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Falcon Fire Protection District (FFPD)

FFPD NEWS 

FFPD board meeting 

By LC Grady

The Falcon Fire Protection District held its regular board meeting Nov.15 at the FFPD administration building at 7030 Old Meridian Road. Directors Dan Kupferer, Tom Kerby and Steve Podoll were present. Ray Hawkins teleconferenced in. President Jim Reid was absent. Also present were Fire Chief Trent Harwig and Attorney Joan Fritsche, legal counsel for the district.

Pension board meeting

After the Pledge of Allegiance, approval of the agenda and approval of prior meeting minutes, the board meeting recessed to conduct the annual pension board meeting. Harwig provided details on the pension fund activity; the board approved the next year’s benefit level and actuarial study numbers and set the date for the next pension board meeting for November 2024.

Treasurer’s report

Harwig said the report he received from the bookkeeper prior to the meeting had an error in it and certain parts would have to be omitted. He reported that 83.3% of the fiscal year was complete as of Oct. 31. The general fund received 100% of its budgeted revenues with two months left. Expenditures across all fund categories were at 75%. Harwig anticipates being slightly under the special ownership tax but over the total tax collections. The ambulance transport fund has received 120% of the budgeted revenues because of the Medicaid supplemental payment. Harwig could not present the expenses due to the above-mentioned clerical error. The capital projects fund was at 82% of budgeted revenue, same as the previous month as fourth-quarter transfers from other funds have not yet occurred. The rural water fund had no activity.

Staff/operations reports

Deputy Chief Jeff Petersma was absent and Jon Webb was out on a call. Harwig informed the directors that they would do staff reports for two months at the next meeting in December.

Fire inspections

Lt. Curtis Kauffman told the directors that a response from the governor’s office regarding the 2021 energy code that affects the 2021 fire code has still not been received.

Maintenance building

Harwig updated directors about the status of bids for the maintenance building. He said bids were due by Nov. 8. The selection committee, consisting of Kupferer, Kerby and Harwig, reviewed the bids and said they were higher than expected at $2.1 or $2.2 million. He urged the board to keep in mind that the district is separately responsible for certain items like a generator, a keyless entry, vent exhaust systems, etc. Harwig said the selection committee agreed that the most thorough proposal and lowest bid was from Hammers Construction. The committee recommended the board accept the bid and authorize Harwig and Fritsche to go forward with contract negotiations with Hammers Construction for the maintenance building. The board approved the motion. The proposed completion of the maintenance building is Oct.1, 2024, with construction beginning in March 2024.

Banning Lewis Ranch exclusion petition

Fritsche presented the board with an update and status of the petition requesting exclusion out of the district of Banning Lewis Ranch properties, previously annexed by Colorado Springs.  She directed board members to their packets to review a checklist to make sure all required steps were completed. The petition was adequate. A public notice was published in The Gazette on Oct. 15. Fritsche read the petition. There was no public comment received. Because of some unresolved questions, the issue was tabled until Dec. 13.

Budget 2024

Harwig said that since Proposition HH failed on the November Colorado ballot by a large margin, the district continues to operate under Senate Bill 238 regarding tax revenues and back-fill as originally projected in the budget presented to the directors at the October meeting. Harwig said the governor called a special session to try to address anything the Legislature can do in addition to the SB 238. The Special District Association, Colorado State fire chiefs and El Paso County fire chiefs are asking to be involved in any discussions about a long-term fix and any additional decreases in the tax revenue for next year. Harwig also provided a brief summary of Initiative 50, which qualified to be on the 2024 November ballot. The hearing on the proposed budget was set for Dec. 13.

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