Timberline Fire Protection District expands its borders

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Board Meeting Business

by Pam Deck

The Board Meeting for TFPD was called to order at 7:01 pm by President Chip Smith. It was a positive and full agenda with much good news for the residents of Gilpin and Boulder Counties. After the Pledge of Allegiance, the usual “Moment of Silence” for all fallen firefighters and police officers, and Roll Call, the meeting began.

Black Helmet Ceremony

A “Black Helmet Ceremony” honoring four firemen; John Arendt, Jonathan Coy, Tommy Vesely, and Richard O’Rourke, (absent) started the evening. These brave men completed rigorous training and hazmat experience. Helene Arendt, High Country Auxiliary Member, thanked them for their dedication and hard work and stated how proud she was of all of them. They each received a black helmet given by Chief Paul Ondr.

Pension Board

The Board diverted briefly to the Pension Board Meeting where they approved the minutes and the First Quarterly Allocation Report for 2017. These detailed records can be seen on their website.

Financial Status

The financial statements were presented for May 31, 2017. According to Jennifer Hinderman, Timberline’s finances look good and are “right on target” for the year. The cost of the election and legal fees were a little over budget, mostly because of the Hwy 119 Corridor review. The repair costs are under budget because much of their trucks and equipment are still under warranty. Repairs and upkeep of vehicles are approximately 37% of their budget. Repairs at Station 4 have been completed. Utility costs continue to be looked at for future savings.

Inclusion Election

The Inclusion Election, held June 13 to cover “no mans land,” was a success. President Chip said thanks to the “unbelievable amount of work done by Jennifer and Chief Ondr.” He realizes they put in countless hours to inform the public, to battle rumors and to make this happen – something that should have happened 20 years ago. Chief Ondr also thanked Jennifer and his Firefighters for remaining positive and for getting the message to the public. He said out of the 400 possible voters, only 18 voted “no.” He said “as of 2 pm on June 19, our coverage responsibility has increased. They have received many thanks from the community who are grateful to feel safer. Chief went on to say there will be some transition issues in the next few months as they actively determine how this expansion will work. The Dispatch issues of a few areas that overlap with Black Hawk and Central City FD was discussed. Ondr has every confidence they will work on any issues that come up and he has respect for both these Fire Districts. Staffing needs may increase now that the coverage area has increased.

Monthly Update

The Monthly update by the Chief shows they responded to 61 calls in May, and they have four new firefighters. Trainer Coordinator Mark Williams, continues to do a great job.  The Structural Mitigation Class held at the Gilpin Community Center June 17 was well attended. Ten firefighters, one auxiliary member, and approximately 30 citizens gained knowledge of how to make their neighborhoods safer. A Draft for Automatic Aid Agreement with Black Hawk was discussed. VP Chris Samuelson gave lots of helpful suggestions.

Chief’s Review

  The Chief’s Performance Review is coming up. President Smith said it is “critical we maintain his leadership” and said that a formal review and contract offer will be January 1, 2018. Board member Cheryl Taylor and others agreed with the quality of Paul Ondr’s leadership and direction. So as to get a clear budget, discussions need to take place sooner. Board agreed that preliminary terms need to be developed as soon as September and finalized in October.

Recruiting Volunteers

Recruiting volunteers, especially from the south area, will be important for future development of the “No Man’s Land area south of Central City. If you are interested, please contact Jennifer Hinderman at for more information.


  Recent audits, in the area of insurance and Workers Comp were positive and show the integrity of the management of TFPD.


President Smith adjourned the meeting at 8:45 pm with comments of pride in all our fire protection and that we “learn to be a shared community.” He said they will participate with Black Hawk Fire in safety for the July 4th holiday.

Two events he wants the public to be aware of are:

–July 22 – Saturday Dedications to Stations 1 and 6. A community picnic will be at 2 pm.

August 12 – Colorado Classic Bike Race on will need cooperation of everyone.

A closing statement by Cheryl Taylor was that she hopes the expansion will be a way for us to “continue to be good neighbors.”

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