Ballot Issue 6A – Metropolitan District Issues

Posted on October 21, 2020

Ballot 6A – Metropolitan District Issues – Voter Approval to Pursue Funding to Construct an FLMD-Owned Office in Forest Lakes Subdivision

We recently received inquires about whether all of the La Plata County residents can also vote on Ballot Issue 6A.  We confirmed with the La Plata County Clerk (Tiffany Parker), who is running this election that only Forest Lakes residents are able to vote on that initiative.  Specifically, she stated that “Only that district will receive a ballot with the Forest Lakes Subdivision Question.  We have a specific ballot style for that.”  So, rest assured that only Forest Lakes Subdivision residents are voting on this initiative.  For additional questions about this election, feel free to direct your questions to Tiffany Parker at 970-382-6296.

Forest Lakes Metropolitan District – Notice as to Proposed 2021 Budget

Posted on October 15, 2020

Forest Lakes Metropolitan District – Notice as to Proposed 2021 Budget

Notice is hereby given that a proposed (draft) budget has been submitted to the Forest Lakes Metropolitan District Board of Directors for the ensuing year of 2021. That a copy of such proposed budget has been filed in the office of the Forest Lakes Metropolitan District, 271 North Mountain View Dr., #107, Bayfield, Colorado, and on www.flmd.com, where same is open for public inspection.

That such proposed 2021 budget and supplements to the 2021 budget will be considered for final adoption at a the regular meeting of the Forest Lakes Metropolitan District Board of Directors to be held via Zoom on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 7:00 P.M. Notice is also hereby given that a public hearing concerning the proposed budget will be held preceding the regular meeting of the Forest Lakes Metropolitan District Board of Directors via Zoom on November 10, 2020, beginning at 7:00 P.M.

Any interested person within Forest Lakes Metropolitan District may inspect the proposed budget and file or register any objections thereto in writing at any time prior to the final adoption of the budget. All such objections should be submitted in writing to manager@flmd.com.

2021 FLMD Draft Budget

Road Grading Operations

08 October 2020: Road work will be started this morning on Spruce Way and Cub CT. 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 do not exist.

New Office Proposal

Posted on August 24, 2020

Financing for the Office Relocation of the Forest Lakes Metropolitan District Office to Forest Lakes Subdivision – New Office Proposal

At the April Board of Director’s meeting, the Board decided to delay any decisions pertaining to the relocation of the office to Forest Lakes subdivision.  However, the District Manager is fairly confident that the reason the voter’s voted against this ballot initiative (only by 42 votes) was because the total cost of $455K was too high.  As you recall, this total cost included the construction of the office space, and the 2 additive alternates for the Board meeting space and solar.  From the District’s and other’s perspective, we feel that this initiative deserves to be revisited because we have spent and will continue to spend thousands of dollars to lease a building that we do not own.  This just does not make good financial sense!  There are members of the Board that agree with this as well.  We have an opportunity for the residents to again vote on the financing for the office relocation at the November 3rd General Election.  This ballot initiative will include the financing for the construction of the office space only! 

Here are a few of the details, but we invite you to review the package (also on the website) showing the floor plans, exterior elevations and perspective drawing, costs spreadsheet and the projects that show when the lease costs will exceed the mortgage costs, PROS and CONS, the TABOR Notice and the proposed ballot:

  • The total cost of a 1,600 square foot turn-key office space would be $370K.
  • The current proposed monthly mortgage on the current 25-year loan offer will be $1,730, which is only $71 more than the current lease cost of $1,659. We continue to research the best value in loans for this initiative!
  • With all utility costs, insurance and building maintenance costs included, the total monthly cost in the mortgage scenario will be $2,629.  This is only $198 per month higher than the lease cost of $2,431. The additional costs will be taken care of in our existing operational budget.
  • The District has paid literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in lease costs since its incorporation in 1973.  We have already purchased more than 2 office buildings!Given a 3.5% inflation that is in our present lease, our current costs with our lease would exceed our mortgage costs in record time.  Put another way, it does not make sense to lease knowing it will be more expensive than a mortgage in a noticeably short span of time! 

At the July 14th Board of Directors Meeting, the Board did not have any recommended changes to any of the documents provided to them by District Staff!  So, the residents will have another opportunity to voice their opinions on obtaining financing to construct a FLMD-owned office building in Forest Lakes Subdivision at the November 3rd General Election.  In the next couple of months, we (in conjunction with La Plata County since it is a coordinated Election) will mail PROS and CONS Statements, TABOR Notices and official ballots to all registered and eligible voters of Forest Lakes subdivision.

New Office Proposal

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

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