year over, the district had received 97 percent of its budgeted general fund revenues; and expenditures across the board were 83 percent of the budgeted amount, including large transfers to the capital and ambulance funds. While the ambulance fund had received 95 percent of its budgeted revenue, Harwig said expenditures were only 64 percent of that amount because of a delay in the start of ambulance service. Capital projects expenditures included $150,000 for architectural fees in connection with the new administration building.
   Chief's report
   Harwig said there were 266 calls for service in September. There were 352 reserve hours for the month, below the total for August. He said he was going to create a hire list from qualified applicants and was planning a fire academy in February for new hires. When asked about EMT training, the chief said that would be part of the academy if necessary. In some cases, he said applicants already have EMT training. Harwig said with younger hires, insurance premiums per person decrease. He said the insurance covers any hacking of medical information from patients treated by EMTs. Harwig said two ambulances have already been purchased and a third ambulance will be purchased by the end of the first quarter of the upcoming fiscal year. There is also one backup ambulance. Crews for the two ambulances now owned by the fire department have already been hired. They will begin work Oct. 27. After 30 days of training, they will start responding to calls with the new ambulances on Dec. 1.
   Unfinished business
   A motion was passed to authorize transfer of property and the disposition of funds in connection with the Old Meridian Road and Highway 24 intersection project. Utilities must be moved before work can begin. Director Dan Kupferer expressed concern about plans the board had not seen. Director Tom Kerby responded by saying he had seen the plans and they looked good.
   Problems with utility easements have to be worked out before plans can continue for a park at Woodmen Hills Station 1.
   An intergovernmental agreement between the district and the city of Colorado Springs for continuity of fire protection and emergency services in the Shiloh Mesa area has been sent to the city attorney and is awaiting his action.
   New administration building
   The board discussed the architect's plans for the new administration building and reviewed an artist's rendering of the building. Harwig noted the proposed plans have room for expansion. The plans contain eight offices; currently only seven offices are needed. Plans also include a community room. There is a double entry foyer so the community room can be used without access to the rest of the building. A flat roof as opposed to a peaked roof was discussed. The board also discussed orientation of the building and where to locate the parking lot, along with consideration for a future shop. Harwig will discuss the issues with the architect.
   Draft 2020 budget
   The chief discussed the preliminary proposed budget for fiscal year 2020. The general fund would provide operational expenses for three staffed and two unstaffed buildings. He said there will be no more new buildings until the administration building is completed. Increases in salaries and benefits will be a significant addition to the budget. The increase will cover three ambulance crews. Instead of paying overtime for ambulance crews, the proposed budget will include salaries for four or five part-time EMTs.
   The next meeting will be held Nov. 20 at 4 p.m. at Fire Station 3 on Old Meridian Road.
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