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Vol. 14 No. 8 - August 2, 2014


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This page contains only the text of the articles and columns in this issue. To see the photos and captions including the Snapshots of Our Community section, view the on-line version above or download the PDFs whose links follow this table of contents.

the PDF file. This is a 20.7 Mbyte high-resolution file with color photos.

individual pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32

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Monument Board of Trustees, July 21: Trails End residents protest bulk water fill station issues

By Lisa Hatfield and Jim Kendrick

The board room at Monument Town Hall was packed for the July 21 Board of Trustees meeting. About 35 residents of Trails End attended to express concerns to the trustees and public works department about a new bulk water station the town built. The trustees approved an ordinance prohibiting the discharge of deadly weapons within town limits and heard presentations from new D-38 Superintendent Karen Brofft and Haley Chapin, executive director of Tri-Lakes Cares.

Public Works Director Tom Tharnish was excused.

Trails End residents voice concerns

Tammy Barber, Bobby Padilla, and several other Trails End residents spoke to the trustees of concerns about the new bulk water station built at the northwest corner of Wagon Gap Trail and Old Denver Highway. Some of their comments:

• Residents were not given proper notification that the town was going to build the bulk fill water station, however, for previous construction projects, all the residents have received notification by certified letter.

• No community input was requested.

• Children’s safety is at risk in this residential neighborhood now that so many commercial trucks are entering.

• Streets and driveways are not holding up to the high traffic load.

• Why do we have a commercial station in a residential area?

• The water tank was described as "not low-profile; it’s a big snorkel thing," and, "It looks like an RV dump site," and "Nothing was done to make it look slightly appealing."

• In June the site was used 506 times for commercial vehicles and only a few times for a residential vehicle.

• The driveway to the fill station is already damaged and deteriorating

• When trucks line up to load water, they block the entrance to Trails End.

• There were 44 commercial customers at the old bulk water station.

• Residents "on the mesa," whose wells no longer produce water, are also allowed to use the tank.

• Commercial trucks use the tank at all hours of the night, not just during the official hours.

• I never thought something like this would be installed in our neighborhood.

• Now cars are parking under it and staying there all night.

• Are there homeless people parking?

• The heavy commercial traffic is negatively affecting our family lifestyle, quality of life, and property values.

• We want it removed, relocated, on other land you lease.

Barber asked whether commercial water users are being charged the higher commercial water rate at this site. "If you charge a little bit higher rate for commercial use…you could make your money back to remove this," and put it at a new location. She said Tharnish estimated it would cost $45,000 to $55,000 to move the station. "We would like to see it put in the fiscal budget so we can move this." "Kiewit used one million dollars in water (if they had been charged commercial price), and that would have paid the town" for moving this site, Barber said.

NOTE: Kiewit & Parson-Brinkerhoff (PB) is the design/build contractor for the widening of 11-mile segment of northbound and southbound I-25 from two to three lanes between the Woodmen Road and Highway 105 exits by the Colorado Department of Transportation. Kiewit is leasing two storage areas adjacent to the Baptist Road exit as a staging area for its operations. Highway construction requires a large amount of potable water for dust control in the surrounding area of the improvements. Kiewit had contracted with Forest Lakes Metropolitan District for potable water from the metro district’s only well, but that well failed. Kiewit turned to the Town of Monument as an alternate source of bulk potable water near Baptist Road.

Town Treasurer Pam Smith, Mayor Rafael Dominguez, Development Services Director Tom Kassawara, and Trustee Stan Gingrich responded on behalf of Tharnish, who could not attend this meeting and had requested it be postponed. Some of their comments were:

• The site was designated in 2002 as a bulk fill water station and zoned (PRD) Planned Residential District with a list of permitted uses such as water uses and essential utilities.

• The town’s previous bulk water station on North Jefferson Street was not replaced until this year.

• Many apologies were offered for the minimal notification and the sense of disenfranchisement.

• "But (the bulk water tank) is there now. What resolution do you want?"

• This water station was built to provide easier water access for people in Mount Herman Estates, who need water, and to address commercial needs as well as augment funding for the water enterprise fund.

• Currently there are 24 bulk customers: 17 commercial (nine using the station), and seven residential.

• Bulk use in June was much higher than predicted since Kiewit had contracted with Forest Lakes for water, and its well failed.

• In June there were 521 trips into this neighborhood; 418 were by Kiewit.

• In July there were 63 trips through July 20.

Dominguez said the board will have the staff look into options regarding the bulk fill station, keeping the safety and aesthetics of the community in mind, and make repairs to the road and driveway. The Trails End residents and homeowners association will be notified of any board consideration at future board meetings.

New superintendent introduced

Karen Brofft, the new D38 superintendent, received two hearty rounds of applause from the audience. She emphasized the she is "approachable and always appreciates public engagement." She will make presentations and conduct interactive team meetings "to bring in the public and find ways to make the public even schools better."

Tri-Lakes Cares helps community help itself

Tri-Lakes Cares (TLC) Executive Director Haley Chapin explained to the trustees about the mission and operations of this local community resource center and how it helps people in the area with emergency needs, achieving self-sufficiency, and relief services. Case managers are trained to help with situational and generational poverty and help clients use resources that include:

• Food pantry

• Medical clinic, plus coordinating mental health and dental services

• Snack pack program to supplement food needs for children who qualify for free and reduced lunch, plus a senior supplement program

• School supplies for children in the fall

• Holiday food baskets and hand-picked gifts for families at Thanksgiving and Christmas, thanks to donations

Case managers also help clients obtain clothing that is appropriate for work and provide financial assistance that will help families "bridge out of poverty" to self-sufficiency.

Chapin explained how the Hangers Thrift Store is both a resource for clients and a revenue stream. This year the store is on track to generate $100,000 that all goes back to TLC to support its program services. She encouraged Tri-Lakes residents to donate clothing of all kinds, household goods, books, kitchen items, and jewelry to Hangers.

TLC is searching for someone who is bilingual in English and Spanish to fill a 40-hour a week case manager position. This person would work with clients and determine courses of action to help them and connect them with the appropriate resources.

Chapin said, "Everyone is one or two catastrophes away from needing help."

See www.Tri-lakescares.org for more information about helping this organization or to get eligibility information.

Hash oil extraction process restricted

In an effort to avoid explosions when pressurized combustible gases like butane are used in the production of hash oil from marijuana, the trustees unanimously approved an ordinance prohibiting the use of compressed flammable gas as a solvent in the extraction of THC or other cannabinoids in a residential area. The ordinance does not apply to commercial or industrial buildings. There was no public comment during the open portion of the public hearing.

Discharge of dangerous or deadly weapons within the town

The trustees approved an ordinance to change the town code regarding dangerous weapons, since the code said that anyone could shoot any size weapon that uses gunpowder, or archery projectiles from a bow, in their backyard on their property, "if done safely and the projectile does not leave the property." Monument Police Chief Jake Shirk said this puts citizens in an unsafe position. He said other codes in state usually prohibit shooting within town limits except in approved shooting galleries. Shirk also noted that the current ordinance does not allow police officers to legally discharge their weapons inside the town limits while in the performance of their duties.

The code adopted on July 21 states, in part, that "It is unlawful for any person to discharge a revolver or pistol of any description, shotgun or rifle, which may be used for the explosion of cartridges, or any bow made for the purpose of throwing or projecting missiles of any kind by any means whatsoever, whether such instrument is called by any name, within the town limits of the Town of Monument, or upon any property owned by the Town of Monument within the town limits."

Shooting that is allowed within town limits includes:

• Officers on the police force are allowed to legally discharge their weapons while in the performance of their duties.

• BB guns and airsoft rifles, if used safely

• Shooting done inside shooting galleries

• Ceremonial discharge of weapons using blank cartridges

Town Attorney Gary Shupp explained that a separate statute says "you can defend yourself" in a burglary situation.

After a long discussion and the amended motions, the ordinance passed 5-2. Trustees Jeff Bornstein and Jeff Kaiser voted no.

Concealed weapon seizure ordinance approved

A separate ordinance was unanimously approved to add language to the town code to allow police officers and judges to seize, hold, and store concealed weapons found on a person following an arrest until the judge can determine and order the proper disposition of the concealed weapon.

Fees deleted from town code

An ordinance removing the list of current town fee amounts from the town code was unanimously approved. The list of current Development Services Department fees will now be maintained by the town clerk. The amounts of the various fees will be changed by board resolutions rather than an amending ordinance as has been required until now, simplifying hearing publication and recording requirements. The descriptions of the various development fees and their applicability were not deleted from the existing code, and none was changed by this ordinance.

Regional Building service fee approved

A town resolution creating a Modified Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department (PPRBD) was unanimously approved. The modified agreement will allow automatic renewals of the agreement annually without the need for additional written agreements by both parties. The town will now pay PPRBD an administrative fee of 2 percent of the land use taxes PPRBD collects for Monument.

Water donated for Rinally Village

Mayor Dominguez stated a conflict of interest on a Rinally Village water rights resolution because he owns property related to the resolution. He recused himself from the meeting, asked Mayor Pro Tem Kaiser to run the remainder of the meeting, and left Town Hall.

Kassawara reported that Rinally Village, which is proposed to be a mixed-use development on Washington Street just south of Second Street, has a shortfall of available water rights of 0.73 acre-feet per year. A section of the town code states that the town may accept a fee in lieu of water rights in the event the water rights associated with a proposed development are insufficient. A 2007 board resolution allows the Board of Trustees to establish a discounted fee for the acquisition of water rights in the downtown area. The discount is designed to encourage higher density development in downtown.

Kassawara also reported that the board has the option of requiring the purchase of the 0.73 acre-feet of water or allowing the development to obtain the shortfall amount from the town’s water portfolio without charge. Kassawara added that the staff recommends that the town allow this development to acquire the additional water rights without charge, similar to what has been done with several recent developments that experienced minor shortfalls of water. Once the board approves the acquisition, the staff can administratively approve the site plan for the project, which has met all of the town’s development requirements

Kassawara said that in the past the town has given away small amounts of water rights to the proposed assisted living center (located on Beacon Lite Road adjacent to the Grace Best School) and the Lake of the Rockies development (located on Mitchell Avenue adjacent to Monument Lake). The board approved the donation of 0.73 acre-feet of water to the Rinally Village development. The worth of this water right was stated to be about $3,000. The motion passed 6-0-1. As noted above, Mayor Dominguez abstained from voting on the donation.

BRRTA agreement approved

A resolution approving an intergovernmental agreement between the Town of Monument and the Baptist Road Rural Transportation Authority (BRRTA) regarding the collection of the BRRTA use tax by the Town of Monument was unanimously approved (6-0). The town will receive a 2 percent fee for collecting road use fees for BRRTA and remitting the collections to BRRTA’s management company on a monthly basis. The collection of the BRRTA use tax by Monument will commence for any new construction permits submitted on Aug. 1, 2014.

Development services report

Kassawara’s report included these items:

• Three contractors attended the pre-bid meeting for the Downtown Sidewalks Project.

• King Soopers is initiating the steps to build a service station east of the entry drive into the store’s shopping center on Baptist Road.

• Seven single-family land use permits were issued in June, all in Triview, for a year to date total of 44 (39 in Triview).

• Commercial land use permits have been issued to Colorado Springs Health Partners and Goodwill Industries for new development on southeast corner of Jackson Creek Parkway and Leather Chaps Drive.

Public works report

Some of the items in Tharnish’s written report were:

• Preliminary work is being performed for a potential second water tank site on Mount Herman Road near the entrance to the Forest Service Work Station.

• The Forest Lakes Metro District well is now back in operation.

Police report

Police Lt. Steve Burk was nominated by Shirk for the local Masonic Lodge officer of the year for his work coordinating with clergy to assist transients. Sgt. John Hudson was recognized as most valuable trainer at the Active Shooter training with Fort Carson.

Shirk’s written report explained that on July 1, two search warrants were served on different residences in Monument. The Fountain/Monument SWAT team served a search warrant at a residence on Crestview Court while the Colorado Springs Police Department served a search warrant at a house on James Gate Place. The warrants were served in connection with an investigation by the Monument and Colorado Springs police and El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

Many suspects were involved in criminal activity involving identity theft, use of fraudulent credit cards, and theft. This activity was occurring along the Front Range, from Denver to Pueblo. One suspect was arrested at one of the residences and numerous items of evidence were recovered. Two other suspects were still at large.

"It has been a very busy, active month," Shirk said. In response to a question from the board about the raid noted above, he said, "All the officers on the raid were safe; it was a very large operation."

Disbursements over $5,000 and sales tax report

Town Treasurer Monica Harder presented the following eight disbursements over $5,000, which were approved unanimously by the board:

• $143,506 to Triview Metropolitan District for May sales tax ($138,882), June motor vehicle tax ($4, 441), and June PPRBD sales tax ($184)

• $16,703 to CIRSA (Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency) Insurance for third-quarter workers compensation insurance

• $18,002 to CIRSA Insurance for third-quarter liability insurance

• $7,505 to Krassa and Miller LLC for legal services

• $9,929 to Lytle Water Solutions LLC for engineering services

• $7,371 to Mountain View Electric Association Inc. for providing electric power for an irrigation system on Trail Park Drive

• $168,092 to Colorado Water Conservation Board for the 2003 dam loan annual payment

• $11,522 to Compass Tools Inc. for GPS equipment for the Water Department

Sales tax collected was 2.2 percent higher than in July 2013. Mayor Pro-Tem Kaiser thanked Harder for including the year-to-year comparisons in her report now.

Smith was unanimously appointed the town representative to the board for Community Development Block Grants. She will attend and participate in six bi-monthly county CDBG board meetings per year for the next three years.

The meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

**********

The July 7 board meeting was canceled. Due to the Labor Day holiday, the next meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 5 at Town Hall, 845 Beacon Lite Road. Meetings are usually held the first and third Mondays of each month. Information: 884-8017.

Lisa Hatfield can be reached at lisahatfield@ocn.me

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Academy Water and Sanitation District, Aug. 20: Wastewater operations will be joined with Donala; election moved to 2016

By Susan Hindman

After nearly five decades of managing its own wastewater treatment, the Academy Water and Sanitation District board approved a resolution to pursue connecting its wastewater operations to the neighboring Donala Water and Sanitation District (DWSD). Pipes will be laid from Academy’s lagoon on Spring Valley Drive to Donala’s collection pipes. A lift station will pump Academy’s wastewater to the Donala pipes for subsequent treatment by the Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility. This will begin by fall 2018, as required by Academy’s wastewater permit.

The board was forced to change because of new state regulations that could not be met by the district’s current lagoon treatment system. The board had looked at two other options: connecting with Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) or building a new plant at the current location. But there were a number of unknowns about the CSU option, including having to get easement access across private property and possibly building a new lift station. A new plant would have been problematic because of impending state regulation changes involving Smith Creek, which is where the treated effluent is released.

Kip Petersen, general manager of DWSD, said at the meeting, "In terms of what’s been happening between our districts, this is rather historic. This is a very good thing. I’m really proud to be a part of it." The next step is creating a written agreement between the two districts. And the two boards will have their first joint meeting in the near future.

Academy board members were torn as to when to hold an election to ask residents for a new mill levy to cover the costs of connecting to Donala, both construction and plant investment costs. Special districts like Academy can only hold elections in even-numbered years, so the choice was either November 2014 or May 2016. The pros and cons of both options were discussed for more than an hour before Director Ron Curry made a motion to put the issue before voters in 2016. The vote was 3-2, with directors Curry, Richard DuPont, and Walt Reiss voting yes, and Jim Weilbrenner and Susan Hindman voting no.

Going to the voters in November would have been "extremely tight," according to Paul Murphy, the district’s lawyer. The ballot wording would need to be written quickly and would require consultation with the bond company. While the bottom-line numbers may not change much, a more detailed cost breakdown would be available in 2016. However, those voting for a November election didn’t want to wait another 1˝ years.

Voters will be looking at a mill levy that will pay the $3.9 million price tag for connection, the current estimate by GMS Engineering. Costs would have been slightly higher for the other two treatment options.

While board members want voters to know the cost breakdown and understand the issues, there will be no other choice than a "yes" vote, no matter when the election is held, since the district’s treatment system can’t meet current or future state regulations covering ammonia, nitrogen, or phosphorus numbers. At previous meetings, the board has been told that a "no" vote could lead to the state taking over the district’s wastewater operations.

**********

The Academy Water and Sanitation District board meets at 6 p.m. the third Wednesday of every month at the fire station on Gleneagle and Jessie Drives. The next meeting is Aug. 19.

Susan Hindman can be reached at susanhindman@ocn.me.

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Palmer Lake Town Council, July 10: Certification required for mitigation reimbursements

By James Howald

With no marijuana-related items on the agenda, the Palmer Lake Town Council focused on less-controversial committee reports at its July 10 meeting. The council heard an update on the town’s fire mitigation project from citizen representatives Judith Harrington and Laura Mawdsley, and met Michelle Connelly, the forester from the Coalition for the Upper South Platte assigned to review the town’s mitigation efforts. Trustees John Russell and Trisha Flake were not present at the meeting.

Fire mitigation reimbursements require certification

Citizen representatives Harrington and Mawdsley updated the council on the progress of the fire mitigation project and introduced Michelle Connelly, a forester with the Coalition for the Upper South Platte. Reimbursement for mitigation work depends upon certification of the work by Connelly. Certification documents can be found on the town’s website (www.townofpalmerlake.com/palmer-lake-wrrg-reimbursement-process/).

Harrington requested those seeking reimbursement to keep all receipts, to take before and after pictures of their property, and to request the inspection through Harrington, who can be reached at 719-229-9636. To date, all the work done has been certified.

Council restricts watering

To help conserve water, the council voted to amend the ordinance governing when lawns and gardens may be watered. Under the amended ordinance, odd-numbered addresses may water on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Even addresses may water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Watering is not permitted on Mondays, and watering is not permitted between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The details of the changes will be emailed to town residents and included in water bills. All trustees present voted to amend the ordinance.

Project to remove hemlock gets underway

Parks and Recreation Trustee Cindy Allen talked about efforts by the Parks and Recreation Committee to eradicate noxious weeds, particularly hemlock. Hemlock is toxic, and requires protective clothing to be worn when it is being removed. State law requires the town to address noxious weeds on town property.

Allen reported on the efforts of her committee to implement a guardrail for a playground area and to add no-parking signs at the reservoir trailhead. The number of cars parked at the trailhead has at times created access problems for emergency vehicles.

Trustee Allen also called for a motion to write a request for a proposal to replace the 31-year-old windows in the library. The motion passed with the votes of all the trustees present.

Town to request presentation from Department of Local Affairs

Finance Trustee Jennifer Martin reviewed the process to get assistance from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, which provides a variety of financial and marketing services to towns in financial crisis, and indicated she would invite DOLA to give the Town Council a presentation regarding its services in September.

Martin reported on work underway to update the town’s personnel manual to include current job descriptions for all town employees. She has begun work on the 2015 budget, and asked the trustees to begin collecting line-items and input from their staffs.

She thanked Karen Stuth for her work on the town’s new website (www.townofpalmerlake.com) and said she would post the town’s financial information on the site.

Police Department over budget for year

Police Trustee Paul Banta notified the council that the Police Department was $21,000 over budget for the year, primarily as a result of a large insurance bill paid last month.

A study was underway to analyze the traffic on Highway 105, Banta said. He also provided details concerning a collision that occurred adjacent to O’Malley’s Steak Pub. The driver was initially charged with reckless driving, but a day later was also charged with drunken driving after the results of a blood alcohol test were obtained.

Water use typical for summer

Mayor Nikki McDonald detailed the town’s water consumption over the last month: 4.14 million gallons of surface water, nothing from well A2, and 2.39 million gallons from well D2. The average daily use was 218,000 gallons, and the highest daily use was 317,000 gallons—typical amounts for summer months. Mayor McDonald also said the paving project at Circle and Meadow was completed in June.

Fire Department future still under discussion

Fire Trustee Rich Kuehster reported the Fire Department had 19 calls in June and 170 for the year. The volunteer hours for June were 2,530. Kuehster told the council another public meeting would be held July 19 to gather input from citizens concerning the future of the volunteer fire department. See the Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Protection District article on page 20.

Changes to Town Council process

Mayor McDonald announced some changes to the way Town Council meetings will be managed. Each meeting will begin with a 30-minute or one-hour workshop session, which the public is welcome to attend but which will be used for the council to debate issues without public comments. Each issue will be assigned a time limit for consideration during the council meeting that will follow the workshop. Issues brought before the council by citizens will be added to the agenda for the next council meeting to ensure the trustees have time to research issues before taking any action.

The meeting adjourned at 8 p.m.

**********

The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 14 in Town Hall, 42 Valley Crescent. Meetings are normally held on the second Thursday of the month. Information: 481-2953.

James Howald can be reached at jameshowald@ocn.me.

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Palmer Lake Town Council, July 10: Certification required for mitigation reimbursements

By James Howald

With no marijuana-related items on the agenda, the Palmer Lake Town Council focused on less-controversial committee reports at its July 10 meeting. The council heard an update on the town’s fire mitigation project from citizen representatives Judith Harrington and Laura Mawdsley, and met Michelle Connelly, the forester from the Coalition for the Upper South Platte assigned to review the town’s mitigation efforts. Trustees John Russell and Trisha Flake were not present at the meeting.

Fire mitigation reimbursements require certification

Citizen representatives Harrington and Mawdsley updated the council on the progress of the fire mitigation project and introduced Michelle Connelly, a forester with the Coalition for the Upper South Platte. Reimbursement for mitigation work depends upon certification of the work by Connelly. Certification documents can be found on the town’s website (www.townofpalmerlake.com/palmer-lake-wrrg-reimbursement-process/).

Harrington requested those seeking reimbursement to keep all receipts, to take before and after pictures of their property, and to request the inspection through Harrington, who can be reached at 719-229-9636. To date, all the work done has been certified.

Council restricts watering

To help conserve water, the council voted to amend the ordinance governing when lawns and gardens may be watered. Under the amended ordinance, odd-numbered addresses may water on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Even addresses may water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Watering is not permitted on Mondays, and watering is not permitted between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The details of the changes will be emailed to town residents and included in water bills. All trustees present voted to amend the ordinance.

Project to remove hemlock gets underway

Parks and Recreation Trustee Cindy Allen talked about efforts by the Parks and Recreation Committee to eradicate noxious weeds, particularly hemlock. Hemlock is toxic, and requires protective clothing to be worn when it is being removed. State law requires the town to address noxious weeds on town property.

Allen reported on the efforts of her committee to implement a guardrail for a playground area and to add no-parking signs at the reservoir trailhead. The number of cars parked at the trailhead has at times created access problems for emergency vehicles.

Trustee Allen also called for a motion to write a request for a proposal to replace the 31-year-old windows in the library. The motion passed with the votes of all the trustees present.

Town to request presentation from Department of Local Affairs

Finance Trustee Jennifer Martin reviewed the process to get assistance from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, which provides a variety of financial and marketing services to towns in financial crisis, and indicated she would invite DOLA to give the Town Council a presentation regarding its services in September.

Martin reported on work underway to update the town’s personnel manual to include current job descriptions for all town employees. She has begun work on the 2015 budget, and asked the trustees to begin collecting line-items and input from their staffs.

She thanked Karen Stuth for her work on the town’s new website (www.townofpalmerlake.com) and said she would post the town’s financial information on the site.

Police Department over budget for year

Police Trustee Paul Banta notified the council that the Police Department was $21,000 over budget for the year, primarily as a result of a large insurance bill paid last month.

A study was underway to analyze the traffic on Highway 105, Banta said. He also provided details concerning a collision that occurred adjacent to O’Malley’s Steak Pub. The driver was initially charged with reckless driving, but a day later was also charged with drunken driving after the results of a blood alcohol test were obtained.

Water use typical for summer

Mayor Nikki McDonald detailed the town’s water consumption over the last month: 4.14 million gallons of surface water, nothing from well A2, and 2.39 million gallons from well D2. The average daily use was 218,000 gallons, and the highest daily use was 317,000 gallons—typical amounts for summer months. Mayor McDonald also said the paving project at Circle and Meadow was completed in June.

Fire Department future still under discussion

Fire Trustee Rich Kuehster reported the Fire Department had 19 calls in June and 170 for the year. The volunteer hours for June were 2,530. Kuehster told the council another public meeting would be held July 19 to gather input from citizens concerning the future of the volunteer fire department. See the Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Protection District article on page 20.

Changes to Town Council process

Mayor McDonald announced some changes to the way Town Council meetings will be managed. Each meeting will begin with a 30-minute or one-hour workshop session, which the public is welcome to attend but which will be used for the council to debate issues without public comments. Each issue will be assigned a time limit for consideration during the council meeting that will follow the workshop. Issues brought before the council by citizens will be added to the agenda for the next council meeting to ensure the trustees have time to research issues before taking any action.

The meeting adjourned at 8 p.m.

**********

The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 14 in Town Hall, 42 Valley Crescent. Meetings are normally held on the second Thursday of the month. Information: 481-2953.

James Howald can be reached at jameshowald@ocn.me.

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Tri-Lakes Facility Joint Use Committee, July 10: Consultant gets OK to move ahead on expansion

By Jim Kendrick

On July 10, the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility Joint Use Committee (JUC) unanimously approved allowing engineering consultant Tetra Tech to start work on the phosphate removal expansion project before the design and construction contract is approved.

Facility Manager Bill Burks distributed Tetra Tech’s draft engineering report that describes short- and long-term planning to meet new state nutrient treatment restrictions in state Control Regulation 85 and Regulation 31.17.

Burks reported receipt of two reimbursements in June from the state’s $80,000 nutrient planning grant for a total of $62,821, which helped the facility to achieve a net surplus in June of $17,952. The facility had previously received a state nutrient planning grant reimbursement of $3,185 in May. Tetra Tech has charged $66,019 for nutrient planning so far this year.

The Tetra Tech report projected $23 million in costs for short-term technically feasible nutrient removal equipment installation. No longer-term costs were listed because the equipment needed to meet the nutrient limits that the EPA is demanding of Colorado does not yet exist.

Tetra Tech consultant engineer Steve Tamburini will brief the JUC on the report at the next JUC meeting on Aug. 12 to finalize the design and construction contract for the phosphate removal expansion. Environmental attorney Paul Anderson, a colleague of Tad Foster, the facility’s environmental attorney, will also be invited to the meeting to monitor Tamburini’s presentation.

The Tri-Lakes facility operates as a separate public utility and is jointly owned, in equal one-third shares, by Monument Sanitation District, Palmer Lake Sanitation District, and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District. The three-member JUC acts as the board of the facility and consists of one director from each of the three owner districts’ boards: President Don Smith of Monument, Vice President Rich Strom of Woodmoor, and Secretary/Treasurer Ken Smith of Palmer Lake. Several other members of the three district boards, as well as district managers and district staff also attended the meeting. Strom and Smith are new members of the JUC.

Financial report

Burks noted that no payments were made in June to Tetra Tech for planning and design of the phosphorus removal equipment to be installed at the facility. In June, Monument received a credit for $10,807, Palmer Lake received a credit for $11,913, and Woodmoor received a bill for $4,768.

The June financial report was unanimously approved as presented.

Plant manager’s report

Burks noted that the plant had been running efficiently. Average removal of biosolids and total suspended solids were each at 99 percent. The permit limit is 85 percent for each. The EPA awarded the Tri-Lakes facility for setting a national standard for efficiency and effectiveness when the activated sludge process equipment was designed and installed in 1998.

In June 2012, the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission created new regulatory requirements for phosphate and nitrate/nitrite/ammonia removal by wastewater treatment facilities. The statewide costs were high—several billion dollars—for the unattainable nutrient limits imposed by the EPA that Gov. John Hickenlooper imposed the mandate on only the largest facilities that processed over 2 million gallons per day.

The Legislature, at Hickenlooper’s request, created a state grant program for nutrient treatment expansions at these largest plants (out of 391 wastewater treatment plants in Colorado) to help pay for trying to meet this EPA requirement. The requirement for the smaller plants was deferred.

(See http://www.ocn.me/v12n7.htm#juc and http://www.ocn.me/v13n8.htm#grant for more details.)

In the facility’s May Discharge Monitoring Report, the reported daily maximum for nitrates was 3.7 milligrams per liter (mg/l), or parts per million, and 4.6 mg/l for total inorganic nitrogen (TIN.) The permit limit is 23 mg/l for each. The reported 30-day average for ammonia was 0.4 mg/l and the daily maximum was 1.1 mg/l. There is no discharge limit for ammonia, a component of total inorganic nitrogen, because the Tri-Lakes plant has been proven to be so efficient in removing ammonia.

There is a new permit requirement to monitor effluent chloride monthly because new equipment that will be installed, using a $1.08 million in state nutrient planning ($80,000) and nutrient design/construction ($1 million) grants, may use ferric chloride to chemically remove phosphates. The monitoring data will establish a baseline for chloride before this equipment is installed. The 30-day average for chloride in May was 65.0 mg/l. Chloride levels were never required to be reported before the nutrient requirements were approved by the Water Quality Control Commission. The plant was not designed to remove phosphates or chlorides because there was never a requirement to treat for them until 2012.

Similarly, there is a new permit requirement to monitor sulfate monthly because alum (ammonium sulfate) is the other chemical that is normally used to remove phosphates. The monitoring data will also establish a baseline for sulfate. The 30-day average for sulfate in Tri-Lakes effluent in May was 32.5 mg/l. Sulfate levels were never required to be reported before the nutrient requirements were approved by the Water Quality Control Commission in June 2012. The plant was not designed to remove sulfates because there was never a requirement to treat for them until now.

The 30-day average for copper in May was 6.5 micrograms per liter (µg/l), or parts per billion. The temporary permit limit is 24.8 µg/l. The daily maximum was 8 µg/l; the temporary permit limit is 36.4 µg/l. The state Water Quality Control Division has not yet set a new permanent permit limit based on the EPA’s national precedent-setting decision in June 2012 to accept the facility’s research on biotic ligand model standard setting by GEI consulting. The study cost about $500,000 to prove that the plant had never done any harm to aquatic life in Monument Creek, despite the previous claims by the EPA and the division. For further information, see the 43 citations that are available by searching the exact words "copper limit" at the top of the www.ocn.me home page.

Control Regulation 85 requires monthly sampling for nutrients in Monument Creek upstream (at Arnold Avenue) and downstream (at Baptist Road, below the mixing zone) of the Tri-Lakes facility, as well as for Tri-Lakes wastewater influent and treated effluent. The following data were reported for May.

Influent Total Phosphorus (TP): 6.6 mg/l

Effluent TP: 5.5 mg/l

Upstream TP: 0.03 mg/l

Downstream TP: 1.0 mg/l

Influent nitrate: 29 mg/l

Effluent nitrate: 0.13 mg/l

Upstream nitrate: 0.03 mg/l

Downstream nitrate: 0.21 mg/l (shows that other non-point sources of nitrate entering Monument Creek are contributing substantially more nitrate than Tri-Lakes effluent)

Influent nitrite: undetectable

Effluent nitrite: 0.08 mg/l

Upstream nitrite: 0.00 mg/l

Downstream nitrite: 0.00 mg/l

Influent TIN: 29 mg/l

Effluent TIN: 3.88 mg/l

Upstream TIN: 0.03 mg/l

Downstream TIN: 0.21 mg/l

Influent Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN): 29 mg/l

Effluent TKN: 3.88 mg/l

Upstream TKN: 0.03 mg/l

Downstream TKN: 0.61 mg/l

Influent Total Nitrogen (TN): 38 mg/l

Effluent TN: 5.35 mg/l

Upstream TN: 1.30 mg/l

Downstream TN: 1.08 mg/l

Burks explained the activated sludge nitrification-denitrification treatment process to Smith and Strom, the new JUC members. During nitrification, bacteria oxidize the ammonia, converting it to nitrate, nitrite, and water. During subsequent denitrification, nitrogen is removed from the wastes and converted to nitrogen gas, which is released to the atmosphere (which is 78 percent nitrogen gas.) Waste biosolids clump together and settle to the bottom of a clarifier from which they are pumped to the facility’s sludge lagoon for further underwater treatment that lasts over two years.

For a more complete overview of this complicated biological process, see http://www.nesc.wvu.edu/pdf/ww/publications/pipline/pl_sp03.pdf  and http://www.barnstablecountyhealth.org/ia-systems/information-center/compendium-of-information-on-alternative-onsite-septic-system-technology/basics-of-wastewater-treatment

Total nitrogen loading is in the form of TKN or ammonia. The level of TN, which will be restricted by Reg 31.17 starting in 2022, is calculated by adding the TKN loading and ammonia loading in the wastewater that flows into the plant from the three owner districts. Total inorganic nitrogen is a separate figure, the sum of nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia. Total inorganic nitrogen is a required reporting item in both the monthly discharge monitoring report and the monthly Control Regulation 85 report.

Burks also explained the different older processes used by the Phillips and Las Vegas wastewater treatment facilities of Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU.) Both the Phillips and Las Vegas facilities are located within the City of Colorado Springs, downstream of the two local wastewater treatment facilities, Tri-Lakes and Upper Monument Creek. Because CSU’s equipment is older and less efficient, CSU will have to spend a very large amount of money just to match Tri-Lakes’ existing nutrient removal capability.

All of the nitrogen data will be critical in future permit limit negotiations with the Water Quality Control Division because it is so technically challenging and expensive to meet the interim nitrogen limits in both Control Regulation 85 and Regulation 31.17. The nitrogen limits being demanded of Colorado by the EPA are unattainable with currently available wastewater treatment technology.

The very limited amount of assimilative capacity in Monument Creek that will be available for division among Tri-Lakes, Upper Monument Creek, Academy Water and Sanitation District, the Air Force Academy, and CSU under EPA’s proposed restrictions will result in a very expensive and fierce competition between these county entities for how much total nitrogen each can discharge. A similar competition looms for the amount of total phosphorus each of these entities can discharge as well.

AF CURE update

Wicklund and Orcutt discussed the results of the July 1 Arkansas and Fountain Coalition for Rural/Urban River Evaluation (AF CURE) meeting. This new water quality monitoring group has created a coordinated nutrient monitoring program from Palmer Lake to south of Pueblo to meet the reporting requirements of the state Water Quality Control Commission’s Control Regulation 85.

A website is being set up for AF CURE that will be similar to the website for the 13-year-old South Platte Coalition for Urban River Evaluation (SP CURE), which served as the model for the creation of AF CURE.

The Water Quality Control Division is about to impose new regulations creating restrictions on sedimentation. However, these new state sedimentation standards are very dependent on reference data from existing U.S. Geological Survey monitoring stations that are being collected for other programs.

Since there are only two monitoring stations east of I-25 in Colorado, the new regulations will not apply to wastewater treatment facilities east of I-25, with the exception of Colorado Springs Utilities, which pays for USGS monitoring facilities that already collect data along Monument Creek under contracts with USGS that are paid for by CSU. As a result, Tri-Lakes and Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility may be affected by the upcoming state sedimentation regulations.

Burks said the plant receives an average of 2,922 pounds of suspended solids per day, but only discharges an average of 39 pounds per day. The new phosphate removal equipment will improve suspended solids removal. Chemical removal of nutrients is far more controllable and reliable than biological nutrient removal by bacteria.

The JUC unanimously approved Burks’ request to attend the annual Water Environment Federation conference in New Orleans to attend workshops on new environmental equipment. The cost of attendance was budgeted for 2014.

Wicklund noted that Monument Sanitation District would continue to participate in the monthly stakeholder meetings for fee bill, permit, impaired stream designation, and legislation as well as AF CURE, the Colorado Monitoring Framework, and the Colorado Wastewater Utility Council for the Tri-Lakes and Upper Monument Creek facilities.

The meeting adjourned at 11:40 a.m.

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The next meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Aug. 12 at the at the Tri-Lakes facility’s conference room, 16510 Mitchell Ave. Meetings are normally held on the second Tuesday of the month. Information for these meetings is available at 481-4053.

Jim Kendrick can be reached at jimkendrick@ocn.me.

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Donala Water and Sanitation District, July 17: 2013 district audit approved

By Jim Kendrick

On July 17, district auditor Tom Sistare of Hoelting and Co. presented his 2013 audit report on Donala Water and Sanitation District’s financial performance to the district board. He reported that he did not identify any deficiencies in internal control considered to be material weaknesses and was giving Donala an unmodified or "clean" opinion.

Sistare singled out Donala’s Sharon Samek, accounts payable, and Office Manager Betsy Bray, Samek’s predecessor, for their smooth transition during 2013.

Some of the 2013 figures Sistare noted were:

• An increase of about $300,000 in unrestricted cash reserves

• Receipt of about $67,000 in Triview tap fees

• About $675,000 in capital outlays

• A decline in water revenue of about $350,000 due to a relatively wet summer in 2013

• Donala tap fees totaled $178,000 and were not used to pay for operations

The board unanimously accepted the audit as presented. The board unanimously approved a separate motion recognizing the work of Samek and Bray during the audit.

Financial reports

General Manager Kip Petersen and Chief Water Operator Mark Parker discussed the old-style brass meter and transponder that were installed as replacements in a home about eight months ago. The wrong type of transponder had been attached to the meter at the factory, which caused use readings to be four times higher than the actual amount used. The erroneous readings were not detected initially due to the lack of irrigation flows. Once irrigation season started, it was apparent that the use readings were too high. District testing revealed the meter-transponder mismatch. The customer has received a refund check for the billing error incurred by the incorrect transponder.

Parker noted that the district plans to replace 250 meters per year at a cost of $109,000 per year.

Water supply plan presentation

Water Resources Manager Brett Gracely and Watershed Program and Issues Manager Allison Plute, both of Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU), presented CSU’s 50-year Integrated Water Resource Plan (IWRP) to the board as part of its extensive "community engagement process." Gracely gave an extensive in-depth technical briefing on a wide variety of long-term CSU and statewide water supply issues.

The goal of this CSU plan is a sustainable and cost-effective water supply that reflects community values and is adaptable to changing conditions and uncertainties related to climate variability, hydrology, water rights, aging infrastructure, environmental/recreational water demands, political positions, social values, and environmental regulations. A final draft of this water resource plan will be prepared by CSU staff in mid-2015.

Petersen thanked Gracely for his presentation to Donala, noting that this was the first time CSU has involved Donala in a regional water resource process like this. Plute and Gracely said as they left that CSU is happy to provide the briefing slides to Donala and to give this same presentation to any group in the Tri-Lakes region.

For more information CSU’s water resource plan, see:
https://www.csu.org/Pages/iwrp-r.aspx 
https://www.csu.org/CSUDocuments/iwrpfactsheet.pdf

Manager’s report

Petersen next reviewed the specific details of each of the various agreements that were signed to set the short-term service system use fees that Donala has paid each year to Colorado Springs Utilities for infrastructure use and water use. He also reviewed a summary sheet that listed specific raw water treatment rates that Donala pays to have the district’s renewable surface water delivered from the district’s Willow Creek Ranch.

Donala’s renewable water is transported via a CSU pipeline from the Pueblo Reservoir on the Arkansas River to CSU’s water treatment plant. After this treatment by CSU, Donala’s water is further transported by a CSU pipeline to a connection with Donala’s distribution system at the south end of the Donala service area for direct use by Donala customers.

Petersen also noted that a new agreement between Donala and CSU will have to be created and signed when CSU starts to transport Donala’s renewable surface water from the Pueblo Reservoir through the Southern Delivery System pipeline.

Petersen re-emphasized that Donala provides all the renewable surface water that CSU transports and treats for district use from Willow Creek Ranch. CSU has never provided any CSU water to Donala.

The annual rate CSU charges Donala each year to treat each 1,000 gallons of Donala’s surface water has risen an average of about 10.9 percent per year from $11.12 in 2011 to $15.17 in 2014. The annual rate of credit Donala receives from CSU for each 1,000 gallons of Donala’s surface water, in lieu of CSU having to provide any of CSU’s water to Donala, has risen an average of about 9.4 percent per year, from $4.33 in 2011 to $5.67 in 2014. As a result, the direct net operating cost to Donala for CSU treatment of each 1,000 gallons of Donala’s renewable surface water has risen from $6.79 in 2011 to $9.50 in 2014. The amount CSU is charging Donala for "out of district" treatment service is 50 percent higher than the treatment charge paid by CSU customers.

Donala also pays CSU a separate flat infrastructure use fee of $180,150 per year as well as a separate flat water use fee of $300,820 per year. This $480,970 paid to CSU for transport of the first 200 acre-feet of Donala’s renewable surface is equivalent to $2.76 per 1,000 gallons for this first 200 acre-feet.

An acre-foot of water is 325,851 gallons or 43,560 cubic feet of water. There are 7.48 gallons in a cubic-foot of water.

Donala is actually producing and using more than 200 acre-feet of Willow Creek Ranch water per year. For example, the ranch produced 290 acre-feet of renewable water for Donala customers in 2013. Donala’s annual renewable surface water right is limited by its adjudicated water court decree to an average of 280 acre-feet per year over the previous 38 years.

Petersen said Willow Creek Ranch was still producing 9 cubic feet per second of renewable surface water in North Willow Creek. About 220 acre-feet of renewable water has already been stored in Pueblo Reservoir. The district will stop taking credit for surface water flows early again this year to stay within its decreed annual allocation.

Petersen said the board members will meet with members of the Colorado Springs City Council during a tour of CSU facilities and each will be able to explain to them that Donala is not a CSU customer. Rather, CSU is just treating Donala’s water and delivering it to the district for distribution to Donala’s customers by Donala’s pipelines.

At the end of this lengthy board discussion, Petersen said his goal is to conclude negotiations with CSU by mid-2015 for the new SDS-related agreement that starts in 2016. Board President Bill George asked whether a statement in the current treatment/transport agreement regarding transfer of the ownership of district water to CSU would preclude re-use of Donala’s renewable water by Donala. Petersen said he would consult with the district’s water attorney Rick Fendel and provide Fendel’s answer to the board.

Billing adjustments for water leaks

Petersen presented a draft policy for adjusting water bills when documented water leaks occur. He noted that major leaks can occur over long periods of time before they can be detected and documented and can result in bills of thousands of dollars. He noted that he had reviewed the existing billing adjustment policies of other water agencies throughout the region.

He recommended adopting the CSU policy effective retroactively to May 1. The policy of CSU is to determine what the average consumption had been in the past during the period of the leak and charge for only half of the "leak consumption" cost of the water lost due to the documented leak. A motion to adopt this policy as of May 1 was approved 4-1. Petersen will incorporate this policy into the district’s rules and regulations.

Petersen reported that Academy Water and Sanitation District board unanimously approved a motion on July 16 to move forward with connecting to Donala’s sanitary sewer collection system and have Academy’s wastewater treated by the Upper Monument Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility. The state is requiring Academy to replace its existing wastewater lagoons by 2018. For more information, see the article on the Academy board meeting on page 1.

The Academy district board will schedule an election for May 3, 2016 for the property tax initiative needed to finance design and construction of a lift station and force main to pump all of Academy’s wastewater over the ridge between the two districts to a Donala manhole where the water can flow by gravity to Upper Monument Creek. Ballot initiatives like this that have TABOR restrictions can only be held in even-numbered years.

Stormwater initiative

Petersen noted that he had been the only person to attend the July 16 regional stormwater meeting at Lewis-Palmer High School regarding a November ballot initiative to create a regional drainage authority within El Paso County. He said that the Monument Board of Trustees had not yet formally voted against joining the authority, though Mayor Rafael Dominguez has been outspoken about town fears that most if not all the proposed stormwater fees collected from town property owners would be spent elsewhere downstream.

Petersen said the current proposal states that money contributed by an entity’s constituents will be returned to the entity through local regional drainage authority construction projects within a five-year period.

Triview status

Petersen stated that Donala had received the Triview district’s payment of $135,376 for its wastewater treatment for the second quarter. Triview also paid Donala $39,000 for 26 new taps in accordance with Triview’s 2009 arrangement for Donala assistance in financing Triview’s share of the Upper Monument Creek facility expansion.

Status of operations projects

Petersen and Parker showed the board a video of the damage in the Well 3A. The 8-inch steel well casing, which was installed in 1986, had an "acorn-sized hole" at a depth of about 600 feet. Contractor Hydroresources installed a 20-foot stainless steel casing patch on the hole at a cost of about $66,000 as well as a new motor and pump at a cost of about $100,000.

A control system problem that caused a brief outage of Well 12 A has been repaired. However, Well 2A will remain out of service for the rest of this year to be hyper-cleaned before installing a new pump and motor.

All electrical repairs to the Upper Monument Creek facility after a massive Mountain View Electric Association voltage surge have been completed. A new blower has been installed for the facility’s sequencing batch reactor process.

Phase 1 of the Doral pipeline installation project near the Viewpoint Apartments will be completed by early September. A neighborhood meeting will be held when the final design of Phase II is completed to inform property owners about the construction schedule, and this information will also be posted on the district website.

The board went into executive session to discuss strategies and negotiations regarding the sale of district property at 4:06 p.m. After the board came out of executive session, it immediately adjourned at 4:23 p.m.

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The next meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 21 in the district conference room at 15850 Holbein Drive. Meetings are normally held on the third Thursday of the month. Information: 488-3603.

Jim Kendrick can be reached at jimkendrick@ocn.me.

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July 4th Snapshots of Our Community - I

By Jim Kendrick

Caption: Colorado Springs Musket Loaders have parade watchers fire off a cannon during the Fourth of July parade in Monument. The event once again drew thousands to the Tri-Lakes area for a variety of activities throughout the day. The day started with a Fun Run from Palmer Lake to Monument, followed by the St. Peter Pancake Breakfast. Next, children decorated their bikes, other types of transportation, and themselves for a festive Children’s Parade. The main parade followed with marching bands, cheerleaders, horse riders, fire trucks, and floats decorated in a variety of patriotic and other ways. Following the parades, attendees browsed through a street fair, watched bull riding, and listened to music in Limbach Park to conclude the day.

Caption: Litchfield Marching Band of Litchfield, Minn. Photo by David Futey.

Caption: Local Girl Scout Troops were represented in the Parade

Caption: Attendees of the pancake breakfast lined up for pancakes, eggs and sausages on the morning of July 4. The St. Peter Knights of Columbus hosted the annual pancake breakfast. Military personnel and first responders received their breakfasts for free. Photo by David Futey.

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Monument Sanitation District, July 17: District receives $20,940 state grant reimbursement

By Jim Kendrick

On July 17, Monument Sanitation District Manager Mike Wicklund advised the district board that the Tri-Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility had received two grant reimbursements totaling $62,821 in June from a state three-year nutrient planning grant of $80,000 that was awarded to the facility in 2013. This $62,821 reimbursement was $17,952 more than the facility’s total operating expenses for June.

The $62,821 reimbursement was divided in thirds and a credit of $20,940 was applied to the individual facility operational invoices of each of the three special districts that own the facility. The Tri-Lakes facility operates as a separate public utility and is jointly owned, in equal one-third shares, by Monument Sanitation District, Palmer Lake Sanitation District, and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District.

Monument’s $20,940 share of the June grant reimbursement was more than the district’s June Tri-Lakes facility treatment invoice. As a result, Monument Sanitation District did not have to write a check in July to the Tri-Lakes facility for its share of the facility’s June operating expenses. The district had a remaining credit of $10,807 of its $20,940 share listed on the district’s June facility invoice. This remaining $10,807 credit will be rolled over and applied to Monument’s July facility invoice.

NOTE: Another planning grant reimbursement of $3,185 to the Tri-Lakes in May was also split three ways ($1,062 each) as a credit to each of the three special districts. Future reimbursements from a separate $1 million state nutrient design and construction grant to the facility will also be divided in thirds and distributed to the districts.

A payment of $10,850 was made to J&K excavating for sewer line repairs. However, the district will receive a reimbursement of $6,500 of this expense.

No tap fees had been received since the June 19 board meeting. The district’s total cash assets on July 16 were $838,966.

Cleaning and relining of collection lines underway

Wicklund noted that DRC Construction of Sedalia would be completing sewer line cleaning and video inspections of 20 percent of the lines, part of the district’s five-year rotating inspection cycle. DRC will also perform video inspections after cleaning the district’s vitreous clay collection lines that will relined by Insituform in August. Some older collection lines are cleaned every year as a preventive measure because they have a shallower gradient than current installation standards require and have shown that they may become blocked with tree roots in less than five years.

The Monument board approved a contract with Insituform on June 19 to reline deteriorating vitreous clay collection pipes in the alley west of Washington Street. The total cost for equipment mobilization and doing cured-in place pipe relining for 517 feet of 6-inch clay pipes and 843 feet of 8-inch clay pipe is $42,305.

Insituform is a felt tube soaked in resins that is pulled through the collection line from manhole to manhole, then inflated and cured in place with steam. The cured resins transform the felt tube into a form-fitting solid pipe that lines the inside of the original pipe. The cured liner has a life-span of over 100 years. This method is far more cost-effective and less disruptive than digging up old vitreous clay pipes and installing new PVC lines.

Final 2013 audit submitted to state

Wicklund reported that the required copies of the final 2013 audit report approved at the June 19 district board meeting had been mailed to the state by district auditor Derek Watada of audit firm Bauerle & Co. and that the district had also received written final copies from Watada for its records.

JUC update

Wicklund reviewed the discussions at the Tri-Lakes facility’s Joint Use Committee meeting on July 10. See the JUC article on page 9 for more information.

There was a preliminary discussion of the Tetra Tech draft engineering report on planning, design, and construction of new equipment at the Tri-Lakes facility for removal of phosphates. The total proposed cost for nutrient treatment equipment to remove total phosphorus and total nitrogen to comply with Control Regulation 85 and Regulation 31.17 as well as other long-range planning options was estimated to be about $23 million.

After a lengthy orientation discussion about a variety of technical aspects proposed in the draft Tetra Tech engineering report, there was consensus that all the Monument board members should read the 178-page draft report and attend the Aug. 12 Joint Use Committee meeting at the Tri-Lakes facility to participate in the question and answer period with Tetra Tech consultant engineer Steve Tamburini. There was also consensus for the district board to take a tour of the Tri-Lakes facility after the next regular board meeting on Aug. 21.

The board went into executive session at 10:46 a.m. to discuss strategies for negotiations regarding rental of district office spaces. The board came out of executive session at 11:14 a.m. Board President Ed DeLaney stated that no votes were taken during the executive session and Wicklund was given direction regarding future negotiation positions.

Wicklund advised the board that the six southernmost single-family home residential lots in the Village at Monument development on Old Denver Highway would have to be connected to the district’s sewage lift station on at the southwest corner of the Trails End development. These six lots will have driveways on Wagon Gap Trail. The lift station has the capacity to handle six additional houses.

Originally, the remainder of the vacant land at the south end of Village at Monument had been zoned commercial. The commercial buildings that were to be built on this vacant land were to be connected to district sewage gravity collection lines in the south end of the development. About 20 other new single-family homes will be built on this formerly zoned commercial land and will be connected to the district gravity system.

The meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

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The next regular Monument Sanitation District meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Aug. 21 in the district conference room at 130 Second St. District meetings are normally held on the third Thursday of the month. Information: 481-4886.

Jim Kendrick an be reached at jimkendrick@ocn.me.

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Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District, July 25: Improving the taste, smell of summer lake water

By Nancy Wilkins

By Nancy Wilkins

During the Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD) board meeting July 25, the board voted on office positions, discussed how to improve the taste and odor of Lake Woodmoor water, reviewed financial and operations reports, and passed a resolution capping per hour research and retrieval fees.

The board assigned the following positions: President Barrie Town, Treasurer Tommy Schwab, and Secretary Beth Courrau. Director Rich Strom is WWSD's new representative to the Joint Use Committee (JUC). Director Jim Taylor is alternate representative to the JUC and WWSD's new representative on the Chilcott Ditch Board of Directors. Prior to the nominations, Town complimented District Manager Jessie Shaffer on how valuable he is to the organization.

Algae change water taste and smell

District Manager Shaffer presented information on how algae change the flavor and odor of lake water. As the algae plant cells die, usually in the late summer months, the decaying cells eventually cause the water to have an odor and taste that some residents find unappealing. The particular form of algae in Lake Woodmoor is perfectly safe, said Shaffer, but the district office received about 30 calls last year to report an unfavorable taste or water smell. Thirty calls is about 1 percent of district customers.

Currently the district is aerating the lake to dispel algae growth. Adding copper or phosphates into the lake may also reduce algae growth. However, Town expressed his apposition to adding these chemicals into the lake.

One solution is to switch back to ground aquifers during July and August, the peak time algae are usually decomposing in the water. But according to Shaffer, July and August is usually the peak demand for water use, and water from the lake is less expensive to process for district customers. Using lake water also reduces the demand for water from underground sources.

According to Senior Engineer Steven Tamburini from Tetra Tech, the odor and taste caused from the algae can be removed with a combination of filters and ultraviolet light, but the estimated cost of purchasing and installing the new equipment would be several hundred thousand dollars. However, if surface water from Chilcott Ditch is delivered to Woodmoor residents, the filtering process to improve taste and odor may eventually be needed.

Director Strom noted the board's responsibility to keep costs down. Director Courrau added that the district has yet to use the existing aeration process for one year to determine its effectiveness in improving the taste of summer lake water.

WWSD will continue to monitor the quality of water to customers. No motions were introduced concerning this topic. The board also discussed how customers could use water purifiers in their homes.

Unaccounted water down to 3 percent

Operations Superintendent Lance Nielson reported 3 percent unaccounted water from May 31 to June 29, representing 1.2 million gallons of water. Total production of water produced for potable use was up to 45.8 million gallons, and total potable water billed was up to 41.3 million gallons. Although 3 percent of produced water being unaccounted is significantly lower than industry standards, Shaffer said three meters in several zones would be installed within days to monitor water flow and help isolate leaks.

Joint Use Committee

Rich Strom, representing WWSD at the JUC, reported that the JUC is carefully monitoring how the state will determine the acceptable level of phosphorous and other heavy metals in water processed by treatment facilities. The state's determination of acceptable amounts could impact operating costs. Strom will not be able to attend the next two JUC meetings, and Director Jim Taylor volunteered to fill the position in Strom's absence.

Financial report

As of June 30, the financial report showed a total operating income of $623,461. Water use fees totaled $212,717, the renewable water investment fee was $161,559, water and sewer taps totaled $125,192, and sewer use fees amounted to $96,238. Expenses included a year-to-date bond interest expense of $627,781 and a monthly utilities expense of $37,247.

Documents charges defined

The board passed a resolution stating the ability for WWSD to charge up to $30 per hour plus copying costs per page for requested for information to cover research and retrieval costs. Director Tommy Schwab asked how often such requests had been made, and the board concluded about two. Attorney Erin Smith said requests for information fall under the Colorado Open Records Act.

Resolution 14-09 was passed in response to Colorado House Bill 14-1193, which would require WWSD to post the district's new policy on the district's website.

Nancy Wilkins can be reached at nancywilkins@ocn.me.

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The next meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Aug. 14 at 1845 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. The board normally meets on the second Thursday of each month. Information: 488-2525.

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Forest View Acres Water District, July 24: Board votes to improve infrastructure

By Nancy Wilkins

At the July 24 meeting of the Forest View Acres Water District board, President Eugene Ashe counted a unanimous "yes" from Directors Timothy Sobik, Eckehart Zimmerman, Anne Bevis, and Treasurer Hans Zimmerman on several motions to replace and improve the water delivery system.

John McGinn, president of JDS-Hydro Consultants, will work with Vice President Chris Kirchner from Global Underground Corp. to replace water pipelines at the Villas subdivision area. According to McGinn, phase one of this project will work in areas not affected by protected Preble mouse habitat, nor will it affect areas pending land easement negotiations. The Villas subdivision is located off of Highway 105 east of Red Rocks Ranch Road, near the district's Arapahoe well.

The board also voted unanimously to improve the backwash pond and make additional improvements near the booster station. Project Manager Jennifer Smith from Glacier Construction Co. was at the meeting to receive the accepted bid for the backwash pond.

Rough estimates put the total cost for the projects at $1 million. The board has discussed and considered design and cost efficiency for years and has a long-term plan for district improvements.

District gets "clean" audit

The district was audited by Schilling & Co. and received an unmodified, or "clean," opinion. The Schilling management letter to the board noted more information from management could have been provided, but the missing information did not affect the basic financial statements.

At about 8:30 p.m. the board went into executive session to discuss land easement negotiations and other issues not open for public discussion. Topics listed under the legal section of the June 26 meeting notes include monitoring the Palmer Lake water court case.

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The next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 28 at the Monument Sanitation District boardroom, 130 Second St. The board usually meets on the fourth Thursday of each month. Information: 488-2110 or www.fvawd.com.

Nancy Wilkins can be contacted at nancywilkins@ocn.me

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Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District, July 23: District will evaluate its need for space

By Lisa Hatfield

At least 20 firefighters and paramedics attended the July 23 Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Board (TLMFPD) board meeting. The board members approved a space-needs analysis for the district, announced a public budget hearing for the August meeting, honored the retirement of Capt. Tom Mace, and heard about some future possible plans for the district. Chief Chris Truty's performance review was postponed until the August meeting after a long discussion with union members.

President Jake Shirk was excused, and Vice President Roger Lance presided over the meeting.

District will request space study

Since 2009, the town has been leasing "the old Monument Town Hall" building, officially known now as the Administration Complex at 166 Second St., to TLMFPD for $1 a year for use as a "temporary administrative office." TLMFPD has been paying for all utilities, services, and upgrades needed (see www.ocn.me/v9n7.htm#bot1). However, the town has just notified TLMFPD that within the next one to three years, it wants the building back for its own use, and TLMFPD will need to move out.

Truty asked the board to approve a solicitation for request for proposals (RFP) for a space-needs analysis study. He would like to identify how much space is needed by TLMFPD now and in the future, which could potentially include 50 percent growth within the district as well as possible mergers with other districts who have more space options to share. Requirements for operations, administration, training, parking, classroom and meeting space, and storage all need to be evaluated, Truty said.

Treasurer John Hildebrandt said, "We're sort of in the center between Wescott and Larkspur, and a combined training center would be reasonable" (if merger discussions continue). "That's one scenario," Truty said. He mentioned the possibilities of sharing a training center with neighboring districts which already have a facility, or creating a regional training center to recoup costs.

The consensus of the board was to have Truty seek RFPs to do the space-needs assessment.

Financial report

Truty presented the financial numbers through the end of June. Fifty percent of the way through the year, the district had received 70 percent of the expected tax revenue, about $2.8 million.

Expenses overall halfway through the year were at about 52 percent of total annual budgeted, just over the 50 percent expected. Truty said a few line items had run over: expenses for Station 2, legal costs and an unexpected election costing $40,000, and administration, which was at 77 percent of expected costs instead of 50 percent, but "it will normalize." Overtime was still within budget, he said. The board approved the financial report unanimously.

Public budget hearing coming in August

At the August meeting, the board needs to make special notification to the public and conduct a budget hearing because of the need to make amendments to the 2014 budget, according to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. "Budgets are supposed to reflect the actual expenses as close as we can," Truty said, but amounts on line items including specific ownership tax, overtime wages, the election, legal fees, and technology need to be discussed and possibly reallocated in the budget.

The 2015 budget will be presented at the September board meeting, and the board will ask for public input for the 2015 budget at the Nov. 12 meeting,

Chief"s review postponed one more month

Although the board had decided at the June meeting that Truty's annual performance review would be done in July, due to a series of miscommunications between the board and the union, the review will now be done at the August meeting. The union was "not allotted enough time" to discuss it with the union body at one of its monthly meetings and provide written feedback to the board, said Tri-Lakes firefighter Ryan Graham, who is also treasurer of Tri-Lakes" Local 4319 of the International Association of Firefighters. A lengthy discussion ensued, as board members and union representative tried to clarify what went wrong in the communication.

Graham said that, through Lt. Franz Hankins, the firefighters had unofficially expressed that they are pleased with Truty. However, Graham said, the union just found out last week about needing to give a written evaluation of the chief, and they need until August to have time to meet as a body and prepare this letter. According to Director Bruce Fritzsche, Hankins—at the June meeting—requested an opportunity for union input on the chief's performance and was given direction to come back with a plan on how to incorporate their input.

Hildebrandt asked, "Why did it take you three weeks to hear from Hankins?" Fritzsche added, "Next time the union needs to have a process (in place), so it's not delaying the process of evaluations." The mechanisms for making the new process work have not yet been ironed out.

Secretary Mike Smaldino asked why the whole board was not informed about the letters requested during the month since the last meeting, where the discussion originated. "I didn"t know about this; I think all of the board should be in on that."

Lance suggested "giving the union the courtesy of another month … but let's make any decision on pay retroactive to this month when we do this again next month."

At the May meeting, Truty announced that all resolutions and positions would be subject to a roll-call vote, but this vote was an aye/nay voice vote. The results were confusing due to the absence of President Shirk. Lance wanted to cast a "no" vote, but it was decided that since he was acting as president, and Shirk only votes in the case of a tie, Lance's vote was not counted. If Lance had voted, the result would have been a 3-3 tie, causing the motion to fail.

The final 3-2 vote approved the motion to delay the chief's evaluation until August, with any pay changes retroactive to July. The vote was recorded as 3-2, with Fritzsche and Smith voting no, rather than 3-2-1 showing that Lance had abstained.

Chief's report

Last month, Larkspur's board consensus was that their chief, Jamey Bumgarner, could go forward with discussions with TLMFPD about a possible merger, Truty said.

Truty said that Donald Wescott Fire Protection District Chief Vinny Burns met with TLMFPD on July 23 and announced that Wescott"s board approved joining TLMFPD in the whole merger process. "So now we are looking at a potential merger of Larkspur, ourselves, and Wescott," Truty said. Wescott has "formally separated their consolidation efforts with Black Forest, so that allows them to come in with us," he said. Truty didn't say when the Wescott board made either of these decisions.

In the deputy chief of operations search process, Truty has selected an individual he has worked with before to come here and "interview the whole staff, rank by rank, to get a feel for everyone, and then he will decide if he wants to be a part of this organization." His mission would be to focus on operations, including buildings, vehicles, staffing, training, and personnel development.

Truty presented information to the citizens of Palmer Lake on July 19 regarding options for them and their volunteer fire department in the future. "The cheapest option for their residents would be to be included in TLMFPD, but it"s not always a financial decision on their part…. They feel very strongly about their volunteer fire department," Truty said. See related article on page 22.

Some of the other items reported were:

• Of three open positions in the district, two will remain open until it is known that 2015 property taxes will be able to pay for them.

• The third position is a SAFER replacement, which cannot be vacant for more than 90 days, and a part-time firefighter has already been offered this position.

• The total increase in district salary expenses in 2015 with the conclusion of the SAFER grant in 2014 will be $350,000.

• The paperwork to resolve the property line question at Station 1, located on Highway 105 west of the railroad tracks, will most likely be approved by the county so that the next step, state approval for well drilling, can be pursued.

• The septic system the district is trying to install at Station 2, located at Roller Coaster Road and Highway 105, will need to be an "engineered" system and therefore more expensive, due to the complicated soil structure of the proposed septic field.

• The district's fleet is "getting better slowly but surely" with Engine 1 and Engine3 receiving replacement rebuilt diesel engines and the engine shutdowns on the aerial receiving a new turbocharger for its diesel engine; Engine 2 will be scheduled for repairs after both other engines are operational.

• The district will get a new Insurance Services Office evaluation soon. This is used by some insurance companies as an overall indicator of the quality of fire-suppression abilities in a fire district. The last evaluation for TLMFPD was in 2006.

• The new TLMFPD website is under development.

• Truty asked for feedback from the board on the memos and supporting documents emailed to them before each meeting so that the directors can be prepared with questions on each topic.

Family medical leave policy amended

The board voted unanimously to change the district's family medical leave policy so that "key" employees (the highest-paid 10 percent, which includes battalion chiefs and higher) would always have to be accepted back after using the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If there were performance problems with an employee, it would not be a FMLA issue and would not be dealt with by the board but rather in a performance review.

Increased employee withholding for pension voted down

Just as the Wescott Fire Protection District was asked to do this month, the TLMFPD board voted to give input on a statewide resolution by the Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado (FPPA) to increase the amount withheld from employees" checks by 0.5 percent each year for eight years, increasing their potential contribution from 8 percent to 12 percent by 2022, while employer funding would remain at 8 percent. The next step is for 50 percent of all FPPA employers statewide (represented by boards) to approve the resolution before it could be enacted.

Lance asked how local TLMFPD employees voted when polled about the possible change. As a local group, the FPPA report stated that the vote was 45 percent in favor and 55 percent opposed to taking an additional 4 percent out of their current paychecks to add to the pension funds for the future. (The official statewide employee vote found 68 percent in favor).

Engineer Jody Thorpe told the board, "We didn"t want to sign on to additional money coming out of our check until we knew where we were on benefits."

In response to Treasurer Hildebrandt's question about the health of the FPPA pension fund, Secretary Mike Smaldino told the board that he thought the pension was somewhere between 98 ­and 102 percent funded, and that future cost of living increases were being considered.

Lance said that since the TLMFPD board represents "these people here, we should support how our local people voted." The board voted unanimously to reject the statewide resolution on behalf of TLMFPD.

Capt. Mace retires

Capt. Tom Mace retired after 19 years of service to TLMFPD. He joined what was then called the Tri-Lakes Fire Protection District as a volunteer in June 1995, and by 1998 he was hired in one of the first paid positions. Lance presented Mace with several plaques commemorating his outstanding service and commitment to the community of the Tri-Lakes region. "Time flies when you're having fun," Mace said to the applauding audience. "It's been an honor for me to work for Tri-Lakes … and a privilege to work with all of you, and I'm going to miss you."

At 7:59, the board went into executive session for the purpose of discussing personnel matters pursuant to Colorado Revised Statues Section 24-6-402(4)(f). They did not expect to make any announcements after the executive session.

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The next meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 27, in the Administration Center at 166 Second St. in Monument. For additional information, contact the district Fire Administration Office at 719-484-0911.

Lisa Hatfield would like to personally thank the TLMFPD crews that helped her family so professionally on the morning after this TLMFPD meeting. She can be reached at lisahatfield@ocn.me.

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Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department Future Committee, July 19: Panel favors ballot issue on fire protection

By Lisa Hatfield, Alex Curnell, and Ben Curnell

The Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department (PLVFD) Future Committee decided July 19 to seek a community vote on increasing funding for fire protection on the November ballot. The panel discussed PLVFD’s options and made the decision at a community meeting.

Fire Trustee Rich Kuehster said two issues have instigated these discussions: "a really bad budget" precluding the possibility of building improvements while paying ongoing operations costs, and the request from the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District (TLMFPD) for the town to begin contributing money for ambulance service overhead costs.

Kuehster, PLVFD Capt. Abby Vierling, TLMFPD Chief Chris Truty, and Jane Garrabrandt and Cindy Powell, members of the Future Committee, were the main speakers. Fire Chief Margo Humes was unable to attend the community meeting. About 20 residents and town officials added their input throughout the emotional 2 1/2-hour meeting.

The consensus, determined by a majority straw poll, was that the committee recommend that the Palmer Lake Town Council should have the town clerk notify the El Paso County clerk by the July 25 deadline that Palmer Lake will place a question on the November ballot. The precise wording of the question posed to Palmer Lake voters basically will ask if the town should, or should not, increase funding and keep the PLVFD independent.

Three issues, three options

Three issues that have precipitated the need to make decisions about PLVFD’s future were discussed:

1. TLMFPD says the Town of Palmer Lake needs to start reimbursing it for providing ambulance service to the town, especially when no transport actually occurs. Overhead maintenance, staffing costs, and calls not covered by insurance have so far been absorbed by TLMFPD’s taxpayers, since Palmer Lake is not in the TLMFPD service area and Palmer Lake property owners do not pay taxes to TLMFPD. Palmer Lake could also contract with American Medical Response (AMR) for ambulance service, which would also require payments from the town.

2. Town of Palmer Lake revenue is declining due to lower property tax and sales tax revenue, while town costs for insurance are increasing. PLVFD shares the town’s 1-cent sales tax with the Police Department.

3. The PLVFD building is 76 years old and needs extensive renovation to be safe for volunteers to use.

For this meeting, the committee had narrowed the options for the department to three:

Option 1 is to do nothing, but Kuehster and Mayor Nikki McDonald agreed this is not feasible, since there is no room in the budget to pay for ambulance service to Palmer Lake or make improvements to the PLVFD building, which Kuehster said "is in such bad shape." He added, "We can’t keep citizens or volunteers safe with the amount of funding we have right now."

Option 2 is to keep the PLVFD operational and increase taxes on Palmer Lake property owners to pay an estimated $300,000 in yearly operations costs plus either $500,000 for renovating the current building or $800,000 to build a new PLVFD equipment and volunteer building (both costs would be spread over 10 years). These options would cost about $120 or $144 per year per $100,000 of assessed home value, about $10 per month or $12 per month respectively. This option could also include a way to pay TLMFPD (or AMR) for ambulance service.

Option 3 would involve including the Town of Palmer Lake into TLMFPD and increasing taxes paid by Palmer Lake property owners by the current TLMFPD mill levy of 11.5 mills, or $92 per year per $100,000 of assessed home value (about $9 per month). If TLMFPD merged with Larkspur Fire Protection District, which is being discussed, the TLMFPD mill levy could go slightly higher than 11.5 mills to match the current Larkspur mill levy at the time of the merger. This higher mill levy would have to be listed in the Palmer Lake inclusion ballot question.

Service would be provided by TLMFPD Station 1 at 18650 Highway 105, which is adjacent to the southern boundary of Palmer Lake, which is 2.5 miles from downtown Palmer Lake, 3.5 miles from the Glen, and within the five-mile service requirement.

Also, since it would be more effective for TLFMPD to serve Palmer Lake from its Station 1, the only way the current PLVFD station would still be used is if Palmer Lake also pays to renovate it for its volunteers.

A straw poll of those in attendance midway through the meeting showed a 15-2 opinion for keeping the PLVFD and increasing taxes. No decision was made on whether the ballot question should ask property owners for the funds needed to renovate the existing fire station or the larger amount needed to build a new fire station. The consensus by the end of the meeting was to meet the July 25 deadline to notify the El Paso County clerk that Palmer Lake will have a ballot issue on the November ballot.

The committee must next recommend a specific ballot question that the Palmer Lake Town Council would submit to the county clerk and recorder by Sept. 25. If November ballot voters decide against keeping and funding PLVFD, then an April 2015 ballot could consider whether to include the town in TLMFPD. In the latter scenario, 20 percent of the Palmer Lake electorate would need to support a petition for inclusion for it to be qualified as a ballot question.

Some of the comments made in support of keeping PLVFD an independent entity were:

• Several people felt that non-PLVFD firefighters could not navigate the Glen or find specific homes there due to lack of signage and GPS coverage.

• PLVFD is the "heart of the town," providing such personal touches as the chili supper, pancake breakfast, and Palmer Lake Star maintenance. PLVFD "holds us together."

• TLMFPD would not pay for keeping the current PLVFD building in use and there would be "less of a presence" of the Fire Department in town without it.

• Insurance ratings might fall if there were not a fire station in town, but the actual new rating would not be assigned until after any changes are made.

• Vierling explained that PLVFD volunteers do documented certification and training every two to three years.

• Since there will be a tax increase either way, it would only cost $14 more per $100,000 per year to keep PLFVD than to go with TLMFPD.

• McDonald said, "If we go with TLMFPD, we don’t maintain control over our whole department. For $14 a year, do you want to sign away what we have right now that is good, who knows our town, that can mitigate? To maintain and control our own department."

Comments made in support of inclusion of PLVFD into TLMFPD included:

• TLMFPD could only continue to provide EMS service to Palmer Lake if it is reimbursed for the costs.

• TLMFPD is fully staffed 24/7 with three stations for backup and has an ambulance that is always staffed with a paramedic to provide advanced life support service rather than the basic life support service currently provided by the PLVFD EMT.

• It is hard to find volunteers who can staff the PLVFD station during weekdays when most go to work at their regular jobs.

• Chief Truty was concerned about the level of fire protection in Palmer Lake and feels it is at risk for a very significant fire.

• The location of TLMFPD Station 1 on Highway 105 is "within response standards."

• PLVFD volunteers could continue with TLMFPD doing the same work they are now, and getting training, vehicles, and uniforms from TLMFPD.

• TLMFPD could get training on navigating the Glen’s roads.

"You’ve got great people here, very dedicated," Truty said. TLMFPD is not trying to take over anything in Palmer Lake, but just offering options, he said.

TLMFPD continues to discuss a possible merger with the Larkspur district north of Palmer Lake. See article at www.ocn.me/v14n6.htm#TLMFPD0528 and on page 20 of this issue.

See www.ocn.me/v14n7.htm#plvfd0607 for a summary of the first PLVFD Future Committee meeting on June 7.

Lisa Hatfield can be reached at lisahatfield@ocn.me.

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Donald Wescott Fire Protection District, July 15: Fire protection rating improves

By Lisa Hatfield

At the brief July 15 meeting, Donald Wescott Fire Protection District board members got good news about the re-evaluation of the district’s public fire protection services and voted against a statewide increase in employee pension contributions.

Assistant Chief Scott Ridings was excused.

Protection rating improves

Chief Vinny Burns told the board that the recent re-evaluation of Wescott’s Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating had improved from an ISO Protection Class 5 to a Class 3. By classifying the ability to suppress fires, ISO helps communities evaluate their public fire-protection services.

"This is a very big deal for us," he said, adding that this will provide some insurances savings, especially in neighborhoods with fire hydrants. Neighborhoods without fire hydrants have a slightly worse rating.

Board rejects employee

withholding increase

In a recent statewide vote of the Fire and Police Pension Association to gradually increase employees’ contributions to their pension funds from 8 to 12 percent of their salary over the next eight years was approved by 68 percent of these employees (65 percent was the threshold needed). All fire and police employers statewide, including boards like Wescott, must now vote on the referendum, with 50 percent approval required for this increase to take place.

The goal is ostensibly to ensure solvency of the pension fund, which is 98 percent funded, since it suffered with the economic downturn in 2008. Employer contributions will remain at 8 percent of salary regardless of the outcome of the statewide vote on employee contributions.

Administrative Assistant Stacey Popovich told the directors that the request for their vote arrived on her desk one day before the July 15 meeting, and the results are due back before the August Wescott meeting, so the board needed to vote at this meeting without time to research it. Burns explained that the firefighters across the state have already approved this referendum.

The Wescott board voted against the resolution 2-3. The directors who voted against it felt that not enough information was provided.

Financial report

Popovich listed the current bank balances: People’s—$46,000, Colorado Peak Fund—$180,000, ColoTrust—$439,000, and Wells Fargo Public Trust—$1.1 million.

The directors asked Popovich for clarification at next month’s meeting about the budget item covering the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) equipment that arrived.

Editor’s note: The total ending balance for the 2013 general fund was $1.29 million. This was incorrectly reported in the July 2 issue of OCN because of an editing error.

At 7:44 p.m., the board went into executive session to determine positions relative to matters that may be subject to negotiations, developing strategy for negotiations, and instructing negotiators. No announcements were expected to be made after the executive session.

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The Wescott board usually meets at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month at 15415 Gleneagle Drive. The next meeting will be Aug. 19, starting with a pension board meeting at 6:30 p.m. Call 488-8680 for more information.

Lisa Hatfield can be reached at lisahatfield@ocn.me.

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Woodmoor Improvement Association Board of Directors, July 23: Vice president’s replacement approved

By Jackie Burhans

Woodmoor Improvement Association (WIA) board President Jim Hale reported July 23 that Vice President Kirstin Reimann had resigned because her family was moving out of state on military orders. Hale nominated Secretary Jeff Gerhart to replace Reimann as vice president. The nomination was passed unanimously. Five people asked to be considered for the open director position. They introduced themselves and provided personal information:

• Richard Wretschko has lived on Rosewood Lane for about a year. He is a retiree who worked for Colorado Springs Utilities for 30 years where he developed and administered contracts and worked in mechanical and engineering. When he worked with and then joined the WIA Architectural Control Committee (ACC) and said he is impressed with its dedication to consistency and fairness.

• Scott Towne closed on his house in Winding Hills on June 24 and previously lived for nine years on the other side of Baptist Road. He has been a small-business owner for 20 years in payment processing and debt collection. His interests are fire mitigation, safety and security, and neighborhood beautification.

• Alan M. Bassett has lived in Woodmoor for five years. He works in beverage sales and supervision. He mainly wants to help in safety and beautification.

• Ed Miller was previously on the board as director of covenants and was a member of the ACC for 21 years. He has degrees in forestry and computer science.

• Estelle Remington served with the city council and city manager for 10 years in her previous community. She was on a finance committee and on a committee to revise laws, rules, and regulations. She served as special advisor to city managers.

The board will consider the candidates, make an announcement on the website, and send out an email. Board directorships may be reorganized once the new member comes on board.

Safety training officer proposed

Woodmoor Public Safety (WPS) Chief Kevin Nielsen asked the board to consider designating a current officer to provide standardized and consistent training for any new officers. The WPS training officer would also provide ongoing consistent annual training for existing officers, and update and maintain the WPS training manual.

Nielsen wants all current WPS personnel to complete a minimum of 60 hours annual training in programs including Firewise, CPR, and first aid. The designated training officer could attend training, then come back and train the other officers. There would be no anticipated cost in 2014, but he would want to increase the budget in 2015 to cover the training and a pay increase for the training officer. The board briefly discussed the potential impact to patrol schedules, compensation, and the need for a detailed implementation plan. Board members unanimously approved planning for this new function.

Other business

WIA Chief Operations Officer Matt Beseau said he had contacted two owners of the 133-acre Walters property in South Woodmoor to get their cooperation in arranging for mowing and noxious weed removal.

Covenant Director Erik Stensland reported that the target date is Sept. 1 for a hard copy of the updated covenant rules and regulations document to become available. A public hearing will be scheduled for September, followed by legal review and publication on the web for 30 days. The goal is to finalize the document in November and vote to pass it in December.

The Lewis-Palmer School District asked the WIA board to renew its contract for WPS cooperation. The board unanimously approved the renewal.

A homeowner requested an appeal of covenant fines of $1,225. Hale made a motion to deny this appeal. The motion passed with only Stensland abstaining.

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The board of the Woodmoor Improvement Association meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month in the Barn at 1691 Woodmoor Drive, Monument. The next meeting will be on Aug. 27. WIA Board meeting minutes can be found at: http://www.woodmoor.org/content/admin-bod-meeting-minutes.html once approved.

Jackie Burhans can be reached at jackieburhans@ocn.me.

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Woodmoor Improvement Association Board of Directors, June 25: Board approves replat of Dunes property, modifies late fees

By Jackie Burhans

The Woodmoor Improvement Association (WIA) board approved a replatting of The Dunes residential project at the June 25 meeting. Before the vote, Angela Essing, director of planning for La Plata Communities, presented an overview of the proposed replat and development plans for the property on Woodmoor Drive, south of the Barn between the Moorwood Point homes and the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Station. A number of residents from Moorwood Point attended the meeting.

Essing noted that the original 63 lots had been reduced to 56. The Dunes will be La Plata’s first project in Woodmoor and has different legal development rights than typical units controlled by the WIA Architectural Control Committee (ACC). However, La Plata proposes to work with the ACC as well as El Paso County and Woodmoor Water and Sanitation to review plans and obtain appropriate approvals.

Essing noted that the streets in The Dunes will be public streets built to county standards for right of way and buffers. There will be a 15-foot buffer between The Dunes and the patio homes on Moorwood Point as well as a 15-foot setback around Woodmoor Water and Sanitation (WWS) and the Fire Department. There will be a buffer along Woodmoor Drive landscaped with existing trees from the property. An open space tract will provide access to and around Lake Woodmoor with an easement at the back of the patios so WWS can drive to the lake. The developer also hopes to set aside some open space and common areas for WIA to link trails.

Project details

The WIA board and residents discussed the following points:

• Construction is at least a year away.

• Aspen View Homes has a contract to buy all the lots and will work with the ACC to determine the home styles.

• Homes will be single-family and a mix of single- and two-story situated according to agreement with the ACC, with a maximum height of 35 feet.

• Neither WIA nor La Plata can control of the percentage of rentals, but prices will make rentals unlikely.

• The Dunes will have its own homeowners association under the umbrella of the WIA, and it will pay dues to the WIA.

• La Plata has concluded a preliminary traffic study and, so far, is meeting all of the requirements of the county. WIA President Jim Hale will work with the county and school board on the traffic issues during the school year as parents drop off and pick up their kids at the middle school. The crosswalk has been moved south, and La Plata is in discussions with the county and the ACC to provide a trail so that kids would not have to walk on the street.

• Infrastructure development, including roads and sewers, will take three to six months depending on the time of year. Home construction could take two to three years depending on the market.

Darren Rouse, director of the ACC, made a motion to approve the replatting of the La Plata property with conditions. A $140,000 compliance deposit with an additional $14,000 administrative fee will cover costs for WIA to oversee the project. These fees are due upon approval of replatting but before ground is broken on the project. The motion was approved unanimously by the board.

Fee collection policies

WIA’s collection policy for annual dues has been in place for 20 years with no changes to the penalties charged. Colorado law changed in January 2014 to require HOAs to give at least a six-month notice to residents who require a payment plan. The WIA has typically allowed nine months. Matt Beseau, WIA chief operating officer, noted that WIA has the lowest late fees of any HOA of similar size and recommended a raise in fees to encourage prompt payment. Currently, HOA fees are due on Jan. 1, with a 30-grace period before being marked as late. The late fee is $25, with a returned check charge of $25.

Beseau recommend raising both fees to $50. Interest on unpaid dues is 8 percent, which can’t be changed.

President Hale noted that WIA can offer a payment plan one time for the lifetime of the ownership. Beseau recommended a six-month plan, one time per lot, as the standard. Rouse noted that this is only for those cases where people don’t pay their dues. The majority pay, but the WIA spends a lot of time and money on collections, sending out 800 letters at 50 cents each for postage. The board unanimously approved the revision in the collection policy.

Other business

Hale said the county commissioners are considering an issue regarding zoning and code requirements for group homes for people in rehab and urged residents to watch the commissioners’ web page. He also noted that new Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Chief Chris Truty met with the board to discuss the idea of closing the Woodmoor fire station and building another farther east. The WIA board supported the mill levy to keep this fire station open and Woodmoor residents voted in favor of it.

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The board of the Woodmoor Improvement Association meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month in the Barn at 1691 Woodmoor Drive, Monument. The next meeting will be on Aug. 27. WIA board meeting minutes can be found at: http://www.woodmoor.org/content/admin-bod-meeting-minutes.html once approved.

Jackie Burhans can be reached at jackieburhans@ocn.me.

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NEPCO, July 12: Attorney discusses HOA responsibilities, new legislation

By Larry J. Oliver

A discussion of homeowner association (HOA) documents and new legislation highlighted HOA attorney Lenard Rioth’s presentation at the Northern El Paso County Coalition of Community Associations (NEPCO) membership meeting on July 12.

Rioth stated that since the 1980s, communities have had HOAs. Covenants control HOAs, and HOA boards must enforce covenants. He also said that covenants run with the land and are binding on anyone buying property whether they sign anything or not. Covenants can be amended if approved by 67 percent of all owners and can be overridden by new laws.

Covenants control HOAs, but other documents are also important to HOA management. Rioth stated that most HOAs are nonprofit organizations. To be nonprofit, these HOAs must file articles of incorporation and bylaws with the Colorado secretary of state. Other documents include provisions for collection of assessments and records of meetings.

Many HOAs fall under the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA). These include HOAs formed after 1992, unless the HOA had 10 lots or less.

Rioth outlined several new state laws for CCIOA HOAs.

Under the Records Statute for CCIOA HOAs (HB12-1237), HOAs must adopt a rule/policy regarding inspection and copying of records This statute expanded the list of documents that HOAs must retain and allow inspection. HOAs must provide a list of names, email addresses, and physical mailing addresses of the board and officers.

The Assessment Collection Statute for CCIOA HOAs (HB13-1276) requires HOAs to adapt a rule/policy regarding assessment collection. The rule/policy must include various, specific information, such as due date for assessments, late charges for assessments, interest for assessments, returned check charges, and other requirements.

Under HB13-1132, HOAs that are not subject to CCIOA (pre-1992, or not authorized to make assessments) apparently must register with an HOA information officer and pay the required fee, except for certain exemptions. The information officer is directed to study the functions and duties of HOA information officers in other states as to resolving complaints, mediation, providing monitoring of elections, determining fees on a per-unit basis and per-service basis, oversight of boards complying with laws, and any other HOA function.

Statute HB13-1277 will require licensing of HOA managers and management companies beginning July 1, 2015. The statute sets out requirements, education, and testing for licenses, as well as criminal background checks and payment of fees. It provides for complaints against managers under certain conditions.

**********

The next meeting of NEPCO is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Monument Town Hall. NEPCO can be visited at www.NEPCO.org. Larry J. Oliver is the NEPCO facilitator.

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June & July 2014 Weather Wrap

By Bill Kappel

June was warmer and drier than normal for most of us. Heavy rains did fall at times, but they were generally hit and miss, with the most active conditions off just to our north and east.

Sunny, breezy, and mild to start off the month of June.  No thunderstorms developed during the first three days of the month, which is unusual for this time of the year.  The good news, all the moisture in May has helped to "green" everything up and therefore fire danger was low.  High temperatures reached the upper 70’s to low 80’s each afternoon, with overnight lows only dipping into the upper 40’s.

Active weather was prevalent over the region from the 5-8th, as high levels of moisture surged in from the east and combined with several short waves of energy moving through at upper levels of the atmosphere.  This combined to provide the moisture and lift necessary to spark strong to severe thunderstorms each day.  Storms developed by late morning and early afternoon and moved generally from west to east from the mountains through the eastern plains.  Several reports of large hail, damaging winds, and even tornadoes were reported.  Although tornadoes are not uncommon on the eastern plains of Colorado, tornadic storms in the high country are rare.  However, on Sunday the 8th at least two touched down in Park County, one near Fairplay and one near Lake George.  In addition, a tornado was reported just to our north starting about 5 miles east/northeast of Palmer Lake and moving across highway 83 in southern Douglas County.  Each round of storms dropped heavy rain as well, helping to add to our above normal moisture levels this spring.  Of course, the flash flood potential continues to be a problem over the burn scars and will have to be monitored closely for the next several years. 

With all the daily clouds and moisture, temperatures were held to below normal levels for the period.  Highs reached the mid 70’s on the 5th and 6th, then only mid 60’s on the 7-8th.  Total rainfall accumulations were highly variable, depending on whether any of the storms moved directly over a given location.  Most of us picked up a half inch to two inches of rainfall during the period.

Unsettled and cooler than normal conditions continued over the next several days. High temperatures were in the 60’s and 70’s from the 9th through the 12th. In addition, high levels of moisture in the region allowed low clouds and fog to develop on several mornings. This also slowed the heating and delayed the start of thunderstorm development. However, when storms did finally break loose, some became severe, with large hail the main issue. Drier and warmer air then moved into the region through the weekend. Highs jumped back to normal levels, in the low 80’s. The weather pattern was quiet, with afternoon clouds building. However, the dry lower layers of the atmosphere meant very little rainfall reached the ground.

The last two weeks of June had several bouts of severe weather interspersed with mild and dry conditions.   Unfortunately, most of the storms which developed were not able to tap into low level moisture until moving just east of the Palmer Divide.  This meant little widespread rain, instead rainfall was very hit and miss.  Some of us received heavy rain with the storms, others not much.  Overall, we were drier than normal over the last two weeks.  Temperatures varied between slightly below normal and slightly above normal depending on whether the day started off with low clouds and when storms developed.  Several days were mostly sunny, allowing temperatures to rise as high as the mid and upper 80’s at times.  Highs reached the low to mid 80’s from the 24th through the 26th, before a brief cool down on the 27th.  Then jumped back to mid to upper 80’s on the 28th and 29th, making for a warm, dry weekend. June ended with dry conditions continuing, as temperatures soared into the upper 80’s and low 90’s to end the month.

More normal levels of moisture returned to the region in July, as the Southwest Monsoon season kicked in right on time. This allowed moist air to saturate much of the atmosphere. When these high levels of moisture combined with heating from the strong July sun as well as lift in the atmosphere associated with waves of energy moving through, heaving rain and strong thunderstorms were often the result. Rainfall for the month was right around normal, with an average of 3 inches accumulated. However, as is often the case, some areas received much more and other less, depending on whether you were under one or more of the heavy downpours.

July started off with a cool front pushing through the region, bringing upslope conditions and higher levels of moisture.  This led to areas of low clouds on both the 1st and 2nd and held temperatures to we’ll below normal levels. Highs only reached into the mid and upper 60’s both afternoons.  However, warm, dry air quickly returned just in time for the Fourth of July weekend.  Sunny skies in the morning gave way to afternoon clouds and a few rumbles of thunder, but not before temperatures reached the upper 80’s to low 90’s.  A few scattered showers did develop, but nothing substantial accumulated over the holiday weekend

Temperatures reached the low 90’s on the 6th and 7th, continuing the warm conditions experienced over the Fourth of July weekend.  Afternoon thunderstorms developed and accumulated light rainfall amounts across the region.  Storms were stronger to our east, and the cool, moist outflows from these storms allowed high levels of moisture to bank up against the Palmer Divide.  This kept temperatures much cooler the next day, with highs only reaching the mid 60’s on the 8th.  The moist, cool air was quickly replaced the next day with dry conditions.  This allowed temperatures to jump back into the mid and upper 80’s from the 9th through the 11th.  Areas of storms did develop, but for the most part were east of the region.  High levels of moisture did return over the weekend, as monsoonal moisture moved north.  This allowed for slow moving, heavy downpours to develop.  Most areas around the Tri-Lakes region picked up over an inch of rain over the weekend, with some localized areas getting hit with over 4 inches!  After a drier than normal June, the moisture is a welcome site, but not all at once.

High levels of moisture were prevalent for most of the week of the 14th around the region, and when combined with morning sunshine and warm temperatures, strong to severe thunderstorms were the result.  Several rounds of heavy rainfall affected the area, especially from the south side of the Tri-Lakes through Colorado Springs. Flash flooding hit the Waldo Canyon burn scar and Colorado Springs on the 14th and 15th.  Although much of the heaviest rains accumulated just south of us, we managed to do quite well, with well over an inch for most areas between the 15th and 16th.  Drier air quickly returned for the remainder of the week, as low level moisture was pushed off the east starting on the 17th.  This resulted in isolated afternoon and early evening thunderstorms which produced only brief rain showers, as most of the rainfall evaporated before reaching the ground.  Temperatures were coolest during the first few days of the week, as the higher levels of moisture kept a lid on things.  Highs jumped back to normal and slightly above normal, with mid to upper 80’s from the 18th through the 20th.

Warm and mainly dry weather prevailed on the 22nd and 23rd, as highs reached the upper 80’s and no rainfall accumulated. Warm conditions continued over the next few days, but high amounts of moisture allowed afternoon and evening thunderstorms to develop to our west and move across the area each day. Temperatures soared into the upper 80’s an low 90’s before the rain cooled air put things in check during the afternoon and evening. From the 24th through the 26th, most of us received another inch of rainfall. However, some areas just south and west of the Tri-Lakes region were again hit hard with heavy rain on the afternoon and evening of the 27th. The high levels of moisture combined with very slow storm movement to produce 1- inches of rain over a short timeframe. Flash flooding was again a problem in the foothills to the west and in much of Colorado Springs.

Higher than normal levels of moisture continued to be in place through the end of the month. This led to areas of heavy rain and flash flooding each afternoon and evening across portions of the Front Range and foothills. The moisture of course if very welcome, but it would be better to have is spread out over several days instead of all at once.

A Look Ahead

August is the last true "summer" month for the region. We are often greeted with sunny, pleasant mornings that turn into afternoon and early evening thunderstorms. Highs during the month range from the mid 80’s at the beginning of the month to mid 70’s at the end. Temperatures at night get more comfortable as well, often dipping into the 40’s, making for better sleeping weather.

June 2014 Weather Statistics

Average High 78.1° (+0.8°)

100-year return frequency value max 82.5° min 66.3°

Average Low 44.7° (+0.4°)

100-year return frequency value max 50.7° min 40.2°

Highest Temperature 91°F on the 30th

Lowest Temperature 35°F on the 9th

Monthly Precipitation 0.71" (-1.25" 64% below normal)

100-year return frequency value max 6.94" min 0.15"

Monthly Snowfall 0.0" (-0.1" 100% below normal)

Season to Date Snow 99.4" (-25.5" 20% below normal) (the snow season is from July 1 to June 30)

Season to Date Precip 22.27" (+1.85" 10% above normal) (the precip season is from July 1 to June 30)

Heating Degree Days 125 (-25)

Cooling Degree Days 17 (-12)

July 2013 Weather Statistics

Average High 82.6° (0.0°)

100-year return frequency value max 87.6° min 75.3°

Average Low 52.3° (+2.6°)

100-year return frequency value max 56.2° min 46.9°

Highest Temperature 92°F on the 24th

Lowest Temperature 45°F on the 17th

Monthly Precipitation 3.51" (+0.37" 10% above normal)

100-year return frequency value max 6.03" min 0.98"

Monthly Snowfall 0.0"

Season to Date Snow 0.0" (the snow season is from July 1 to June 30)

Season to Date Precip 3.51" (+0.37" 10% above normal) (the precip season is from July 1 to June 30)

Heating Degree Days 32 (+3)

Cooling Degree Days 75 (-16)

For more detailed weather information and Climatology of the Palmer Divide and Tri-Lakes region, please visit Bill Kapell’s Weather Web Page at www.thekappels.com/Weather.htm.

Bill Kappel is a meteorologist and Tri-Lakes resident. He can be reached at billkappel@ocn.me

 

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Letters to Our Community

Guidelines for letters to the editor are on page 31. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Letters to Our Community should not be interpreted as the views of OCN even if the letter written is an OCN volunteer.

Comments on Common Core

The Tri-Lakes area just celebrated our country and her freedoms. Looking forward to a new school year, I present the following thoughts concerning freedom of education.

Wisely, our Founding Fathers left education in the hands of local states, school boards, parents and teachers.

With the understanding of the tradition of local control, why is an insidious curriculum, known as Common Core, being imposed by "Race to the Top" and the National Governors Association, into our local schools? Federal stimulus money of $4.35 billion and the Bill Gates Foundation are proponents as well.

Watchdog organization Accountability Works notes that Common Core has never been analyzed for cost or effectiveness and is estimated to cost $15 billion to implement.

New computer, software, and books on online-only testing materials, with a "glitchy" website that lead some children to sexually explicit content areas, make it almost impossible for parents to see their child’s curriculum.

Common Core can be traced back to Bill Ayers and Chicago Annenberg Challenge Schools, with emphasis on "community activism" over academic achievement.

Government manuals are reading materials for students, with an emphasis on politically correct thinking. Math word problems promote racial tension and fail at teaching math skills.

Assigned novels for middle and high schools students have been reported as "pornographic" by some parents.

Data mining is embedded into Common Core. Children are observed for facial and emotional responses through biometrics.

The purpose of education, that of learning to think and find truth, is missing in Common Core. Instead, children are taught what to think. The history of our country is "revised" or absent.

America has a great story. Let us pass this story of heroism to our children and grandchildren!

Mary Senour
Common Core Missing History

Questioning U.S. history textbooks

The Advanced Placement (AP) courses high school students complete for college credit will be aligned with Common Core standards. Textbooks associated with AP U.S. history, which have been widely adopted, have questionable revisions and missing information. 

"How bad is the new AP U.S. History Framework?" Ken Mercer, Texas State Board of Education: A few key items verified with Larry Krieger (retired teacher and author recognized by the College Board (CB) as a top AP teacher 2004 and 2005) and Jane Robbins (Senior Fellow American Principles Project) 

American Revolution through 1787 Constitutional Convention, almost every Founding Father is omitted—no Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Franklin. The framework excludes Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, Saratoga, Yorktown. The commanders and heroes of these pivotal battles are all omitted.

Civil War lessons omit Lincoln-Douglas debates, Gettysburg Address, assassination of President Lincoln. The framework again omits crucial battles, key commanders, and valor of common soldiers.

World War II lessons omit "The Greatest Generation," Truman, Hitler, D-Day, Midway, Battle of the Bulge, and every military commander including Eisenhower. Inexplicably, Nazi atrocities against Jews and other groups are not required. The CB concludes its treatment of WWII with this blunt statement: "The decision to drop the atomic bomb raised questions about American values."

Read the full article: http://www.voicesempower.com/college-board-rewrites-united-states-history-revolution-2014/

 A search of the District 38 website yielded no results for a 2014-15 textbook syllabus for any grade level. The board approved three new courses without parental textbook review this summer. We as parents have a right to expect the board to review the text materials it approves prior to implementation with parental input so we can ensure our students are getting a well-rounded U.S. history education, balanced with her exceptionalism as well as her darkest moments. More info: Facebook LPParents.AgainstCommonCore or Twitter@LP38ParentsCC.

Traci Burnett

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Between the Covers at Covered Treasures Bookstore

Taking the scary out of school

By the staff at Covered Treasures

Back-to-school time can be exciting for young children, or it can be downright scary. If your child is beginning preschool or kindergarten, or moving to a new school, here are some delightful books to help ease the way.

My Teacher Is a Monster

By Peter Brown (Little Brown & Co.) $18.99

Bobby has a problem. You see, his teacher is a monster. But when Bobby runs into his teacher outside of school, he learns that there is more to her than meets the eye. Monsters are not always what they seem. As the illustrations change from a monster-type to a friendly lady, it becomes obvious that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes and Pete the Cat Too Cool For School

By Eric Litwin (Harper Collins) $16.99 and $3.99

Pete the Cat is back—and this time he’s rocking in his school shoes. Pete discovers the library, the lunchroom, the playground, and lots of other cool places at school. And no song … because it’s all good. This delightful, rhyming book comes with a free download of the author performing the story. In the paperback, Pete can’t decide what to wear to look cool at school. Pete learns it’s not what you wear, but how you wear it that makes you cool.

Charlie Goes to School

By Ree Drummond (Harper Collins) $17.99

Charlie is a genius napper, an expert cattle wrangler, and the best bacon eater around. His skills are tops, and he’s ready to share what he knows with his ranch friends. While Mama and the kids are busy with their lessons, Charlie helps out by creating a school of his own. Class is in session, but Charlie’s students, Suzie, Kitty, and Walter, are acting like a bunch of animals. Will Charlie be able to teach his friends anything?

The Night Before Kindergarten

By Natasha Wing (Penguin Putnam) $12.99

"‘Twas the night before kindergarten, and as they prepared, the kids were excited and a little bit scared. They tossed and they turned about in their beds, while visions of school supplies danced in their heads." Anticipation and excitement are in the air as the children head off to school where they discover just how much fun kindergarten can be.

Pinkalicious and the New Teacher

By Victoria Kann (Harper Collins) $6.99

Pinkalicious usually likes new experiences, but when she gets a new teacher, she’s not so sure how she feels. This story of adapting to change will resonate with many children. A colorful fold-out poster, bookmarks, and a page of stickers are included.

The Kissing Hand

By Audrey Penn (Tanglewood Press) $12.95

This touching story for any child starting school or facing separation is now brought to life in audio form. The packet includes a paperback copy of the book and a CD with the story. On a track by itself, is the new, original Chester’s Song. Like many true children’s classics, the story leaves adults and children with a warm, wonderful feeling.

Super Silly School Poems

By David Greenberg (Scholastic) $6.99

With titles like "Snakes on the Loose!", "My Teacher is a Mind Reader," and "The Worst Smell of All," how can any child resist the allure of these super silly poems? Delightful illustrations by Liza Woodruff add to the fun.

Preschool Time

By Mij Kelly (Barron’s Educational) $14.99

When Suzy Sue goes to preschool, the farm animals miss her so much that they come up with a plan to bring her home. But they just may change their minds when they see how much fun Suzy Sue is having.

Richard Scarry’s School Bus Box Set

By Richard Scarry (Barron’s Educational) $10.99

This attractive set of four little board books, Huckle’s Opposites, All about Us!, Huckle’s Good Manners, and Let’s Count to Ten comes in a colorful, illustrated school bus-shaped case for easy portability.

Enjoying an appropriate, inviting picture book with Mom, Dad, or another loving adult could help turn a worried child into one who’s looking forward to that first day of school with happy anticipation. Until next month, happy reading.

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High altitude natural gardens near harvest

By Janet Sellers

By now, most high altitude natural gardens (HANGS) are in full swing, and some, like mine, are just blossoming. Many HANG gardeners are getting ready to harvest their summer crops and are planning for fall. Seeds planted now that will thrive in the cool evenings as fall approaches include lettuces, kale, chard, green onions, beets and beet greens, and most cool weather crops.

A HANG tip many use for keeping the veggies going and not bolting to flower and seed status in the heat is to pick off the top (if a plant tries to sprout flowers), and harvest only the outside leaves of each plant, leaving the inner ones to grow larger for harvesting the next week. In my garden, I’ve been able to get the greens to last for months of harvesting this way instead of taking out a whole plant at once.

I also had a great discovery this year. In my raised bed at Monument Community Garden, I let the mint plants to grow tall to protect my lettuces from seasonal hail damage, air drift of pesticides, and heat bolting. What I got was not only protection, but also an unexpected treat: The lettuces grew larger than ever before and stayed sweeter than ever, even though they had bolted and were producing flowers for seed. The lettuces in the adjacent bed were at the same stage of bolting, but were bitter and inedible. Many people shade their greens from hot sun to avoid bitterness, but the mint seemed to keep the moisture and coolness factor as well as promote growth and sweet greens. Yum.

The newest hugelkultur gardeners reported that, so far, these raised bed gardens are on target with expected low water use. First year crops included beans, squash, greens, parsley, and onions. The beds got a needed a four to five gallons of water every other day but stayed moist to the "two fingers deep" test.

The Tri-Lakes Gardening Community group held a garden tour in Monument on July 21. The tour took in several local vegetable and flower gardens, from near Monument Lake to Beacon Lite Road, and had about 20 avid gardeners in attendance to learn the tips of each respective gardener.

Back in June, Donna Wood, of Monument, hosted an African keyhole garden day at her home, built with help from the youth group at Ascent Church of Woodmoor. Keyhole gardens can be beautifully made and easily tended due to the raised bed features. This innovative garden design features a central compost tower for water and table scraps that nourishes the garden bed. This month, Wood reported that she has watered the soil above ground for this season. Purposely close-planted crops include squashes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and lettuces.

The leaves of each plant help keep the moisture in the soil while doing their job of creating food via their leaves to support the whole plant. There is very little evaporation from the surface, and the soil stays moist for the microorganisms to thrive and support the plants. Ancient methods of these mound gardens used large-leaf plants to self mulch, and are common even today in the hot and dry mountain and Southwestern United States.

Detailed information on our local HANG, as well as events and tours, can be found on these Facebook pages: MonumentCommunityGarden and TriLakesGardenCommunity. They will hold monthly tours or events throughout the growing and harvesting season, with a dessert potluck at the end of the 2014 season that often includes a seed exchange.

Janet Sellers is an avid HANG gardener who shares local gardening events, info and tips via OCN and her Facebook blog pages. Contact her with questions or tips on HANG at JanetSellers@OCN.me.

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Art Matters: Get rich quick is for real

By Janet Sellers

Artists, art students, and art lovers can get rich quick in art. Yep, you read that right, and you, too, can get enriched with art. Studies show that consistent training in art and exposure to the arts (oh, yes, outdoor public art is powerfully influential, too) are enriching and beneficial to human health and well-being community-wide.

In the realm of art experiences, enrichment for our lives grows exponentially from the moment we put our eyes on a painting or put a pencil to a page. The enrichment is immediate, worthy, and fun.

Art classes are about the "what if" and wonder of creative thinking in a solid, tangible way with concrete results one can see and touch. While much of our natural wonder and curiosity is fostered by our early family years, any age is a good age to enjoy art or take an art class.

Art enrichment at any point in life helps foster a broad learning ability and strength in creative problem-solving and improved memory. Besides being fun, it is power-packed with visual learning and problem-solving development, and supports a broad of range social skills that grow from aesthetic exposures. In my own case, I have traveled the world and had great conversations with total strangers all because of our mutual interest in art.

True, there are rich artists and there are poor ones, just as there are rich people and poor people. The defining issue is not the art materials but strength. Underdeveloped understanding of wealth creation in any field is not financially successful. People get wealthy, happy, or enriched in life because they (or their wise parents) plan for it. Classes are one way to do that; visiting art venues is another.

We have many local art venues and events here in our community to enjoy with family and friends of all ages. Our summers feature the monthly Art Hop events and include art in stores and street fronts and live music throughout. All this and more (such as complimentary refreshments) just for waltzing around Historic Monument on balmy summer Thursday evenings.

Our local, dedicated art venues such as Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TCLA), 304 Highway 105, Palmer Lake; Bella Art and Frame, 183 Washington St., Monument; and Bliss Sculpture Studio and Gallery (behind Catriona Cellars, 243 Washington St.) on the "artist alley" have art for sale daily and by appointment, and our beautiful public art sculptures are on view 24/7 throughout the area. Maps are available at local merchants for the Art Hop events and Tri-Lakes Views public art.

The next Monument Art Hop is Aug. 21 in the art quarter of Monument between Beacon Lite Road and Front Streets and Second and Third Streets. Join me and your friends, and invite your neighbors, for a summer with the arts!

Janet Sellers is a local artist and art teacher. Her paintings and sculptures are exhibited at local businesses, the Monument Sculpture Park, and various Colorado museums and cities. She can be reached via OCN at JanetSellers@OCN.me.

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July 4th Snapshots of Our Community - II

Caption: Si and Dorothy Sibell not only hosted the annual barn dance July 3 but were selected as this year’s grand marshals for the Monument July 4 Parade. The Sibells once again opened the Tri-Lakes area Fourth of July festivities with their annual barn dance. Food, music by Reckless, and a lively dance floor were all part of this annual community gathering. The dance acts as a fundraiser, with this year’s proceeds going to Wounded Warriors.

Caption: Lewis-Palmer High School Cheerleaders.

Caption: Monument Academy cheerleaders.

Caption: El Paso County Fair Queen Maggie Murphy of Peyton.

Photos by David Futey

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August library events: Reading program drew more than 2,000

By Harriet Halbig

As July came to a close, patrons enjoyed the annual summer reading party on the Village Green in Palmer Lake. More than 2,000 toddlers, big kids, and teens from the Tri-Lakes area participated in the program this year. The library staff thanks the many teen volunteers who worked all summer to make the program such a success.

The annual Ice Cream Social will be held on Aug. 2 from 1 to 2:30. This is a family occasion with free ice cream and live music. We thank the Tri-Lakes Friends of the Library and the Palmer Lake Historical Society for their sponsorship.

Monument Library events:

children’s programs

All special programs have been completed. The weekly storytime and crafts will return to Tuesdays at 10:30 and 11:15. Toddler Time will continue on Thursdays at 10:30 and 11:15.

Storytime en Espanol will be offered on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 5:15. English and Spanish speaking listeners are welcome.

The Children’s Literacy Center and AfterMath tutoring programs will resume the week after Labor Day. For information, please call the library at 488-2370.

Lego Club will meet on Aug. 16 from 10 to 11:30. All ages are welcome. Legos are provided; all you need to bring is your creativity and your camera! All pieces used remain the property of the library.

Teen and Tween programs

Teens and Tweens ages 9-18 are invited to attend a Sharpie Tie-Dye T-shirt workshop on Wednesday, Aug. 13, from 3 to 4:30. Please register online or call 488-2370. A limited number of shirts will be provided, or bring your own.

Adult programs

The Monumental Readers will discuss The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman on Friday, Aug. 15 from 10 to noon. All patrons are welcome to attend this monthly book group.

Looking ahead, learn to research your family’s history on Sept. 6 at 10 a.m. The U.S. federal population census has enumerated the residents of each state beginning in 1790, with the 1940 census the most recent available for researching. Learn to use this resource with the guidance of library Special Collections staff. Space is limited. Please register online or call 488-2370.

On the walls of the library during August will be Senior Art over 50. In the display case will be pottery by Glen Hayes.

Palmer Lake Library events

The Palmer Lake Book Group will meet at 9 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 8. New members are always welcome. Please call 481-2587 for the latest selection.

The Fibernistas knitting group will not meet during August.

All Pikes Peak Library facilities will be closed on Monday, Sept. 1 in observation of Labor Day.

Harriet Halbig can be reached at harriethalbig@ocn.me.

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Our Community Notices

By Judy Barnes, Events Editor

Although we strive for accuracy in these listings, dates or times are often changed after publication. Please double-check the time and place of any event you wish to attend by calling the info number for that event.

Wednesday Senior Lunch

at Big Red

Aug. 6: Chicken Marsala over fettuccine, salad

Aug. 13: Brisket sandwich, potato salad

Aug. 20: Chicken Caesar salad, garlic bread

Aug. 27: Lasagna, Caesar salad, garlic bread

Rolls and butter are served with each meal except sandwiches. Dessert is also provided.

Lunch is at 11:30 a.m. at 146 Jefferson St., Monument (the School District 38 Administration Building, "Big Red"). $3 voluntary donation. Entertainment follows lunch. For more information, call Judy, 487-9067. An activity of Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership. Meals are provided by Pinecrest Catering, Palmer Lake; Nikki McDonald, executive chef, 481-3307.

31st Annual National Night Out, Aug. 5

National Night Out is an annual event promoting crime prevention and drug prevention in communities across the country. The event’s recurring theme is: "Give neighborhood crime and drugs a going away party." Turn on your porch light and come outside to join your neighbors to make a show of solidarity and strength. Hold a block party, barbecue, neighborhood walk, or other activity to show your participation. The Sheriff’s Office encourages all residents of unincorporated El Paso County to plan an event and let them know about it. Sheriff’s Office employees will travel around the county Aug. 5 to attend the neighborhood celebrations. There will be prize drawings at the registered events. For more information or for tips on planning your event, visit: www.natw.org and click on the "National Night Out" button. For questions, contact Mikel Baker, crime prevention coordinator for the Sheriff’s Office: mikelbaker@elpasoco.com; 520-7151.

Volunteers needed for county’s Citizen Outreach Group; apply by Aug. 8

The El Paso County Board of Commissioners is seeking one at-large representative to serve on the Citizen Outreach Group. The volunteer application is located at www.elpasoco.com. Click on the "Volunteer Boards" link. For more information, call 520-6436 or visit www.elpasoco.com.

Register for Tri-Lakes Y Summer

Sports Camps and fall sports

Advanced Soccer Camp, Aug. 4-8; Baseball Camp, Aug. 11-15. Fall sports: flag football, ages 6-12; soccer, ages 3-14; volleyball, grades 1-8. Practices begin the week of Aug. 25; games are Sept. 6-Oct. 11. 17250 Jackson Creek Pkwy., Monument. Financial assistance available. Register at www.ppymca.org/locations/tri-lakes or call 481-8728. See the ad in this issue for a free day pass to the Y!

Help restore Black Forest Regional Park

Black Forest Regional Park burned badly in the Black Forest Fire, then heavy rains that followed damaged trails and caused other severe erosion. This summer, crews will install log barriers to fight erosion and plant native plants to revegetate the 385-acre park. You can help! Workdays are Aug. 23, 24 and Sept. 13, 14. To register call the Rocky Mountain Field Institute at 471-7736 or contact Molly at molly@rmfi.org. For other volunteer opportunities in our parks, trails, and open spaces go www.openspacevolunteers.org.

CASA volunteers needed

Become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). Stand with other volunteers who say, "I am for the child believing in his heart that no one cares." "I am there to champion without compromise for what’s in his/her best interest." Learn more at http://www.casappr.org/volunteer-colorado-springs/ or contact Kelly at 447-9898, ext. 1033 or kellyp@casappr.org.

Monument Academy now enrolling

A free public school of choice for preschool through middle school, Monument Academy offers Core Knowledge curriculum with small class sizes. Tours are available. For more information call 481-1950 or visit www.monumentacademy.net.

St. Peter Catholic School enrolling for

preschool-eighth grade

The school offers full and half-day preschool, Core Knowledge Curriculum with small class sizes, Christ-centered education. NCA accredited, state licensed, financial aid available. Call or visit: 124 First St., Monument; 481-1855; www.petertherock.org.

Host a foreign exchange student

Host families are still needed for the 2014-15 school year. Create life-changing friendships and see your world through new eyes. For more information, contact Sheryl Ellis, Monument, 321-536-9504; Sheryl.Ellis@EFFoundation.org.

CSU Extension offers Garden

Coaching Program

Colorado State University Extension Master Gardeners will meet with you on at your home to coach you and your family in home food production. These one-hour customizable tutorials will provide you with the information you need to grow the garden you want. For more information or to schedule an appointment with a master gardener, call Julie at 520-7690.

Help chart Colorado’s transportation future

The Colorado Department of Transportation invites citizens to get involved in planning the future of the state’s transportation system by visiting the website, www.coloradotransportationmatters.com.

Free Senior Safety Handyman Services

Senior Safety Handyman Services is a unique program funded by the Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging. It is designed to help seniors (age 60 and over) in northwest El Paso County with safety-related handyman projects. Dedicated, paid contractors and volunteers install grab bars, wheelchair ramps, railings, steps, etc., to help seniors to continue to live independently in their own homes. For service, call 488-0076 and leave a message for Cindy Rush. For more information, visit TriLakes-mcts-sshs.org.

Get volunteer help for your nonprofit

Due to popular demand, the Lewis-Palmer School District is adding a list of volunteer opportunities to its Youth Activities Directory online. If your nonprofit has a need for volunteers for a one-time project or an ongoing effort and can use volunteers under age 18, obtain a directory listing form on the district website www.lewispalmer.org under the community tab. Nonprofits may list their volunteer needs in the directory free of charge. For information, contact Robin Adair, P.O. Box 40, Monument, CO 80132; call 785-4223 or email radair@lewispalmer.org.

Donala’s Customer Assistance Program

The Donala Water and Sanitation District offers a Customer Assistance Program in conjunction with Tri-Lakes Cares to help Donala customers in financial hardship, unable to pay their water and sewer bills. Applications can be picked up at the Donala office at 15850 Holbein Dr. in Gleneagle or at Tri-Lakes Cares in Monument. For information call 488-3603.

Tri-Lakes HAP Senior Center programs

The Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership Senior Citizens Center is next to the Lewis-Palmer High School Stadium (across from the YMCA) and is open 1-4 p.m., Tue.-Fri., and earlier for scheduled activities. The facility has a lounge, craft room, game room, and multipurpose room. Programs include pinochle, National Mah-jongg, line dancing, tea time, bingo, and more. Ping-pong, Wii video games, puzzles and board games, refreshments, a lending library, computers with Internet connections, and an information table are also available. For information about programs for seniors, visit www.TriLakesSeniors.org.

County prescription discount

program could save you money

El Paso County’s prescription discount program saved 10,000 residents $250,000 in discounted medicines over 18 months at no additional taxpayer cost. People using the card saved an average of 23 percent. There are no eligibility requirements and no strings attached to receive the discounts. You can pick up a free Prescription Discount Card at most county government locations or you can download your own personalized prescription discount card on the county website (bottom of the front page) at www.elpasoco.com/. Any county resident without prescription coverage can use this program. Even if you have insurance for prescription medications, the discount card might save you money on prescription medications your existing plan does not cover. For information, visit www.elpasoco.com/ or call 520-6337 (MEDS).

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Our Community Calendar

By Judy Barnes, Community Calendar Editor

Although we strive for accuracy in these listings, dates or times are often changed after publication. Please double-check the time and place of any event you wish to attend by calling the info number for that event.

GOVERNMENTAL BODIES

Monument Board of Trustees Meeting, Mon., Aug. 4, Town Hall Board Room, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Meets 1st and 3rd Mon. each month. Info: 884-8017.

El Paso County Planning Commission Meeting, Tue., Aug. 5, 9 a.m., 2880 International Circle (off Union Blvd & Printers Pkwy). Meets 1st & 3rd Tue. (if required) each month. Info: 520-6300, http://adm2.elpasoco.com/planning/agendas/pc/pc-agn.asp.

Tri-Lakes Wastewater Facility Joint Use Committee Meeting, Tue., Aug. 12, 10 a.m., 16510 Mitchell Ave. Meets 2nd Tue. each month. Info: Bill Burks, 481-4053.

Triview Metropolitan District Board Meeting, Tue., Aug. 12, 5 p.m., 16055 Old Forest Point, Suite 300, Monument. Meets 2nd Tue. each month. Info: 488-6868.

Palmer Lake Sanitation District Board Meeting, Wed., Aug. 13, 10 a.m., 120 Middle Glenway. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: 481-2732.

Monument Planning Commission Meeting, Wed., Aug. 13, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall Board Room, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: 884-8017.

Woodmoor Water & Sanitation District Meeting, Thu., Aug. 14, 1 p.m., 1845 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Meets 2nd Thu. each month. Info: 488-2525.

Palmer Lake Liquor Licensing Authority & Medical Marijuana Authority and Town Council Combined Workshop and Regular Meeting, Thu., Aug. 14, 6 p.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Meets 2nd Thu. each month. Info: 481-2953 (then press 0) or www.ci.palmer-lake.co.us.

Monument Board of Trustees Meeting, Mon., Aug. 18, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall Board Room, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Meets 1st and 3rd Mon. each month. Info: 884-8017.

El Paso County Planning Commission Meeting, Tue., Aug. 19, 9 a.m., 2880 International Circle (off Union Blvd & Printers Pkwy). Meets 1st & 3rd Tue. (if required) each month. Info: 520-6300, http://adm2.elpasoco.com/planning/agendas/pc/pc-agn.asp.

Wescott Fire Protection District Board Meeting, Tue., Aug. 19, 7 p.m., Station 1, 15415 Gleneagle Dr. Meets 3rd Tue. each month, Info: 488-8680.

Academy Water and Sanitation District Board Meeting, Wed., Aug. 20, 6 p.m., Wescott Fire Station 1, 15415 Gleneagle Dr. Meets 3rd Wed. each month. Info: 481-0711.

Palmer Lake Planning Commission Meeting, Wed., Aug. 20, 6 p.m., at Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Meets 3rd Wed. each month. Info: 481-2953 (then press 0) or www.ci.palmer-lake.co.us.

Monument Sanitation District Board Meeting, Thu., Aug. 21, 10 a.m., 130 2nd St. Meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: 481-4886.

Donala Water & Sanitation District Board Meeting, Thu., Aug. 21, 1:30 p.m., 15850 Holbein Dr., Colorado Springs. Meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: 488-3603.

Lewis-Palmer School District 38 Board Meeting, Thu., Aug. 21, 6 p.m., Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: 488-4700.

Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Board Meeting, Wed., Aug. 27, 6:30 p.m., 166 Second St., Monument. Meets 4th Wed. each month. Info: Jennifer Martin, 484-0911, www.tri-lakesfire.com.

Woodmoor Improvement Association Board Meeting, Wed., Aug. 27, 7 p.m., Woodmoor Barn, 1691 Woodmoor Dr. Meets 4th Wed. each month. Info: 488-2693, www.woodmoor.org.

Forest View Acres Water District Board Meeting, Thu., Aug. 28, 6 p.m. Monument Sanitation District boardroom, 130 Second St. Meets 4th Thu. each month. Info: 488-2110, www.fvawd.com.

Monument Board of Trustees Meeting, Tue., Sep. 2, Town Hall Board Room, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Normally meets 1st and 3rd Mon. each month. Info: 884-8017.

El Paso County Planning Commission Meeting, Tue., Sep. 2, 9 a.m., 2880 International Circle (off Union Blvd & Printers Pkwy). Meets 1st & 3rd Tue. (if required) each month. Info: 520-6300, http://adm2.elpasoco.com/planning/agendas/pc/pc-agn.asp.

LOCAL LIBRARY EVENTS

Note special summer children’s programs at Palmer Lake branch Wednesdays, 10:30-11 a.m.. and at Monument branch instead of Tuesday Storytime. All branches close July 4.

The Palmer Lake Library hours are Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 66 Lower Glenway. Info: 481-2587, www.ppld.org.

The Monument Branch Library hours are Mon.-Thu., 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. & Sat, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun., 1-5 p.m. 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Paws to Read, Mon., 3:30-4:30 p.m. Let your child practice reading to a Paws to Read dog. No registration required. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Storytime, every Tue., 10:30-11. For ages 3 and up. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Palmer Lake Library Summer Children’s Program, every Wed., 10:30-11 a.m., 66 Lower Glenway. Info: 481-2587, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Toddler Time, every Thu., 9:30 a.m. & 10:15 a.m. Rhymes & rhythms for one- and two-year-olds. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Storytime en Espańol, Wed., Aug. 6, 5:15-5:45 p.m. For children of all ages. Meets 1st & 3rd Wed. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library Teen Program: Sharpie Tie-dye Shirts, Wed., Aug. 13, 3-4:30 p.m. White shirts provided or bring your own. Registration required. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. RSVP & Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Family Program–LEGO Club, Sat., Aug. 16, 10-11:30 a.m. Duplos for the littles ones, Legos for the rest. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Storytime en Espańol, Wed., Aug. 20, 5:15-5:45 p.m. For children of all ages. Meets 1st & 3rd Wed. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Pikes Peak Library District’s Kids Web: Kids Web at www.ppld.org features resources for school reports and homework, Tumblebooks––free online read-along books, and a Fun & Games link. A "grown-ups" link has information about local school districts, home-schooling, and more.

Adult Programs

Monument Library Socrates Café, every Tue., 1-3 p.m. This group focuses on a deeper look into philosophy, religions, spirituality, and the common threads among humanity. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Beginning Computer Classes. Check at the desk for the schedule of free classes Wed. mornings for beginner computer users. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library Senior Chats, every Wed., 10 a.m.-noon. All seniors are welcome to share conversation and a cup of coffee in this casual discussion group. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Palmer Lake Library: Palmer Lake Knitting Group, every Wed., 10 a.m.-noon. Knit with other knitters. Palmer Lake Branch Library, 66 Lower Glenway. Info: 481-2587, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Life Circles, Mon., Aug. 4, 9:30-11 a.m. Get inspiration and structure for writing your memories or history. Meets 1st & 3rd Mon. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: AARP Smart Driver Course, Thu., Aug. 14, 1-5 p.m. Sign in 15 minutes prior to class. Any aged person may attend, but the insurance discount only applies to those age 55 and older. Court-directed persons are welcomed; instructors are authorized to sign off related court documents. Cost: $15 AARP members, $20 for non-members. Pre-class reservations are requested but a few walk-ins might be accepted. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. RSVP & Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Monument Library’s Monumental Readers Book Club, Fri., Aug. 15, 10-11:30 a.m. All are welcome to this spirited group. Meets 3rd Fri. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Tri-Lakes Knitters & Crafters, Fri., Aug. 15, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Drop in to share ideas, get help. Meets 1st and 3rd Fri. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: Clare Wissinger, 481-8442, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Life Circles, Mon., Aug. 18, 9:30-11 a.m. Get inspiration and structure for writing your memories or history. Meets 1st & 3rd Mon. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Yoga Class, Thu., Aug. 21, 12:45-1:15 p.m. For beginners and intermediate. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: History Buffs Book Discussion Group, Wed., Aug. 27, 1-3 p.m. Enjoy a trip through history with other history lovers. Meets 4th Wed. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Life Circles, Mon., Sep. 1, 9:30-11 a.m. Get inspiration and structure for writing your memories or history. Meets 1st & 3rd Mon. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Tri-Lakes Knitters & Crafters, Fri., Sep. 5, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Drop in to share ideas, get help. Meets 1st and 3rd Fri. each month. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Info: Clare Wissinger, 481-8442, www.ppld.org.

Monument Library: Research Your Family History, Sat., Sep. 6, 10 a.m.-noon. Learn how to use the U.S. Federal Population Census records from home or the library. Registration required. Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. RSVP & Info: 488-2370, www.ppld.org.

The Library Channel (Comcast 17) broadcasts 24/7. See live simulcasts of programs, recorded presentations, a schedule of Library events, children’s story times, an adult literacy program, El Paso County Commissioners meetings, and much more. Find the schedule online at ppld.org, then click on the link "Happenings @ Your Library," then click on the "Comcast 17" link to search the schedule.

WEEKLY & MONTHLY EVENTS

· Monument Hill Farmer’s Market, every Sat., 8 a.m.-2 p.m., behind the D-38 Administration building at Second and Jefferson St. in Downtown Monument. Park in the Administration Building parking lot. Playground for the kids, many new vendors plus all your old favorites. Info: 592-9420.

Monument Hill Kiwanis Club Breakfast Meeting, every Sat., 8 a.m., Mozaic at the Inn at Palmer Divide, 443 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Guests are welcome to the weekly meetings that feature speakers on a variety of topics. Info: Bill Healy, 278-8393.

Bingo by the American Legion, every Sat., game sales start at 6 p.m., games start at 7 p.m., the Depot Restaurant, in Palmer Lake. Proceeds go to scholarships and other community support activities. Info: 481-8668, www.americanlegiontrilakespost911.com/bingo.htm.

Calvary Fellowship Monument: Saturday Evening Service, every Sat., 6 p.m., 238 Third. St., Monument. Info: Pastor Tony Magar, 290-1748.

Holy Trinity Anglican Church Sunday Worship, 8:30 a.m.; teaching & community time (preschool-adult), 10 a.m.; family service with children’s church, 10:45 a.m. 13990 Gleneagle Dr. Info: 505-8021, www.HolyTrinityAnglicanChurch.org.

Tri-Lakes Reformed Church Sunday Worship, 9:45 a.m., Woodmoor Community Center, 1691 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Info: www.trilakesreformed.org.

Fuel Church New Church Service at Lewis-Palmer Middle School, every Sun., Donuts and coffee, 10 a.m.; Main Service, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Non-denominational. Info: info@fuel.org, www.fuelchurch.org.

Women’s A.A. Step Study, every Mon., 6 p.m. Family of Christ Lutheran Church, 675 W. Baptist Rd. Info: 481-0431.

Senior Lunches at the old Monument Town Hall, every Mon. & Thu., except the 1st Thu. each month and holidays, Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Administration Complex 166 Second St., Monument. Arrive 11:30 a.m., dine at noon. Stay for free bingo the 2nd Thu. each month. Cost: $2. Info: Dorothy Myers, 481-4189; Maggie Nealon, 488-3037.

Transmission Meditation: Group Meditations every Mon. & Thu., 7 p.m., in Palmer Lake. Experience this dynamic aid to personal growth, as well as a simple, potent way to help transform our world. Free. Info: 303-494-4462, www.TransmissionMeditation.org.

Tri-Lakes YMCA Senior Coffee, every Tue., 9:30-11:30 a.m., 17250 Jackson Creek Pkwy, Monument. Members and non-members are welcome. Seniors, come socialize and have coffee and snacks in the front lobby. Sign up to bring snacks. Free. Info: 630-2604, hbrandon@ppymca.org, www.ppymca.org.

Yarny Birds Stitch Group, every Tue., 10 a.m. & 6 p.m., 790 Hwy 105, #C, Palmer Lake. An open group for knitters, crocheters, and fiber arts of any type. Info: 377-0403, yarnbirdfibers@gmail.com.

Al-anon Meeting: Monument Serenity, every Tue., 7:30-8:30 p.m., Ascent Church, (formerly the Tri-Lakes Chapel) 1750 Deer Creek Rd., Monument. Info: Kay, 481-9258.

Gleneagle Sertoma, every Wed., luncheon meeting at Liberty Heights, 12105 Ambassador Dr., (off Voyager Blvd in Colorado Springs). Interesting speakers and programs; all are welcome. Info: Call Garrett Barton, 433-5396, Bill Bristol, 481-3366, www.gleneaglesertoma.org.

Senior Citizen Luncheons, every Wed., noon-1 p.m., D-38 Learning Center, 146 Jefferson St., Monument. Tri-Lakes Health Advocacy Partnership (HAP) invites area seniors for lunch & activities. Free blood pressure screening 1st & 3rd Wed. $3 donation requested. Info: 484-0517.

Al-anon Meeting: Letting Go, every Thu., 9-10:10 a.m., Tri-Lakes Chapel, room 209, 1750 Deer Creek Rd., Monument. Info: Kay, 481-9258.

Highway 83 Farmers Market, every Thu., 4-8 p.m., 15570 Hwy 83. Colorado local natural and organic produce. Crafters welcome; no participation fee, by donation. Info: 719-217-6452 or 719-302-3938.

A.A. Big Book Study, every Thu., 7 p.m., Family of Christ Lutheran Church, 675 W. Baptist Rd. Info: 481-0431.

Myasthenia Gravis Association of Colorado Support Group. Location varies. For information, call Carolyn, 488-3620, www.4-mga.org, 303-360-7080, 4mga@4-mga.org.

Monument Homemakers Club Monthly Potluck Lunch & Meeting, Thu., Aug. 7, 11:30 a.m., Tri-Lakes Fire Department Administrative Building, 166 Second St., Monument. Meets 1st Thu. each month except Jan. and unless D-38 is delayed or closed due to bad weather. Newcomers welcome. For a ride to the meeting, call Faye Brenneman, 488-0076. RSVP & info: Irene Walters, 481-1188, or Bev Wells, 488-3327.

Palmer Divide Quilt Guild, Thu., Aug. 7, 7 p.m., Church at Woodmoor, 18125 Furrow Rd. Meets 1st Thu. each month. Info: Teresa Kovacic, 559-0083, teresa.kovacic@biofunctionusa.com.

Palmer Lake Art Group, Sat., Aug. 9, 9 a.m., Vaile Hill Gallery, 118 Hillside Rd., Palmer Lake. A variety of art programs are offered after the business meeting. Guests welcome. Meets 2nd Sat. each month. Info: 487-1329, www.palmerlakeartgroup.com.

El Paso County Hazardous Materials & Recycling Collection Facility, Sat., Aug. 9, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 3255 Akers Dr., Colorado Springs. Open the 2nd Sat. each month as well as Mon.-Thu., 7 a.m.-5 p.m., accepts porcelain fixtures, common recyclable items, household hazardous waste, various electronics, and TVs up to 19-inch diagonal. Bring a nonperishable food item for Care and Share. Info: 520-7878, http://adm.elpasoco.com/Environmental_Services/Solid_Waste_Management.

Alzheimer’s Support Group, Sat., Aug. 9, 10-11:30 a.m., Church at Woodmoor, 18125 Furrow Rd. Meets 2nd Sat. each month. Info: LaVonne Putman, 488-2557.

Black Forest AARP Potluck Lunch & Meeting, Wed., Aug. 13, noon, Black Forest Lutheran Church, 12455 Black Forest Rd. All ages welcome. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: Chuck, 749-9227, or aarpchapter1100blackforest.weebly.com.

HAP-py Feet Foot Care Clinic, Wed., Aug. 13, Senior Center located across the street from the Tri-Lakes YMCA, on the Lewis-Palmer High School campus. A registered nurse examines your feet and provides proper toenail trimming. Cost: $30 for a 30-min. visit; limited financial assistance is available for qualifying applicants. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info & appointments: call the Visiting Nurse Association, (303) 698-6496.

Candlelight Yoga at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts, Wed., Aug. 13, 6:30-7:30 p.m., 304 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Pause, meditate, and medicate with wine and chocolate truffles after yoga. Cost: $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Meets 2nd Wed. of each month. Info: 481-0475, info@TriLakesArts.org, www.trilakesarts.org.

Civil War Roundtable, Wed., Aug. 13, 7 p.m., Monument Sanitation District Conference Room, 130 2nd St., Monument. Open to all, no prior knowledge needed. Meets 2nd Wed. each month. Info: Leon Tenney, lwt1862@comcast.net.

Senior Bingo at Old Monument Town Hall, Thu., Aug. 14, Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Administration Complex, 166 Second St., Monument, after the noontime senior lunch. Come for lunch at 11:30 a.m., then stay and play. Free! Prizes! Meets 2nd Thu. each month. Info: Maggie Nealon, 488-3037.

Legacy Sertoma Dinner Meeting, Thu., Aug. 14, 6:30 p.m., Monument Hill Country Club, 18945 Pebble Beach Way, Monument. New members and visitors welcome. Meets 2nd & 4th Thu. each month. Info: Ed Kinney, 481-2750.

Ben Lomond Gun Club, Tri-Lakes Chapter, Thu., Aug. 14, 7 p.m., Tri-Lakes Fire Station 1, 18650 Hwy 105 west of Monument near the bowling alley. Meets 2nd Thu. each month. Info: 481-3364.

Little Log Kitchen Free Meal, Sat., Aug. 16, noon, 133 High St., Palmer Lake. Sponsored by Little Log Church every 3rd Sat. Info: 481-2409.

Amateur Radio W0TLM (Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Radio Association), Mon., Aug. 18, 7 p.m., Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Station 1, 18650 Hwy 105. All amateur radio operators or those interested in becoming amateur radio operators are welcome. Meets 3rd Mon. Info: Joyce Witte, 488-0859, Joycewitte@gmail.com.

Drummers! Mon., Aug. 18, 6:30-8 p.m., Yoga Pathways, Suite A, West End Center, 755 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Free and open to the public. Bring any kind of drum or other hand percussion instrument. Beginners welcome! Usually meets 3rd Mon. each month. Verify date & time: Char, 488-3138.

Tri-Lakes Home Educators’ Support Group, Mon., Aug. 18. Meets 3rd Mon. each month for support, information, field trips, and special events. Info: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TLHESGmembers or tlhesgmembers-owner@yahoogroups.com.

Senior Tea, Tue., Aug. 19, 1-3 p.m., Senior Center at Lewis-Palmer High School (across from the YMCA). Come early to socialize, bring a salad or dessert to share. Meat dishes and tea provided. Voluntary donations welcome. Meets 3rd Tue. each month. Info: Irene C., 484-0517.

Fibromyalgia Support Group, Tue., Aug. 19, 5 p.m., Police Station, 7850 Goddard (1 block off Academy on Kelly Johnson near Chapel Hills Mall), Community Room just inside main entrance. A DVD will play 5-6 p.m.; meeting starts at 6 p.m. Share concerns and success stories and talk to a D.O. Learn how you can become pain-free. No charge, no products sold. Meets 3rd Tue. each month. Info: 481-2230.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7829, Tue., Aug. 19, 7 p.m., Sundance Mountain Lodge, 1865 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. New members welcome. Meets 3rd Tue. each month. Info: Joe Carlson, 488-1902.

Tri-Lakes Lions Club, Thu., Aug. 21, 6:30 p.m. social, 7-8 p.m. meeting, Sundance Mountain Lodge, 1865 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Meets 3rd Thu. each month. Info: David Prejean, 434-7031.

Ladies Auxiliary to V.F.W. Post 7829, Wed., Aug. 20, 6:45 p.m., Sundance Mountain Lodge, 1865 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. New members welcome. If you are a female relative of a veteran who served on foreign soil during war or other military action, you may be eligible. Meets 3rd Wed. each month. Info: Kathy Carlson, 719-488-1902, carlsonmkc@aol.com.

Palmer Lake Historical Society: Finding Your Roots, Thu., Aug. 21, 7 p.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Chuck Loeffler will outline the basics of genealogical research. This program is free to the public; refreshments served after the program. Meets 3rd Thu. Info: Roger Davis, 559-0837; www.palmerdividehistory.org.

MOMS Club of Monument Monthly Meeting, Wed., Aug. 27, 10 a.m., The Church at Woodmoor, 18125 Furrow Rd., Monument. A representative from the Susan G. Komen foundation will speak. Info: monumentmomsinfo@gmail.com.

Senior Social, Wed., Aug. 27, 1-4 p.m., Fellowship Hall of the Black Forest Lutheran Church, 12455 Black Forest Rd. Meets 4th Wed. each month. Info: aarpchapter1100blackforest.weebly.com.

Legacy Sertoma Dinner Meeting, Thu., Aug. 28, 6:30 p.m., Monument Hill Country Club, 18945 Pebble Beach Way, Monument. New members and visitors welcome. Meets 2nd & 4th Thu. each month. Info: Ed Kinney, 481-2750.

Lupus Support Group. If you suffer with an auto-immune disease and want to connect with others, you are welcome to join this group. Info: dmbandle@hotmail.com.

American Legion Tri-Lakes Post 9-11, Tue., Sep. 2 6:30 p.m., Depot Restaurant, Hwy 105 & Primrose St., Palmer Lake. New members welcome. Meets 1st Tue. each month. Info: 481-8668, www.americanlegiontrilakespost911.com.

Monument Homemakers Club Monthly Potluck Lunch & Meeting, Thu., Sep. 4, 11:30 a.m., Tri-Lakes Fire Department Administrative Building, 166 Second St., Monument. Meets 1st Thu. each month except Jan. and unless D-38 is delayed or closed due to bad weather. Newcomers welcome. For a ride to the meeting, call Faye Brenneman, 488-0076. RSVP & info: Irene Walters, 481-1188, or Bev Wells, 488-3327.

Palmer Divide Quilt Guild, Thu., Sep. 4, 7 p.m., Church at Woodmoor, 18125 Furrow Rd. Meets 1st Thu. each month. Info: Teresa Kovacic, 559-0083, teresa.kovacic@biofunctionusa.com.

Craft Club, Sat., Sep. 6, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Fairfield Inn & Suites, Mt. Herman Room, 15275 Struthers Rd. Ages 15 and up; each month features a fun, easy to follow paper craft. All supplies provided. Fee varies by project. Info: Linda, 375-8991, Lindacarpy@gmail.com.

Peak Ranch Alpacas Knitting Classes, Sat., Sep. 6 & 13, 12:30 – 2:30, 19850 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Learn to knit in these 2-part classes. Cost: $52, includes instruction for two classes and yarn and knitting needles. Meets 1st & 2nd Sat. each month. Register online at www.peakranchalpacas.com.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Return of the Rocky Mountain Chautauqua in Palmer Lake, Sat., Aug. 2, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent; and the gazebo at the Village Green. Portrayals, concerts, and more. Period costumes are encouraged. Info: 481-3963, www.palmerdividehistory.org, http://chautauqua.palmerdividehistory.org.

Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Social, Sat., Aug. 2, 1:30-3 p.m., Palmer Lake Village Green. Everyone is invited to enjoy bluegrass music with "The County Line Ramblers" and free Rock House ice cream. In honor of our seniors, families are encouraged to bring their elders. Info: 488-2370; www.ppld.org.

SunDance Studio Meet & Greet, Sat., Aug. 2, 4-7 p.m., 1450 Cipriani Loop, Monument. Dance, gymnastics, cheer, and more. Info: 481-8208, www.thesundancestudio.com.

Miguel Dakota & Spiral Lion Concert at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA), Sat., Aug. 2, 7 p.m., doors open 6 p.m. 304 Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake. Advance tickets: $10 TLCA members, $12 non-members. Tickets at door: $12 TLCA members, $14 non-members. Info: 481-0475, www.trilakesarts.org.

Classical Conversations Homeschooling Parents Informational Meeting, Mon., Aug. 4, 9:30-11:30 a.m., Monument. A Christ-centered group of local homeschooling parents. Kids are welcome. Info: LoriMonumentCC@gmail.com, 303-842-8803, www.MonumentCC.WordPress.com.

King’s Deer Community Garage Sale, Fri.-Sat., Aug. 8-10, Hwy 105 and Roller coaster Road. Info (map and details): www.KingsDeer.org and click Garage Sale.

Family Fun Night for Deployed Military Families, Fri., Aug. 8, 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Monument Community Presbyterian Church, 238 3rd St., Monument. Families in Tri-Lakes and N. Colorado Springs areas are invited for a complimentary dinner, Bunco, games and activities for all ages. RSVP (by Aug. 4) & Info: Rosemary Bell, 488-2984, thudleader@msn.com.

Black Rose Acoustic Society Open Stage headlined by Dakota Blonde, Fri., Aug. 8, opening act at 7 p.m., doors open at 6:15. Black Forest Community Center, 12530 Black Forest Rd. at Shoup Road. Cost: $10 general, $5 BRAS members, $5 nonmember students with ID. Info: Joe Maio, 528-6119, jrmtn@comcast.net, www.blackroseacoustic.org.

Ice Cave Creek Trail Building, Sat., Aug. 9, 8 a.m.- 4 p.m., meet at Palmer Reservoir Trailhead, Old Carriage Road, Palmer Lake. Work with trained crew leaders to build a new sustainable hiking and biking trail along scenic Ice Cave Creek above Palmer Lake. Wear work clothes and boots, prepared for a full day working outdoors. Ages 16 and up. Pre-register online for this or other trail work dates (Sep. 13, Oct. 11): www.cmc.org/rrwp. Info: Tom Mowle, 719-216-3932, tommowle@yahoo.com.

Byrd & Street Concert at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA), Sat., Aug. 9, 7 p.m., doors open 6 p.m. 304 Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake. Advance tickets: $10 TLCA members, $12 non-members. Tickets at door: $12 TLCA members, $14 non-members. Info: 481-0475, www.trilakesarts.org.

Mount Herman Road Trash Pickup, Sun., Aug. 10, 9 a.m., Dirty Woman Park, 17575 Mitchell Rd., Monument. In memory of Devin J. Seifert. Devin’s family and friends invite the community to join them to honor Devin and help pick up the trash on Mount Herman Road. Info and sign-up: www.fomp.org, or on Facebook "fomp.org."

Spa Medica Skin and Laser Clinic Ribbon Cutting, Thu., Aug. 14, 4:30-6:30 p.m., 550 Hwy 105, Suite 100 (next to Safeway in the Monument Medical Building). Free refreshments, tours. RSVP & Info: 487-7546, www.spamedicausa.com.

M.R. Lang Investment’s Annual Pig Roast, Fri., Aug. 15, 5:30-8 p.m., 236 N. Washington, Monument. All ages (bounce house for kids!) are welcome to this open house. Info: 481-0887.

Black Forest Festival, Sat., Aug. 16, 6:30-9:30 a.m. pancake breakfast, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Festival Marketplace, 10:30 a.m. parade, and much more. See website for details, including parking & shuttle. Info: 495-3217, http://www.bfcommunityclub.org/festival2014.html.

Slash Disposal Drop-off Day, Sat. Aug. 16, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Anderson Slash Disposal Site, Washington Street north of Hwy 105, Monument; follow the signs. Self-service quick drop-off site for slash. No lines! $7 a load. Large diameter logs, MPB wood, and pine needles are all accepted. (No metal, nails, concrete, lumber, firewood, stumps, or trash, please.) Run by Woodmoor Improvement Association and Anderson Tree Service. Additional drop-off days scheduled for Sep. 13 and Oct. 11. Info: WIA, 488-2693.

Peak Ranch Alpaca Boutique Harvest Brew, Sat., Aug. 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 19850 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Sample seasonal micro-brews and view alpaca fleeces from this season. Info: 232-8509, http://www.peakranchalpacas.com/events/harvest-brew-fleece-display/.

Gary Farmer & the Troublemakers Concert at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA), Sat., Aug. 16, 7 p.m., doors open 6 p.m. 304 Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake. Advance tickets: $10 TLCA members, $12 non-members. Tickets at door: $12 TLCA members, $14 non-members. Info: 481-0475, www.trilakesarts.org.

Rocky Mountain Skating Academy: Learn to Skate!, Mon., Aug. 18, 4:30 & 5 p.m., 16240 Old Denver Hwy, Monument. Autumn special, 8 classes for $80 plus skate rental. Ages 3 through adult. Info: www.RockyMountainSkatingAcademy.com, Sk8CoachDeb@gmail.com.

Groh Music Academy Registration for Fall Classes & Children’s Choir, Mon.-Tue., Aug. 18-19. Private voice lessons, preparatory piano lessons, adult group lessons. Easy tuition schedule. Info: Sarah Groh, 235-1646; www.GrohMusicAcademy.com.

Art Hop, Thu., Aug. 21, 5-8 p.m., historic downtown Monument. The 3rd Thu. each month, May-Sept, the galleries, restaurants, and boutiques of downtown Monument stay open until 8 p.m. for a celebration featuring art openings, book signings, great food, live music, and more. Info: www.monumentarthop.org/news, 481-3282.

Bella Art & Frame Artist Reception, Thu., Aug. 21, 5-8 p.m., 183 Washington St., Monument. Featuring the mixed media and acrylic works of Pam Aloisa. Refreshments. Info: 487-7691, www.bellaartandframe.com.

Art Hop at Wisdom Tea House: Meet, Thu., Aug. 21, 5-8 p.m., 65 Second St., Monument. Carol Losinski Naylor showcases artwork from Pikes Peak Watercolor Society’s artists. Serving dinner & dessert. Info: 481-8822, www.wisdomteahouse.com.

Black Rose Acoustic Society Open Stage headlined by Bill Hearne, Fri., Aug. 22, opening act at 7 p.m., doors open at 6:15. Black Forest Community Center, 12530 Black Forest Rd. at Shoup Road. Cost: $10 general, $5 BRAS members, $5 nonmember students with ID. Info: Joe Maio, 528-6119, jrmtn@comcast.net, www.blackroseacoustic.org.

Colorado Floyd: Pink Floyd Tribute Band Concert at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA), Fri., Aug. 22, 7 p.m., doors open 6 p.m. 304 Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake. Advance tickets: $10 TLCA members, $12 non-members. Tickets at door: $12 TLCA members, $14 non-members. Info: 481-0475, www.trilakesarts.org.

Legacy Sertoma Charity Sporting Clay Shoot, Sat., Aug. 23, 7 a.m.-1 p.m., Quail Run Sport Club, 6852 Quail Run Circle, P.O. Box 147, Kiowa , CO 80117. Individual registrations due Aug. 12. Cost: $150 per shooter. Teams of 4 are recommended but not required. Proceeds go to Homes For Our Troops, HEARS, and other Sertoma-supported charities. Info: Ed Kinney, 481-2750; www.legacysertoma.org.

Heather Maloney Concert at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA), Fri., Aug. 29, 7 p.m., doors open 6 p.m. 304 Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake. Advance tickets: $20 TLCA members, $25 non-members. Tickets at door: $25 TLCA members, $30 non-members. Info: 481-0475, www.trilakesarts.org.

Labor Day Kinetic Festival, Mon., Sep. 1; 8 a.m. until complete. Build a "human-powered work of art" to race along the Santa Fe Trail. Info: http://www.trilakeschamber.com/labor-day-kinetic-festival.htm, 481-3282, officemanager@trilakeschamber.com.

Gleneagle Sertoma Club 13th Annual Patriot Golf Tournament, Mon., Sep. 8, 8:30 a.m., USAFA Eisenhower Blue Golf Course. Entry deadline is Sep. 1. Join with Gleneagle Sertoma Club to honor military, police, and firefighters. Proceeds go to The Home Front Cares and other local charities. Entry fee: $110, prepaid foursome $400, includes green fees, cart fees, range balls, breakfast and lunch, and team prizes. Info: Paul Dickard, 481-9889; www.gleneaglesertoma.org.

"Be Prepared—Don’t Be A Zombie," 2014 Zombie Run, a 3K and 5K fun run/walk, Sat., Sep. 27, 10 a.m., multiple heats every 15 min., Fox Run Regional Park, 2110 Stella Dr. Arrive one hour early to allow time to park and register. Parking is limited. El Paso County and partners will host this event designed to create awareness for emergency preparedness. Cost: $25. Registration & Info: www.pikespeakzombierun.com.

Oakley’s Cafe & Bistro, 1865 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Live music Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays. Info: 481-0808.

La Rosa Cafe Free classic Margarita with purchase of 2 entries. See page 4 of this issue.

Our community calendar carries listings on a space-available basis for Tri-Lakes events that are sponsored by local governmental entities and not-for-profit organizations. We include events that are open to the general public and are not religious or self-promotional in nature. If space is available, complimentary calendar listings are included, when requested, for events advertised in the current issue. To have your event listed at no charge in Our Community Calendar, please call (719) 339-7831 or send the information to calendar@ocn.me or P.O. Box 1742, Monument, Colorado 80132.

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