New Payment System

As many of you know we have gone 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 patience 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

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

 

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!

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

Forest Lakes Welcome Guide

Posted on August 11, 2020

Forest Lakes Welcome Guide

Where is the Metro District Office, what are the hours of the Trash and Brush/Slash Facility and where are they located, how many Board Members are there, what is the link to the District’s website, who are the internet providers in the area, who do I contact if I want to hook up to natural gas, how many fish can I legally keep while fishing Lake Simpatico, etc., etc., etc.?  If you have had the above questions and many others, we hope you will find value in reading the new Forest Lakes Welcome Guide!  Our goal is to provide residents of Forest Lakes subdivision with a “one stop” location to help get them oriented to their new community as quickly and as painlessly as possible.  We will have hard copies at the Main FLMD office, and we will also include other valuable information, such as the Firewise and Pine River Shares Programs!

Forest Lakes Welcome Guide

Firewise

Pine River Shares

New Excavation Permit Application Handbook

As a District, we remain committed to providing information and guidance to residents, and those that wish to conduct business in the District, that is easy to understand and that makes sense.  In that light, we revamped our Excavation Permit Application, created a flowchart that describes the process and have developed a Handbook where the applicable documents can all be found in one place.  We believe in “one stop shopping” and we appreciate any feedback you may have so we can continue to refine this and other information packets so that they are completely user friendly.

The Excavation Permit Application is to be used whenever a resident or a contractor will be installing utilities in the District’s right-of-way or when residents will install culverts (for driveways) where the work will also occur in the District’s right-of-way.

For questions related to this process, feel free to contact Forest Lakes Metropolitan District at 970-884-2925.  Or, come see us at 271 N. Mountain View Drive, #271, Bayfield, CO 81122.

FLMD Excavation Permit Application Handbook

Forest Lakes Subdivision Open and Recreational Burning

December 16, 2020

Given the continued fire risk in Forest Lakes Subdivision, open burning of brush, slash, debris, etc., is not allowed anywhere in the subdivision under any circumstances.  Brush and slash can be brought to the Brush/Slash pile at 6893 County Road 501 for District personnel to dispose of.  Pertaining to recreational burning, the approved and published covenants for Units 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 already prohibit recreational burning in fire pits or under any other circumstances, and the District will defer to those regulations.  If you have questions, please direct them to the District Manager at 970-884-2925.

FLMD UNIT 3

The Forest Lakes Metro District has neither short- or long-range plans to extend services (water, sewer and road improvements)  into Unit 3.  It is cost prohibitive (estimated at almost $28M), and we don’t have the budget, manpower, nor time to install that infrastructure into Unit 3.  This was recognized by the Board of Directors back in 1985 when they passed a Resolution that stated, “the District would not construct or guarantee the construction of any of the public improvements to be located within Unit 3…”.  This funding issue is exacerbated by the fact that our Capital Improvements Plan identified almost $26M in infrastructure work that needs to be completed in Units 1, 2, 4 and 5.   Given that the District’s Service Plan states that the District is supposed to provide this infrastructure, the then Board should have sought an amendment to the Service Plan back in 1985.  To correct this gargantuan error, our current Board of Directors passed Resolution 2021-08 on July 13, 2021, and then officially recorded it with La Plata County Clerk on July 22, 2021.  This document is attached for reference.  We are currently coordinating with La Plata County’s Community Development Director to develop the “right” documents so that we can seek La Plata County’s Board of County Commissioner’s (BOCC) approval to officially delete that requirement to provide the infrastructure upgrades to Unit 3 from the District’s Service Plan.

 

FLMD Resolution 2021-08 – FLMD Service Plan Amendment – Officially Recorded on July 22, 2021

 

Forest Lakes Parks Upgrades Master Plan (4 Year Plan – 2020 – 2023)

Forest Lakes Metropolitan District remains committed to addressing issues in our subdivision related to our Mission; Life, Health and Safety; and Quality of Life.  While issues related to our Mission and Life Health and Safety remain at the forefront, fortunately we do have funding to try and provide some significant Quality of Life Improvements in our Recreation Budget that target making this subdivision a nicer place to live.

With that, we have developed a Four Year Masterplan (2020 – 2023) that will make our park areas more usable, friendly, and safer for our residents. What are our 3 parks?  The 3 parks are Lake Simpatico, the Community Center Park and the park on Meadowbrook Drive.  Attached are plans that show how the District will upgrade our 3 parks with our 4-year Masterplan.

Lake-Simpatico Park

Community Center Park

Meadowbrook Park

 

The Negative Effects of Feeding Wildlife

Many people enjoy feeding wildlife because it allows them to have closer contact with these animals. Often they think they are helping the animals to survive, they could not be more incorrect.  When wild animals begin to depend on humans for food, their foraging skills diminish. When young wild animals learn to depend on humans for food, they become less experienced in foraging and consequently less likely to survive. Furthermore, wild animals that are accustomed to food provided by humans commonly lose their fear of people. Animals that are unafraid of people will approach them for food and are sometimes mistaken for as rabid, or otherwise ill and subsequently killed for the perceived threat. They also become easy targets for people who mean them harm. An instinctive wariness of people is important for a wild animal’s survival.

Colorado Parks & Wildlife also shares many insights on why feeding wild animals is a bad idea:  https://cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/do-not-feed-wildlife.aspx