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Timberline FPD to request federal PILT funds from Gilpin County for needed equipment

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Full-time Maintenance Tech Hired

By Randy Beaudette

Timberline Board of Directors called to order their regularly scheduled meeting September 13, 2016 promptly at 7:07 p.m. at Timberline Station 7, 14908 Colorado Highway 119. The meeting was attended by Board President Charles (Chip) Smith, Treasurer Paul Ondr, and Member-at-Large Rik Henrikson. Also in attendance was Chief Glenn Levy. Vice-President Chris Samuelson, Secretary Cheryl Taylor, and Administrator Jennifer Hinderman were not present.

President Smith led the Pledge of Allegiance and then a moment of silence for fallen Firefighters and Police Officers.

Approval of Minutes

  Timberline Fire Board approved the minutes from the August Regular Board meeting.

President Smith Adjourned Regular Meeting and Call to Order the Quarterly Meeting of the Pension Board at 7:10 p.m.

Pension Board

The Pension Board was attended by President Chip Smith, Paul Ondr, Rik Henrikson, and John Carder. Cheryl Taylor, Chris Samuelson, and John Etzkorn were not present.

After the approval of the June 13, 2016 Pension Board Minutes, The Pension board reviewed the FPPA 2nd Quarter Allocation Report 2016 Contribution review. The reviewed data was acceptable and the reviews were approved by the Board.

Next the Pension Board approved the 2017 contributions of $15,300 which will be allocated to FFPA for future pension payments.

Call to Order the September Regular Meeting

President Smith called to order the Regular September Timberline Board Meeting at 7:18 p.m.

Treasurers Report

Treasurer Paul Ondr presented the Treasurer’s report noting that Timberline Fire is on budget. Spending was down during the month of August totaling $17,408. “There are no anticipated big ticket items on the horizon,” Ondr continued,” and what truck maintenance we have left until the end of the year totals about $2,000. August financials totaled $424,099 in the General Fund, $52,098 Capital Fund, and $19,332 in the Boulder Water Fund.

Chief’s Report

Maintenance Technician Selection Process and Update

  The Board approved hiring a full time Maintenance Technician to help Chief Levy with managing and coordinating facility and equipment repairs, maintenance and upgrades. This is a civilian position that was posted internally with four applicants. Per the discussion at the August Board meeting, Levy’s intent was to develop a fair and impartial selections process.

An assessment center process was used to fill the position. Timberline used three evaluators, each with a different focus (HR, facilities maintenance, and a fire chief). The candidates were not known to the evaluators and the evaluators were given no information about the candidates. They were provided the job description and the types of projects anticipated for the next 24-36 months. Lt. David Canfield was asked to monitor the process to ensure fairness and be a resource to the evaluators as needed. Each candidate had five different exercises to complete as part of the assessment. Timberline made a job offer to the candidate selected by the impartial panel.

Each of the candidates was outstanding and impressed the evaluators. Their recommendation was to select Aaron Skeen, who has accepted the position and will start mid-October

PILT Presentation to Commissioners

Gilpin County receives approximately $94,000 in federal funds annually to help offset the impact of Fire, Law, Search and Rescue, and other public safety/health services provided by local agencies on federal land. Currently, Timberline does not receive any money from this program, primarily because they have never requested any. As the Board is aware, Timberline responds routinely to many of these areas and provides the same services we provide to our district.  There is a significant impact in both cost and time, and Timberline does not receive any funds or resources to help offset those costs. To add a complexity to the issue, many of the services Timberline provide are to people who do not live within the district. Also, because of response times, number of required personnel, remote location, apparatus not designed for the area, and length of time required to provide services, this not only puts a burden on our volunteers, but impacts response levels/times into our own district.

While this issue has been discussed internally as well as with the Board, the intent of this discussion item is to update the Board on options, and provide a recommendation on what Chief Levy feels is the most professional and appropriate approach for the short term, with a goal of identifying a long term plan with both the County and our response partners.

Chief Levy Stated that, “It is my intent is not to request funds that go into the General Fund, but to identify specific apparatus, equipment, and materials that we currently do not have access to and will be used almost exclusively in the areas we’ve identified.” This program was created by Congress to support local agencies that provide critical essential services to federal lands, knowing there will be impact.

The Board directed Chief Levy to request funding from the PILT program through the Gilpin County Commissioners to purchase apparatus, equipment, and materials that will be used specifically in the Federal land area and will greatly reduce the time required to manage the incident and/or make the response safer.

Monthly Percent of Budget Proposal

It is often difficult for the Board, our staff and firefighters, and the public to fully understand the budget when many of our costs are front-loaded at the beginning of the year. For most of the year the percent of budget spent is significantly skewed, making it difficult to know where we are without doing the math.

It was asked if it would be helpful for the Board to see our large, one-time annual expenses such as vehicle insurance, facility insurance, and workers compensation that are paid in full in the first couple of months of the year listed on a budget as a 12 month expense. This would show the monthly spending percent as a more accurate reflection of the financial status.

Timberline’s primary budget will always reflect factual information with both income and expenses. The only change will be in providing the budget in an “at a glance” that more accurately reflects our monthly spending without having to factor in large one-time expenses that have already been paid.

For example, VFIS and Workers Comp totaled $41,737 in 2016. While this is paid early in the year, it significantly skews the budget until about October. Essentially it will show on the “second budget” as $3,478 every month even though it has been paid to make the monthly budget percentage more accurate.

Options

The Board directed Chief Levy to add a second General Budget with the changes. The Board will then get two monthly budget updates. One actual and one “at a glance.”

Start of Chief’s New Schedule

At the August Regular Board meeting, the Board approved allowing Chief Levy to work a modified work schedule. The Board requested a start time and Levy recommended beginning October 1st.

The reason for starting Chief Levy’s schedule in October is to allow an immediate evaluation period and provide sufficient time to make adjustments. The Board can immediately begin the process of evaluating the effectiveness of the new schedule.

Monthly Report

Timberline responded to 60 calls in August. To date they have already responded to 445 calls in 2016 compared to 352 calls in 2015.

Timberline finally received the much awaited air/light trailer. It is an amazing piece of equipment and the members are excited to put it to work. One training class has already been conducted with more scheduled later.

Firefighters Abrahamson and Enney were deployed to fires in Colorado and Wyoming in August.

Timberline has initiated some specialty teams within the department. Station 8 will specialize in low angle rescue/tech rescue. Station 2 will specialize in ice/water rescue. Station 7 will specialize in vehicle extrication. Station 4 will specialize in wildland. In addition Chief Levy has asked Lt. Sayoye and FF Lande to coordinate our Search and Rescue response.

Timberline hopes to have Station 2 ready to be a Resident Station by October 1st. This will give Timberline two Resident Stations.

Personnel

Timberline has added 10 new firefighters to our team. The exciting news is that seven of them live in district. They have already attended the required informational meeting with the group and they are busy working on their assignments.

Apparatus and Equipment

All apparatus and equipment are running normally. The Staff has performed maintenance and minor repairs during the month, but everything is on track.

Facilities

Chief Levy has begun organizing and prioritizing projects and contacting contractors to submit bids on various projects.

Chief Selection Process

Will be postponed until the October Regular Board Meeting.

Process to Evaluate the Chief’s New Schedule

President Chip Smith informed the Timberline Board that Director Taylor volunteered to establish and document an Evaluation of the Chief’s new schedule. Director Taylor will also direct distribution among the Timberline Staff and Firefighters. Evaluations will be collected and quantified every two months.

Inclusion Hearing

A Petition for Inclusion was presented to the Timberline B.O.D by Nathan and Dawn Bloomingdale for property located 207 Pioneer Road, Black Hawk, Colorado. The property is located near Gap Road in an area that was overlooked when the District Fire map was drawn up. Timberline Fire Board approved the Inclusion that will be effective immediately.

Review of Personnel Manual

President Chip Smith handed the current Personnel Manual to the Board members that were present, to review and update said manual. The current revision is over two years old and President Smith was open to accepting input that will update the manual to reflect the current environment at Timberline Fire.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

Next Meeting

The Next Board Meeting is scheduled for October 11, 2016 at Station 7, 14908 Highway 119, Black Hawk, CO.

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