New Payment System

As many of you know we have went live with a new billing and payment system. You will have to register with Invoice Cloud even if you were registered with the old system. You will need your account to do so. Thank you all for your patients and understanding during this transition.

Invoice Cloud, is now available for all your payment needs

Forest Lakes Metropolitan District is excited to announce that our new and improved utility bill payment service, powered by Invoice Cloud, is now available. With simple and secure navigation, you can pay your bill conveniently online, by phone, or by text, 24/7.


You’ll also have the option to receive email reminders when a payment is due and a confirmation after making a payment. And, no registration is required to view or pay your bill.

 

Please visit our Payment Portal to view your payment options or access your account.

If you are currently enrolled in AutoPay, your payments will process as usual. No action is required. If you are a current paperless customeryou will automatically be enrolled in paperless with the new system. No action is required, but we encourage you to create a payment account to take advantage of the new options. If you currently receive a paper bill in the mail, now is a good time to consider one of our paperless options.

Online Payment Highlights

  • View and pay your bill online anytime with credit/debit card or e-check
  • Schedule a payment for a future date (before the due date)
  • Securely store payment information for a faster payment experience
  • Go Paperless to protect the environment
  • Receive notifications and payment confirmations via email

Save Time with Automatic Payments

  • With AutoPay your bills pay themselves. AutoPay automatically pays the invoice amount from your default payment method on the due date.

Additional Payment Options

  • Pay by Text – sign up to get text notifications about your bill and have the option to pay through text message with your default payment method
  • Prefer the phone? You can use your landline or mobile device to call 855-661-1073 and make a payment using our secure, 24/7 automated Pay by Phone feature

If you have questions regarding your account, please call us during business hours at 970-884-2925.

 

Thank you,

Forest Lakes Metropolitan District

Bric Grant Update

Upper Pine River Fire Department has asked anyone interested in more information on the Bric Grant to please use link below to fill out the google sheet. This will register you and allow them to contact you directly in regards to the Bric Grant. Chief Evan has said there are about 75 applicants so far, he would like to have 100 or more.  The deadline for registration is July 15, 2022 .

https://forms.gle/2Gj3KfkujkmzmDWCA

Thank You!!!

July 24, 2022

The Board of Directors of Forest Lakes would like to thank personnel from the Upper Pine River Fire
Protection District, Wildland Firefighters, the Hot shot crews in the area, the Mesa Verde Helicopter
pilot and crew, and the US Forest Service/Columbine Ranger District for their quick response, tireless
efforts, and professionalism in controlling the Little Bear and Forest Lakes’ fires of July 22nd, 2022.
By using the newly improved evacuation road they were able to get to the fire site quickly. They used
the roads also to move their heavy equipment close to the site, which was in the middle of the forest
adjacent to Forest Lakes’ property.
The Little Bear fire was less than 1/2 mile from homes in Forest Lakes.
Lake Simpatico played a huge role in extinguishing the fire. The helicopter was able to load water every
90 seconds out of our lake.
It was impressive to see the organizations working together, efficiently, to save the fire from spreading
to our community.
Our unending thanks and praise for a job very well done goes out to all of those who helped on July
22nd, through the night, into the following days! A special thanks to Forest Lakes’ residents Captain
Andrew Miller, Wildland Coordinator Paul Valdez, and Wildland Firefighter Christopher Panawa of our
local fire protection district.

Sincerely,
Mark Rushfeldt, President

Water Conservation Tips

It’s that time of the year when we need to be conscious of the amount of water we are using. Please use these tips to help save water.

Tree Cutting

Crews will be cutting down trees and hauling off. They will be on Pine Valley Rd, Timber Dr. Buckhorn Rd. for the remainder of this week. Roads could be temporarily closed at times when they fall the tree.

Bric Grant-Upper Pine FD Home improvement

Upper Pine River Fire Department has asked anyone interested in more information on the Bric Grant to please use link below to fill out the google sheet. This will register you and allow them to contact you directly in regards to the Bric Grant. Chief Evan has said there are about 75 applicants so far, he would like to have 100 or more.  The deadline for registration is July 15, 2022 .

https://forms.gle/2Gj3KfkujkmzmDWCA

 

Driveway Culverts

Has a reminder cleaning and maintaining driveway culverts is the responsibility of residents. FLMD is taking advantage of the weather and cleaning our culverts. We are asking that residents do the same.

Forest Lakes Metropolitan District 2022 Budget

From the District Manager

Originally Posted on October 8, 2021 and Updated on December 15, 2021

We just successfully completed another budget cycle with our 2022 Budget by completing the following milestones:

Draft Budget Presentation – October 12th Board Meeting – After this meeting, the Draft Budget was posted on the District’s website and noticed in the Durango Herald newspaper.  (Completed).

Public Hearings of the Draft Budget – November 9th Board Meeting – At this meeting, the public had an opportunity to ask questions.  We did not receive any questions (written or verbal) from any of the residents. (Completed).

Adoption of the Budget – December 14th Board Meeting – At this meeting, the Board approved the budget and the 3 Resolutions that will be posted on our website once they are signed by the Board President. (Completed).

You can view FLMD’s Final Approved 2022 Budget by viewing the below link.  We have many goals in 2022 and much of them will revolve around completing several infrastructure projects that were identified in our Capital Improvements Plan!

2022 Final Budget Packet – Attachment A

Home Improvements Grants for Fire Prevention

Posted on December 14, 2021

From the District Manager

Upper Pine Fire Department Chief (Chief Evans) informed our Board President that there is a potential of getting Federal Home Improvement Grants for Fire Prevention that provide funding for the following improvements:

 

  • Replace decks with trex or like products which resist fire.
  • Replace shingled roofs with steel or asphalt type products.
  • Replace single pane windows with double or triple panes.

 

We understand that these grants would fund 50% of the costs to replace the above items.  Chief Evans needs to get a headcount of those that may be interested before January 10th to know whether it is worthwhile expending the resources to apply for the grant funds. If you are interested, please send an e-mail to the District Manager (manager@flmd.com) with your name, address and contact information.  Please also state which item(s) you may be interested in obtaining funding for.

Vacant Landowners and Homeowners Beware!

From the District Manager

Posted on November 9, 2021

We were recently made aware of squatters that started building a structure on a piece of property within the District they did  not own.  The message from the District is that landowners either need to visit their property periodically or have their neighbors keep an eye out for anything unusual occurring on their property.  The same would apply to those homeowners that leave their houses vacant for any period of time throughout the year.  Please understand that this is a private property issue and the District has no jurisdiction.

 

Living “WildSmart”

Posted on October 12, 2021

From the District Manager

Depending upon the time of the year, residents of Forest Lakes Subdivision can many times cross paths with bears, deer, mountain lions, etc.  On several fronts, this can be both an awesome experience to many and possibly a little terrifying for others.  La Plata County developed a “Living with Wildlife Advisory Board (LWAB)” that advises La Plata County Commissioners on methods of preventing and resolving wildlife conflicts that occur within the County.  As the wildlife/rural interface increases, so do the cost and potential for wildlife conflicts.  Want to learn more about what LWAB does and what you can do to help minimize these wildlife conflicts?  Please review the letter from the LWAB and we invite you to visit the County’s website about this valuable program: https://www.co.laplata.co.us/services/agriculture/living_with_wildlife/index.php.

Living WildSmart

 

Forest Lakes Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) Masterplan, and Special Meeting/Study Session

Originally Posted on April 13, 2021 and Updated on May 12, 2021

From the District Manager

Since my arrival almost a year and a half ago, it has been a huge priority of mine to get a “road map” together that systematically looked at the required sewer, water and roads infrastructure upgrades the District needed to complete over the next several years. We contracted with San Juan Engineering almost a year ago to complete this for us and on March 8th we received their Draft Report.  I must say that Rick Johnson and Matt Mathers did an excellent and very comprehensive job with completing this 30 year masterplan for the District!  On March 8th, we provided copies of this document to staff and our Board of Directors, and we posted a copy of the document on our website for the public to review.  Staff has met with San Juan Engineering on 2 occasions to review the plan and to provide additional input, and our Board was briefed on the Masterplan via Zoom at a public Special meeting/Study Session meeting on April 7th at 1:30 pm. We are happy to state that the report is now final and a copy of it is on our website for the Public’s review.

As a side note, we have seen many reports on the condition of our Nation’s infrastructure, and our infrastructure within our subdivision will need the same attention to ensure it is able to handle existing and future District and resident requirements.  This Masterplan will help us prioritize the work that is needed while giving us the ammo to seek different funding avenues to make the critical and important projects happen!

SJE – Final FLMD Master Plan Report – April 2021

 

APPROVED District Rates and Fees Increases

Originally Posted on June 30, 2021 and Updated on July 14, 2021 and August 11, 2021

We conducted our final Rate Study Public Meeting #3 on June 21st at 1:00 pm where our Board of Directors, our consultant from Rural Community Assistance Corps (RCAC), staff and any residents in attendance reviewed the findings of the Rate Study.  The bottom line conclusion is that the last rate increase conducted in FLMD occurred in 2013 and with the current operational costs relative to budget deficits and projected/required Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) infrastructure needs, the District has to increase rates.  Special thanks and kudos go to Chris Brandewie from RCAC for conducting this comprehensive and in-depth Rate Study for the District and for our Attorney for guiding us through this process to ensure we noticed it correctly and followed State Statutes through the process!  We also appreciate Board’s involvement and leadership, and that of those residents that attended the public Rate Study and CIP meetings…that went along ways in ensuring people were receiving the most current and accurate information that was available.  The required cost increases are identified in Resolution 2021-09 (Rates, Fees and Charges) that was approved by the Board of Directors at the August 10, 2021, Board Meeting.  We will post the approved Resolution once it is signed by the Board President.

To see what the new rates will be compared to the old rates, the District also put together a spreadsheet/worksheet that shows that comparison rates, fees and charges information.  If you have questions about the rates or rate study process, please contact the District at 970-884-2925.

The Facts about the Rate Increase – July 20, 2021 – Rev 2

Rate Increases Worksheet and Spreadsheet – Rev 3 (July 21, 2021)

Rates, Fees and Charges – Resolution 2021-09 – Rev 5

FLMD DW and WW Rate Study Final Report – Attachment B

 

 

 

Water Conservation Tips

Posted on May 4, 2021

As we head into the summer season, all indications at this point is that we may not see the amount of water in our rivers and lakes as we have in the past few years.  In fact, one article (https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2021/04/15/snowfall-in-the-west-indicates-20-year-drought-will-persist-and-intensify/) stated that, “sparse monsoon rainfall last summer and spotty snowfall this winter have combined to dramatically worsen the drought across the West in the past year, and spring snowmelt won’t bring much relief”. The key this summer (starting now) is to conserve water in our daily lives to ensure our water supplies are not negatively impacted during the rest of the year.  The District mandated water conservation tactics a few years ago and we are presently asking that residents start taking steps to conserve water usage knowing how our water supplies have been impacted over the past summer and winter seasons.  What steps can you do as a resident?  We have links to various websites below that will help educate people on what they can do to help with this effort.  Keep in mind that FLMD does not necessarily endorse these websites.  Rather, they are provided for informational purposes:

I heard a great quote years ago from Tony Robbins that stated, “The only impossible journey is the one you never begin”.  Let’s work together now to conserve our precious water supply!

Prescribed Fire Prep Adjacent to Forest Lakes Subdivision

Posted on June 9, 2021

From the District Manager

The Assistant Fire Management Office for Fuels on the Columbine Ranger District contacted us yesterday to inform us that as part of their ongoing prescribed fire program, they have several units adjacent to Forest Lakes Subdivision that they are starting to look at for possible burning as soon as September of 2022.  A map of all of their burn units is attached, but they are primarily referring to Units VP2K, VP2J, VP2H, VP3G, and VP3F.  They plan on spreading out the prescribed fires in these units over several years to reduce the amount of smoke and other impacts on the community, so for example they may burn VP2K and VP2J one year, then 2H another, then VP3G and VP3F the third year.  They may start prepping the control lines around these units as early as this summer and this will entail crews with chainsaws and hand tools cutting brush/trees and digging a fire line in the soil.  Their access to these Forest Service Units will most likely be through the subdivision.  As we get closer to these activities, we will update this post and the Forest Service will aim to have some public meetings and field trips so that anyone interested can get more info on what they are doing and why.

2019_RX_Layout_VP_All_08_15_2019

Small Improvement District Main Line Extension Program

Originally Posted on April 4, 2021 and Updated on August 3, 2021

From the District Manager

As part of our new “Small Improvement District Main Line Extension Program” where we generate the funding from lot owners to provide main line extensions along their roads, we just completed these extensions for both water and sewer along Spruce Way and Pine Top Drives this summer.  With this program, we ask those lot owners to pre-pay their water and sewer tap fees and we then directly apply them to complete the water and/or sewer line extensions the following next summer.  Fortunately, we were able to complete this project this summer through the generosity of many of the lot owners!  The attached map shows where this extension occurred, and we thank all of the residents for their patience as we continue to make a positive difference in the subdivision!  Next Summer (2022) – Main Line Extensions along Snowbird Court since many of the lot owners have agreed to pre-pay their taps fees in order to make this project happen!

Spruce Way and Pine Top Drives Main Line Extensions Map

View your bill online with FLMD E-Billing

Thank you to all who have registered for FLMD e-billing, we appreciate it greatly!

Those of you who are interested in our e-bill service but haven’t registered yet, you will need the following information:

5 digit pin number located at the very top-mid portion of utility bill

4 digit account number located in left top corner of utility bill

Last 4 numbers of your social security number

If you have multiple accounts, each one will have to be entered separately.

*Registration errors are mostly because of typos and incorrect account/pin numbers.  If you are logging on to make corrections, you will need to allow 24 hrs from your first attempt before logging back in.  Also, if you’re updating an email address please notify FLMD office at Office@flmd.com

Migration from Asyst Software Systems to Caselle Gov’t Accounting Systems

Posted on December 23, 2020

From the District Manager

Over the past several months, we have seen many deficiencies with the capabilities of our existing Assyst Accounting software and some of them were noted during our Audit of our 2019 financials. We reached out to Edgemont Metro District, Pagosa Area Water and Sewer (PAWS) and the Town of Bayfield to determine which software they use.  Each of them uses Caselle Government Accounting software and after interviewing their financial staff we learned that they are ecstatic about is capabilities, training, technical support, price, etc.  We also made a matrix that compared the capabilities of Assyst and Caselle and there was just no comparison between them. We are very excited about implementing this new accounting software, staff and the residents are sure to see the benefits through more accurate cost accounting, financial tracking and reporting; easier and more efficient way to process customer accounts, customer bills and payments and payment entry; on-line and credit card bill paying; improved service work order system; convenient, accurate and detailed cash receipting; more efficient process of issuing checks (check on demand) and managing vendor payments; more effective ability to manage the entire purchasing process from requisitions to receiving, etc.  To get all the modules we need, the total upfront cost, which includes training, set-up and conversion would be about $19K. The monthly Hosted Maintenance & Support cost would be about $920 for two workstations.  We have budgeted these funds in the 2021 budget to make the transition.

 

Can you tell that we are excited?  We hope so because since the current staff arrived over a year ago, fighting with these archaic financial systems has been a source of headaches and frustration from Day 1!  We will start making the transition to Caselle in January and we continue to work hard in making long-term positive differences in the District and for the residents.  We ask for your patience as we implement our new accounting software!