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"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread."
– Edward Abbey  
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  Volume No. 16 Issue No. 9 September 2019  

None Black Forest News   None Book Review   None Community Calendar   None Community Photos  
None Did You Know?   None FFPD Column   None FFPD News   None From the Publisher  
None Marks Meanderings   None Monkey Business   None News From D 49   None People on the Plains  
None Pet Care   None Phun Photos   None Prairie Life   None Rumors  
Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In

    Voter precincts modified
    Celebrating new home for Falcon monument
    County fair queen crowned
    Carrie Geitner announces bid for BOCC seat
    MVEA annual meeting wrapup
    Building and real estate update
    Twirlers win again
  Voter precincts modified
  By Lindsey Harrison

   On May 16, the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to adopt changes to the county’s voter precincts. The changes are required by Colorado Revised Statutes, which states that the EPC clerk and recorder is permitted to subdivide precincts that have between 1,500 and 2,000 active eligible voters, with BOCC approval.
   A media release from the county defines precincts as the electoral boundary for the state’s elections. “Each voter in El Paso County lives in a precinct, and the boundaries help elections’ administrators determine the offices, ballot questions and issues for which voters are eligible to vote,” the release states.
   According to the statutes, the new precinct boundaries need to be within the boundaries of the original precinct and use natural and man-made boundaries as much as possible.
   In an email to “The New Falcon Herald,” Kristi Ridlen, public information officer for the EPC clerk and recorder, wrote that nine precincts were subdivided by the BOCC’s resolution. Of those nine, five precincts are located in northeastern El Paso County.
   Those northeastern EPC precincts have been subdivided as follows:
  • Precinct 216 is now precincts 216 and 249
  • Precinct 222 is now precincts 222 and 250
  • Precinct 207 is now precincts 207 and 248
  • Precinct 225 is now precincts 225 and 229
  • Precinct 215 is now precincts 215 and 228

   In the media release, Chuck Broerman, EPC clerk and recorder, stated: “It is exciting to see continued population growth and an increased number of active registered voters in El Paso County.”
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  Celebrating new home for Falcon monument
  By Lindsey Harrison

   On June 15, the High Prairie Library in Falcon held a ceremony to rededicate the Falcon monument, which had been uprooted from its original spot at Centennial Park in Falcon. In May, the stone monument was moved to a permanent place, just adjacent to the library.
   In 1988, Art and Ann Van Sant brought in the monument to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the platting and recording of Falcon. Today, Centennial Park no longer exists, and the site where the monument stood is now part of Gesick Motors property.
   About 20 people from the community attended the ceremony and then moved to the library where they were treated to ice cream. Additionally, old photographs from the area were on display, and guests were encouraged to scan any old photos they may have into the library’s collection for preservation.
   Jim Ozburn, owner of the Falcon Meadow RV Campground and the Falcon Food Store, presented a brief history of Falcon’s origination and the purpose of the stone monument. “In 1988, Falcon was a wide spot on (Highway) 24 and not very wide at that,” he said. Thanks in large part to the Van Sants, the area grew to be the Falcon of today, Ozburn said.
   “We are very thankful to the library district for putting this rock here,” he said.
Jim Ozburn, long-time Falcon resident and owner of Falcon Meadow RV Campground and the Falcon Food Store, helped to ensure the monument had a per
Home at last
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  County fair queen crowned
  By Lindsey Harrison

   On May 5, Mallory Link was crowned the new 2019 El Paso County fair queen; she will serve a one-year term to help spread the word about the fair.
   Link said from age 6 on she wanted to become the fair queen.
   “I would go and watch all of these girls at the contests and fairs,” she said. “They promoted agriculture, they promoted the fair, they promoted the western way of life and that has always been something that is very important to me.”
   Link said she participated in 4-H in Elbert County, where her dad lives; however, as a resident of El Paso County, she was eligible for the fair queen program. To be considered for the title, she had to submit an application, which included giving a speech about why she would make a good queen. Additionally, Link had to participate in a horsemanship pattern, which is a prescribed pattern she and her horse had to execute together, she said.
   As the fair queen, Link said she will spend the summer working with various service clubs around the county to help promote the fair. She said connecting with people will help with her future endeavors as well, since she is in her sophomore year at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming, majoring in business marketing.
   “I am not sure yet what I want to do, but I know I want to work with the agricultural industry and promote how important that is to the world,” Link said. “It is more important to educate people than to do cleanup when a bad move is made.”
   According to the county fair’s website, fair queens receive numerous benefits: multiple scholarship opportunities; a $1,000 budget for clothing and travel related to the fair queen position; a buckle, sash and seasonal use of the queen’s chaps, tiara and serape for parades; acting as hostess for the Queen’s Luncheon at the fair; and other resume-building experiences.
   Link said she feels honored to be chosen as the EPC fair queen, especially after finding autographed sheets from previous fair queens and remembering that they were her role models.
   “I want to be that same thing for the younger kids,” she said. “I want them to think that they would like to follow in my footsteps.”
   The 2019 EPC Fair is July 13-20; Link said she will be on hand for many of the events. For more information about the fair, visit
The 2019 El Paso County Fair queen is a sophomore at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming, majoring in business marketing. Photo submitted
Fair Queen
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  Carrie Geitner announces bid for BOCC seat
  By Lindsey Harrison

   On June 18, Carrie Geitner announced her bid for the District 2 seat on the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners. The seat is currently held by Mark Waller, who previously announced his plans to seek the Republican Party’s nomination for the 4th Judicial District Attorney spot in 2020.
   Geitner, whose husband is Colorado State Representative Tim Geitner, is a small business owner who lives in Falcon. According to her news release, she intends to focus on several local concerns, including regional water planning. “Issues such as cost of living, public safety and safeguarding the western, conservative way of life have driven my decision to seek the seat in District 2,” Geitner states.
   “I know residents want a leader that is ready to serve and work as hard as they do. That’s exactly what they will get from me.”
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  MVEA annual meeting wrapup
  Leslie Sheley

   The 78th annual meeting of Mountain View Electric Association was held June 13 at Palmer Ridge High School in Monument. About 153 co-op members were present for the dinner and meeting; door prizes, including more than $2,500 in cash, were given away during the gathering.
   Joseph Martin, MVEA board president, announced that uncontested candidates in districts 3 and 5 will remain on the board for another three-year term: Errol Hertneky and Kevin Paddock.
   Jim Herron, chief executive officer, announced the 2019 essay contest winners. The first and second place winners — Ashley Enghaus and Isabella Avdem of Falcon High School — attended the Youth Tour in Washington D.C. in June. The third and fourth place winners will attend the Colorado Electric Education Institute Youth Leadership Camp in Clark, Colorado, in July. Those winners are Lane Wilfong from Peyton Junior-Senior High School and Mahalie Owens from Limon Public Schools.
   Committee Chairman Barry Springer told the members that 14 $1,000 scholarships were awarded to students pursuing further education. Twelve of those scholarships are funded by MVEA, one is funded by Basin Electric Power Cooperative and the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. funds another.
   Martin gave the president’s report, which focused on rates, capital credit retirements and Operation Round Up. Martin said the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, MVEA’s wholesale power supplier, did not increase their rates, so MVEA was able to keep their rates as is without an increase in 2018.
   Martin talked about the capital credit retirements. “The result was that a far greater number of members and past members received capital credit retirement checks in 2018, and the association had retired in excess of $62.8 million in capital credits to the membership,” he said.
   Martin discussed the history of the Mountain View Operation Round Up Fund Inc., and referred to the program as “neighbors helping neighbors.” He said, “Total grants in excess of $2.5 million have been given to organizations and individuals in the association’s area since the fund began in 1999.”
   Members who participate in the program round up their bills to the nearest dollar, which allows MVEA “to assist charitable organizations, communities with special needs and individuals who have suffered from loss, personal disaster or medical emergencies right here in the MVEA service territory," according to the MVEA website. Martin encouraged members to sign up for the program.
   Martin also thanked Jack Wolfe for his 31 years of service to the association. Wolfe is the MVEA attorney, and will be retiring at the end of 2019.
   Herron gave his report, and said MVEA is “in sound financial and physical condition, and there are 2,000 new services this year so far.” He said $20 million in plant additions and improvements are planned for 2019. Herron discussed the digital upgrade scheduled to start in August, which will help MVEA respond more quickly to power outages and allow members better insight into their electrical usage.
   The winners of the $500 Whole Home LED Giveaway Program were announced; there were six winners from 2,031 entries. Herron said the program began two years ago to promote LED lighting, get feedback from LED users and weigh the impact on the electric bill when the entire house is on LED lighting. MVEA collaborates with Tri-State Generation Transmission Association for the giveaway and rebate program, he said. Herron reminded members to take advantage of the 2019 LED bulb rebate program.
   He also talked about the “bomb cyclone” storm in March. He said trees must be routinely trimmed around MVEA overhead lines — downed trees on power lines caused power outages during the storm. Herron said people should contact MVEA if they find a tree that could be a safety issue or submit a tree-trimming request form online.
   After a question and answer session, the meeting was adjourned. The next Mountain View Electric Association annual meeting will be held in Falcon June 4, 2020.
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  Building and real estate update
  By Lindsey Harrison

   Timber Ridge
   The El Paso County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a request by Jacob Decoto for the final plat to create three single-family residential lots on a 36-acre parcel zoned planned unit development, located north of the future Briargate Parkway/Stapleton Parkway corridor, west of Vollmer Road. The property is within the boundaries of the Black Forest Preservation Plan.
   Petrick property
   The BOCC approved a request by Dan Sievers for property owners Randall and Gwendena Petrick in a 4-1 vote, with Longinos Gonzalez, commissioner for District 4, opposed. They requested a special use permit to make the existing 2,682 square-foot dwelling a guesthouse, with special provisions for extended family housing and the construction of a new 4,200 square-foot residence as the principal residence. The existing dwelling is greater than the 1,500 square-foot limitation of a guesthouse, according to the El Paso County land development code. The property is zoned residential rural-5 and is located about .15 miles south of the Pleier Drive and Silverton Road intersection.
   Reimers property
   The commissioners approved a request by Randy and Elizabeth Reimers in a 3-2 vote, with Gonzalez and Mark Waller, commissioner for District 2, opposed. The Reimers requested a special use permit for a rural home occupation on a property zoned RR-5, located at the northeast corner of the Herring Road and Swan Road intersection. The county’s land development code allows a contractor’s equipment yard as a special use on a property zoned RR-5. The property is within the boundaries of the Black Forest Preservation Plan.
   Meridian Road/Falcon Park and Ride Improvements project
   The BOCC unanimously approved two separate memorandums of agreement to approve and accept non-exclusive permanent easements from property owned by Randy L. Gibbs and Vicky L. Gibbs for $26,750 and D and D Management LLC, for $2,650 — relating to the Meridian Road/Falcon Park and Ride Improvements project.
   The commissioners also unanimously approved a memorandum of agreement to approve and accept a special warranty deed from property owned by the Falcon Fire Protection District for $218,500.
   The BOCC unanimously approved a memorandum of agreement to approve and accept a special warranty deed and temporary construction easement from property owned by Falcon Highlands Metropolitan District for $99,400.
   The commissioners also unanimously approveed two memorandums of agreement to approve and accept temporary construction easements from property owned by John M. Allen for $300 and $430.
   Meridian Ranch
   The commissioners unanimously approved the final acceptance of certain streets within the Meridian Ranch Filing No. 9 subdivision into the EPC road maintenance system, and released the defect warranty of $234,139.74 for the improvements — all of which have been completed and inspected.
   Forest Lakes
   The BOCC unanimously approved the preliminary acceptance of certain streets within the Forest Lakes Filing No. 2B subdivision into the EPC road maintenance system. All improvements have been completed and inspected.
   Bent Grass
   The commissioners unanimously approved the final acceptance of certain streets within the Bent Grass Residential Filing No. 1 subdivision into the EPC road maintenance system.
   Calhan Highway Bridge Replacement project
   The BOCC unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement between the Colorado Department of Transportation and El Paso County to design a new Calhan Highway Bridge over Big Sandy Creek, originally built in 1975. The bridge is located about 1.5 miles south of Highway 24 and is the major north/south corridor that provides direct access to the Calhan town center. Because of current load restrictions, the following vehicles cannot use the current bridge: large emergency vehicles, shipping/delivery vehicles, trash trucks, school buses and road repair trucks and graders. EPC received $360,000 in federal aid funds and provided a $90,000 local funds match to design, acquire property, obtain environmental assessments and permits; and coordinate with utilities for the project.
   McLaughlin Road/Old Meridian Road Improvement project
   The commissioners unanimously approved a memorandum of agreement to approve and accept temporary construction easements from property owned by the FFPD for $2,174 regarding the McLaughlin Road/Old Meridian Road Improvement project.
   Meadowlake Ranch
   The EPC Planning Commission approved a request by Daniel Ferguson in a 6-1 vote, with Kevin Curry opposed, for a sketch plan for 307 acres, which includes 89 acres of urban density single-family residential lots, 69 acres of rural residential single-family lots, 27 acres of open space, 25 acres of commercial space and 97 acres of industrial land uses. The property is zoned agricultural-35 and is located at the northwest corner of the Judge Orr Road and Highway 24 intersection; it is within the Falcon/Peyton Small Area Master Plan.
   Three community members, Mark Belles, Judy Von Ahelfeldt and Dave Elliott, spoke in opposition of the plan.
   The project is within Meadow Lake Airport’s area of influence, and the Federal Aviation Administration and the Meadow Lake Airport Association have raised concerns about the development plans. (See the June issue of “The New Falcon Herald”)
   Norvell property
   The planning commission approved a request by Rodney Norvell in a 6-1 vote, with Curry opposed, for a variance of use to permit three existing dwelling units to remain on a single parcel, located about .66 miles south of the Highway 24 and the North Peyton Highway intersection. The property is zoned RR-5.
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  Twirlers win again

   This trio of twirlers we have been following the past two months won the United States Twirlers Association central region competition in Hutchinson, Kansas on June 9: from left to right; Jazsmyn Santistevan, Elle Koenke and Ashlyn Koenke.
   Pam Kellen, their coach, said they performed “the best they’ve ever done.” It was a two-day competition with twirlers from the central region of the United States, which included Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. The national trials were held in Ohio, and the team was unable to get there to compete.
   Kellen would like to thank the parents — Suzie and Louie
   Santistevan and Becca and Kevin Koenke — for their “love and support” this season.
Did it again!
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