Road Grading Operations

13 August 2020: Road work will be started this morning on intersection of Pine Valley Rd. and East Forest Lakes Dr. and will continue down Pine Valley Rd. Please reduce the traffic and only go down this stretch of road if necessary. The road WILL be treated so please drive slowly if you have to drive through the treatment product. Alternative routes Mesa Dr. do exist.

Proper Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS) or Septic Systems

Posted on August 11, 2020

In Forest Lakes Subdivision, there are about 790 structures, whereby about 415 of them are connected to Forest Lake Metropolitan District’s sewer infrastructure.  This means that there are about 375 of these structures that are handling their wastes generated in their homes through on-site septic systems.  Is there a problem with this?  Definitely not…as long as these systems are being properly operated and maintained on a regular basis.  What is sewage? How does a septic system work?  What is a leech field?  Should I use chemicals in my septic system to help it operate?  If I have a septic system, how often should I inspect my tank and the leech field?  If I don’t see “stuff” coming out of the tank, am I Ok with not having it pumped on a regular basis?  How often should I get it pumped?  Are there possible environmental concerns if I don’t inspect my system or pump my tank regularly?  Definitely all great questions and as a homeowner, you should be able to find answers to these questions without too much effort.

Forest Lakes Metropolitan District provides a wastewater system and that takes care of the materials generated from homes that are connected to our infrastructure.  Put another way, we have jurisdiction over what goes into our system and we are required for the O&M of this system.  For on-site septic systems, you (the homeowner) are responsible for the O&M of the on-site septic system that is on your property.  Just like maintaining your vehicle, your OWTS requires maintenance too.  San Juan Basin Public Health, through their Environmental Public Health Program, is the regulatory authority for on-site water treatment systems (OWTS) in La Plata County.  Additional information on their programs can be found at:   https://sjbpublichealth.org/septic/.  On another note, if you are selling your property after January 1, 2019, your OWTS will be required to undergo an inspection prior to sale. This requirement helps identify failing and hazardous system and protects property buyers from unforeseen repair obligations.

So, back to the questions posed in the first paragraph.  There are several resources on the internet that will educate you as a homeowner on the proper O&M of your OWTS.  After spending a few minutes researching this, we have found 4 very good resources that should help you in this area.  Even though Forest Lakes Metropolitan District does not officially endorse these resources, we are providing them to help you make decisions concerning the O&M of your on-site septic systems:

https://www.epa.gov/septic/septic-systems-outreach-toolkit#homeowner

https://www.epa.gov/septic/how-care-your-septic-system

https://www.ihs.gov/california/tasks/sites/default/assets/File/SFC-MaintainingYourSepticSystemGuide.pdf

http://www.woodcountyhealth.org/envhealth/documents/sewage/Operation%20and%20Maintenance%20Guide.pdf

http://flmd.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Septic-Smart.pdf

We also found a very user-friendly YouTube video (20 minutes) that walks you through this information as well and it also delves into some of the technical aspects of OWTS:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udBaGyzJyU8

If you have a great resource on this topic and would like to share it with your neighbors, feel free to contact our office with that information (970)884-2925.

 

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

FLMD Heavy Equipment and Vehicles

Posted on August 4, 2020.

Over the past few weeks, FLMD staff has worked very hard to develop a prioritized list of heavy equipment and vehicles that we need to replace over the next few years.  It is not a secret how old our heavy equipment and vehicles are and the constant battle it has been to keep these items safe and operating for their intended purposes.  So, our Masterplan looked at the existing condition of all of our heavy equipment and vehicles, prioritized them for replacement according to their operational need/condition, and then figured out how and when we could and should feasibly replace them.  Our 1st priority was to replace our skid steer that we use very heavily for feeding the air curtain at the Brush and Slash Pile, and to remove snow down at the O&M complex.  Through your support, the support of the Board and with the great deal SWAG Inc. offered us, we were able to replace it at the end of July 2020.  At the end of the day, it is the residents that ultimately benefit from staff having dependable equipment and vehicles, and we greatly appreciate your continued support!

http://flmd.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Prioritized-List-of-Vehicles-and-Equipment.pdf

Payment Auto Draft is now Available

FLMD is now offering automatic drafting for your utility payments. Please complete the Automatic Draft Request and attached a voided check or deposit slip from the account referenced on the form. All documentation needs to be submitted to FLMD Administrative office if you are interested in participating.

Feel free to call with any questions. 970-884-2925

Automatic Draft Request

Pine River Shares

Posted on July 16, 2020

THRIVING IN PLACE, OUTREACH FLYER

Pine River Shares

Have you heard about “Pine River Shares?”  Maybe you want to be part of the Program or you have herd of it and want to learn more about it?  Please visit their website:  http://www.pinerivershares.org/ or check out the attached Flyer! Even though this Program is not part of Forest Lakes Metropolitan District, we are proud to advertise it on our website because of the services they provide to the residents in the Pine River Valley!

 

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 Burning

July 20, 2020

Given the continued fire risk in Forest Lakes Subdivision, open burning is not allowed, unless it is pre-approved with an active Open Burning Permit through Upper Pine Fire District (http://www.upperpinefpd.org/burn-permits).  Also, the Covenants in Units 1, 2, 4 and 5 do not allow recreational burning in fire pits or under any other circumstances.  For current Fire Restrictions that apply to Forest Lakes Subdivision, please visit Upper Pine Fire District http://www.upperpinefpd.org/ and La Plata County Emergency Management https://www.co.laplata.co.us/departments/emergency_management/fire_restrictions.php.

FLMD UNIT 3

The Forest Lakes Metro District has neither short- or long-range plans to extend services into Unit 3. We don’t have the budget, manpower, nor time to even begin development in 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…”

There are several rudimentary roads that were bulldozed in the 70s, but it is my understanding that little or no survey was done and some portions of the roads were installed across private property; these erroneous alignments would require correction. Also the entire unit 3 area  is basically solid rock. Correction of any erroneous road alignments or installation of additional roads would likely require blasting with dynamite. Installation of anything underground, such as house foundations, water and wastewater piping, septic systems, etc. would certainly require dynamite. Additionally, we advise you to speak with La Plata County about the building permit process and San Juan Basin Public Health about their septic system requirements.

RESOLUTION 85-01

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 of utility bill

Last 4 numbers of your social security

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

*Registration errors are mosting because of typos and incorrect account/pin numbers. If you are logging on the 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

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 parks areas more usable, and safer for residents to connect and to enjoy the outdoors.  What are our 3 parks?  The 3 parks are defined as Lake Simpatico, the Community Center Park and the park on Meadowbrook Drive.  These ideas are currently being reviewed by our Board of Directors, but we also encourage your comments also.  Attached are the ideas broken out by park.

Lake-Simpatico Park

Community Center Park

Meadowbrook Park

The Open Meeting Laws and Upcoming FLMD Public Meetings

Given the current environment with the COVID-19 pandemic, conducting public meetings in person is out of the question and it is definitely not in the best interest of any of us at this time.  In order to comply with The Open Meetings Law, we will conduct our upcoming Board of Director’s meeting(s) using Zoom.  We suggest that you download the Zoom icon to your phone, PC or laptop in order to access the meetings from these items.

Thank you for your patience as we navigate with new processes that will hopefully ensure everybody will have access to these important meetings now and in the future. 

**For all future zoom meetings please refer to FLMD events calendar for details.

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