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

 

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!

 

Vacant Lot: Pre-Paid Tap Fee Letter

Posted on November 3, 2020

Deadline and Conditions to Install Taps for Pre-Paid Tap Fees

Under prior FLMD policy and resolutions, Owners, or their predecessors who pre-paid for water and sewer taps had a limited period of time to enter into a Service Agreement and have the physical taps installed for the pre-paid prices. The time for obtaining taps at pre-paid prices has long since expired. Notwithstanding this fact, we understand that some Owners whose lots have pre-paid tap fees may have been told by FLMD staff at the time they purchased their lots that tap fees were paid in full.  For any Owners who were informed by FLMD staff that their tap fees were paid in full, by direction of the Board of Directors, FLMD will honor such representation and will install taps for pre-paid prices provided the conditions in the attached letter are fulfilled.  We also mailed this letter to all Forest Lakes Subdivision residents.  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate calling the FLMD office at 970-884-2925.

Pre-Paid Tap Fee Letter

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