HCA Chili Dinner & Silent Auction on March 4th
By Randy Beaudette
Timberline Board of Directors called to order their regularly scheduled meeting February 27, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at Timberline Station 7, 14908 Colorado Highway 119. The meeting was attended Board President Chip Smith, Board Vice-Chair Chris Samuelson, Secretary Cheryl Taylor, Treasurer Rik Henrikson, and Member-at Large Dale Sternlicht. Also in attendance, Interim Chief Paul Ondr, and Administrator Jennifer Hinderman,
President Smith led the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance and then a moment of silence for fallen Firefighters, EMS, Military Service members, and Police Officers.
Timberline Board of Directors (BOD) then approved the Regular Meeting Minutes from January 23, 2017 with corrections concerning the designation of SAFER grant funds. It was stated in the minutes that the funds are to be used for a training officer it should have read the funds are for recruitment and retention.
Public Hearing for District Inclusion
Micki Mills from Collins, Cockrel & Coles spoke to the Timberline Board of Directors regarding the process involved in the inclusion of properties that are currently not in the Timberline district. The properties involved in the inclusion are the properties in Tax Code 26, properties that were not included during the High Country/ Colorado Sierra merger, and the Tax Code 10 properties in the South District or No Man’s Land. After much discussion Timberline Board of Directors approved a resolution set an April 4th public hearing meeting at Station 3 that will begin the inclusion election process.
Gallagher Amendment of TABOR
The Timberline Board continued to discuss a mil levy increase for 2018. Due to the large increase in property values and double-digit growth in Colorado, all tax dependent municipalities, including Timberline, will soon be affected by the Gallagher Amendment of TABOR or Tax Payers Bill of Rights. The Gallagher Amendment, passed in 1982, was designed to maintain a constant ratio between the property tax revenue that comes from residential property and from business property. To simplify a set of complex formulas, the effect of Gallagher was to reduce the assessment rate (the percent of property value that is subject to taxation) whenever statewide total residential property values increased faster than business property values. (Source: greateducation.org). With that, property taxpayers will see about an 18% decrease in the amount of taxes they pay. That translates into about a $70,000 drop in revenue for Timberline. The BOD is required by their By-Laws, that one year of expenses must be retained in the General Fund to sustain the department during a lean year. But, to achieve long range sustainability, President Smith asked the BOD to consider a mill levy increase to be put on the November Ballot to be implemented starting in the 2018 tax year.
Timberline Board approved an updated fee schedule for response calls outside the Timberline District. The previous fee schedule from 2014 did not include some of Timberline’s recently acquired equipment and did not list any time minimums. For some equipment, the hourly rate increased, while others decreased. For properties in the District, all fees are waived. The fee schedule is closely aligned with the State Resource Rate fee schedule. Chief Ondr sited an example, for a chimney fire outside the District it may cost as much as $1,500 even if Timberline is on scene only 20 minutes. The same incident inside the district the property owner pays nothing.
Chief Paul Ondr reported that Timberline responded to 67 calls in January. Most of which were attributed to the wind storms. Downed trees over powerlines and medical responses made up the bulk of the call volume. Ondr was happy to report that Station 7 did not lose power at all, thanks to the approval and installation of the new automatic generator.
All equipment and apparatus is operating normally.
Hazmat Operations Training is underway in Clear Creek County.
Brush 56 will be heading to southern Colorado along with four to six firefighters on May 3 thru May 7 for wildland training.
The new plow truck is expected to ship on March 3.
Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) money was approved and should be on the way, totaling $39,371 for various equipment.
Facilities items in the Chief’s report included floor drain repairs at Station 3, the new generator at Station 7, and squatters/campers at Station 5. Ondr reported that campfire pits and shell casings have been discovered in the parking area, the cistern shed has been broken into and trash was found inside. Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office has stepped up patrols in the area and asked the public that if anyone sees any unusual activity in or around Timberline Station 5, to report it to the Sheriff’s Office as soon as possible.
Chili Dinner & Silent Auction
For a pre-spring cure for cabin fever, come to the High Country Auxiliary Chili Dinner and Silent Auction to be held March 4 at the Gilpin County Recreation Center.
Capital Projects Update
The Station 7 expansion plan was approved by the Timberline Board to add four bedrooms on the ground floor, construct a new ADA compliant restroom, and move the training area to the bay. Station 7 is one of the resident stations because of its central location (Hwy 119 and Justice Center) and has room for expansion. The total project will cost about $36,000 to $50,000 which has been approved in the 2017 budget. Timberline Directors approved the expansion plan unanimously.
Compensatory Time Policy
The Board also approved a new Compensatory Time Policy for non-exempt personnel. The policy will allow non-exempt employees to choose between overtime pay or comp time accrual. Employees will be able to use comp time with the approval of the Fire Chief or designee.
Jennifer Hinderman presented the January 2017 financial report to the Board. Some of the big expenses included the aforementioned Station 3 drain repairs, electrical repairs on Stations 3 and 7, and payments for insurance. Other than that, Hinderman reported, everything is on budget.
Timberline Board of Directors meeting adjourned at 9:50 p.m.
The next Timberline Board Meeting is scheduled for March 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Station 7, 14908 Highway 119, Black Hawk, CO.
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