FFPD October board meeting
By LC Grady
The Falcon Fire Protection District held its regular board meeting Oct. 18 at the new Falcon Fire Administration Building located at 7030 Old Meridian Road. Directors Tom Kerby, Steve Podoll, Dan Kupferer and Ray Hawkins were present. Also present were Fire Chief Trent Harwig and Attorney Joan Fritsche, legal counsel for the district. Lt. Curtis Kauffman and Deputy Chief Jeff Petersma attended as well. President Jim Reid was absent.
Vice president nomination
Tom Kerby nominated Dan Kupferer for the position of vice president. He was unanimously elected and served as acting president for the duration of the meeting in the absence of Jim Reid, who was on vacation and excused from the meeting.
Harwig reported that 75% of the fiscal year was complete as of Sept. 30. The general fund received 98% of its budgeted revenues — specific ownership tax is at 72%, which is 3% under budget. Harwig anticipates the department will receive higher than budgeted revenues by the end of the year. Expenditures across all fund categories were at 67%, which is 8% under budget. The ambulance transport fund has received 94% of the budgeted revenues with transport fees at 74%. The supplemental payment from Medicare arrived in the month of September in the amount of $434,729. Total expenditures are 63%. The capital projects fund was at 82% of budgeted revenue. Harwig anticipates this fund’s revenue will be over budget this year and interest rates are higher than anticipated. Across all expenditure lines this fund is at 27% because the maintenance building did not come to fruition in 2023. The rural water fund had no activity.
Deputy Chief Petersma reported the department had 365 calls in August There were a total of 2,601 calls year to date, with District 1 the busiest at 810 calls year to date and an average response time of five minutes and 46 seconds. No EMS reports were available because Jon Webb was absent on vacation and reserve duty.
Lt. Curtis Kauffman presented a fire inspector report to the board and Harwig. He reported that 21 building inspections, 17 follow-up inspections, two new projects, seven fire finals, two partial fire finals, seven El Paso County Development reviews and one FireWise evaluation were completed. The 2021 International Fire Code Amendments are still in progress. A response from Gov. Jared Polis’s office related to the 2021 energy code affecting the 2021 fire code has not been received.
Fritsche reported that the pension board election ballots were due by 4 p.m. Oct. 18 in the administrative office; 12 out of the 16 ballots mailed out were already returned. Officer terms start Nov. 1, and the pension board meeting is held during the November FFPD board meeting. The elected trustees will take their oaths prior to the November meeting.
Harwig presented the preliminary 2024 budgets to the directors by Oct. 15 as required by statute. He explained the three budget columns: 2022 audited numbers are in the first column; 2023 estimated numbers are in the second column — that will change as the end of the year nears; the preliminary 2024 proposed numbers are in the third column. The budget is posted for public review in the administrative building. Harwig went through each of the general, ambulance transport and capital projects fund and answered the directors’ questions. The 2024 budget changes are pending the outcome of November elections regarding Proposition HH. Harwig said he had help from the El Paso County Treasurer’s office, which is doing a good job trying to keep up with what the impact would be on the revenues should Proposition HH pass. Harwig reminded directors that depending on the outcome of the election, the budget hearing will be in December or the beginning of January.
Banning Lewis Ranch exclusion petition
Fritsche presented the board with the petition requesting exclusion out of the district of Banning Lewis Ranch, previously annexed to Colorado Springs. She informed the board that the next step was to set a public hearing regarding the exclusion petition and post a notice in the paper. The board discussed the petition and its implication on the district.
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