Fire Truck Colorado
Falcon Fire Protection District (FFPD)


FFPD board meeting 

By LC Grady

The Falcon Fire Protection District held its regular board meeting July 19 at the FFPD administration building at 7030 Old Meridian Road. Directors present were Jim Reid, Tom Kerby, Steve Podoll and Ray Hawkins.

Passing of FFPD director

Mike Collins, the department’s chaplain, opened the meeting with a prayer for director Terry Reed, who passed away Aug. 14. He expressed gratitude to Reed for his long-time support of the FFPD. “He was a great man who will be sadly missed,” Collins said.

A memorial service will be held Sept. 8 at 4 p.m. at Holy Cross Lutheran Church — 4125 Constitution Ave., in Colorado Springs. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in his memory to Holy Cross Lutheran Church:

Swearing-in ceremony

After opening the meeting with unanimous approval of the agenda and inviting public comment, of which there was none, Chief Harwig swore Robert Halstead in as a firefighter.

Treasurer’s report

Harwig reported that 58% of the fiscal year was complete as of July 31. The General Fund received 94% of its budgeted revenues. Expenditures across all fund categories were at 50%. The Ambulance Transport Fund has received 55% of the budgeted revenues. Harwig pointed out that a significant part of the revenues for the fund comes from transport fees; the department was only 1% under budget on transport fees revenue. Across all categories, the expenses show 48%. The Capital Projects Fund was at 55% of budgeted revenue. Total expenses in the Capital Projects Fund across all categories are at 27%. The Rural Water Fund had no activity other than deposit interest, and it remained at 17% of budgeted expenses. 

Staff/operations reports

Deputy Chief Jeff Petersma said there was no formal operations report to present, but he and five other staff members were in Minnesota for three days in August for a pre-construction trip to the ladder truck factory to iron out the design details. He reported that he received the proposed change order following the meeting; and, by September, there should be a formal contract to sign for the purchase of the new department ladder truck. On paper, the truck has already been ordered to avoid a 13% price increase after March 1. The price is locked in at $1.38 million. Petersma said he would bring the schematics to discuss the details of the ladder truck with the board during the next meeting. 

Jon Webb reported that the Emergency Medical Services department collected $95,733. Year-to-date, the department had 867 transports and collected $557,088. 

Fire prevention report

Lt. Curtis Kauffmanreported that building inspections went up drastically last month due to the number of strip malls that needed to be inspected. He gave the directors updates to the fire code. A letter has been sent to the governor’s office to clarify whether the energy code will apply to fire codes; pending the response, there is hope that the fire code can be approved by the Home Builders Association and the county.

Maintenance building

Harwig said the development plans have been submitted and fees were paid to the county EDARP (Electronic Development Application Review Program). They have four weeks to collect stakeholder comments, and Harwig expects the comments will be back by Sept. 12. A schedule to go out for bids has been prepared after the four weeks for comments is completed. Harwig gave directors a tentative timing schedule for the bid process. The department will submit the publication of notice to the paper close to Sept. 18. The RFP (request for proposal) will be available Sept. 20, and Sept. 27 is a proposed date for a non-mandatory pre-submittal meeting to answer questions from bidders all in one setting. The proposals will be due Nov. 8. A selection committee to review the bids will be finalized in September. At the November board meeting, the board will consider committee recommendations and select a bid, which Harwig hopes to have signed by Nov. 30. 

2024 budget

Harwig discussed the Proposition HH challenge to the Supreme Court. (It has since been rejected.) Harwig said that if Proposition HH is on the ballot and fails, the department will continue with the budget process as normal and will need to certify the mill levy to the county commissioners by Dec. 15. He said at the November board meeting the department will know whether there will be an official budget approval meeting the second Wednesday of December. If Proposition HH passes, all deadlines will be changed because the county won’t be required to provide final numbers to the department until Dec. 29; the mill levy will have to be submitted for certification to the county commissioners by Jan. 5, which would require a special board meeting.

RFP selection committee

Reid asked about the RFP committee. Harwig explained that usually there are two people on the committee — typically a board member and Harwig. As RFPs come in, the committee reviews them, prepares follow-up questions to make sure that the comparison is “apples to apples,” based on what they are proposing. The committee then makes a recommendation to the full board. The board can either accept the recommendation or ask the committee to follow up with other questions.

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