FFPD July meeting wrap-up
By LC Grady
The Falcon Fire Protection District held its regular board meeting July 19 at the Falcon Fire Administration Building at 7030 Old Meridian Road. Directors Jim Reid, Terry Reed, Tom Kerby, Steve Podoll and Ray Hawkins were present. Also present were Fire Chief Trent Harwig and attorney Joan Fritsche, legal counsel for the district.
Swearing in ceremony
Chief Harwig swore Justin Salinas in as a driver operator. His wife pinned on his new badge.
Harwig reported that 50% of the fiscal year was complete as of June 30. The general fund had received 76% of its budgeted revenues. Expenditures across all fund categories were at 45%. The ambulance transport fund has received 51% of budgeted revenues. Across all categories, the expenses show 42%. The capital projects fund was at 54% of budgeted revenue. Total expenses in the capital projects fund across all categories are at 25%. The rural water fund is at 275% of budgeted revenue representing interest received and 17% of budgeted expenses. Harwig said finances were in good shape for the year.
Harwig also reported that the financial statement audit was completed. The district received an unqualified opinion from the auditor at Erickson, Brown & Kloster, LLC, stating that the financial statements are a fair presentation of the district’s financial position and adhere to accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.
Harwig informed the directors that the cybersecurity audit was complete. It went well, and the district’s cybersecurity coverage was increased to a million dollars without an additional premium increase. Harwig said the items that were put in place over the last year regarding cybersecurity and specifically the last six months were good, according to the auditors.
Deputy Chief Jeff Petersma presented directors with the monthly reports for May. He pointed out that the May incident chart included four severe weather responses. The district responded to 301 incidents. There have been 1,246 incident responses year to date. EMS Division Chief Jon Webb reported there were 116 EMS calls and a total patient count of 175. Year-to-date there have been 1,136 patients treated. The total collections of $45,715 were almost half of what was received in previous months as a result of switching to a new reporting system and the collection agency catching up.
Fire prevention report
Lt. Curtis Kauffman presented the fire inspector report. He conducted 17 building inspections, 13 follow-up building inspections, two fire finals and three El Paso County Development reviews.
Harwig reported that the architect is amending the maintenance building footprint by adding three bays on the back of the building. Dan Kupferer sent an email to Kerby, showing what the county wants from the district for a site development plan review. Harwig said the district was waiting for it to be submitted to the county and go through a first review to make sure nothing is missing before going out for a design bid build.
2021 International Fire Code amendments
Harwig reported there was a setback in adopting amendments to the fire code as a result of a bill that passed last year in the state Legislature, mandating a minimum energy code, which will have to be adopted separately by all jurisdictions by July 1, 2026. However, any local jurisdiction adopting a new code or portion of a new code after July 1, 2023, will have to be compliant with the energy code. The International Fire Code is a building code and as such falls under this requirement. Harwig said since the new fire code wasn’t adopted by July 1, 2023, and since fire departments weren’t aware of the deadline, the amendments didn’t get done. State fire chiefs and the state fire marshal association is working with the Legislature and the state energy board to see if a cleanup bill can be passed to exclude the fire code from the definition of building codes. Harwig said that a new energy code, referred to by some as the “comfort code,” can potentially add up to $24,000 of costs to a new home. The district is currently under the 2009 International Fire Code.
Joan Fritsche discussed new proposed legislation that might affect the district revenues.
Photo by L.C. Grady
Chief Trent Harwig swears in Justin Salinas as a driver/operator.