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Our Community News - Home Vol. 22 No. 4 - April 2, 2022

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Contents

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 39 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

Monument Board of Trustees, March 7: Town moves toward renewable water access; shows accord with Ukraine

By Allison Robenstein

The Monument Board of Trustees (BOT) approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the Loop project, a renewable water access partnership, on March 7. The board also agreed to a show of accord with Ukraine.

Mayor Pro Tem Kelly Elliott attended virtually, and Trustee Laurie Clark was pronounced absent.

Loop project will add renewable water to town’s supply

The Loop water project is a partnership between the town’s Water Department, Donala Water and Sanitation District, Woodmoor Water and Sanitation, and Cherokee Metropolitan District. The partners are working toward financing, building, and operating water lines that would interconnect the four entities in a loop. The MOU is a commitment to pursue possible future funding mechanisms including grants but doesn’t require any financial investment by the town now.

During the Oct. 4, 2021, board meeting, Amy Lathen with Cherokee Metropolitan District and Jessie Shaffer with Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District gave an update on the Loop project by saying the board could recoup the 250,000 gallons of water lost per day because it is reusable to extinction. The Loop project would solve the issue of allowing water to flow downstream and not having a way to get it back to Monument. Mayor Don Wilson considered this a cost-effective way to add renewable water resources to the town’s water portfolio.

The request was unanimously approved.

Trustee Mitch LaKind asked the board to approve a show of unity with Ukraine as it fights off a Russian invasion. His family fled Belarus during the Russian pogroms that targeted Jewish populations. As Russia took over nearby countries in its imperialistic conquest, the inhumane treatment of Jewish citizens included stripping them of their civil liberties to all-out slaughter of entire towns.

His great-grandfather, Moishe Leikin, left Belarus in 1907. Leikin traveled on the SS Samland with only $23 in his pocket. The Leikin name was changed to LaKind over time.

The board agreed to change out the lights that are strung along Second Street to blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

At 8:22 p.m., the board entered into an executive session pursuant to C.R.S. § 24-6-402(4)(b) and (4)(e) to discuss its contract with TPx, the town’s IT provider. The meeting adjourned after the executive session without further decisions.

Caption: The lights on Second Street were changed to yellow and blue, the colors of the Ukranian flag, in support of Ukraine as they fight off a Russian invasion. The change was requested by Trustee Mitch LaKind, whose family fled Belarus during the Russian pogroms that targeted Jewish populations. The Board of Trustees voted to approve LaKind’s request at its meeting on March 7. Photo courtesy of the Town of Monument.

Allison Robenstein can be reached at allisonrobenstein@ocn.me.

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Palmer Lake Board of Trustees, March 10: Mayor and chiefs have sobering message for town

By James Howald and Jackie Burhans

The Palmer Lake Board of Trustees (PLBOT) met once in March before Our Community News went to press. The second regularly scheduled meeting was postponed until March 31 due to a lack of quorum and will be covered in the May edition.

Mayor Bill Bass opened the March 10 meeting with a message of concern about the town’s finances. Chief of Police Jason Vanderpool and Fire Chief Christopher McCarthy underlined Bass’s assessment with details about a recent call responded to by both police and fire department personnel. The board approved a request to replace a name on the liquor license of a local business. Two members were appointed to the Parks Commission. The board discussed erosion at the pedestrian bridge site at the lake and a proposal to irrigate the town’s baseball field. Finally, the board heard operational reports.

Mayor predicts revenue shortfall

Bass told the board it was time to acknowledge the financial challenges the town faces in maintaining the current level of town services and bringing the town’s police and fire departments up to higher standards. He commended the town staff and went on to enumerate areas of concern, saying: "Everyone wants and expects the peace of mind that comes with excellent police and fire service….We all want reliable water and sanitation service, with dependable infrastructure, and we want good roadways and proper drainage….Our current financial condition does not and cannot ensure that we can continue as we have." Relying on grant money is not sustainable, he said.

Bass went on to say that to address the needs identified and to bring departments up to a base standard would require doubling the town’s current budget. Providing optimal service and addressing infrastructure improvements would require an additional $3.5 million in the next year’s budget, he said. Bass predicted a five-year shortfall of $8 million and a 10-year shortfall of $15 million. He stressed those estimates were to provide optimal service.

Bass ended by saying the board was considering solutions and that participation by the community in developing solutions was very important.

The entire text of the mayor’s message can be found on the town’s website, here: https://www.townofpalmerlake.com/bc-bot/page/mayor%E2%80%99s-message

Chiefs detail dangerous staffing shortfall

Vanderpool followed the mayor’s message with comments on a recent service call that taxed the limits of both the police and fire departments. The call "could have gone wrong quickly," he said, going on to describe a call the Police Department received concerning a stabbing. Only a single officer was on duty, Vanderpool said, and when the officer arrived at the scene, he saw the door had been kicked in and a struggle was underway. The officer had to decide whether to go in alone or try to find backup from a nearby police department; he decided to take immediate action.

Vanderpool said he wanted two officers on each shift so that in future officers would not have to face the same choice. He said the Palmer Lake police were on site in three minutes, and the fire department reached the scene in seven minutes.

McCarthy told the board that the alleged perpetrator, the victim, and the victim’s wife all needed medical attention from Fire Department staff. He said the event ultimately required 12 medical staff, most of whom were from nearby departments.

Liquor license updated

The board, acting in their capacity as the Liquor Licensing Authority, approved a modification to the liquor license for The Ugly Mug LLC, replacing Mark Ashley with Onan Floyd.

Appointments made to Parks Commission

The board voted unanimously in favor of Resolution 19-2022, which appoints Cindy Powell and Andy Maguire to the Parks Commission.

Erosion at bridge a concern

Town Administrator Dawn Collins told the board that BNSF Railway representatives had expressed concern about soil erosion at the foot of the east side of the pedestrian bridge. She told the town that the erosion, which resulted from inadequate seeding on slopes at the foot of the bridge, would need to be addressed or the bridge could be shut down. GMS Inc., the town’s consulting engineers, was working on a design to correct the situation, she said. Bass said the work was not in the budget. The consensus of the board was to wait for GMS to complete its design and cost estimate before moving forward.

Baseball field to remain unirrigated

Collins told the board that Awake the Lake was considering a grant to improve the town’s baseball field. The grant would commit the town to watering the field, Collins said. The field would require water the equivalent to five of the town’s few remaining taps, Collins said. After a brief debate, during which the possibility of switching to artificial turf was considered, the board voted unanimously not to commit to watering the field.

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The BOT is scheduled to hold two meetings in April, on April 14 and 28. See the town’s website at www.townofpalmerlake.com to confirm times, dates and locations of board meetings and workshops. While the Town Hall is being repaired, evening meetings will be held at the Palmer Lake Elementary School Library at 115 Upper Glenway, and daytime meetings will be held at Tri-Lakes Chamber Community Meeting House at 300 Highway 105. Meeting times may change. Meetings are typically held on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. Information: 481-2953.

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

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

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Triview Metro District, March 17: NDS route decision looms near

By Jennifer Kaylor

At the March 17 Triview Metropolitan District regular board meeting, District Manager Jim McGrady provided preliminary route details of what may be the regional water delivery pipeline known as the Northern Delivery System (NDS). McGrady and the directors established a timeline for in-house and public NDS communications.

Triview staff, all board directors, and legal representatives attended the meeting either online or in person.

The March 17 work session agenda and packet may be accessed via https://triviewmetro.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Triview-Board-Packet-for-3.17.2022.pdf.

Triview is a Title 32 special district in Monument that provides road, park, and open space maintenance, as well as water, stormwater, and wastewater services to Jackson Creek, Promontory Pointe, Sanctuary Pointe, and several commercial areas.

Water pipeline route proposed

McGrady informed directors that the engineers who have been researching the NDS route options had essentially reached a consensus and were prepared to present their recommendations to the Triview board. The presentation would include a concise cost estimate—prepared by an engineer and cross-checked by a contractor—for a pump station site along Highway 83 and a pipeline route mainly along Roller Coaster Road. He emphasized the importance of determining a site for a pump station and pipeline route so that engineers could begin preliminary design and the district could start communicating with affected landowners and initiate the 1041 permit process with El Paso County.

McGrady characterized the Roller Coaster route as more "constructible" than a previous route that was being considered. He stated that he had been working with county Director of Engineering Jennifer Irvine to coordinate and possibly partner the construction of the pipeline with needed county road improvements at the Baptist Road-Hodgen Road-Roller Coaster Road intersection. This particular route would come with a slightly higher price tag due to the amount of road surface that would be demolished to accommodate a 7- to 8-foot-wide pipe trench but this same route may also save $2 million if the water tank in Sanctuary Pointe could be incorporated into the plan.

None of the other pipe route options avoided road destruction, emphasized McGrady, and some were hindered by the presence of other utilities. Deconstruction of the well-used Roller Coaster Road would cause it to be closed off except to locals. Although the closure would be painful to many, regular users would be able to redirect their travel along Highway 83 or I-25, he acknowledged.

McGrady summarized his report by stating that the district and the engineers received input from public hearings, and he and his office staff received numerous comments via phone calls and emails. The NDS team has considered every possible route and done its best to listen to everyone’s concerns and work around the issues as best as possible, he said.

Directors expressed concerns about the replacement cost of the road due to increasing asphalt costs, potential public outcry due to the road closure, fair cost-sharing with the county for the road rehabilitation, maintenance of the pipeline, and whether any other construction or utility work was planned by the county that could potentially be coordinated with the NDS construction. It was expected that these questions and concerns would be addressed at the engineers’ presentation.

McGrady expressed a goal of scheduling an engineers’ presentation in early April, which would be followed by a presentation to the public in early May. Some directors voiced a desire to have the board officially endorse the project before the public presentation. McGrady agreed to draft a resolution pertaining to the NDS for review and consideration by the board at its April 21 regular meeting. Water attorney Chris Cummins recommended that the April presentation to the directors be posted as an executive session because of legal and contractual topics that would ostensibly arise. The discussion concluded with an executive session—in which directors would hear the engineers’ proposed route recommendations—scheduled for April 13, the regular board meeting remained at its regular date of April 21, and an as-yet scheduled public meeting was anticipated for early May, conceivably at Lewis-Palmer High School.

Fire mitigation project planned for Promontory Pointe

Parks and Open Space Superintendent Matt Rayno confirmed that the district would begin fire mitigation efforts in Promontory Pointe March 28. McGrady commented that these efforts are in response to Boulder County’s completely unexpected and devastating Marshall Fire in which 1,000-plus structures were destroyed and two lives were lost. "So, it is incumbent upon the district to do whatever it can to mitigate scrub oak and the ladder fuels," he said.

The valuable mitigation service, guided by the recommendations of Colorado State Forest Service personnel, will be fully paid by the district with the primary "mastication" phase expected to take about a week. Over the next few months, Parks and Open Space crews will continue seeding and erosion control activities to preserve and/or rejuvenate the area’s forest blanket. See https://csfs.colostate.edu/wildfire-mitigation/ for additional information about fire mitigation for your personal property.

Additional topics of interest

• Water Superintendent Shawn Sexton reported that Triview’s 10- to 12-week hydrated manganese oxide (HMO) pilot program would begin soon. The process of combining potassium permanganate or sodium permanganate with manganous sulfate in groundwater before it is filtered and clarified is anticipated to be a more effective means of removing radium to a level well below maximum limits; see https://www.ocn.me/v21n10.htm#tvmd for more information about the HMO study. McGrady confirmed that if the program worked well the district would keep it running. Sexton praised crew member Rob Lewis for his diligence in managing FOG (fat, oil, and grease) compliance with restaurants to prevent sewer line blockages.

• The district’s collaboration with JDS-Hydro Consultants Inc. and Timberline Electric and Control Corp. resulted in the successful integration of the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems between Triview and Forest Lakes Metropolitan District (FLMD). Triview began providing operations, maintenance, and administrative services to FLMD in December 2021 and the integrated systems will improve efficiencies.

• Rayno discussed the installation of flashing LED solar stop signs at the intersection of Leather Chaps Drive and Kitchener Way. He stated that the brightness of the lights was very helpful in a recent snowstorm and would serve travelers well at night. Rayno praised district mechanic Eddie Navarro for his diligence in preparing the machinery and equipment for the transition from winter plowing to summer mowing.

• McGrady anticipated the necessity of a budget amendment later in the year. Delayed materials for the construction at Triview’s Stonewall Springs Reservoir Complex south reservoir would likely affect reimbursements from the district’s Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) loan and would need to be reflected in the budget.

• Cummins reviewed an updated property lease agreement between Triview and Stroud Farms. The agreement addressed shifts in Stroud’s rented land parcels that would be necessary to accommodate shifting construction work at the district’s Stonewall Springs Reservoir Complex.

• Road rehabilitation projects to overlay Kitchener Way and Broken Timber Drive were awarded to Martin Marietta for $139,000. Referencing materials shortages and rapidly increasing costs, McGrady expressed gratitude that the bid was only $9,000 over the budget estimate.

• Because of COVID-19 and meter shortages, the district’s meter replacement program had stalled for about 18 months. Due to the recent delivery of a large order of meters, the program is set to restart soon.

Directors moved into executive session at 7:07 p.m. after which they voted unanimously to approve a ratification to Resolution 2022-01; see agenda action item 6d.

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Triview board meetings are generally held on the third Thursday of the month. An executive session (closed to the public) will be conducted on April 13 and the next regular board meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21. The district office is located at 16055 Old Forest Point, Suite 302. Because a public presentation is expected to be scheduled for early May, check the district’s website, https://triviewmetro.com, for meeting updates. See also "Triview Metropolitan District" on Facebook or Twitter.com/@TriviewMetro.

Jennifer Kaylor can be contacted at jenniferkaylor@ocn.me .

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Monument Planning Commission, March 9: New commissioners sworn in, Monument Junction plans approved

By Kate Pangelinan

The March 9 Monument Planning Commission (MPC) meeting was an eventful one, seeing several transitions within the MPC and Monument’s planning staff as well as the approval of two public hearing items: the Monument Junction Phase One Preliminary/Final PUD Plan and a resolution adopting the Town of Monument 2022 three-mile plan update.

Considering the transitions:

• Sean White was honored for his service to the MPC, as he will be departing Monument.

• Martin Trujillo was voted in unanimously as the MPC’s vice chairman. Chris Wilhelmi will continue to serve as the commission’s chairman.

• Two new members were sworn into the MPC: Ray Egely and Tony Peck.

• It was announced that this was the last MPC meeting Meggan Herington will attend. Her final day as planning director will be April 5, as she will be leaving Monument.

Monument Junction Phase One Preliminary/Final PUD plan

Some facts about the Monument Junction Phase One Preliminary/Final PUD proposal, as detailed in the meeting packet available online, which was presented by Planner II Debbie Flynn during the meeting:

• This project is planned to be "a mix of 204 residential homes on 39.837 acres of land," north of Highway 105. The entire Monument Junction property is composed of 83.977 acres, with 44.140 of those acres belonging to Phase Two. Phase One and Phase Two are located on the east and west of Jackson Creek Parkway respectively.

• Phase One will feature 142 single-family detached lots and 62 single-family attached lots, as well as a 3-acre public park. It is stated that "There will be a trail network that will provide a connective pedestrian system through the open space tracts within the development so that the neighborhoods are interconnected and can access the park." Construction of Phase One will be conducted in three phases—A, B, and C—the details of which can be found thoroughly explained in the meeting packet.

• Considering a Traffic Impact Study (TIS) done to assess what area traffic may be like in 2040, the meeting packet states that "The TIS concluded that the roadway improvements associated with Monument Junction (east and west side of Jackson Creek Parkway) were auxiliary turn lanes, traffic control, required connection to Knollwood Drive, and Jackson Creek Parkway improvements." The timeline and details of future improvements to Jackson Creek Parkway are still being determined. Please see the meeting packet for a map and further details.

• The applicant for this project is listed as "Classic Homes" in said packet, and the property owner is listed as "Elite Properties of America, Inc." Andrea Barlow of NES Inc. was present at the meeting representing the project, as well as the president of Classic Homes, Joe Loidolt.

There were no Public Comment questions related to this proposal, but some of the commissioner questions included topics such as:

• Parking and traffic safety

• Crosswalks and bicycle lanes

• A possible timeline for construction, including construction of the expected park

• Landscaping

In the end, a vote to approve this proposal for recommendation to the Board of Trustees passed unanimously, 6-0. See the Monument Board of Trustees article on page 5.

Resolution adopting the Monument 2022 three-mile plan update

Some facts about this proposal, as detailed in the meeting packet available online, which was presented by Planning Director Meggan Herington during the meeting:

• The goal here is to update Monument’s "three-mile plan" to include all the land that has been annexed since 2017. The state of Colorado requires that "any municipality adopting an annexation plan must update the three-mile plan on an annual basis," as stated in the meeting packet.

• Updating the town’s plans this way fulfills the state’s requirement, with approval from the MPC and BOT.

After some clarifying questions from Commissioner Cathy Green, a vote to approve this proposal for recommendation to the BOT also passed unanimously, 6-0.

Public Comment on other matters

Four speakers, including Christine Malmborg of Dragonfly Paddle Yoga, spoke about a desire to have Dragonfly Paddle Yoga at Monument Lake. Planning staff informed everyone that the Parks Department deals with Monument Lake permits, and it might be helpful to speak to the BOT instead.

Information and relevant links

• This article was written referring to a draft of the meeting’s minutes submitted by Theresa Rust, currently available online at www.monumenttownco.documents-on-demand.com.

• These minutes will later be considered for approval by the MPC, and—once any potential amendments are made and a vote passed—no longer designated a "draft."

• The site www.monumenttownco.documents-on-demand.com is also a good place to find explanatory packets and agendas for both PC and BOT meetings.

• Many MPC meetings are available to watch in their entirety on the town’s YouTube page, at www.youtube.com/channel/UCdFLo8UcqZfFdkio5jT6GDA. Citizens may find it easier to search for "Town of Monument" or "Monument Planning Commission" in YouTube’s search bar. The March 9 meeting is not available to watch in this way.

• According to the town’s website, planning staff can be contacted by calling 719-481-2954 or sending an email to planning@tomgov.org.

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The next PC meeting is expected to be held on April 13 at 6 p.m. in the Monument Town Hall.

Kate Pangelinan can be reached at katepangelinan@ocn.me.

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Monument Board of Trustees, March 21: Monument Junction development phase approved

By Allison Robenstein

During the March 21 meeting, the Monument Board of Trustees (BOT) approved the second part of Monument Junction, a development of 204 new homes. The Police Department announced a new program for civilian employees, and the board proclaimed the week of April 3 National Library Week, noting the first library in America was established in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin.

Mayor Pro Tem Kelly Elliott and Trustee Laurie Clark were both absent.

Preliminary/Final Planned Unit Development for Monument Junction Phase One approved

Monument Junction is an almost 84-acre development south of Highway 105 on either side of Jackson Creek Parkway. Phase one is 40 acres along the east of Jackson Creek Parkway ending north of Bowstring Road and will include 204 residential homes. Classic Homes, the land developer, is planning 142 single-family detached homes and 62 attached single-family homes. When the sketch plan was approved by the BOT at its June 15, 2020 meeting, the development was known as the Village. See www.ocn.me/v22n3.htm#mbot0207.

According to the board packet, Felsburg, Holt & Ullevig (FHU) is the town’s consultant for the Jackson Creek Parkway corridor design project. Classic Homes, Colorado Department of Transportation, and El Paso County are working in conjunction with FHU on the design and construction of the Highway 105 and Jackson Creek Parkway intersection improvements. During the March 9 Planning Commission meeting, there were no public comments, but the commissioners had several. There will be two egress points for the development along Jackson Creek Parkway. See the Planning Commission article on page 3.

Residents Nancy Swearingen and Kenneth Kimple asked about the expansion. Swearingen suggested there should be bike and pedestrian lanes along the road expansion. Kimple pointed out that a 2021 traffic study was done in June after school had let out for the summer. Andrea Barlow, the applicant’s representative, said two other traffic studies were done later in the same year to account for school traffic along the road.

Monument Planner Debbie Flynn said Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District will provide water to the subdivision. The Lewis-Palmer School District requested fees be paid in lieu of land being provided.

Trustee Ron Stephens motioned to approve the request. It passed 3-1. Trustee Darcy Schoening voted against with no reason given.

Police service aide program

Commander John Lupton told the board about a new administrative service program developed by the Police Department. The two new entry-level civilian service aide positions will have the opportunity to become sworn officers in the future. According to Lupton’s presentation, duties might include receipt and processing of non-emergency calls, responding to code enforcement issues, and reporting to service calls that don’t require a sworn officer, such as waiting for a tow track at a traffic accident. Crystal Butierres and Tommy Dremer make up the police service aide team so far.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:44 p.m.

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The Monument Board of Trustees usually meets at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month at Monument Town Hall, 645 Beacon Lite Road. The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 4. Call 719-884-8014 or see www.townofmonument.or for information. To see upcoming agendas and complete board packets for BOT or to download audio recordings of past meetings, see http://monumenttownco.minutesondemand.com and click on Board of Trustees.

Allison Robenstein can be reached at allisonrobenstein@ocn.me.

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Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District, March 14: Board approves upgrade to golf course sanitation facilities

By James Howald

At its March 14 meeting, the Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (WWSD) board approved a request to provide permanent sanitation facilities in place of port-a-potties on the golf course at the Country Club at Woodmoor (CCW). District Manager Jessie Shaffer updated the board on two water re-use projects underway. Questions from a resident about revegetation efforts at Woodmoor Lake were addressed, and the board heard details about the progress of residential developments. The district’s attorney updated the board on its upcoming election. Finally, the board heard operational reports.

Board ponders "perma-potties" for golf course

Shaffer told the board he was contacted by CCW, who proposed upgrading the port-a-potties on its golf course to facilities that would be permanent, more attractive, and have a higher capacity than its current solution. Shaffer said CCW asked for two such facilities, one on the front nine and one on the back nine. Each facility would be a block building over a concrete holding vault, with a larger capacity than a port-a-potty. The permanent facilities would not have water service and would need to be emptied from time to time by a private company rather than WWSD. The buildings would be comparable to those at trailheads in state parks.

After reviewing the district’s regulations, Shaffer said they did not explicitly allow the solution proposed by CCW, but neither was it clearly prohibited. Water and sewer service typically go together, he said, adding that the district has customers that have water service only and use septic tanks for wastewater, and a few customers who have sewer service only and use private wells for water service.

Shaffer said the district could decide to approve CCW’s request without revising its regulations. He asked the board for direction on the issue.

Board President Brian Bush said he thought the request was unique and could be granted without concern that there would be similar requests from other customers.

The consensus of the board was to allow the request.

Water re-use studies near completion

Shaffer updated the board on the progress of two water re-use projects being studied. One is sponsored primarily by Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) and the other by a group of smaller water districts in El Paso County including WWSD. Both projects have a common goal of conveying water from Fountain Creek to consumers in northern El Paso County, but vary in their details, especially the routes for the required pipelines and the storage areas.

The project sponsored by CSU has a draft report completed, Shaffer said, with a final draft expected by the end of March. The draft report does not address the issue of whether pre-treatment of the water before it enters CSU’s delivery system will be required, Shaffer said, adding that question must be answered to be able to compare the true costs of the projects.

The study for the project sponsored by WWSD and other districts, often referred to as the "Loop Group," is expected in two to three weeks and should address the issue of required pre-treatment so the costs can be compared on a consistent basis, Shaffer said.

Shaffer explained El Paso County currently has $20 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that will be dedicated to water projects. Additional funding from the same source could be available in the future but that is not certain, he said.

Bush said he believed the Town of Monument was solidly behind the project proposed by the Loop Group. He pointed out there are 16 groups competing for the ARPA funds, which could come with constraints, and would need to be evaluated carefully to ensure the costs of accepting the funds don’t outweigh the funds themselves. "When it comes to accepting money, be careful what you are buying into," he said.

Revegetation plans questioned

During the public comment portion of the meeting, John Floria, resident of the Dunes at Woodmoor, asked about the district’s plans to replace the trees that had been removed to accommodate the new pipeline installed to move water from Woodmoor Lake to the newly upgraded Central Water Treatment Plant just north of Lewis-Palmer Middle School.

Operations Superintendent Dan LaFontaine said final plans for tree replacement are on hold until the exact alignment of the pipeline is known. He said the district was committed to being a good neighbor and would replace some trees, but the landscaping would not be identical to what it was before the pipeline was installed. The new trees might be smaller than those removed, he said, and would not be installed over the pipeline to allow it to be repaired if necessary.

Developments pick up pace

Shaffer reviewed developments in the district’s service area.

Monument Junction 1, located west of Jackson Creek Parkway and south of Highway 105, is being graded, Shaffer said. The developer, Classic Homes, is focusing first on the commercial portion of the development and is moving rapidly. Monument Junction 2, east of Jackson Creek Parkway, is 60% through its design review and will include 514 single-family equivalent (SFE) residences on 80 acres.

Campbell Homes has purchased lots south of Monument Junction 2 and is currently building homes.

The Cloverleaf residential development, near the intersection of Higby Road and Jackson Creek Parkway and east of Lewis-Palmer High School is beginning to install water and sewer lines. Shaffer expected lots in the development to be available for sale by August or September.

Shaffer also said Phase A of the Highway 105 reconstruction project, which will widen Highway 105 from Jackson Creek Parkway to Lake Woodmoor Drive, is due to begin this year and is fully funded. The next phase will widen Highway 105 from Lake Woodmoor Drive to Martingale Road, just east of Furrow Road. The utility relocations required by the work on Highway 105 will require WWSD to adjust its budget, Shaffer said.

Board election will be held

Erin Smith, WWSD’s attorney, told the board that three incumbent board members—Tom Roddam, William Clewe, and Daniel Beley—had all decided to run for re-election, in addition to a fourth candidate, Barrie Town. Since there are more candidates than seats to be filled, the district will need to hold an election unless at least one of the candidates withdraws. She estimated the cost of the election, to be held at The Barn, at $22,000.

Highlights of operational reports

• The Chilcott Ditch was expected to begin providing water to its subscribers around March 24.

• February saw a larger than usual amount of unbilled water due to three main breaks and water used to do testing and other tasks required by the upgrades to the Central Water Treatment Plant (CWTP).

• The software installed as part of the CWTP upgrades is being tested and problems are being resolved.

• The pipeline that will convey water from the upgraded Lake Pump Station at the south end of Woodmoor Lake to the CWTP is being installed.

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The next meeting is scheduled for April 11 at 1 p.m. Meetings are usually held on the second Monday of each month at 1 p.m. at the district office at 1845 Woodmoor Drive; please see www.woodmoorwater.com or call 488-2525 to verify meeting times and locations.

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

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Monument Sanitation District, March 16: Board election canceled, rumors refuted

By Jackie Burhans and James Howald

At the March 16 meeting of the Monument Sanitation District (MSD), District Manager Mark Parker announced that the MSD election had been canceled because two candidates declared for the two available seats. Chairman Dan Hamilton gave his perspective on rumors circulating about the district. The board discussed the status of residential developments in MSD’s service area and voted on an updated administrative resolution first approved and signed in January. The board also heard operational reports.

Howe and Morgan to take seats on board

In her monthly legal report, Joan Fritsche, the board’s current attorney, told the board that MSD was authorized to cancel its upcoming election because there were not more candidates than offices to be filled. John H. Howe, an incumbent board member, and William Lowell Morgan will be seated on May 3 and serve three-year terms ending in May 2025, the report said. Morgan will replace Director Katie Sauceda, who did not run for re-election.

Parker said MSD spent $912.50 for the election, much less than had been budgeted.

Hamilton quashes rumors

During the Directors’ Matters portion of the agenda, Director Laura Kronick told the board she had heard two rumors concerning MSD: first, that the district’s headquarter building was for sale and, second, that the Monument Board of Trustees, which manages the town’s water service, would also take over the sanitation district.

Hamilton responded to her concerns by saying: "For the record, the building is not for sale and there are no discussions I’m aware of about the town taking over the sanitation district."

Residential developments move forward

In his Manager’s Report, Parker told the board that the sewage lift station under construction for the Willows Springs Ranch residential development, which is west of I-25 at 2020 W. Baptist Road, was making slow progress. He said he was working with Danny Brown of Polo Brown Co., the developers of Willow Springs Ranch, on an interim solution, expected to be in place by the middle of April, that would pump wastewater from the development until the lift station is completed in July or August. Houses in Willow Springs Ranch can’t be sold until the wastewater issue is resolved, Parker said. He added that he saw an increase in the pace of house construction at Willow Springs Ranch.

Parker also said he had met with a developer planning 10 homes on 8 acres west of Old Denver Highway south of the Monument Ice Rinks.

Administrative resolution updated

The board voted unanimously to approve an amended administrative resolution that names Collins, Cole, Flynn, Winn and Ulmer as the district’s legal counsel and Olsen, Reyes, and Sauerwein as the district’s auditor.

Highlights of operational reports

• In his Manager’s Report, Parker stressed the problems caused by "flushable" wipes, which can jam valves and cause clogs. The board discussed ways to encourage district customers not to flush wipes even if they are labeled as flushable on the packaging.

• Financial and cash-flow reports were approved after questions raised by Kronick were addressed.

• Accounts Administrator Cheran Allsup reported that Haynie and Co., the district’s auditing firm, was having so much difficulty with staffing that they were unable to guarantee the district that they could provide adequate service.

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Monument Sanitation District meetings are normally held at 9 a.m. on the third Wednesday of the month in the district conference room at 130 Second St., Monument. The next regular meeting is scheduled for April 20 at 9 a.m. See https://colorado.gov/msd. For a district service map, see https://colorado.gov/pacific/msd/district-map-0. Information: 719-481-4886.

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

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

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Donala Water and Sanitation District, March 17: Radium and operational details discussed

By James Howald and Jackie Burhans

The Donala Water and Sanitation District (DWSD) board focused on operational details at its March 17 meeting. Radium mitigation, the Holbein treatment plant repair work, replumbing of storage tanks, and the status of the district’s wells were highlighted. District Manager Jeff Hodge also commented on two water re-use projects currently in the planning stages. The meeting ended with an executive session.

Radium levels reduced

In his manager’s report, District Manager Jeff Hodge told the board he had reviewed radium data from multiple labs, which used different techniques to measure the presence of radium, and the samples showed levels had been reduced. He said the replacement of filter medium in the Holbein treatment plant and the work underway to clean some of the district’s wells would be helpful in further reducing radium levels. He told the board that wells 1, 2A, 2D, 3D, and 9 had been testing below the 5 picocurie per liter (pCi/L) standard.

Storage tanks to be replumbed

Hodge said the district’s storage tanks at the Holbein plant would be replumbed so that one tank becomes the point of distribution for the delivery system and provides a single point to test for radium. President Ed Houle said more details about this effort would be presented in April.

Wells status presented

Hodge told the board that wells 2A and 2D are being flushed, and he expected they would be back in production soon. Well 2D needs a variable frequency drive, a pump that can be run at varying rates, he said. Wells 3D, 8, and 12 have been cleaned and are being treated with chlorine.

Well 16, a new well the district is working on, has encountered no objections in water court, Hodge said. The next step is review by state engineers. The permit to drill the well is expected in August or September.

Hodge explained that once drilling begins, it must continue uninterrupted until the well is completed, otherwise the well will collapse. He anticipated well 16 would need to be 2,500 feet deep and would be drilled at the rate of 100 feet per day. The district will communicate the details of the drilling to nearby residents and may offer them hotel accommodations during the noisiest part of the drilling.

Water re-use projects compared

Hodge commented briefly on two water re-use projects being studied. Both projects share the goal of conveying water from Fountain Creek to customers in northern El Paso County, but through different routes and using different storage facilities. The first is sponsored by Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU), and recently released a report that estimated it could deliver water for $7.38 per thousand gallons. The second project, sponsored by several water districts including DWSD, has not finished a first draft of its report, Hodge said.

Executive session

An executive session was held to discuss the district’s negotiations with Colorado Springs Utilities for long-term water supply.

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The next meeting is scheduled for April 21 at 9 a.m. Generally, board meetings are held the third Thursday of the month at 1:30 p.m. and include online access; call (719) 488-3603 or access www.donalawater.org to receive up-to-date meeting information. The district office is located at 15850 Holbein Drive, Colorado Springs.

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

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

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Monument Academy School Board, March 3 and 10: Board considers arming staff, discusses term limits

By Jackie Burhans

The Monument Academy (MA) School Board held a workshop on March 3 to consider arming staff and had a regular board meeting on March 10 to discuss the next steps. The board also discussed the term limits policy and set a special meeting for March 28 to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU)with El Paso County regarding the west campus recirculation plan.

Board considers arming staff

At a lightly-attended March 3 meeting, the MA board hosted a panel on the Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response (FASTER) program. The panel included Laura Carno, FASTER Colorado executive director; John Castillo, father of Kendrick Castillo who was killed in the STEM Schools shooting in Highlands Ranch; and Brian Rea, superintendent of Peyton 23 School District. Also in attendance were Chief Operating Officer Merlin Holmes, MA lawyer Brad Miller, and Assistant Principals Angela Duca and Kurt Walker.

Carno said that FASTER is an organization that has trained armed school staff for six years, working with schools in 37 districts. She said the instructors are all active-duty law enforcement instructors at a law enforcement training facility.

Castillo, whose wife Maria was in the audience, said their child was a victim, and they don’t want another family to go through the same thing. He said the things done in the past haven’t worked, and we need to look at a different way to keep our children safe.

Rea said that Peyton did a threat assessment five years ago, doing a drill with the sheriff’s office and the fire department, and decided to revamp its security given the long response times they face. Peyton’s approach has three elements, recognizing that arming staff wasn’t enough. He said they also focus on social and emotional wellness with counselors and teachers who can forge relationships with students. Finally, they invested in training on trauma-based first aid.

Miller discussed the risks of having a non-uniformed staff member with a firearm on campus, saying that insurance companies do not see it as a high risk. Colorado law, he said, allows schools to have concealed-carry well-trained security officers who can also be teachers, administrators, and custodians.

Board members had questions about common myths, psychological evaluation, the role of the school resource officer (SRO), how to talk to students about shootings, how to conceal a firearm, the cost of training, conducting building assessments, and more. Carno said the program was not just arming teachers but also lunch ladies and nurses, etc. Trainees must pass the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) qualifications. Carno said that psychological vetting is up to the schools. She said that best practices include interviewing volunteers and having administrators attend the program.

Board President Ryan Graham said that MA’s SRO is shared between campuses and asked about the ideal response timeframe. Rea said most shooting situations end in a matter of minutes. Carno said concealing weapons is part of the training. She also said that children should have no question that the adults will keep them safe. Rea noted that Peyton 23 had SROs, FASTER graduates, and special weapons team members walk through their buildings to assess areas of concern. Carno said that initial training costs $1,000 and requalification costs $600 and that FASTER raises private money to help schools with the price.

Teachers and parents asked for more details about the vetting process, how law enforcement identifies armed staff, whether the program covers both campuses, the availability of gun safes in the classroom, and other considerations. Graham said the board would have to create processes, and he would reach out to Rea for his ideas on vetting volunteers.

Rea replied that armed staff have digital gun safes at home but not at school. His team members all use the LifeSpot app to communicate with law enforcement and identify the location of armed staff. Carno said training teaches that the staff member’s job is not to be shot once law enforcement arrives on the scene.

Board members indicated they would support the program at both campuses if it moves forward. Castillo said that the board should also consider training on mass casualty events, identifying mental health issues, and closing campuses.

At the March 10 meeting, the board continued to discuss the FASTER program, the parent survey, social-emotional wellness, and related policies and procedures. Graham said the board would want to survey staff, parents, and community members for their input. The board expects to discuss this in more detail at its April board retreat. Graham invited Duca to attend the retreat as a representative of MA’s threat assessment team, which will ultimately implement any approved program.

Board sets term limits

Graham read the proposed language updating MA’s bylaws in Article III, Section 3.2, paragraph (d) Election and Tenure. In accordance with Colorado State statute, term limits for MA directors are two consecutive terms. Directors appointed to vacancies and serving 18 months or less are not considered to have served a term. Anyone meeting the 3.2 (a) qualifications are eligible for re-election to two three-year terms after a four-year hiatus between terms. Graham read the entire section 3.2 and moved that the board approve the language read, which it voted to do unanimously.

Highlights

Board meeting highlights include:

• MA spotlighted teacher Suzy Benz, an elementary school teacher, and Daniel Tucker, a parent who volunteers for the Watch Dogs program.

• Citizen comments included support for the board, its consideration of the FASTER program, CRT resolution, and a proclamation against LGBTQ and gender identity discrimination.

• Marc Brocklehurst, chief financial officer, said he would have a proposed budget to present to the board in April.

• Board member Chris Dole said that charter schools’ pay is 20% below district pay and that a mill levy override will increase all salaries rather than close the gap. He said fundraising would be key, and everybody could help at different levels.

• Josh and Wendy Brethauer spoke about the MA Safety Solution group they started three years ago and the event on April 5 at Boot Barn Hall to raise more funds for security and more. They mentioned adding an ongoing pledge program and bringing back the grandparents’ day event.

• The board unanimously approved a special meeting on March 28 to sign an MOU with the county regarding the recirculation plan required by the Highway 105 widening project. The MOU will be signed by board members of the Monument Academy Building Corp. (MABC), which oversees building financing for the West Campus, and the Monument Academy Foundation (MAF), which oversees building finances for the East Campus. Both MABC and MAF must sign to secure funding for reimbursement from Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA).

Caption: On Mar. 3, Monument Academy (MA) held a special board meeting featuring a panel to discuss the Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response (FASTER) program which trains armed school staff to stop school violence quickly. Panelists answered questions and touched briefly on trauma-based first aid and social-emotional wellness. In addition to MA board members, school administrators and the schools legal counsel, panelists included Laura Carno, executive director of FASTER Colorado; Brian Rea, superintendent of Peyto 23 school district, and John Castillo, father of Kendrick Castillo from the STEM Schools shooting in Highlands Ranch. Photo by Jackie Burhans.

Caption: Parent Daniel Tucker and elementary teacher Suzy Benz were spotlighted by board member Misty McCuen at the Mar. 10 Monument Academy (MA) board member. Tucker volunteers once a month for the Watch Dogs program that brings fathers into the school to perform service and provide a role model. Benz joined MA in 2007 and is the music teacher for grades K-5. She helps with the talent show, student play and music lessons. Photo by Jackie Burhans.

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The MA School Board usually meets at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. The next regular board meeting will be on Thursday, Apr. 14, at 6 p.m. in the East campus band room. See more information at see https://bit.ly/ma-boe.

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

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Lewis-Palmer D38 Board of Education, March 14: Board recognizes student achievements, discusses grants and budget timeline

By Harriet Halbig

The Lewis-Palmer D 38 Board of Education recognized many students for their achievements at the Pikes Peak Regional Science/Engineering Fair, the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) state conference, and the February Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) competition.

Sixth-grade science teacher Valerie DeLello presented 12 sixth-grade students who participated in the Pikes Peak Regional Science/Engineering Fair. The students received a total of 20 awards for their efforts, which involved working after school for many weeks. Projects underwent eight rounds of judging.

The student participants were Rielyn Surma, Isabella Castro, Anna Quijano, Alyssa Vogt, Emmett Webber, Abigail Meggett, Clarissa Lindemann, Sydney Mauro, Charlie DeLello, Nixon Bilbrey, Grant Bain, and Caitlin Kerns. Rielyn Suma, who participated in Biochemistry/Chemistry and Physics, will be attending the state science fair in April.

Palmer Ridge High School business/marketing/computer science teacher Courtney Bushnell introduced student participants in the DECA conference. DECA encourages students to pursue careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. Each student presents a project in a specific field to a panel of judges. Students from Palmer Ridge and Lewis-Palmer High Schools participated. There were 2,250 participants at the state competition. Fifteen national qualifiers will go to Atlanta in April. Also in attendance was Lewis-Palmer High School business teacher Byron Tropp. The state participants are Grace Carlander, McKenzie Culver, James Baumert, Danielle and Nicole Day, Madeline Cump, Clare Deeds, and Jillian Gallagher, all of whom will continue to the international level in Atlanta, and John Clawson who is serving on the state level leadership team.

Lewis-Palmer High School science teacher and HOSA faculty advisor Monica Tupper introduced delegates to the HOSA State Leadership Conference. Twelve delegates attended in 15 health-care-related events. All 12 placed in the top 10 of at least one event, and six delegates placed in the top three of their events. Those who place in the top three advance to the international conference to be held in Nashville, Tenn., in late June.

Those who qualified for the international conference are: Annabelle Hall and Abby Klapp, who placed first in First Aid/CPR; Camryn Pivarnik and Rachael Foote, who placed third in Health Education; Camryn Pivarnik, who took third in Job-Seeking Skills; and Amelia Solan and Jean Earnst, who took second place in Community Emergency Response Training.

On March 5, Rep. Doug Lamborn announced seven service academy nominees for the class of 2026. These are Benjamin Carlander, Reagan Hitzler, Caden Chau, Alan Davis, Collin McWhorter, James Baumert, and Griffin Greenwood.

Grant discussions

Grants received and applied for were discussed twice during the meeting.

Executive Director of Student Services Rick Frampton announced the receipt of a grant for $98,100 to make possible the expansion of the district’s nursing staff for 18 months. Frampton said that this grant will make it possible to sustain the level of staffing achieved during the pandemic.

Later in the meeting, board Vice President Theresa Phillips and Career and Technical Education Coordinator Jess McAllister requested that the board support an application for a School Counselor Corps Grant from the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). This grant would fund an additional three counselors, one at each high school and one at the middle school. The $700,000 grant would be applied over four years, the first of which is a planning period and the following three would fund three full-time staff.

The grant is being requested to allow the current counseling staff to continue its emphasis on social-emotional wellness and other general needs. The additional counselor can support the Individual Career Academic Plan program (ICAP), which creates a plan for each student and monitors progress on an annual basis.

Phillips said that the American School Counseling Association recommends a ratio of one counselor for each 250 students. At present the district has one counselor for each 327 students.

The district is permitted to submit five letters in support of the application. There are two from teachers and two from principals. Phillips requested that the board submit a fifth letter and offered a draft of this letter. The board agreed to review the letter and that board President Chris Taylor should sign it on behalf of the board.

Budget discussion

Chief Financial Officer Kitte Overton and Chief Human Resources Officer Kristen Steuber discussed the board’s budget calendar and efforts to improve compensation for staff.

Overton reviewed the calendar and which aspects of the budget process will be addressed each month until the final approval of the proposed budget at the board’s May meeting.

Steuber reported that focus groups are being formed to discuss compensation, and administrator contracts will be finalized in the coming week. The focus groups will be divided by type of employee.

Overton also reported that the Balancing Act software is being finalized for public use. This software displays the current budget and allows members of the public to alter the priorities to favor different aspects of district activity. New additions will include explanations of funding required by state and federal law such as food service, transportation, and exceptional student services.

Other discussions regarding budget included investigating various sources of health insurance and monitoring the effect of the Schneider Electric energy program on the actual cost of energy in the district.

Overton said that as a member of a consortium of districts, the district is minimizing the cost of health insurance. The consortium seeks several estimates each year. The district offers coverage from both Kaiser and United Healthcare.

Energy bills from the district are submitted to Schneider Electric, which monitors progress.

Policy discussion

The board heard a first reading of a set of policies involving Title IX guarantees against discrimination on the basis of sex and other factors and reporting and processing of sexual harassment claims. The board will vote on the policies at its April meeting.

Caption: Palmer Ridge High School business/marketing/computer science teacher Courtney Bushnell, left, introduced some of the student participants in the recent state DECA conference at the Broadmoor. Also pictured is board member Matt Clawson in the middle and Lewis-Palmer High School business teacher Byron Tropp on the right. DECA encourages students to pursue careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. Students from Palmer Ridge and Lewis-Palmer High Schools participated. Fifteen national qualifiers will go to Atlanta in April. The state participants are Grace Carlander, McKenzie Culver, James Baumert, Danielle and Nicole Day, Mattie Compton, Clare Deeds, and Jillian Gallagher, all of whom will continue to the international level in Atlanta, and John Clawson who is serving on the state level leadership team. Photo by Jackie Burhans.

Caption: Sixth-grade students who participated in the Pikes Peak Regional Science/Engineering Fair were honored at the board meeting. The students received a total of 20 awards for their efforts, which involved working after school for many weeks. The student participants are Rielyn Surma, Isabella Castro, Anna Quijano, Alyssa Vogt, Emmett Webber, Abigail Meggett, Clarissa Lindemann, Sydney Mauro, Charlie DeLello, Nixon Bilbrey, Grant Bain, and Caitlin Kerns. Rielyn Suma, who participated in Biochemistry/Chemistry and Physics, will attend the state science fair in April. Photo by Jackie Burhans.

Caption: Monica Tupper, Lewis-Palmer High School science teacher and HOSA faculty advisor, said 12 students attended the state leadership conference for future health professionals in 15 healthcare-related events. All 12 placed in the top 10, with six advancing to the international conference to be held in Nashville. Jane Earnst and Amelia Solen placed second for Community Emergency Response Training (CERT). Photo by Jackie Burhans.

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The Lewis-Palmer Board of Education meets at 6 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at the learning center, 146 S. Jefferson St., Monument. The next meeting will be on April 18.

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

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Donald Wescott Fire Protection District, March 15: Volunteer Pension Fund closed; May election cancelled

By Natalie Barszcz

At the Donald Wescott Fire Protection District (DWFPD) meeting on March 15, the board closed the Volunteer Pension Fund, cancelled the May election, discussed rebranding the combined district, and received multiple updates. The board held an executive session to discuss the intergovernmental agreement with Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District (TLMFPD).

Volunteer Pension Fund closed

District counsel Emily Powell said the following:

• Former Interim Fire Chief Warren Jones functionally wound down the volunteer firefighter program in December 2021, and the district no longer has volunteers.

• The Volunteer Pension Fund is well funded, and the volunteers still vested in the pension fund, and those who are still eligible, will continue to receive funds, but it will be closed to new members.

• Powell requested the closure of the DWFPD Volunteer Pension Fund effective March 15 and said the volunteer pension fund as a retention tool had been waning.

The board unanimously approved the resolution to close the DWFPD Volunteer Pension Fund.

Election update

Fire Chief Andy Kovacs said the district did not receive more than two candidates for the board of directors’ election. He requested the board declare incumbent Chairman Mark Gunderman and new Director Michael Forsythe elected for three-year terms and cancel the May election. Forsythe will join the board after the election date of May 3, said Kovacs.

The board unanimously approved the candidates and cancelled the election.

Rebranding—doing business as (DBA)

Kovacs said that during the unification process with TLMFPD, the hot button topics have been the station assignments and the unanimous desire across both organizations to solidify their identities and rebrand the organization. And he said:

• Both districts’ legal counsels Powell and Maureen Juran had discussed keeping both names during the unification process and then adopt a new name when the merger is complete.

• In the interim, the legal names would remain but the district would be doing business as (DBA) with a selected name that is representative of both districts and the region.

• The rebranding would include a new mission, vision, and values statement.

• The district has met with a Colorado Springs public relations firm to discuss how the combined district could develop a focus group and poll the community for input.

• The cost of new uniforms, patches and badges and decaling of the apparatus will be incurred by both boards.

Kovacs requested the DWFPD board allow the combined district staff to proceed with the rebranding discussion and discuss the pursuit of DBA with the TLMFPD board.

Powell said the following:

• DWFPD will keep its name and become a tax passing entity to TLMFPD when the inter-governmental agreement (IGA) full contract for the provision of emergency services is approved in 60 days.

• TLMFPD will need to establish a DBA name for itself, and the impact on DWFPD would be the hard cost of uniforms, badges etc., needed for the personnel it is leasing to TLMFPD.

• When the final merger by inclusion could happen in about a couple of years, and the time comes to dissolve DWFPD, the new legal name would be part of the final IGA, along with the transfer of the Volunteer Firefighters Pension Fund to TLMFPD for management.

• The transfer of DWFPD personnel will happen on Jan. 1, 2023, and at that time, DWFPD will no longer have property, apparatus, or equipment, and will exist as a taxing entity.

Secretary Larry Schwarz said unity is what we set out to strive for, and now it is kind of scary as we go forward, but I am glad to hear the enthusiasm from the firefighters. This whole adventure has been about providing a better service to our neighbors by creating a stronger, more efficient emergency services team, said Schwarz.

Director Charles Fleece said it is good to seek out professional advice during the search for a new name and make it a community decision.

Kovacs said it is palpable when you walk into any of the stations that the rebranding is the last hurdle to the unity of the district staff, but we don’t want to forget the foundations of both departments.

Treasurer Duane Garrett requested the board receive rough numbers for the cost for rebranding in April.

"The chosen name will reflect the northern El Paso County area for 50 to 100 years, and should another entity decide to join the district in the future the name will not need to be changed," said Kovacs.

Emergency Medical Services update

Kovacs said the combined district’s requests for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in February were 206 calls, with 122 Advanced Life Support ambulance transports being the "lion’s share" of the calls. American Medical Response (AMR) requested about 31 transports in February, and the district accepted about 15 of those calls in Colorado Springs. The hope is that the January "spike" in calls will level off, but the combined district is still a little busier than normal. See www.ocn.me/v22n3.htm#dwfpd and www.ocn.me.v22n3.htm#tlmfpd.

Chief’s report

Kovacs said the following:

• Kudos to EMS coordinator Paramedic Stephanie Soll and Firefighter/Paramedic Jay Bruchis for providing a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) class for the Tri-Lakes Women’s Club during the American Heart Association’s Heart Month in February.

• As an ambulance provider, TLMFPD works with the State of Colorado, through the Public EMS supplemental payment, to get refunded for Medicaid patients, and that process has begun again. In 2021, Medicaid reimbursements generated about $250,000 in revenue, and although the billing process is time consuming, it is beneficial and will likely generate more revenue in 2022. See https://hcpf.colorado.gov.

• Division Chief of Community Risk/Fire Marshal Jamey Bumgarner and myself met with local developer Matt Dunston to discuss a land purchase opportunity around Highways 105 and 83 for the potential move of Station 2 on Roller Coaster Road.

• The TLMFPD stations are currently all aligned in the northern end of the district and, potentially, Station 3 could move farther south to support increased development, and the administrative offices could be consolidated there, with a community room and multiple training classrooms. See the TLMFPD 2019 master plan at www.tlmfire.org.

• Division Chief of Operations Johnathan Bradley and Battalion Chief Scott Ridings presented a plan to the Pikes Peak Fire Chief’s Council that proposes changes to unit and personnel identifiers in Computer-aided Dispatch to accommodate agency growth. Both are appointed to chair a working group that aims to continue adding details to the plan.

• He attended the Tri-Lakes State of the Region at the Great Wolf Lodge on Feb. 18 and heard from a lot of great speakers about what is going on locally and in the El Paso County region.

• Several members of the executive staff team attended the Air Force Academy National Character and Leadership Symposium in late February, and the district staff will continue to attend the symposium on an annual basis.

• Due to supply issues, Station 4 (formerly Station 1 on Gleneagle Drive) is still awaiting parts for the broken bay door.

Further education encouraged

Kovacs said he is strongly in favor of investing in the employees, and the district had conducted a survey of both districts and received 61 responses, with about 12 personnel not participating, and he said:

• Surveying the combined district’s personnel, 26 percent have a high school diploma/GED, 20 percent have an associate’s degree, 44 percent have a bachelor’s degree, and 10 percent hold a master’s degree.

• TLMFPD allocated money in the 2022 budget for tuition reimbursement for a passing grade, up to $1,500 per year per employee for further education at an approved or accredited college.

• The employees are more than "blue collar" employees, responsible for a lot of information and technical expertise, and their education needs to be commensurate to the level of pay and benefits they receive as firefighters.

• About 12 employees are currently pursuing their next education goal, and at a minimum battalion chiefs are required to have an associate’s degree, division chiefs require a bachelor’s degree, and the fire chief position requires a master’s degree.

• A lifelong learning process is important, and although most firefighters may have hundreds and hundreds of college credits, they just do not have a piece of paper that states they possess a degree, and the district is trying to change that and encourage education.

• The survey will be repeated next year to see how the education levels have changed.

Executive session

The board moved into executive session pursuant to Colorado Revised Statute 24-6-402(4)(b) and (e) to receive advice from legal counsel and to consider matters subject to negotiation and instruct negotiators regarding the draft IGA for the full contract for provision of emergency services with TLMFPD.

Note: Upon request, Kovacs confirmed to OCN that no decisions were made or approved after the board returned to the regular board meeting.

The regular session adjourned at 4:52 p.m.

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Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of every month at the TLMFPD Station 1, 18650 Highway 105, at 4 p.m. The next regular board meeting is scheduled for April 19 at 4 p.m. The meetings are open to the public in person, and for Zoom meeting joining instructions, agendas, minutes, and updates, visit www.wescottfire.org or contact the Administrative Assistant Stacey Popovich at 719-488-8680.

Natalie Barszcz can be reached at nataliebarszcz@ocn.me.

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Black Forest Fire/Rescue Protection District, March 16: Chairman receives recognition; wildland fire preparations on track

By Natalie Barszcz

At the Black Forest Fire Rescue Protection District (BFFRPD) meeting on March 16, the board chairman received recognition for his service and the board received multiple updates that included the May board director election, the wildland firefighting preparations, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The board held an executive session to discuss the specialized details of security arrangements.

Chairman thanked

for service

Fire Chief PJ Langmaid thanked Chairman Rick "Gator" Nearhoof for his eight years of dedicated service to the citizens of Black Forest as a board member, and he presented Nearhoof with a plaque.

Board member election

Administrative Officer Rachel Dunn said the district received four self-nominations for the May board election but only three were eligible, and the election will be cancelled. Dunn announced the three board member positions will be filled in May by:

• Chad Behnken

• Nate Dowden (incumbent vice chair)

• Kierstan Tarvainen

Wildland fire preparation

Langmaid said interviews with four temporary full-time wildland technicians had taken place and the district will bring on two in March and two in May for district mitigation work and wildland fire deployments.

Deputy Chief of Operations Chris Piepenburg said the following:

• The wildland fire pre-plan maps are moving along nicely, and all 91 tactical maps are plotted out.

• The drop and "Bambi Bucket" dip sites, the number of homes, and the resources required during a wildland fire are being added.

• The maps are being developed by Dave Reid at South Metro Fire Rescue Authority, Denver and could be completed by late May. See www.ocn.me/v21n9.htm#bffrpd and www.ocn.me/v21n10.htm#bffrpd.

Note: After the meeting, upon OCN’s request, Langmaid confirmed that Piepenburg had been promoted to deputy chief of operations at the second BFFRPD Annual Awards and Recognition Banquet on March 2.

Fire restrictions—public notification

Langmaid said the district had moved back to Stage 1 fire restrictions, but during a "Red Flag" warning day, the district will implement Stage 2 fire restrictions for the hours the warning is in place. The Manitou Springs Fire Department implemented the same strategy in early March and the Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) is considering the same, said Langmaid.

Treasurer Jack Hinton asked how the public would be informed when a Red Flag warning is in place.

Langmaid said the station signs would be updated along with the district website and other social media sites. See www.bffire.org.

Recreational firepit concern—update

Director Jim Abendschan asked if the district had begun compiling a list of vacation rental properties in Black Forest. See www.ocn.me/v22n3.htm#bffrpd.

Langmaid said the only way to compile a list of vacation rental properties is to visit each rental property site to determine how many exist in Black Forest, and then a visit to each property would be necessary to provide education on burn permits, but there is no governing body to provide such a list.

Abendschan said it is amazing how an unknown barrier could exist and potentially create a problematic area of concern for the district in the future.

Marshall Fire thank you

Nearhoof read a thank-you note from the Mountain View Fire Protection District, Boulder County, board of directors, thanking the district for a quick response and a job well done on Dec. 30 during the Marshall Fire.

Engine Boss John Dillon said that he and a crew deployed with an engine on Dec. 30 and spent five days supporting the draw-down of the Marshall Fire, primarily patrolling, helping out, and ensuring a firefighter presence if anything more were to happen.

Public comment

Resident Linda Smith requested information on six recent grass fires along Black Forest Road and asked if they had been determined intentional.

Langmaid said the following:

• The cause is undetermined and there are a number of possibilities, but there is no reason to believe they were intentional.

• The response highlighted the problem with the regional communications system operating on three different channels, but fortunately the shift commander and myself were able to get everyone aligned through the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Communications Center and a good regional response was achieved.

• Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District (TLMFPD) did a great job taking the initiative to drive south on Hodgen Road, ensuring no additional fires had occurred.

"The response was impressive, and it is nice to see everyone working together," said Smith.

EMS update

Langmaid said the following:

• In February, the district responded to 17 fire calls and two notable structure fires in neighboring districts, and 44 EMS requests.

• The American Medical Response (AMR) staffing shortages are impacting other El Paso County agencies, but the district has been relatively unaffected due to the Basic Life Support transport model the district has put in place, with CSFD providing an Advanced Life Support (ALS) paramedic.

• The district has not seen an increase in calls from AMR due to its preference of contacting districts with ALS, and because of that, AMR would rather use TLMFPD, Falcon and Security Fire Departments, to avoid the costly fines imposed by Colorado Springs.

Financial report

Hinton said the district had about $1.26 million (includes general operating funds, the reserve funds, and the TABOR fund) at the end of February. The district only used 13% of the annual budget year to date, due to the spending moratorium that had been in place since November, and the district has received about $1.472 million in total tax revenue year to date, said Hinton.

The board unanimously accepted the financial report as presented.

Langmaid said the spending moratorium is over, and the district received $14,340 in Ambulance Revenue for February.

Chief’s report

Langmaid said the following:

• The district purchased tires for $3,086 to begin building an available cache for apparatus and ambulances.

• The district received the ordered bunker gear, some slightly used portable radios, and the mobile dispatch consoles that were ordered in summer 2021, but supply chain issues persist.

• Overhead door repairs were completed at Station 1, and the board approved water drainage project began at Station 2. See www.ocn.me/v21n9.htm#bffrpd and www.ocn.me/v21n10.htm#bffrpd.

• A welder has been contacted to install safety equipment in the training facility.

• A 10,000-gallon cistern was approved and tested on Bridle Bit Road.

• Training hours were well above the minimum for a total of about 1,187 hours in February.

Dowden said, "Kudos to the staff for putting out the great videos on the district and social media websites, they are really impressive."

Honor guard appreciated

Nearhoof read a thank you note from Director Deb Hoffpauir that stated she would be forever grateful to the department for providing the honor guard at the "Celebration of Life" service for her late husband Director David Hoffpauir and his brother Bud Hoffpauir.

Executive session

The board moved into executive session at 7:23 p.m., pursuant to Colorado Revised Statute 24-6-402(4)(d), to discuss specialized details of security arrangements. Langmaid confirmed to OCN that no decisions or motions were approved after returning to the regular session at 8:11 p.m.

The board adjourned at 8:12 p.m.

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Meetings are usually held on the third Wednesday of every month at Station 1, 11445 Teachout Road, Colorado Springs. Meetings are open to the public in person and via Zoom. The next regular meeting is scheduled for April 20 at 7 p.m. For joining instructions, updates, agendas, and minutes, visit www.bffire.org or contact the Administrative Officer Rachel Dunn at admin@bffire.org or call 719-495-4300.

Natalie Barszcz can be reached at nataliebarszcz@ocn.me.

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Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District, March 30: Board meeting too late for publication

By Natalie Barszcz

The Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District (TLMFPD) held its board meeting on March 30, after Our Community News had been printed. See the Donald Wescott Fire Protection District article on page 16.

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Meetings are usually held on the fourth Wednesday of the month. The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m. at TLMFPD Station 1, 18650 Highway 105. For Zoom meeting instructions, agendas, minutes, and updates, visit www.tlmfire.org or contact Director of Administration Jennifer Martin at 719-484-9011.

Natalie Barszcz can be reached at nataliebarszcz@ocn.me.

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El Paso Board of County Commissioners, March 8, 15, and 22: Minor subdivision approved in Black Forest; beetle infestation treatment in The Pineries Open Space draws concern

By Helen Walklett

During March, the El Paso Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved a minor subdivision request which will see a Black Forest property split into three lots and heard concerns from a local resident about the contract to treat a mountain pine beetle infestation in The Pineries Open Space. It also approved the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the 2022 Black Forest slash and mulch program and made decisions associated with the Beacon Lite Road and County Line Road Improvements Project.

Black Forest minor subdivision

At the March 15 BOCC land use meeting, the commissioners voted unanimously to approve a request by Jerry and Sharon Lomax for a minor subdivision application to create three single-family residential lots on their 15.18-acre property in Black Forest, which is zoned RR-5 (residential rural). The property is located along the north side of Burgess Road at the northernmost terminus of Green Acres Lane, about one mile northeast of the intersection of Burgess Road and Volmer Road. The subdivision will be known as Treasured Acres.

One of the lots will have direct access to Green Acres Lane, which is an existing private road; the other two lots will have access to Green Acres via an access easement. This required the commissioners to approve a waiver to allow for two lots to be created without having access and 30 feet of frontage along a public road. Each lot will be just over 5 acres, and the existing dwelling will remain on what will become Lot 1. The applicants are not proposing to construct any new buildings at this time.

The application was considered as a consent item, meaning there was no discussion. It was heard at the Planning Commission meeting on March 3 where the commissioners voted unanimously to recommend it for approval.

The Pineries mountain beetle infestation

At the March 8 meeting, Judy von Ahlefeldt, a longtime resident of Black Forest, raised concerns about a mountain pine beetle infestation in 277 trees in The Pineries Open Space in Black Forest and the method by which it is being treated. The county signed a contract for $42,600 in February to have the affected trees masticated. The contract did not come before the BOCC for approval because the sum involved was below the required threshold.

Von Ahlefeldt said, "The contract for this project to treat the mountain pine beetles, it’s called a treatment, not a removal, because a removal is you cut the tree down and you take it away. This is grinding it up in place and grinding everything else up with it that’s in that general area, so we have huge areas of piles of mastication debris in The Pineries Open Space." She continued, "I have a fundamental problem as a conservationist and someone that’s worked with this for a long time, of bringing heavy equipment into this area. I think it’s inappropriate when there are other and less expensive options that are more effective."

This open space is unusual among county properties in that it has two conservation easements on it totaling 1,040 acres, which are held by the Palmer Land Trust. Von Ahlefeldt said, "The buffers I was told were in place have been violated."

Von Ahlefeldt first brought her concerns to the commissioners’ attention in February shortly after the county had signed the contract. At that time, she said the biggest problem was the fact that mastication was to be used, which is not an approved way to get rid of pine beetles and is also very impactful.

Work began in early March and was expected to take three weeks. The Pineries Open Space is on Volmer Road north of the intersection of Volmer and Shoup Roads in an area of Black Forest extremely damaged by the 2013 fire. It totals 1,070 acres and opened to the public in June 2020.

Black Forest slash and mulch program

At its March 22 meeting, the BOCC approved the 2022 MOU with the Black Forest Slash and Mulch Committee (SAMCOM), the nonprofit responsible for the program’s daily operation.

This wildfire mitigation program, which is staffed entirely by volunteers, accepts slash (tree debris including branches, leaves, needles, etc.) from residents that is ground into mulch, which is available free of charge to the public. Educational programs and events provide information to the public about forest health, soil conservation, safe chainsaw use, noxious weeds, and forest pests.

Under the MOU, the county contributes $35,000 toward grinder expenses, and SAMCOM provides $10,000 toward the costs. The details of the agreement are unchanged from those of 2021.

The site, at the southeast corner of Shoup and Herring Roads, plans to open for the 2022 season for slash drop-off on April 30. Normal business hours will be Saturdays 7 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sundays noon-4 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday evenings 5-7:30 p.m. The last date for slash drop-off is Sept. 11. There is a $2 drop-off fee for slash with a loyalty card available that offers a discount.

Free mulch will be available for self-loading from May 14 through Sept. 17. For large quantities of mulch, an end loader will be available on Saturdays only, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., charging $5 per bucket.

For more information, visit www.bfslash.org. Anyone wanting to volunteer to work a shift can do so via the website.

Other decisions

• March 8—the commissioners approved an ambulance permit for the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District. The one-year permit runs until Jan. 31, 2023.

• March 8—approved the partial release of a subdivision performance bond for $73,263 following the completion and satisfactory inspection of all the required subdivision improvements at the Forest Lakes Filings No. 2B and No. 4.

• March 15—approved memoranda of agreement, special warranty deeds, and easements for the Beacon Lite Road and County Line Road Improvements project. One of the special warranty deeds concerns property owned by MAJ Properties LLC for which the county paid $2,600. The second agreement includes a special warranty deed, a non-exclusive permanent easement, and a temporary construction easement from property owned by Tri-Lakes Community Church of Christ for $111,500.

Helen Walklett can be reached at helenwalklett@ocn.me .

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Northern El Paso County Homeowners Associations (NEPCO), March 19: PPACG chief describes its many duties

By Marlene Brown

The Northern El Paso County Homeowners Association (NEPCO) General Membership bi-monthly meeting met on March 19 at the Woodmoor Improvement Association (WIA) Woodmoor Barn. More than 20 homeowners associations (HOAs) were represented. Newly elected President Mike Aspenson introduced the other board members and committee chairs, and each gave their report. He also commented that the secretary and membership chair positions are still vacant. Bob Swedenburg will continue as acting secretary until the position is filled.

Dave Betzler, Community Outreach Committee chairman, said many residents of the Northern El Paso County area, after 20 years of NEPCO’s existence, still don’t know what NEPCO does or their purpose of working with the Town of Monument, the Town of Palmer Lake, and the El Paso County Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners. The organization works toward helping with planned development and protecting the property rights of individual homeowners. For meeting minutes, go to NEPCO.org and share them with your HOA members.

Matthew Nelson, Wildfire Preparedness Committee, presented his "Ted Talk" on FireWise landscaping and a 5-foot fuel free zone. Fire authorities recommend that nothing flammable should be within the 5-foot zone around your home to prevent flames coming in contact with your home. This includes removing pine needles, organic mulch, and junipers. Junipers are very flammable and are recommended to be at least 30 feet from your home. Other recommendations by the Colorado State Forest Service within the 30-foot zone of your home are ground covers, including creeping thyme, ice plant, and sedum. Some FireWise plants for your home landscaping include penstemons, salvia, and yarrow. For more information on FireWise landscaping, contact https://csfs.colostate.edu.

John Lewis, Transportation and Land Use Committee chairman, discussed the database he is creating for a central address for each member HOA in the Focus Area. After he enters the centrally located reference address from each HOA into an Excel spreadsheet, the addresses are converted into GPS latitude/longitude coordinates. As land development projects are entered into the system, alerts will be generated and HOAs become aware of new land development projects in their close proximity. The database is an ongoing project and will take time to refine.

Guest speaker

Andy Gunning, executive director of the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG), was the guest speaker. Gunning explained that PPACG works with over 13 communities in El Paso, Park, and Teller Counties as a quasi-governmental organization through systemized joint action. It is designated as a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for transportation planning in an urbanized area. It coordinates several transportation projects, including Jackson Creek Parkway and Highway 105 from Monument to Highway 83. Federal grants funnel through it, and the county’s governments then disperse the monies accordingly in their districts. As the population grows in northern El Paso County, transportation needs grow exponentially.

PPACG is also an Area Agency on Aging. Collaborating with other agencies, it supports transportation and housing needs for seniors and other individuals with special needs. Donna Wood continues to be the NEPCO board representative for PPACG.

Priorities for the future of PPACG include environmental quality and planning and military planning for the growth and economic health of the five military installations in El Paso County. Other priorities transportation and congestion management through 2050 and to have Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority on the ballot for another 10 years. PPACG wants to continue to engage with city/town/and county planners regarding growth-related issues. For more information on any projects under the PPACG umbrella, contact Jessica McMullen, Policy and Communications manager, at jmcullen@ppacg.org.

Caption: At the NEPCO meeting March 19 (L to R), Matthew Nelson (Wildfire Preparedness Committee), Craig Stewart (Board Member), Mike Aspenson (President), Bob Swedenburg (Vice-President), Dave Betzler (Community Outreach Committee), Andrew Gunning (Executive Director, PPACG), John Lewis (Transportation & Land Use Committee). Photo by Marlene Brown.

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The next NEPCO general membership meeting will be in May 14 at 10 a.m. at the Woodmoor Barn. For more information regarding NEPCO, go to www.nepco.org.

Marlene Brown can be reached at marlenebrown@ocn.me.

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Neighborhood meeting, March 29: Lake Woodmoor Holdings proposes developments in Woodmoor

By Lisa Hatfield

N.E.S. Inc., on behalf of Lake Woodmoor Holdings LLC, will submit a request to El Paso County for the following:

1. A revised PUD/Preliminary Plan for North Bay at Lake Woodmoor for 35 single-family attached lots.

2. A new PUD/Preliminary Plan for Waterside for 52 single-family attached lots.

These two developments are at Woodmoor Drive and Deer Creek Road and on Deer Creek Road.

A neighborhood meeting on these developments was scheduled for March 29. Further notification will be sent to adjacent property owners before any public hearing on this proposal, giving the time and place of the public hearing. At that time, you will be given the El Paso County contact information, the file number, and an opportunity to respond for, against, or expressing no opinion, in writing or in person at the public hearing for this proposal.

Please pass this information on to your neighbors. Once submitted, information on this project can be found on El Paso County’s Electronic Development Application Review Portal at EDARP (www.epcdevplanreview.com).

If you were unable to attend the neighborhood meeting but have questions about the project, contact Brooks Swenson at 719-471-0073 phone or bswenson@nescolorado.com.

No formal application has been received by Woodmoor Improvement Association for these two developments. Since Our Community News went to print on March 29, we couldn’t include a detailed report here. However, we will cover these developments as they are brought to the El Paso County Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners.

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

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Woodmoor Improvement Association, March 23: Board accepts open space donation, discusses upcoming developments

By Jackie Burhans

The Woodmoor Improvement Association (WIA) board met on March 23 to accept a donation of open space, hear residents’ concerns about upcoming developments, and discuss meeting transparency and guidelines. Board Directors Brad Gleason and Steve Cutler were absent.

Open space donation

President Brian Bush stated that Woodmoor Open Space Committee (WOSC LLC) proposed to the board donating the former Walters Open Space to WIA for free. WIA will administer it as they do all other common areas and discussed with WOSC the need for improvements such as trails, benches, and pet waste stations, he said. Bush said the board recognizes it hasn’t been able to do as much as it would have liked in South Woodmoor.

The agreement is short and simple, he said, and asked for a motion for the board to accept it and allow the vice president and president to sign on behalf of the board at the appropriate time. Board members will sign the agreeement15 days after approval of Filing 3 of the Walters Open Space replat; this is expected to take seven to eight months. The board voted unanimously in favor.

Upcoming Woodmoor developments

Rebecca Hicks, a Woodmoor resident, spoke about the notice she received from WIA announcing the community meeting by NES Inc. at 6 p.m. March 29 at The Barn to discuss the North Bay and Waterside developments. See article above. NES Inc. is a land planning company representing Lake Woodmoor Holdings LLC. On the north end of Lake Woodmoor, off Deer Creek Road, North Bay is expected to have 35 townhomes. Waterside, with 54 townhomes, is slated for the property just east of Lewis-Palmer Middle school and north of The Barn, bordered by Woodmoor Drive and Deer Creek Road.

Hicks expressed concern that the August 2021 discussion online involved issuing a permit to allow the developer to grade the North Bay area before receiving approvals. She wasn’t sure that was accurate and wondered how WIA felt about that. She also expressed concern about the floodplain, the stability of the land, and wetlands intrusion.

Bush responded that any developer who wants to develop land must apply to the county to plat the land and then obtain approvals through the El Paso County Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners. WIA will have an opportunity to provide its feedback to the Planning Commission based on its assessment of the impact to residents, he said. Bush noted that North Bay has been in the process for two years and is not yet done and said it is still early in the process for both developments. He also noted that between County Line Road and Baptist Road there is not a square inch of land he is aware of that doesn’t have a plan for development unless it is open space. He said that none of us are thrilled with all these developments, but it’s a fact of life.

North Bay and Waterside properties are part of the 1999 KAB Pankey lawsuit. KAB Pankey was a class-action lawsuit that invalidated some of WIA’s authority over certain developments. These developments will still be under WIA’s master covenants and can, if they so choose, be covered under sub-homeowner association (HOA) covenants that may be more (but not less) restrictive.

The developer has not submitted plans to WIA. Upon final approval by the county, the developer and builder will have to deposit substantial sums to guarantee they will complete the infrastructure and build the units according to WIA standards. WIA will refund these deposits upon completion of the development phases.

For more information on North Bay, see https://bit.ly/epc-northbay-ea and https://bit.ly/epc-northbay; for more information on Waterside, see https://bit.ly/epc-waterside. See more details on upcoming projects in Woodmoor at https://woodmoor.org/woodmoor-developments/.

Transparency and guidelines

Resident JoAnn Schmitz, an attorney who has worked on nonprofit and board governance issues, raised three concerns about the process used for Architectural Control Committee (ACC) decisions regarding applications.

Her first issue was transparency in the process; she said she was not allowed to view the application to understand the request. While the bylaws talk about records availability, they do not specifically cover ACC applications. She said the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act also identifies a list of records that should be available to members.

Her second concern was about the ACC meetings authorized by the bylaws to carry out the board’s duties. She proposed that the meeting directives that govern the board should also control the ACC meetings, and owners should be able to attend any ACC meeting other than executive sessions. She noted that the words "replat" and "subdivide" appear only in the covenants, which say that no further subdivisions shall be permitted except with the approval of the ACC. The ACC manual, she said, has extensive guidelines for building and modifying a property but does not cover replatting or subdividing. She suggested WIA consider developing such guidelines.

Schmitz’s third concern was that the standards manual doesn’t give the ACC guidance on what to do about an application that contains factually inaccurate information. The manual, she said, should be updated. She suggested that the application should be immediately denied and can be resubmitted with corrections. She also advised that an ACC member with a prior relationship with an applicant should recuse themselves from any discussion of the application. She offered to share articles and information with the board.

Bush said the board would be glad to take any information she wished to share but also noted that residents can attend any ACC meetings. Schmitt said the ACC heard their concerns and would discuss and get back to them. The door was closed when they went out to the lobby. Board member Ed Miller replied that they had gone into executive session. Schmitt said if she misunderstood, she was happy to hear it. Bush apologized if she got the impression that they could not attend an ACC meeting but that all association meetings except for executive sessions are open to any resident.

Board highlights

• Board Director Rick DePaiva reported that he had attended the bi-monthly Northern El Paso Coalition of Community Organizations (NEPCO) meeting on March 19. NEPCO, a great source of information about local developments, is a coalition of 47 HOAs whose representatives meet at The Barn every other month on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Meetings are open to the public.

• Board Treasurer Connie Brown reported 205 unpaid accounts; Bush will send a letter on April 8 notifying owners that they have until May 6 to pay, after which WIA will file liens on the property. Homeowners Association Administrator Denise Cagliaro reported that the staff is evaluating past due accounts with existing property liens. She said those owners would get a certified letter to pay within 30 days, or their accounts would go to the attorney for collections.

• Woodmoor Public Safety Chief Kevin Nielsen reported progress with the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) trail. The rights of way have been secured, and the next step is to get county approval, and then bids will be put out for construction. Bush explained that a state grant funds the SRTS trail and that WIA had provided seed money, allowed the use of some of its land, and agreed to maintain a portion of the trail.

• Neilsen said that residential and auto burglaries have increased and urged residents to lock vehicles, close garage doors, and secure their homes.

• Common Areas Administrator Bob Pearsall reported that a water main leak on Feb. 14 had flooded the basement of The Barn, resulting in a week of water shut-off for excavation, repairs, and cleaning, for a total cost of $13,000.

• Bush said WIA is involved in discussions on the Highway 105 widening and the Jackson Creek Parkway (JCP) projects. Highway 105 Phase A from JCP to Lake Woodmoor and Phase B, which continues to Martingale, are fully funded but do not yet have a firm timeline. JCP improvements will be required because of the Monument Junction 1 and 2 developments on the east and west side of the street. The developer will be responsible for the first one-fourth mile from Highway 105 south; the Town of Monument will do the rest of the work down to Higby Road. The timing and funding are not set, but the preferred option is to keep the same look that JCP has between Higby and Baptist. WIA will put out more information as they learn it.

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The WIA Board of Directors usually 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 April 27.

See the WIA calendar is at www.woodmoor.org/wia-calendar/. WIA board meeting minutes can be found at www.woodmoor.org/meeting-minutes/ once approved and posted.

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

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March Weather Wrap

By Bill Kappel

Overall, March was a little cooler than normal and received slightly above normal precipitation. The cool temperatures were mainly a function of a record cold snap that visited the region from the evening of the 5th through the morning of the 12th. Outside of that period, we experienced our normal rollercoaster ride of weather conditions ranging between mild and dry and cool and unsettled.

The month started off with above-normal temperatures and dry conditions, definitely coming in like a lamb. Highs reached the mid-60s on the 2nd and 3rd with clear skies dominating the weather as a strong ridge of high pressure settled in over the region. However, at this time to our north a batch of Arctic air mass was piling up and began working it way south. At the same time, a storm system was moving out of the Pacific Northwest and turning the corner through the southwestern United States. These two features began to affect the region late on the 4th with a few rain showers developing in the region ahead of the cold air, very unusual for March.

Cloudy skies continued with a few flurries the next morning ahead of the first wave of cold air, which arrived just before noon on the 5th. Cold air continued to work in that day while waiting for the storm to our west to arrive and produce the lift needed for snow to develop. Steady snow began during the morning of the 6th, with 4-8 inches accumulating around the region. The bigger story with this storm was the cold air that was pulled into the region, covering the Front Range with an Arctic airmass. This kept temperatures well below normal for several days as the easterly flow into the region did not allow the cold air to be scoured out. This is unusual for anytime in winter and even more so in March. Temperatures were in the teens by the evening of the 5th and barely managed to reach the low 20s on the 6th. Temperatures fell even more over the next couple days, with high temperatures only in the teens on the 7th.

The 8th saw a brief respite in the clouds and light snow, and temperatures tried to respond to the stronger March sunshine, reaching the low 30s but not quite breaking above the freezing mark. This didn’t last long, however, as a reinforcing surge of even colder air quickly moved in. Areas of light snow again developed with this cold surge, but this time the system was moisture starved and only 1-3 inches fell in most locations. Instead, the cold air was the story, as highs barely reached the low 20s on the 9th, upper teens on the 10th, and just below freezing on the 11th. More interesting was our overnight lows falling below zero each morning from the 9th through the 11th. This is a very unusual occurrence for March, to have three mornings in a row with below-zero readings. Also very unusual was the length of time we stayed below zero, from the late morning on the 5th through the mid-morning on the 12th. A stretch this long is unusual in December let alone March.

The cold air finally moved out of the region on the 12th and was followed by a couple days of more normal conditions. A quick shot of snow and blowing snow did move through during the overnight hours of the 14th, but most of this had melted by that afternoon. Mild conditions returned for the 15th and 16th before the next quickly moving storm more typical of mid-March affected the region. This brought rain and snow showers during the afternoon and early evening of the 16th that quickly changed to heavy wet snow that evening and continued into the next afternoon. The snow accumulated fast on the 17th, with 5-10 inches falling by mid-afternoon. These heavy, wet snowfalls are very beneficial for us as we head into spring, so that was welcome.

Quiet conditions returned over the next several days, but the fresh snow on the ground slowed the warming trend, limiting us to high temperatures in the 40s and 50s. The next quickly moving storm rolled into the region with a frontal passage in the early morning hours of the 20th. This brought another quick shot of snow and blowing snow that morning. Unsettled conditions followed this storm and produced several rounds of quickly moving snow showers and snow squalls from late morning through early evening on the 22nd.

After this storm departed temperatures slowly warmed over the next week, with highs finally reaching near record levels from the 25th-28th. In fact, we managed to reach 70°F on the afternoon of the 26th. This was the first 70-degree temperatures since last Nov. 7th. This end-of- the-month warmth was interrupted by unsettled conditions to end the month with rain and snow showers on the 29th and 30th.

A look ahead

April is known for a wide range of weather conditions in the region and is on average our snowiest month of the year. We can see 70° temperatures one afternoon and blizzard conditions the next. Several recent years have seen over 50 inches of snow accumulate during the month. Of course, it also melts very quickly, often adding beneficial moisture to the soil and helping the vegetation, which is just getting started.

March Weather Statistics

Average High 47.2° (-5.0°)

100-year return frequency value max 57.9° min 38.0°

Average Low 20.1° (-1.4°)

100-year return frequency value max 27.0° min 12.0°

Highest Temperature 70° on the 26th

Lowest Temperature -4° on the 11th

Monthly Precipitation 1.69" (+0.10", 5% above normal)

100-year return frequency value max 4.29" min 0.22"

Monthly Snowfall 23.3" (+3.3", 10% above normal)

Season to Date Snow 70.0" (-20.9", 23% below normal) (the snow season is from July 1 to June 30)

Season to Date Precip. 4.83" (-1.51", 24% below normal) (the precip season is from Oct 1 to Sept 30)

Heating Degree Days 972 (+59)

Cooling Degree Days 0

Caption: Two geese take a bit of a rest just off Gleneagle Drive as the March 17 snowstorm made it difficult not only for roadway drivers but for those who take to the air. Photo by David Futey.

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

Disclaimer: The information and opinions expressed in Letters to Our Community are the responsibility of the letter writers and should not be interpreted as the views of OCN even if the letter writer is an OCN volunteer. The letters are arranged in alphabetical order by the authors’ last names.

Praise from a news junkie

Your newspaper is a compelling read, and I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy it. The local news updates, the variety of adverts, and the in-depth coverage of Tri-Lakes regional issues means I will pick up a copy whenever I am in your area. I live in the Peyton/Black Forest area, where the local news sheets are not in your league. Your publication is the local version of The Economist. Keep up the great journalism!

Stephen Davies

Living on the edge

In El Paso County’s rush to build more housing, it is spoiling the special character of the Tri-Lakes region, changing the identity so that soon the area will be no different than the Denver suburbs to our north. Lake Woodmoor Development Corp., represented by N.E.S. Inc., is planning two crowded developments on some of the last unused lands in Woodmoor. The first they call Waterside—52 single and multi-family lots at the corner of Deer Creek Road and Woodmoor Drive. The second is new platting for North Bay—37 multi-family units in the meadow and wetlands directly north of Lake Woodmoor.

If the latter sounds familiar, it should. The county approved rezoning and platting of this land in 2020 for 28 townhouses. It turns out that the original design, which addressed a 100-year floodplain by building a ditch with retaining walls, was too costly. So, Lake Woodmoor Development has returned with a redesign to increase the density and replace the ditch with an underground pipe. Astonishingly, in an Aug. 12, 2021 recorded meeting between N.E.S. and county representatives, the county coaches the company on how to complete the project as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Clearly, I do not favor either development. North Bay, in particular, will significantly disrupt the floodplain, wetlands, and wildlife habitats. The soil and bedrock are susceptible to erosion, and groundwater is shallow. Furthermore, both projects will intensify wildfire risk, clog evacuation corridors (if they exist) and impede fire response. The Marshall Fire in Boulder County was a warning for all governments along the Front Range. But in El Paso County, at least, developers have the upper hand.

Rebecca Hicks

Flush not!

As a board member of the Monument Sanitation District, it has come to my attention more than once recently that one of our "lift stations" has had the motor nearly burned out because of flushable wipes stuck in the impeller. Contrary to national advertising on behalf of tissue companies, "flushable" wipes are not flushable! They do not dissolve and are causing similar problems around the country. Please be considerate. Flush not the so-called flushables! Thank you.

John Howe

Flying Horse North concerns

I am writing this letter to express my concern about the recently proposed major change to the Flying Horse North development that is southwest of the Hodgen Road/Black Forest Road intersection. The original, approved plan called for 203 lots for only residential homes and had 5-acre average density. The new proposal calls for 1,571 home lots, a 225-room luxury hotel and several time-share condominiums on the same parcel.

The recently completed El Paso County Master Plan states clearly that development in this area will not have a density less than 2.5 acres per lot. The 1,571 homes, luxury hotel, and condos on a parcel of 902 acres works out to a gross density of about 2 "dwelling units" per acre. How this development could even be imagined or proposed is beyond me.

A development of this size will require seven times as much water as rural 5-acre acre lots would have required. This area is also in danger from commercial extraction of water from Cherokee Metro District in Colorado Springs and the Falcon Area Water Authority. These two water providers have permission from the state to extract hundreds of acre-feet of water to pump outside Black Forest.

The increase in traffic, noise, congestion, and light pollution will make this a "town" of 4,000 people.

The proposal is a gross violation of the RR-5 zoning, which calls for a 5-acre average.

The development is not at all compatible with the surrounding rural, large-lot developments that characterize the area.

This development belongs down in Banning-Lewis Ranch where city water and facilities can be provided and the density will be compatible with the surrounding area.

Terry Stokka,
Black Forest Land Use Committee and Friends of Black Forest

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Between the Covers at Covered Treasures Bookstore: Bring in Spring with new nonfiction reads

By the staff at Covered Treasures

"There’s a powerful appeal in the ‘I didn’t know that’ effect. I love it when people say, ‘Gosh, I didn’t know that.’"—Erik Larson

April is a lovely month to delve into some splendid nonfiction books. Here’s a sampling to get you started:

If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t)

By Betty White (Berkley Books) $17

In this candid take on subjects including the unglamorous reality behind red-carpet affairs and her beauty regimen ("I have no idea what color my hair is, and I never intend to find out."), Betty White shares her observations about life, celebrity, and love. Filled with photos, this is straight to the point—just like Betty.

How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question

By Michael Schur (Simon & Schuster) $28.99

From the creator of The Good Place and co-creator of Parks and Recreation comes a hilarious, thought-provoking guide to living an ethical life, drawing on 2,400 years of deep thinking from around the world. Most people think of themselves as "good," but it’s not always easy to determine what’s "good" or "bad"—especially in a world filled with complicated choices, pitfalls, booby traps, and bad advice. Michael Schur helps us gain fresh, funny, inspiring wisdom on the toughest issues we face every day.

About Time: A History of Civilization in Twelve Clocks

By David Rooney (W.W. Norton & Co.), $28.95

Through the stories of 12 clocks, historian and lifelong clock enthusiast David Rooney brings pivotal moments from the past vividly to life. Through artifacts like al-Jazari’s castle clock in 1206 and the plutonium clock sealed beneath a public park in Osaka where it will keep time for 5,000 years, Rooney shows how time has been imagined, politicized, and weaponized over the centuries—and how it might bring peace.

Free: A Child and a Country at the End of History

By Lea Ypi (W.W. Norton & Co.) $27.95

The Sunday Times Best Book of the Year in Biography and Memoir; a Financial Times Best Book of 2021; The New Yorker Best Books We Read in 2021; a Guardian Best Book of the Year. Lea Ypi’s memoir is a reflection of freedom, of the end of communism in the Balkans. Communism had failed to deliver the promised utopia. Now one of the world’s most dynamic young political thinkers in the United Kingdom, Ypi offers a perspective on the relation between the personal and the political, between values and identity, posing urgent questions about the cost of freedom.

The Hidden Habits of Genius: Beyond Talent, IQ, and Grit—Unlocking the Secrets of Greatness

By Craig Wright, PhD (Dey Street Books) $28.99

The creator of Yale University’s popular "Genius Course" examines how 14 key habits of genius, from curiosity and creative maladjustment to rebelliousness and obsession, have been effectively demonstrated by history’s most brilliant minds that have changed the world. This book won’t make you a genius. But embracing the hidden habits of these transformative individuals will make you more strategic, creative, and successful, and, ultimately, happier.

Seven Games

By Oliver Roeder (W.W. Norton & Co.) $26.95

Checkers, backgammon, chess, Go, poker, Scrabble, and bridge. Oliver Roeder charts their origins and historical importance. Roeder introduces competitors such as Marion Tinsley, who across 40 years lost only three games of checkers, and an IBM engineer who created a backgammon program so capable at self-learning that NASA used it on the space shuttle. Throughout, Roeder tells how humans have invented AI programs better than any human player, and what that means for the games and for us. Funny, fascinating, and profound, this is a story of obsession, psychology, history, and how play makes us human.

Great news for those who’ve been waiting, these popular books are now available in paperback:

• Educated, by Tara Westover, $18.99

• The Splendid and the Vile, by Erik Larson, $20

• Everything Will Be Okay: Life Lessons for Young Women, by Dana Perino, $17.99

• A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds, by Scott Weidensaul, $18.95

• Women in White Coats: How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine, by Olivia Campbell, $17.99

• The Women of Chateau Lafayette, by Stephanie Dray, $17

• The Lamplighters, by Emma Stonex, $17

Until next month, happy reading.

The staff at the Covered Treasures can be contacted at books@ocn.me.

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April Library Events: Art exhibit at Monument; number of programs grows

By Harriet Halbig

An exhibit of art created by students with special needs will be on view at the Monument Library from April 4-6. A closing reception will be held on the 6th from 5 to 7. This exhibit was organized by an exchange student from Romania.

Regularly occurring programs at Monument are Story Time on Tuesdays from 10:30 to 11:30 and Toddler Time from 10 to 10:30 on Wednesdays, April 13 and 27. A Story Time will also be offered at Reynolds House on the grounds of the Western Museum of Mining and Industry on Mondays from 9:30 to 10:45. The district’s Bookmobile also will visit the site.

Free math tutoring continues to be available each Monday from 3:30 to 6:30. No appointment is necessary.

For additional programs for all ages, please see the district website, www.ppld.org, and look under programs by location.

The Palmer Lake Library is now open from 10 to 6 Wednesday through Friday each week. Story Time in Palmer Lake is on Fridays from 10:30 to 11:30.

Thank you for making this year’s Winter Adult Reading Program such a success. It ended on March 31 with a record number of participants.

We hope to see you soon at the library. Remember that tax forms are available for printing from our website from home or the library.

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

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High Altitude Nature and Gardening (HANG): Microclimates, early planting, and "good bugs"

By Janet Sellers

Our deep, wet spring snows insulate the garden floor and slowly melt, hydrating the earth through the pine needles which have knitted themselves together and allow moisture in but keep weeds out. As the weather warms up, the perfectly prepared and protected soil has optimal conditions for growing vegetables and flowers.

We have unstable weather, but our deep spring snow insulates our ground, as do pine needles at 3 or 4 inches thick as mulch protectors, and the seeds won’t sprout until the soil is right, the microbiome is right, etc., but they will get going on their own time, which could be much later, we’re just ready now. We’ve had dropped seed "volunteer" plants get going earlier in the season with this protection of pine straw and snow insulation. My experience with the garden has shown that we can plant in spring between snows when we don’t have the February hard freezing.

Organic gardens have a natural relationship with the climate. Chemical fertilizer offers too much too soon, and the plants get going and can freeze because the whole situation is not related to nature and microbiome, but more with chemicals. This is key: Microorganisms will not stir until the clime is optimal and stay dormant until the natural activity relates to this "readiness." Some years the readiness is in March, some years as late as June, but the process and order of things are the same in the garden. Our climate here is made up of microclimates, so one neighbor may see sprouting while another has a dormant garden.

Garden creatures to protect

Besides pollinators, we find helper bugs. Do not damage them or spray pesticides! The "roly-poly" oniscidae, better known as cochineal, is a subgroup of isopod crustaceans whose function is to remove harmful heavy metals from the earth such as mercury, cadmium, and lead. They contribute to the cleansing of the soil and groundwater and reaffirm the wisdom of nature. "Potato bugs" from the Stenopelmatidae family—different from the Colorado potato beetle— mostly help keep your soil healthy, preferring decaying plant life, burrowing and eating away all the dead roots and any other material left behind from the previous garden. They avoid us, but they could bite, so let’s leave them alone.

Caption: Students from Palmer Ridge High School (left) volunteered at the Monument Community Garden. The students helped to top off the monofilament around the fenced area including red ribbons (to deter deer from jumping over the fence), then helped plant the garden area with vegetables and wildflowers to create a hummingbird garden. Beverly Rehm, right, of Woodmoor, answered our request posted on www.nextdoor.com and brought her bags of pine needles for the students to spread over the garden for mulch, a much-needed protector for the soil and garden seeds. Photo by Janet Sellers.

Janet Sellers is an avid lazy—aka nature-focused—gardener, using Mother Nature’s methods for the local "high desert forest" clime. Share your wisdom and send your local gardening tips to JanetSellers@ocn.me.

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An important message for our readers: Our Community News needs your help!

Our Community News is an all-volunteer organization. For the past 20 years, our volunteers have provided unbiased reporting on important local issues, including real estate development, fire departments, school districts, and water availability. We have provided a very favorable platform for advertising local businesses. We have published letters to the editor to allow you to express your opinions on events affecting the Tri-Lakes area.

Now we find that we have more tasks than we have volunteers. Some vital jobs where we could use your help:

• Reporters. Reporting on local meetings, what they talked about and what they decided.

• Mailing assistants. Counting and lifting tubs of papers to take the monthly mailing to the post offices and stacks of papers to local businesses, loading and unloading mailing tubs from a truck at two locations, preparing postoffice paperwork, tub labels, subscription labels, etc.

• Drivers. Driving a rental truck to various post offices once a month.

• Ad sales assistants. We need volunteers who love OCN to contact local businesses and encourage them to advertise in OCN.

The time and skills involved vary greatly from job to job. OCN will provide whatever equipment and training you need.

Please join us today! Meet a group of interesting and committed people. Learn new skills—use your enthusiasm and creativity to benefit our community and celebrate unfiltered information.

Please call Publisher John Heiser at (719) 488-3455, or email johnheiser@ocn.me to see how you can contribute. Contact John today! He is waiting to hear from you. Together we can ensure that OCN continues to provide a vital service to our wonderful Tri-Lakes community.

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Art Matters: Art, imagination, and co-creating our future

By Janet Sellers

With spring snow, the temps are relatively comfortable, and many go outdoors for play. We’ve all seen snowmen, snowcats—we even had a snow unicorn complete with icicle horn on my street—as well as the broomball and other winter pick-up games that just need a few people and a fun attitude. This is important random play, and actually has a big impact on our lives, society, and our well-being.

A variety of social worker studies show that free play is proactive and supports imagination and natural abilities, whereas toys and gizmos cause reactive play and suppress inquiry and creative action. Rob Hopkins, the founder of the international Transition Towns movement, wrote in his book, From What Is to What If: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want that some of the schools in his study even went so far as to remove all toys for three months every year, and what unfolded was astonishing.

Hopkins said that on the first day the children were shy and hesitant, but by the third and fourth days the children were making forts out of the chairs, drawing on the chalkboards, and more. This is also reminiscent of the rhythmic words and numbers hand-clapping games of yesteryear, creative agility games such as Rockin’ Robin, pat-a-cake, a sailor went to sea, and so on. These are fun games, no toys needed, facilitating eye-hand coordination and activating sensory and motor neurons on both sides of the brain.

Our brain’s hippocampus, playing a major role in learning and memory, is directly involved with our reactions to stress activating the hormone cortisol. Elevated cortisol induces hippocampal atrophy. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience reports that "clinical studies found that elevated cortisol was associated with poorer overall cognitive functioning, as well as with poorer episodic memory, executive functioning, language, spatial memory, processing speed, and social cognition.…"

Hopkins reported that stress, trauma, anxiety, loneliness, and depression all have an adverse impact on the human imagination, causing it to contract and shrink. He visited Rosalie Summerton of Art Angel of Dundee, Scotland (btw, Scotland has a population about the size of Colorado), an organization that works with people he said are "on the hard end of anxiety crisis." He asked, "When you were talking before, you used the word attention, and I wonder—it feels like we’re in the middle of an attention crisis, that everyone’s attention is shot to bits, and they can’t focus on anything. I wonder if you’ve seen an increase in that?"

Summerton responded, "You know, we’re all attached to our phones. We’re always looking at the phone. Even when you go see a movie, it’s really fast and furious and quick. There’s no pause or time to speculate. It’s always just everything is full-on, and we feel as if we’re not being entertained unless it is…."

Hopkins’ findings showed that the outdoor play of "what is" became "what if" when neighborhood members went outside to play, without toys or gizmos but making imaginative play with whatever was at hand—sticks, chalk, or just movement like jumping, hopscotch, run races like tag, etc.

Art and play help create significant changes in the way people perceive and shape their reality. Drawing in chalk makes temporary creations but stimulates the creative part of the brain in a unique way. We can always erase it and start over or keep the picture around for a while. Our imagination development is in the doing of the chalk drawing, not necessarily in the long-term keeping of it.

Studies—and life—show us that if kids get to jump around, fall down, run, climb trees, and play outside in the neighborhood (even playing and drawing with chalk on the sidewalks or in the street), they are more resilient lifelong to all kinds of "falls" and ups and downs of life. They are more creative in problem-solving throughout life. In many places, the streets are closed off regularly to create play space for kids, adults, the whole ‘hood, bringing up safety and lowering crime and discord. It creates community when people are outside and playing together.

Janet Sellers is an artist, writer, speaker, and educator. She exhibits her artworks in cities and museums in Colorado and other places around the world. She can be reached at JanetSellers@ocn.me.

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Snapshots of Our Community

Hatfield book signing, Mar. 5

Caption: Lisa Hatfield of Woodmoor signed copies of her first novel, To Starve an Ember, at Barnes and Noble in Colorado Springs on March 5. Hatfield is wearing a woodsmen helmet that is used during chainsaw and chipping work to reduce risk to homes or clean up damage after one. "To Starve an Ember is a novel about wildfires and family disasters and how to protect yourself from both," Hatfield said. It is the first of what Hatfield hopes will be a trilogy of novels. She’s working on the second book now. Photos by Michael Weinfeld.

PRHS students win MVEA trips

Caption: Two Palmer Ridge High School juniors are among four students who have won the chance to take part in youth leadership trips this June and July. Diya Suri (left) came in second place and John Moritz (right), fourth. Students who took part in the contest answered three short essay questions about electric co-ops, leadership qualities they value, and what being part of an electric co-op means to them. As the second-place winner, Suri gets an all-expense-paid weeklong trip to Washington, D.C., for an Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in June. As the fourth-place winner, Mortiz wins a trip to Clark, Colo., for a Colorado Electric Educational Institute Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp in July. Photos provided by MVEA.

Park groundbreaking, Mar. 9

Caption: Trinity Lutheran Church in Monument held a groundbreaking ceremony for the first phase of Trinity Community Park (TCP) on March 9. Holding the shovels are TCP team leader Tamara Schwartz and Pastor Mike Vinson. When the church’s old playground was torn down, kids ended up hanging out in the parking lot. In response, church members, helped by a foundation matching grant, raised more than $50,000 to build a new playground and walking paths. The first phase will include a playground with a swing set, tire swing, Americans with Disabilities Act swing, toddler swing, spring toy, and large climbing structure. There will also be a wheelchair-friendly walking path. The project will be built by volunteers who hope to complete it by early summer. Photo by Samantha Johnson.

SEW Monumentaries, Mar. 12

Caption: On March 12, the Social-Emotional Wellness (SEW) Coalition, a local nonprofit with the goal of promoting mental health awareness and providing resources, held an event at Lewis-Palmer High School. Monumentaries, as the event was called, was part of SEW’s Year of the Story and had supporters such as the Youth Documentary Academy, Cedar Springs Hospital, Peak View Behavioral Health, and Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention. Student films covered topics such as suicide, struggling as an immigrant, and meeting parental and societal expectations. Each showing was followed by a student-led discussion, and the afternoon ended with a student-led panel sharing key takeaways kids want from parents and adults: "Love me for who I am, not for what I do." Panelists included students and adults: Thomas Fry, Cassandra Walton, Mallory Sale, Miah Williams, David Galvan, Elena Phillips, and Alex Weeks.

Caption: Attendees signed thank you cards to the student filmmakers. The films can be seen on Rocky Mountain PBS as part of the Our Time series. Photos by Jackie Burhans.

Bearbotics reaches regionals

Caption: School District 38’s Bearbotics FRC Team 4068 reached the semi-finals at the Colorado regionals in Denver on March 26. At the regionals, teams build robots to play a field game in alliance with other teams. The Bearbotics alliance of three teams finished third. It also took home the Gracious Professionalism Award. The students reached this round by coming in second at the Arizona regionals two weeks earlier. The students who competed were Cameron Hinkle, David Nunez, Emma Beery, Camden Meyers, Dane Vandenhoek, Shayna McHugh, Caleb Lunn, Keira Griffin, Chris Plauth, David Nguyen and Ben Ladau. They were accompanied by their coaches and mentors Ben Griffin, David Baron, Eric Vandenhoek, Coach Matt Middleton and Head Coach Mike Hinkle.

Caption: In Arizona, Haribo, the team’s nickname for their robot, taxied off the tarmac and shot two red balls as programmed by the team. Photos by Mike Hinkle.

St. Patrick’s Day at PPBC, Mar. 12

Caption: Pikes Peak Brewing Co. of Monument celebrated St. Patrick’s Day early on March 12 with a performance by the Celtic Steps of Colorado Springs. Girls ages 4 to 18 danced for a large crowd. They were followed by the Pikes Peak Highlanders, who filled the taproom with the sounds of Great Highland Bagpipes and Scottish drums. Photo by Michael Weinfeld.

Moors & McCumber, Mar. 12

Caption: On March 12, James Moors and Kort McCumber brought their eclectic Americana sound and multi-instrumental talents to the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (TLCA). Guitars, mandolins, keyboard, fiddle, harmonica, banjo, and cello were among the instruments used throughout the evening. McCumber stated that the variety of instruments played were not necessarily to demonstrate their collective talents but to use "what instruments are best for the song." Moors added, "Much like a painter uses specific colors to illicit an emotion, we use our instruments to color the songs and create a dynamic flow." The two sets included songs from their 2021 studio release Survival and from their previous six releases. The song selection included two Irish numbers, Leaving for Cobh and Saint Brigid’s Well, the Civil War-themed Quick As I Can and Mando Mandolins, an instrumental demonstrating their dynamic and collective expertise. Go to www.trilakesarts.org for upcoming TLCA events. Photo by David Futey.

Depot sign preserved, Mar. 15

Caption: One of the two original depot signs once displayed at the Palmer Lake train depot has been cared for by Rodger Voelker. On March 15, Voelker presented the sign to the Palmer Lake Historical Society, and it will be mounted inside the historic Town Hall. Gary Atkins, who has researched and is knowledgeable about local railroad history, thanked Voelker and shared some of the history of the train depot. In 1883, the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad came through Palmer Lake. The original depot was located about 15 feet west of the tracks in the north end of town, close to the lake. Voelker was a firefighter for 30 years and is currently the wassail-maker for the annual Yule Log event in Palmer Lake and is the guardian of the secret wassail recipe. Voelker, with Atkins and Wayne Russert, were key players in recovering and restoring the depot sign. Photo by Steve Pate.

Quilter Monica Scott honored

Caption: Palmer Divide Quiltmakers dedicated the annual Monument Library quilt exhibition to longtime member Monica Scott, who passed away earlier this year. The dedication mentioned, "Scott gave greatly of herself, welcoming newcomers, donating quilts to veterans, keeping the blanket brigade supplied with fabric, and entertaining all with stories about places and people she knew." Scott coordinated the guild’s community sewing project on caps, turbans, and pillows for cancer treatment centers; she and her husband Ed made pillowcases for hospitalized children. Pictured are a number of quilts she made over the years.

Caption: Some of her caps, turbans, and pillows made for cancer treatment centers. Photos by Janet Sellers.

Bash-ton for Cashton, Mar. 25

Caption: A fundraiser for young cancer patient Cashton Fair-Baumann was held March 25 at the Woodmoor Barn. Cashton, aka CJ, is a 5-year-old boy who has been through excrutiating treatments for brain cancer since he was 2 years old and needs a new FDA-approved medical procedure available only in New York. The local Tri-Lakes community is contributing to help him get the needed treatment. According to Charlie Searle, Ashtonz band leader (below), over $5,000 was raised at this Bash-Ton for Cashton event and much more is needed to cover living and travel expenses for the four-month treatment. A GoFundMe page organized by Mikayla and Shannon Fair is available for #CashtonStrong. Photos by Steve Pate.

Ute history at FoFRP, Mar. 24

Caption: Friends of Fox Run Park (FoFRP) held its monthly meeting March 24 at Southwinds Fine Art, blended with Zoom and in-person participants. The group discussed projects coming this summer and ways to make them happen. Then the author of Struggling Toward Hope Alli Carter Close (Allison Robenstein, reporter for OCN) gave a PowerPoint presentation on her book. The book is historical fiction based on Ute Indian life and Kit Carson in the early 1860s. The Fox Run Park area is believed to have been an Indian encampment in the 1800s and before. The next volunteer project for FoFRP will be on Earth Day, April 22. Meet at the Roller Coaster Trailhead at 10 a.m. Email friendsoffoxrunpark@gmail.com to get on the crew list and for information on future projects. Photo by Brad Robenstein.

LPHS won 4A, Mar. 12

Caption: Lewis-Palmer High School won the 4A Basketball Championship March 12 at the Denver Coliseum. Playing Pueblo South, the Lewis-Palmer Rangers came out on top 61-53. Senior Cameron Lowe, number 22, scored 15 points and stated, "I learned through basketball how to fight adversity and how to really work hard." Damarion Jelks, number 24, performs a layup as Pueblo South players attempt to block it. Jelks scored 10 points. Both teams finished 27-1 for the season. Coach Bill Benton said, "It was our night." Photos by Creighton Smith.

Snowstorm, Mar. 17

Caption: A Donald Wescott Fire Protection District engine leaves to address an emergency during the morning of the March 17 snowstorm. Photo by David Futey.

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Our Community Notices

By Janet Sellers

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 information number for that event. Please notify us if your event listing needs to be updated.

Santa Fe Open Space now open

The official opening is scheduled for Thu., Apr. 7, 1 pm by El Paso County Parks. Access to the open space trails is available 0.67 mile south of the Palmer Lake parking lot or 2.1 miles north of the Monument (Highway 105) trailhead on the Santa Fe Trail.

Forest Lakes Metro election, May 3

Forest Lakes Metropolitan District of El Paso County will conduct a regular election May 3, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Three directors will be elected for a 3-year term. Details are available from the District’s Designated Election Official (DEO), Stephanie Net, SNet@spencerfane.com.

Seniors Driver’s License Electronic Renewal

With the implementation of the Driver’s License Electronic Renewal By Seniors Act (HB21-1139), Colorado seniors now have the permanent ability to renew their driver license or identification card online, but there are new laws to understand. Information is online via www.mycolorado.state.us. Some restrictions apply to drivers aged 21-80, and drivers over 80 need a special doctor’s statement. Coloradans who are concerned about an elder family member’s ability to drive should email dor_mvhelpdesk@state.co.us.

DMV online and kiosks

Clerk & Recorder’s Office provides motor vehicle and driver’s license services. 30+ services at www.mydmv.colorado.gov. Renew registration online or at a kiosk. Make appointments. check in for appointments and wait where it’s convenient for you. The DMV encourages Coloradans to skip the trip and use its online services whenever possible. So before your next trip to the DMV, remember to save time, go online. Visit www.DMV.Colorado.gov/Save-time for more information. See www.epcdrives.com.

CO 21 (Powers Blvd.) & Research Pkwy. construction

Work will be completed in fall 2022 and will consist of replacing the current at-grade intersection with an innovative Diverging Diamond Interchange by constructing an overpass for Powers Boulevard/Colorado Highway 21 traffic to move continuously through the intersection over Research Parkway. For many more details and rendering of final configuration, including a video showing new traffic flow, see https://cccpi.net/cdot-powers-research.pdf.

Black Forest slash/mulch program

Location: Southeast corner of Shoup and Herring Roads, drop-off open Apr. 30-Sept. 11, Sat., 7 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun. noon-4 p.m., and Tue., Thu. evenings 5-7:30 p.m. $2 drop-off fee for slash, loyalty card offers a discount. Free mulch, self-loading from May 14 through Sept. 17. Info: visit www.bfslash.org.

Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK)

If a disaster happened today, could you easily find your crucial household, financial, and medical documents to recover quickly? Use the checklists in the free Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) to ensure nothing is missing. Get the EFFAK at: https://go.usa.gov/xHC2m. See PSA on page 27.

MVEA planning broadband service

Mountain View Electric Association is planning to provide reliable, affordable, high-speed fiber broadband service to all its 51,000 members in the next six years. MVEA and Conexon Connect teams are now designing and mapping the network. For more information about MVEA and Conexon Connect’s fiber-to-the-home project, visit www.mvea.coop/broadband.

MVEA offers rebates

For information on MVEA’s energy efficiency rebates, visit www.mvea.coop/save-energy-money/rebates/, or call 800-388-9881.

It pays to use MVEA’s bill paying options

MVEA offers credits for using making auto-pay and on-line payments.

MVEA Outdoor Power Equipment Giveaway

Picture yourself as the winner of an Electric Mower+Trimmer Package or an Electric Power-Washer. Entry deadline May 26, Enter on-line at www.mvea.coop/greengiveaway. Winners will be announced at the 81st Annual Meeting June 2 at Limon Public Schools. See ad on page 18.

Palmer Lake Arts District forming

The newly forming Palmer Lake Arts District is looking for working artists interested in participating in an artist cooperative located in Palmer Lake, working artists and persons to organize and manage the coop. For inquiries contact beforethegrid@aol.com.

Palmer Lake Vaile Museum to reopen

Plans to reopen soon with several new exhibits upon completion of the improved handicap accessible ramp. We are in great need of volunteers to carry on the work of the society. Visit www.PalmerDivideHistory.org or call 719-559-0837.

Palmer Lake trailhead parking kiosk

For visitors wanting to park up close to the trailhead, patrons will be required to pay for that parking space. The kiosk was installed in February and staff is testing the hardware. Please note that the kiosk is for debit and credit payments only and the parking payment receipt needs to be displayed on the dash of your vehicle. Take care to confirm that the license plate number printed on the receipt matches your vehicle. The parking fee is $5 plus processing fee and is subject to change for special events, holidays, etc., as determined by the Town Board.

Area code required for local (719) and (970) calls

Colorado customers with numbers in the 719 and 970 area codes should dial 10-digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls. They will still count as local calls. Check your safety and security alert devices to be sure they are programmed with 10-digit dialing. You can still dial just three digits to reach 711 (relay services) and 911 (emergency services) and other local three-digit services including 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 are currently available in your community, dial these codes with just three digits.

Openings on Monument boards

The Town of Monument has openings on its Planning Commission and Board of Adjustments. For more information, visit and to download an application, go to http://townofmonument.org/261/Available-Board-Openings.

Openings on Palmer Lake boards

The Town of Palmer Lake continues to seek volunteer residents to serve on upcoming potential seats for the Planning Commission, the Parks Commission, and the Board of Adjustments. The Planning Commission meets once a month on the third Wednesday. The Parks Commission meets a minimum of once a month but also has opportunities to be involved in Work Groups for various Park areas. The Board of Adjustments meets up to once a month on the first Tuesday, as needed. To qualify, you must be a resident of the Town of Palmer Lake for a minimum of 12 consecutive months and be at least 18 years of age. See www.townofpalmerlake.com.

Tri-Lakes Cares Needs Your Support

Tri-Lakes Cares is the only food pantry and human services organization located in and serving northern El Paso County through emergency relief and self-sufficiency programs. The community-based, volunteer-supported center is a critical resource for our neighbors in need. The best way to help support Tri-Lakes Cares is to donate. Visit https://tri-lakescares.org/donate to find out how to donate money, medical items, personal supplies, or food. Please check the web for current needs in our food pantry at https://tri-lakescares.org/donate/current-needs. Donation drop-off hours are Monday thru Thursday, 10 am to 4 pm. For more information about Tri-Lakes Cares or how you can help, contact Nicole Pettigrew, director of Volunteers and Community Partnerships, at 719-481-4864 Ext. 111.

LEAP—help for heating bills

The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) is a federally funded program that provides cash assistance to help families and individuals pay a portion of winter home heating costs. The eligibility period for LEAP runs Nov. 1-April 30. Application packets will automatically be mailed to residents who received LEAP assistance last year at the address where they were living at that time. To find out if you qualify for LEAP, call 1-866 HEAT-HELP (866-432-8435) or visit www.colorado.gov/cdhs/leap.

WMMI seeks volunteers

WMMI has positions for docents/tour guides, front desk, landscaping, and building and maintenance. For more details, contact Loretta, 719-488-0880, or email Volunteer@wmmi.org.

Free services for seniors

Mountain Community Senior Services offers free transportation and handyman services to Tri-Lakes seniors. Private transportation to medical appointments or a grocery store is now provided by Envida, 719-633-4677. If you need grab bars in the bathroom, a ramp to your door, or repair of stairs or railings, please call 719-488-0076, and leave a message or visit www.coloradoseniorhelp.com.

Senior Beat newsletter—subscribe for free

Each monthly Senior Beat newsletter is full of information for local seniors, including the daily menu of the senior lunches offered Monday through Friday at the Mountain Community Mennonite Church, 643 Highway 105, Palmer Lake. It also contains the schedule of the classes and events for the month at the Senior Citizens Center and senior-friendly library programs. To subscribe, send an email with your name and mailing address to SeniorBeat@TriLakesSeniors.org. Senior Beat can also be viewed online at www.TriLakesSeniors.org.

The Sunflower is for people with non-visible disabilities

Watch for green and yellow sunflower lanyards, bracelets, and ribbons, discreet ways to make the invisible visible. Wearing the Sunflower discreetly indicates to people around the wearer including staff, colleagues and health professionals that they need additional support, help or a little more time. However big or small, your help moves us closer to a society where people recognize that an offer of help, understanding and kindness can make a huge difference to the daily experiences that a Sunflower wearer has.

Can you volunteer today?

OCN needs your help. See article on page 23.

• Links to local organizations with an immediate need for volunteers are listed on the county’s website, www.elpasocountyhealth.org/volunteering-and-donations, for groups like Care and Share, Crossfire Ministries, blood donations, Early Connections (volunteer from home opportunity), foster an animal, Medical Reserve Corps of El Paso County, Salvation Army, Silver Key, and United Way (ongoing opportunities).

• The Colorado State University Extension office in El Paso County has several opportunities for individuals interested in volunteering. https://elpaso.extension.colostate.edu/volunteer-opportunities/

• Committed to building healthy, caring communities, these El Paso County volunteer-based and nonprofit organizations rely on the hard work of individuals like you. Reach out today and find out how you can play a part by becoming a volunteer in El Paso County. Get involved in El Paso County volunteering non-profits and organizations! https://www.americantowns.com/el-paso-county-co/volunteer-organizations/.

• The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Volunteer Program is composed of a collective citizens group with a true and common desire to partner with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office by volunteering their services while learning more about the internal workings of the law enforcement community. https://www.epcsheriffsoffice.com/volunteer-program-0.

• The El Paso County Volunteer Program is a wonderful opportunity for citizens to learn about the various functions of county government as well as give back to the community. The County’s numerous boards and commissions need your experience, talents and time. https://bocc.elpasoco.com/volunteer.

• The El Paso County Fair started as a potato festival in 1905 and has grown into so much more. We will be celebrating our 117th Fair, July 16th -23rd! https://www.elpasocountyfair.com/p/getinvolved/volunteer-opportunities

• The Friends of El Paso County Nature Centers is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit whose mission is to support Bear Creek and Fountain Creek Nature Centers. The organization is comprised of an executive board of elected officers and a general membership governed by official Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation as a 501-c-3 nonprofit organization. https://communityservices.elpasoco.com/nature-centers/nature-center-volunteers/

• Children’s Literacy Center provides free one-on-one literacy tutoring to Tri-Lakes children in grades 1-6 who are reading below grade level! Tutoring is at the Tri-Lakes Senior Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 p.m., and our Summer Session will run through Aug. 14. For more information, to become a volunteer tutor or to enroll your child, visit www.childrensliteracycenter.org or email Christine Jeffson at Christine@childrensliteracycenter.org.

I-25 MyWay commuting options website

In another effort to improve traveler and worker safety along the 18-mile-long construction zone of Interstate 25 between Monument and Castle Rock, rush-hour travelers now can take advantage of I-25 MyWay, a new partnership between the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Denver Regional Council of Governments. I-25 MyWay is offering transit, vanpool and carpool incentives to commuters willing to try a new mode of transportation between Colorado Springs and Denver. Taking more single-occupant vehicles off the road helps reduce congestion and enhances the environment. Commuters can learn more about eligibility and types of incentives at www.i25MyWay.org. The site will run through the end of construction in 2022.

Sign up for "Reverse 9-1-1"

The Emergency Notification System (powered by Everbridge), commonly referred to as Reverse 9-1-1, is a tool that can make rapid notifications to specific geographic areas to alert you to emergency situations including manmade disasters, evacuations, hazardous materials incidents, missing persons, and more. Reverse 9-1-1 is not the same as Amber Alerts, which are generated by a different system. You must register to receive emergency notifications on any phone other than your landline. You can list up to five locations and up to eight points of contact. Sign up at www.elpasoteller911.org.

El Paso County Hazardous Materials & Recycling Collection Facility

https://communityservices.elpasoco.com/environmental-division/ Appointments required. 719-520-7878.

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Our Community Calendar

By Janet Sellers

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. Please contact calendar@ocn.me with changes and additions.

GOVERNMENTAL BODIES

  • Forest Lakes Metropolitan District, Pinon Pines Metropolitan District 1, 2 & 3 board meeting. Typically meets quarterly on the first Mon. at 4 pm Meetings are held via teleconference. For virtual joining instructions and updates see www.forestlakesmetrodistrict.com.
  • Monument Board of Trustees meeting, Mon., Apr. 4, 6:30 pm, Town Hall Board Room, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Normally meets first and third Mon. Info: 719-884-801, www.townofmonument.org/260/Board-of-Trustees for remote attendance links.
  • El Paso Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) regular meeting, every Tue., Apr 5, 12, etc., 9 am View agendas and meetings at www.agendasuite.org/iip/elpaso. BOCC land use meetings are being held every first and third Tuesday of the month as needed at 1 pm Centennial Hall, 200 S. Cascade Ave., Suite 150, Colo. Springs. Info: 719-520-6430.
  • Palmer Lake Board of Trustees meeting, Thu., Apr. 5, 5 pm Palmer Lake Elementary School Library, 115 Upper Glenway. Usually meets second and fourth Thu. Info: 719-481-2953, all for current meeting location. www.townofpalmerlake.com.
  • Palmer Lake Board of Adjustments, Tue., Apr. 5, 5 pm, Palmer Lake Elementary School Library, 115 Upper Glenway, Palmer Lake. Normally meets first Tues.
  • El Paso County Planning Commission meeting, Thu., Apr. 7, 9 am Regional Development Center, 2880 International Circle, Colo. Springs. Meetings are live-streamed on the El Paso County News & Information Channel at https://www.elpasoco.com/news-information-channel. Normally meets first & third Thu. (if required). Info: 719-520-6300, https://planningdevelopment.elpasoco.com.
  • Woodmoor Water & Sanitation District board meeting, Mon., Apr. 11, 1 pm, 1845 Woodmoor Dr., Monument. Meets second Mon. Info: 719-488-2525, www.woodmoorwater.com.
  • Tri-Lakes Wastewater Facility Joint Use Committee meeting, Tue., Apr. 12, 10 am 16510 Mitchell Ave. Meets second Tue. Info: Bill Burks, 719-481-4053.
  • D38 District Accountability Advisory Committee (DAAC) meeting, Tue., Apr. 12, 7-8:30 pm, , Palmer Ridge High School, 19255 Monument Hill Rd., Monument. Usually meets five times per school year on the second Tuesday of the month (Oct., Nov., Mar., Mar., Apr.). https://www.youtube.com/user/LPSDCommunity. Info: t.mckee@lewispalmer.org or 719.785-4143. www.youtube.com/user/LPSDCommunity. Info: 719.481.9546, vwood@lewispalmer.org.
  • Palmer Lake Sanitation District board meeting, Wed., Apr. 13, 9 am, call-in only: 650-479-3208, Access Code 76439078, 120 Middle Glenway. Meets second Wed. Info: 719-481-2732. www.plsd.org.
  • Monument Planning Commission meeting, Wed., Apr. 13, 6 pm Town Hall Board Room, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Meets second Wed. To see the options for remote public participation in each meeting, visit www.townofmonument.org/263/Planning-Commission-Board-of-Adjustment. Info: 719-884-8028. www.townofmonument.org.
  • Palmer Lake Board of Trustees meeting, Thu., Apr. 14, 5 pm Palmer Lake Elementary School Library, 115 Upper Glenway. Usually meets second and fourth Thu. Info: 719-481-2953, all for current meeting location. www.townofpalmerlake.com.
  • Monument Academy School Board meeting, Thu., Apr. 14, 6 pm at the East Campus in the band room. 4303 Pinehurst Circle. Meets second Thu. Info 719-481-1950, https://www.monumentacademy.net/school-board/board-meeting-minutes/.
  • Monument Board of Trustees meeting, Mon., Apr. 18, 6:30 pm, Town Hall Board Room, 645 Beacon Lite Rd., Monument. Normally meets first and third Mon. Info: 719-884-801, www.townofmonument.org/260/Board-of-Trustees for remote attendance links.
  • Donald Wescott Fire Protection District board meeting, in person or via Zoom, Tue., Apr. 19, 4 pm., Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District Station 1, 18650 Highway 105. Find updates and Zoom meeting joining instructions at www.wescottfire.org or contact Administrative Assistant Stacey Popovich at 719-488-8680. Meetings are usually held on the third Tuesday.
  • Palmer Lake Board of Trustees meeting, Thu., Apr. 19, 5 pm Palmer Lake Elementary School Library, 115 Upper Glenway. Usually meets second and fourth Thu. Info: 719-481-2953, all for current meeting location. www.townofpalmerlake.com.
  • Lewis-Palmer School District 38 board meeting, Tue., Apr. 19, 6-10 pm, Normally meets third Mon. This meeting of the Board of Education will be live-streamed on the district’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/LPSDCommunity, agenda, supporting documents at https://go.boarddocs.com/co/lewispalmer/Board.nsf/vpublic. Info: 719- 488-4700, vwood@lewispalmer.org, www.lewispalmer.org district’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/LPSDCommunity. The agenda and supporting documents, where applicable, can be found here: https://go.boarddocs.com/co/lewispalmer/Board.nsf/vpublic Contact Vicki Wood. Phone: 719.481.9546 Email: vwood@lewispalmer.org Website: https://www.lewispalmer.org
  • Academy Water and Sanitation District board meeting, Wed., Apr. 20, 6 pm Usually meets third Wed. Public can join the Skype meeting: https://join.skype.com/PAcujKTn7Nrh. Check the website for a link: https://academywsd.colorado.gov/notices-and-alerts, Wescott Fire Station 1, 15415 Gleneagle Dr. Meets third Wed. Info: 719-481-0711, https://academywsd.colorado.gov.
  • Palmer Lake Town Planning Commission meeting, Wed., Apr. 20, 6 pm, Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent. Meets third Wed. Info: 719-481-2953, www.townofpalmerlake.com.
  • Black Forest Fire/Rescue Protection District board meeting, in person or via Zoom, Wed., Apr. 20, 7 pm., Station 1, 11445 Teachout Road, Colorado Springs. Find updates and Zoom meeting joining instructions at www.bffire.org or contact Administrative Officer Rachel Dunn at 719-495-4300. Meetings are usually held on the third Wednesday.
  • El Paso County Planning Commission meeting, Thu., Apr. 21, 9 am Regional Development Center, 2880 International Circle, Colo. Springs. Meetings are live-streamed on the El Paso County News & Information Channel at https://www.elpasoco.com/news-information-channel. Normally meets first & third Thu. (if required). Info: 719-520-6300, https://planningdevelopment.elpasoco.com.
  • Donala Water & Sanitation District board meeting, Thu., Apr. 21, 1:30 pm, 15850 Holbein Dr. Meets third Thu. Check the website for the access code for the electronic meeting Thu. Info: 719-488-3603, www.donalawater.org .
  • Triview Metropolitan District board meeting, Thu., Apr. 21, 5:30 pm, 16055 Old Forest Point, Suite 302, Monument. Normally meets third Thu. Info: 719-488-6868, www.triviewmetro.com.
  • El Paso County Planning Commission meeting, Thu., Apr. 21, 9 am Regional Development Center, 2880 International Circle, Colo. Springs. Meetings are live-streamed on the El Paso County News & Information Channel at https://www.elpasoco.com/news-information-channel. Normally meets first & third Thu. (if required). Info: 719-520-6300, https://planningdevelopment.elpasoco.com.
  • Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District board meeting, in person or via Zoom, Wed., Apr. 27, 6:30 pm., Station 1, 18650 Highway 105, Monument. Find updates and Zoom meeting joining instructions at www.tlmfire.org or contact Director of Administration Jennifer Martin, at 719-484-0911. Meetings are usually held on the fourth Wednesday.
  • Woodmoor Improvement Association board meeting, Wed., Apr. 27, 7 pm, Woodmoor Barn, 1691 Woodmoor Dr. Meets fourth Wed. Info: 719-488-2693, www.woodmoor.org.
  • Palmer Lake Board of Trustees meeting, Thu., Apr. 28, 5 pm Palmer Lake Elementary School Library, 115 Upper Glenway. Usually meets second and fourth Thu. Info: 719-481-2953, all for current meeting location. www.townofpalmerlake.com.

WEEKLY & MONTHLY EVENTS

  • Our Community News mailing day, Thu., May 5, approx. 9 am–2 pm. We need YOUR help, even for an hour two, getting the papers ready to mail. Contact AllenAlchian@ocn.me to sign up and get the address and exact times.
  • The Centering Prayer Group at Black Forest Community Church, first Sat. of every month. 8:30-10 am The Old Log Church. Centering prayer opens and closes the meetings with discussion and fellowship in between; open to all. Contact Rev. Roger Butts, 719-433-3135, for information.
  • Monument Hill Kiwanis Club meeting, every Sat., 8 am www.MHKiwanis.org, MonumentHillKiwanis@gmail.com for details; guests are welcome at weekly meetings featuring speakers on a variety of topics and a free continental breakfast at normal meetings. Memberships open to the public. Join the 150+ men and women of the Tri-Lakes area who work together to make a difference for youth and our community. Info: RF Smith, 719-210-4987, www.MHKiwanis.org.
  • Neighborhood Net Ham Radio, every Sat., 10 am Amateur ham radio operators practice for emergencies on weekly repeater nets so neighbors can help neighbors. Sign up at www.mereowx.org/neighborhood-net or contactus@mereowx.org.
  • The Wine Seller Free Wine Tastings, every Sat., 1-4 pm, 2805 Roberts Dr., Monument. Info: 719-488-3019, www.thewineseller.net.
  • Palmer Lake Art Group, second Sat. A variety of art programs are offered after the social gathering and business meeting. Guests welcome. 300 Hwy 105, NE corner of I-25 and 105. 9:30 am. Info: 719-460-4179, www.palmerlakeartgroup.com.
  • Lions Club Bingo, every Sat. (except the first Sat.), 8:30 am-1 pm and first Mon., 5:30-10 pm Tri-Lakes Lions Club’s portion of the proceeds benefit those in need in the Tri-Lakes community. Updated info and location: Jim Naylor, 719-481-8741 or www.trilakeslionsclub.org.
  • Tri-Lakes Parkinson’s Disease Support Group, SUSPENDED, third Sat.; if you need any help, please call Syble or Barry. 10 am-noon, Monument Community Presbyterian Church, 238 Third St., Monument. Come for socializing, discussions on Parkinson’s-related issues including available support, and occasional speakers. Info: Syble Krafft, 719-488-2669; Barry (group president), 719-351-9485.
  • Faithful Friends discussion group, usually third Sat., 3-4:30 pm Wesley Owens Coffee. Info: Ellen, 303-526-5000 or Sandi, 719-237-3359. All ladies are welcome to our open discussion group.
  • Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church, every Sun., 8 and 11 am traditional, 9:30 am contemporary. Both in-person (no registration necessary) and live stream at www.tlumc.org/live. Watch live or on replay: www.facebook.com/tlumc, www.youtube.com/tlumc.org. Info: 719-488-1365, www.tlumc.org. 20256 Hunting Downs Way, Monument. See ad on page 2.
  • Fuel Church Sunday Service, every Sun. New Service times, 11:00 am Live service streaming at www.fuelchurch.org at 11:40 am on www.fuelchurch.org. Mountain Community Mennonite Church, 643 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake. Nursery and kids’ service. Non-denominational, spirit-filled. Need prayer? Email us info@fuel.org. See ad on page 3.
  • Ridgeview Baptist Church every Sun., starting Apr. 10, 10:30 am, temporarily meeting at 9130 Explorer Dr., Colorado Springs, 80920. Info: 719-357-6515 or www.ridgeviewcolorado.org.
  • Women’s A.A. Step Study, every Mon., 6:30 pm, meeting remotely, check for details. Family of Christ Lutheran Church, 675 Baptist Rd. Park in west lot. Info: 866-641-9190.Al-Anon Zoom Meeting, Just for Today Online, every Mon., 9:00 - 10:00 am Zoom Meeting ID: 889 4142 7446, Password 349309
  • Al-Anon Zoom Meeting, Just for Today Online, every Mon., 9-10 am Zoom Meeting ID: 889 4142 7446, Password 349309.
  • Monument Life Recovery Group, every Mon., 6:30-7:30 pm, The Ascent Church, 1750 Deer Creek Rd. This faith-based support group is for those seeking freedom from all hurts, habits, and hang-ups. Daycare provided for children under age 11. Info: 303-946-2659, www.liferecoverygroups.com/meetings/life-recovery-group-3/.
  • Amateur ham radio WØTLM (Tri-Lakes Monument ham radio Association), third Mon. All amateur ham radio operators or those interested in becoming one are welcome. Info: Joyce Witte, 719-661-9824, Joycewitte@gmail.com; www.W0TLM.com.
  • Essentrics Fitness Program at Senior Center, every Tue., 9 am & Thu. at 10 am, Lewis-Palmer High School modular building across from the YMCA, on Jackson Creek Pkwy. Registration & info: Sue Walker, 719-330-0241, www.trilakesseniors.org.
  • GriefShare Support Group, last Tue., 10:30 am-noon. Tri-Lakes Senior Center, across the street from the YMCA. The Tri-Lakes Silver Alliance has partnered with Colorado Palliative and Hospice Care to host a 13-session grief support group in Monument. RSVP & info: Sue Walker, 719-330-0241.
  • Bingo by the American Legion, every Tue. Game sales start at 5 pm, games start at 6 pm, the Depot Restaurant, Palmer Lake. Proceeds go to scholarships and other community support activities. Info: 719-488-8659, http://legionpost9-11.org.
  • Tri-Lakes YMCA Senior Coffee, SUSPENDED, every Tue., 9:30-11:30 am, 17250 Jackson Creek Pkwy., Monument. Members and non-members are welcome. Socialize, have coffee and snacks in the front lobby. Free. Info: 719-630-2604, https://ppymca.org/locations/north/tri-lakes/tri-lakes/holly-brando
  • Children’s Literacy Center, every Tue. & Thu., 5:30-6:30 pm Provides free one-on-one literacy tutoring to Tri-Lakes children in grades 1-6 who are reading below grade level. Tutoring is at the Tri-Lakes Senior Center. For more information, to become a volunteer tutor, or to enroll your child, visit www.childrensliteracycenter.org or email Christine Jeffson at Christine@childrensliteracycenter.org.
  • D-38 HomeSchool Enrichment Academy, every Tue. or Thu. 2021-22 school year, for K-8 grade, homeschooled students to cultivate a love of learning through explorations in art, music, PE, science, and more. www.lewispalmer.org/hsea.
  • Al-anon Meeting: Monument Serenity AFG, every Thu. (starting Apr. 7), 7-8 pm, Ascent Church (formerly the Tri-Lakes Chapel), 1750 Deer Creek Rd., Monument. Info: MonumentSerenity@gmail.com.
  • Tri-Lakes Women’s Club Monthly meeting, Meets the third Wed., Apr. 20, 11 am - 2 pm, Wedgewood Black Forest, 12375 Black Forest Rd. Program: Melissa Bagnall, the Pres., Silver Alliance, updates on the Senior Center events. and new local musician, Jonathan Lowry musical concert, various instruments. Meetings are open to all members of Tri-Lakes Women’s Club. To become a member, or learn about the club, visit our website at www.tlwc.net or email sleggie26@me.com. Please Note: the annual craft fair is canceled this year.
  • Senior Citizen Luncheons, Connections Café sites, every Wed. will have "grab and go" (prepared meals). A $2.25 donation is requested. Please call 719-884-2300 to reserve your meal. Meals on Wheels and Home Delivered Meals will deliver frozen meals for the week to Monument. Food Pantry offers a "pick up only" model for clients. Mon.-Fri., noon-12:30 pm, Mountain Community Mennonite Church, 643 Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake. See the menu for the month in the Senior Beat newsletter. Stay for bingo the second Thu. Reservations are requested at 719-884 2300.
  • Colorado Springs Philharmonic Guild Listening Club, third Wed. each month, free virtual event. Maestro Wilson will conduct monthly hour-long programs. RSVP at www.cspguild.org.
  • Gleneagle Sertoma, first and third Wed., 11:45 am to 1 pm El Padrino, 13425 Voyager Pkwy., Colorado Springs. The longest continuously serving civic service organization in northern El Paso County features a program speaker addressing local topics of interest. Duane Gritzmaker, dwgritz@gmail.com or 719-649-9220.
  • Senior Social, fourth Wed., 12455 Black Forest Rd. Info: www.aarpchapter1100blackforest.weekly.com.
  • Tri-Lakes Church of Christ Wednesday night fellowship classes, every Wed., 6-7:30 pm, 20450 Beacon Lite Road, Monument (corner of Beacon Lite & County Line Roads). Info: 719-488-9613, gregsmith@trilakeschurch.org, www.trilakeschurch.org.
  • Kehilat, Zoom Bible Study, every Wed., 6:15 pm Bring your hungry and tired so they can be filled and more blessed. Ms. Williams, 719-453-6279.
  • Tri-Lakes Cruisers, first Wed., 7 pm A nonprofit car club. Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce community room, with numerous activities and events each month. Club membership applications are now being accepted and are available on the website: www.tl-cruisers.weekly.com on the "ABOUT" page.
  • AARP Black Forest #1100, second Wed., Apr. 13, noon. All ages welcome. In-person, Black Forest Lutheran Church, 12455 Black Forest Rd.
  • Senior Bingo, third Wed. Silver Alliance Senior Center, Lewis-Palmer High School campus. Masks required. Space is limited to 16 participants. RSVP & info: Sue Walker, 719-464-6873, or email sue@monumentalfitness.
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7829, third Wed. 7 pm, Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce community room, 166 2nd St., Monument. New members welcome. Info: Post Commander and POC Bruce Beyerly, Bruce.Beyerly@gmail.com.
  • VFW Auxiliary to Post 7829, third Wed., 7 pm, The Country Club at Woodmoor, 18945 Pebble Beach Way, Monument. Guests are welcome to join; contact carlsonmkc@aol.com for instructions on how to connect. If you are a relative of a veteran who served on foreign soil during war or other military action, you may be eligible. Info: Kathy Carlson, 719-488-1902, carlsonmkc@aol.com.
  • Palmer Lake Historical Society monthly meetings, third Thu., 7 p.m., at Palmer Lake Town Hall (reopening Apr 1), 42 Valley Crescent. Thu, Apr 21, 7 p.m. program titled, The Bad Old Days of Colorado, presented by Randi Samuelson-Brown. Info: 719-550-0837, www.palmerdividehistory.org.
  • Palmer Divide Quiltmakers, quilt guild in Monument; meets first Thu., 6:30-8:30 pm at Monument Chamber of Commerce building, 166 2nd St, Monument, CO.
  • Al-Anon meeting: Letting Go, every Thu., 9-10:15 am at Ascent Church, 1750 Deer Creek Rd., Monument. For additional information go to www.al-anon-co.org.
  • Networking breakfast, first and third Thu., Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce in person or via Zoom 166 2nd Street Monument 7:30 - 9 am free registration at www.TriLakeschamber.com.
  • Fuel Church Griefshare, every Thu., 5:30-7:30 pm 643 State Highway 105, Palmer Lake. Email info@fuel.org. 643 Hwy 105, Palmer Lake.
  • A.A. Big Book Study, every Thu., 7 pm, Family of Christ Lutheran Church, 675 W. Baptist Rd. Call 425-436-6200, access code 575176#.
  • Friends of Fox Run Park, fourth Thu. Zoom meeting, 7 pm, email friendsoffoxrunpark@gmail.com, they will email you the link the day of the meeting. Join the growing group to learn about volunteering and supporting the park for safety, trails, trees, education, more. Info: friendsoffoxrunpark@gmail.com.
  • Bridge, SUSPENDED, second Thu. Silver Alliance Senior Center, 1300 Higby Rd., Monument, Sept.-June Info: www.blgc.org.html.
  • Ben Lomond Gun Club, SUSPENDED, second Thu., Tri-Lakes Chapter. Info: https://blgc.org.
  • MITEE Open Builds (Monumental Impact for Technology, Engineering, and Entrepreneurship), every Fri., 4-6 pm All those involved in technology and engineering and those tinkering on projects. All high school students and adults are welcome. Info: Jeanette Breton, 719-387-7414, jeanette@monumentalimpact.org; www.monumentalimpact.org
  • Gleneagle Women’s Club, membership luncheon, third Fri., Sept-June, various venues, 12 activity groups, i.e., hiking, bridge, etc. Guests welcome. For information contact Sarah George, 719-487-2985.
  • Silver Center Book Club, second Fri., 11 am-noon, Senior Center across the street from Tri-Lakes YMCA, on Lewis-Palmer High School campus. All are welcome. Coffee & snacks served. RSVP & info: Sue, 719-330-0241.

SPECIAL EVENTS

  • Wildland Fire Preparedness, Sat., Apr. 2, 9 am-12 pm, Palmer Ridge High School, Monument. Presented by the El Paso County Office of Emergency Management, Palmer Ridge High School and the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) club. Free event: speakers, resources, and information; how to evaluate your home ignition zone to reduce the threat of fire, hardening your home against fire damage, achieving and maintaining neighborhood risk reduction efforts, personal and family readiness, including evacuation planning. Info: 719-575-8858.
  • Wildfire Neighborhood Ambassadors free class, every Tue. eve through May 3. Improve health of forests in-home survivability, wildfire reduction tips, evacuation planning advice and more. For Zoom link, contact: epg@tlumc.org; for questions, call Lisa 719-339-7831.
  • A Special Kind of Art, Mon.-Wed., Apr. 4-6, 9 am-7 pm, Monument Library 1706 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Art created by students with special needs. Closing event Wed. Apr. 6, 5-7 pm.
  • Santa Fe Open Space official opening, Thu., Apr. 7, 1 pm. Access to the open space trails is available 0.67 mile south of the Palmer Lake parking lot or 2.1 miles north of the Monument (Highway 105) trailhead on the Santa Fe Trail.
  • Heart saver CPR first aid AED class, Sat., Apr. 9, 8.m. - 4 pm at Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church, 20256 hunting Downs Way. Contact epg@tlumc.org.
  • Covered Treasures Bookstore April events: Sat., Apr. 9, 1-3 p.m.: Poets Joe Murphy and Lon Wartman will be at the store to celebrate National Poetry Month. We will have an open session for guests to recite their original or a favorite poem. Joe and Lon will discuss poetry, answer questions and recite from their collections. Thu., April 21, 5-8 (snow date of April 28) is the No Boys Allowed. Ticketed ($10) event. We are participating and will host Denver mystery author, Stephanie Kane. Thu., April 28: Poem-In-Your-Pocket Day: Stop in to recite a favorite poem for us. We love hearing your poems, Sat, Apr. 30, 11-1 we will host Sandra Dallas as she signs her latest title, Little Souls. Covered Treasures Bookstore, 105 Second Street, Monument, 719-481-2665.
  • Speed Trap Bistro, Weekend Evenings Live Music, starting Sun., Apr. 10, 84 Hwy. 105. Open 7 days for breakfast, lunch. See ad on page 5.
  • Palmer Lake Fire Dept. fundraiser pancake breakfast, Sun., Apr. 17, 8:30 am-12:30 pm; egg hunt 11:30 am. Meet the Easter Bunny. See ad on page 7.
  • Woodmen Valley Chapel Monument Campus, Good Friday Services: Fri., Apr. 15, 7 pm, Sat., Apr. 16, 6 pm, Easter Sun., Apr. 17, 8 am, 10 am, 12 pm. Bear Creek Elementary School, 1330 Creekside Dr. www.woodmenvalley.org/easter . See ad on page 16.
  • Fuel Church, Easter Service, Sun., Apr. 17, 11 am, meet at the Mountain Community Mennonite Church, 643 CO-105, Palmer Lake, CO 80133 (719) 481-3155, see ad on page 3.
  • Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce, After Hours Networking Event, Tue., Apr. 19, 5 pm–7:00 pm Free for chamber members, $15 for non-members. Details: www.trilakeschamber.com. 719-481-3282.
  • Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce, Education Series: Stress and Burnout, Tue., Apr. 19, , 11:30 am-1 pm free in-person workshop. www.trilakeschamber.com. 719-481-3282.
  • 100+ Women Who Care Bi-Annual Meeting, Wed., Apr. 20, 5:30 pm, Woodmoor Barn, 1691 Woodmoor Drive. We are 100+ Women committed to contributing $100 two times a year to local Tri-Lakes charities, which will positively impact our communities by allowing us to give up to $20,000 annually. Together we can make a difference that we can see! Big impact, without a big commitment. For more information on how to join us visit: www.100womenwhocaretrilakes.com.
  • Friends of Fox Run Park, Earth Day Event Fri., Apr. 22, 10 am, Roller Coaster Rd Trailhead. For more information and to be put on the crew list email friendsoffoxrunpark@gmail.com.
  • The Black Forest Arts and Crafts Guild, 58th annual Spring show, Apr. 27-May 1: Wed., 4 pm-7 pm Thu. - Sat. 9 am - 7 pm, Sun. 10 am -2 pm, Black Forest Community Center, 12530 Black Forest Road, at Shoup Rd.. Free Admission. Fine Arts, Handcrafted and decorative gifts, boutique setting. Info: www.Bfacg.org, non-perishable donations at the show to support local food banks. No strollers.
  • Arbor Day Celebration, Fri., Apr. 29, 10 am Dirty Woman Creek Park 17575 Mitchell Ave, Monument, CO 80132; tree planting demonstration and a discussion on bird-friendly tree varieties and practices, take home a free bird-friendly plant or bush.
  • The Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup, Sat., Apr. 30, 9 am–noon. The nation’s largest annual spring community improvement program, in over 15,000 communities nationwide. The Fountain Creek Watershed District is now heading up this 1-day cleanup in collaboration with local governments, nonprofits, Friends groups, and neighborhoods. We encourage everyone to join a cleanup near you and give our home watershed a spring cleaning! Various site locations – registration and details Event Sites | Fountain Creek Watershed District (www.fountain-crk.org).
  • A Better Hearing Center, special offers, through Sat., Apr. 30. 574 Hwy. 105, Monument. See ad on page 12.
  • Cornerstone Cleaners, 10% off alterations through Sat., Apr. 30. 1030 W. Baptist Road, near King Soopers. See ad on page 4.
  • Eagle Wine & Spirits, special offers through Sat., Apr. 30. Baptist Road next to King Soopers. See ad on page 3.
  • Monument Cleaners, special offers through Sat., Apr. 30. 15932 Jackson Creek Pkwy., in Monument Marketplace. See ad on page 5.
  • Noel Relief Centers, complimentary first visit through Sat., Apr. 30. 1840 Woodmoor Drive, Suite 109, Monument. See ad on page 2.
  • Pure Romance by Amy Yocum-Vos, special offers through Sat., Apr. 30. www.pureromance.com/AmyYocum-vos. See ad on page 4.
  • The Living Room Plants, special offers through Sat., Apr. 30, 12229 Voyager Pkwy, Suite 100. See ad on page 5.
  • Kiwanis Monument Hill Club, Grant window now open: apply for a grant by May 15, www.monumenthillfoundation.org. 4th of July parade registration opens in April. Check www.MHKiwanis.org. See ad on page 3.
  • MVEA outdoor power equipment giveaway entry deadline, Thu., May 26, Info: www.mvea.coop/greengiveaway. See ad on page 18.
  • MVEA 81st Annual Meeting, Thu., June 2, Limon Public Schools, 912 Badger Way, Limon, Colorado 80828. Info: https://www.mvea.coop/community/community-events/annual-meeting/. See ad on page 18.
  • Pie and Ice Cream Social, Sat., Jun. 11, 6-8 pm, St. Peter Church, 155 Jefferson Street to raise awareness and funds for Mater Filius (Mother and Child) the new maternity home to open in 2023 for vulnerable pregnant women in the Pikes Peak Area. No admission fee. All are welcome! For more information / to make a donation go to: www.petertherock.org.
  • June/July 2022 WIA Chipping Days, June 25-26 and July 30-31, south parking lot of Lewis-Palmer High school. NOTE: shifting to a resident slash drop - much like the Black Forest Slash Pile. Residents queue up in their vehicle and are released progressively to self-drop slash in a central location. WIA and its contractors will no longer unload your vehicle for you. This change will allow up to 5 vehicles to unload at once rather than the 2-3 vehicles being unloaded as in previous years. The same type of materials will be accepted. Slash/logs up to 8 inches in diameter, pine needles, etc. As in previous years: NO construction materials, rock/rubble, stumps, or garbage will be accepted. Only clean slash/logs will be accepted. Please contact the WIA Office with questions at 719-488-2693 x 4.
  • Tri-Lakes Women’s Club’s new interest group Wine Sip and Share. Group focuses on the art of wine tasting with wine aficionado Kelly Trop, coordinating with Dirk stamp of the Wine Cellar at 2805 Roberts Dr., 80132. Meetings are open to all members of Tri-Lakes Women’s Club. To become a member, or learn about the club, visit www.tlwc.net.

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 Our Community News, P.O. Box 1742, Monument, Colorado 80132.

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Contact us at (719) 488-3455, ads@ocn.me, editor@ocn.me, or P.O. Box 1742, Monument, Colorado 80132-1742.
This page was last modified on February 02, 2022. Home page: www.ocn.me
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Home  About  Advertise  Archive  Calendar  Contact  Donate  Help  Links  Maps  Subscribe  Topics  Updates
Contact us at (719) 488-3455, ads@ocn.me, editor@ocn.me, or P.O. Box 1742, Monument, Colorado 80132-1742.
This page was last modified on February 02, 2022. Home page: www.ocn.me
Copyright © 2001-2019 Our Community News, Inc. All Rights Reserved.