By Patty Unruh
The Timberline Fire Protection District (TFPD) Board held its regular meeting on December 10 at Station 3, 660 Highway 46. Present were President Jim Crawford, Vice-Chair Rick Wenzel, Treasurer Rik Henrikson, Secretary Paul Ondr, and Member at Large Chip Smith (by telephone). John Carder was also present to fill in for acting Chief Chris Schimanskey and as Trustee of the Pension Board. Business Manager Jennifer Hinderman was present also.
The Fire & Police Pension Association’s third quarter 2014 report was reviewed. The beginning balance was $1.7 million. Employer contributions were $15,300; the state provided a match. Net benefits were $102,343. Allocated income and expenses were $80,408. The report showed a shortage of $13,545, which was being covered by the state’s $15,300 match.
There is still a vacancy on the Board for trustee, and no one has indicated an interest in filling the position. Crawford encouraged the Board members to talk with people and see if someone might be willing to fill the position.
November 26 Special Meeting
The TFPD Board held a special meeting on November 26. The Board spoke with attorney Kyle Kreischer regarding a review of a collection on a judgment for Station 8 against New World Construction. Kreischer suggested that his paralegal review the viability of collecting on the judgment. Hinderman was to contact Kreischer and ask him to move forward with the investigation.
The 2015 draft budget was reviewed. Caleb Kropf presented a review of TFPD’s current information technology (IT) and proposed budgeting needs. The general fund IT budget item was set at $7,500 and the item for computers was set at $2,000.
In the capital fund, station upgrades were set at $90,000; truck replacement was set at $75,000; proceeds from truck and equipment sales were set at $60,000.
The District operates out of nine stations staffed by one part-time paid fire chief and two paid part-time maintenance staff supported by volunteer firefighters. The District also employs one full-time and one part-time administrative support personnel.
The Board adopted the 2015 budget as presented. Figures are shown as follows:
General fund (day-to-day operations) beginning balance of $258,499; ending balance of $214,081; revenues of $485,086; expenditures of $529,504.
Capital replacement fund (major equipment purchases, capital improvements, additions to or construction of new stations) beginning balance of $248,634; ending fund balance of $107,505; revenues of $294,700; expenditures of $435,828. A ten-year lease-purchase agreement for new apparatus was signed in December 2012 for $1.4 million including interest; installments are $143,356 yearly.
The pension fund is projected to begin with net assets of $1.7 million and end with net assets of $1.6 million. Expenditures are projected at $156,860.
The Boulder County Water Fund’s projected beginning and ending balance is $9,332, with no revenues expected.
2015 Mill Levies
The Board adopted a resolution to set mill levies for 2015. In Gilpin County, TFPD’s gross assessed property valuation is $6.5 million. The mill levy for general operating expenses will be 5.660, and for capital expenditures will be 2.682, for a total of 8.342 mills and revenues of $546,939. In Boulder County, TFPD’s gross assessed property valuation is $1.4 million. The mill levy for general operating expenses will be 5.660, and for capital expenditures will be 2.682, for a total of 8.342 mills and revenues of $121,727.
Appropriation of Money for 2015
The Board adopted a resolution to appropriate sums of money to the following funds for 2015: general fund, $743,585; capital replacement fund, $543,334; pension fund, $1,826,984; and Boulder County water supply fund, $9,332. The total of all funds is $3,123,235.
2014 Budget Amendment
The Board adopted a resolution for a supplemental budget and appropriation for 2014. $420,203 had been originally appropriated for the capital replacement fund. The budget was amended to appropriate $536,343; the additional expenditures were necessary, according to a TFPD resolution, due to “contingencies which could not have been reasonably foreseen at the time of the adoption of the budget.” The funds were available from unanticipated grant revenue in the capital replacement fund.
Proceeds from truck and equipment sales had been budgeted at $40,000 and were actually $25,200. Expenditures for legal services, interest on lease payments, and station upgrades were higher than anticipated.
TFPD’s bookkeeper indicates that there is potentially about $10,000 that will not be spent in the 2014 budget.
Henrikson presented the November financial report. The total in checking and savings was $602,290. Total expenditures were $28,351. Total credit card expenses incurred for the October-November period was $1,879. It was noticed that all receipts had been turned in. Smith said the credit card bill was “drastically improved. We are getting it to a manageable level.”
Most items in the 2014 budget year to date were at or near the percentage of the amount budgeted, with the exception of hourly wages for maintenance and training staff, fire medical and rescue supplies, AED maintenance contract, station repairs and maintenance, fixtures and equipment for Station 8, legal services, and lease payment-interest, which were all over budget.
Carder presented the Chief’s report. There was a large structure fire on November 30, when an explosion and resulting fire occurred at 412 Chalet Drive due to a butane hash oil extraction. The resident was injured, but no firefighters were injured. Seventeen volunteers from TFPD responded. Schimanskey noted it was a great job by all and acknowledged the mutual aid agencies that worked well together. He also thanked the High Country Auxiliary for providing food. About 40 other calls in November were generally routine.
The cadet program will be ending December 31; TFPD is putting this program on hold because of a lack of cadets at this time.
The hiring process for the full-time firefighter is being completed. Advertising will begin December 15 and close on January 31.
A Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) grant was awarded for $19,170 for 2015 road safety equipment, with a match of $15,575 required.
Crawford had submitted an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) last week for 22 sets of bunker gear at $59,000, needing a 5 percent match.
Trucks are 90 percent complete and will be done and inventoried by January 1.
An intergovernmental agreement is being written with Gilpin Ambulance pertaining to reduction and sharing of costs at Station 2. Gilpin Ambulance will potentially be covering one third of the costs of electricity and gas.
Surplus Property Disposal
The Board approved a surplus property disposal policy. All property that is declared surplus shall be made available for other stations within the District prior to being made available for sale or donation.
Chief Issues Outstanding
On issue still outstanding since the September resignation of former fire chief Chris Jennings is the recovery of a gun sight that was purchased for the purpose of spotting wildland fires. This item has not been found, and Jennings has not responded to TFPD’s request for reimbursement. The matter has been turned over to the Gilpin County Sheriff. Wenzel stated that nothing further will be pursued with respect to Jennings, unless something else comes to light, and TFPD will cooperate fully with the Sheriff’s Office.
Staffing Plan Update
The Board will have a workshop on December 16 to discuss staffing. Ondr will invite Don Taylor to come and present ideas on how the Board can be more successful on the hiring of a new chief. Smith agreed to contact each Board member and get input on the expectations for the temporary chief and provide those to Schimanskey by December 16 to give him guidance in moving forward in his role as acting chief.
Crawford referred to an email received from Gilpin County Commissioner Gail Watson advising that the contract for TFPD’s facility in Rollinsville would be renewed for 2015. (The November 26 special meeting minutes indicated that Watson implied that the County did not want to renew the lease on the building that TFPD uses as a station in Rollinsville.)
The Board members noted that this was a temporary solution from the beginning, rather than a long-term arrangement. They discussed having a January meeting with the TFPD board and the Commissioners to talk about the future of the Rollinsville station and a more long-term arrangement. The present contract expires on December 31, and Board members were uncomfortable not having a lease. Ondr said, “If there is no answer by the 31st, that means the Commissioners are saying no.”
It was noted that members of the public were “up in arms about the possibility of TFPD getting kicked out of the building.” Smith wanted the rumors to stop.
Wenzel will call County Manager Roger Baker about a lease extension.
The next meeting will be Wednesday, January 14, at 7 p.m. at Station 3.