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Timberline reallocates “contingency” fund per auditors’ recommendation


County Fair re-cap

By Lynn Volkens

Timberline Fire Protection District’s (TFPD) Board of Directors met at 7 p.m. on August 21, 2013. Directors Rick Wenzel, Jim Crawford and Paul Ondr attended in person. Kay Johnson attended via conference call. Paul Samuelson was absent. Due to lack of a quorum, a Pension Board meeting, planned to precede the regular business meeting, was downgraded to a work session for the purpose of clarification about the district’s actuarial study and how it affects pension issues.

Chief’s Performance Review

  The board began the meeting with an executive session of approximately two hours to conduct the confidential “Quarterly Performance Review” of Chief Chris Jennings. The public business meeting resumed at 9:20 p.m.

Emergency Calls and Firefighter Roster

Jennings noted that call volume has been up with the majority of calls related to smoke reports. The number of “water dogs” and smoke sightings are beginning to decline now, he said. They had peaked at about three calls per day.  The Call Report Summary and count of active firefighters were not available by press time. 

Website Communication

  Asked when information would be updated on the department’s website (www.timberlinefire.org), Jennings said he would see to it after the administrative personnel are back in their regular offices and again have internet services. (The administrative offices are in Station 3, which is in the process of being remodeled.) The public should then be able to find the monthly Chief’s Reports, the 2012 Audit and the annual budget online. The section for Meeting Minutes has been recently updated.  Meeting Agendas are also, generally, posted online 24 hours prior to the meeting time.

Treasurer’s Report

  As Board Treasurer Samuelson was absent, Johnson provided a summary of the financial reports. The Wells Fargo Checking/Savings Account contained a balance of $816,345 as of July 31, 2013. The General Fund began the 2013 with a balance of $351,248 (including a TABOR reserve of $18,182) and at the end of the second quarter, contained a balance of $482,826. The Capital Fund began the year with a balance of $453,315 (including a TABOR reserve of $65,110) and ended July with a balance of $810,422. There has been no activity this year in the Boulder Water Fund and the balance remains $8,622.

Expenditures for the month of July totaled $253,832. That amount includes the $143,163 loan payment for the new trucks; $12,622 for various loose equipment for the trucks; and $7,740 to close out the change orders on the trucks. Other expense on vehicles totaled $355. The vehicle fuel credit cards expenditures totaled $4,172. Brindlee, the broker who helped sell the existing apparatus, was paid $7,250.

Expenditures related to the construction of Station 8, at the junction of Smith Hill Road and Highway 46, included $18,753 to the company that builds the steel frame; and $18,250 as 50% of the balance for the company that provides concrete and erection.

In utilities, $997 was paid to AmeriGas; $232 to Colorado Natural Gas; $755 to United Power; and $50 to Xcel.  Communications payments included $611 to CenturyLink and $412 to AT&T Mobility. The DirecTV bill was $130.

Legal expenses totaled $1,650.

The Bank of America Credit Card bills totaled $4,614.

Grant Opportunities

  Jennings said TFPD, as well as Gilpin County, will each contribute $5,000 as a match for grant funding obtained by CSU Extension Agent, Irene Shonle, to fund fire mitigation work for private homeowners. The County will post the help-wanted notices and hire a temporary manager to coordinate the program, once it is up and running. TFPD will provide a truck for that individual to drive as part of the manager’s job will be to reach out to the community and spread FireWise Community information. The manager will work approximately 20 hours per week for the duration of the 18-month program.

The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant application is due August 30th, Jennings said. He is still developing that grant request and said he is working on the concept of a “Volunteer Coordinator.” That grant will require TFPD to match 5% of the total funding.

County Fair Re-cap

  TFPD’s live fire demonstration, wildfire presentation, and booth all generated interest in the fire department, and the kids’ rides in the fire trucks were particularly popular. A number of volunteer firefighter applications were given out and several have been returned, Jennings said. He complimented the firefighters who had helped with the event.

Apparatus

  An issue with the Compressed Air Foam System (CAFS) in the new trucks has been resolved by the dealer, Max Fire Apparatus, Jennings said. Word has not yet been received from the manufacturer (Rosenbauer) of when the trucks will be returned to Minnesota to have the rear axles replaced. Jennings is also awaiting the arrival of brackets for mounting equipment onto the trucks.

Station Updates

Nothing new to report on Stations 1, 2, 5 or 6.

Station 3: The upgrade of the administrative office area is 80% complete, Jennings said, and is currently under the $20,000 budget. He expected administrative personnel too be back working from those offices on Monday, with internet service to be up and running by Tuesday or Wednesday. They have been working from Station 7.

Station 4:  Jennings is reviewing options to allow for meeting/training room at this station.

Station 7:  The chief said he is looking at ways to improve the meeting/training area.

Station 8: Construction of this new station at the intersection of Smith Hill Road and Highway 46 is underway. Jennings said it had received the first inspection, related to the footers, and passed. Concrete was expected to arrive by the end of the week.

Budget Reallocations

  At the chief’s request (acting upon advice of the auditors to be more specific), the Board voted to approve changes to the 2013 Budget. The Contingency Fund of $75,000 was eliminated. The $6,500 which had been budgeted for Station 9 (proposed Rollinsville station) was removed from the station portion of the over-all budget and added to the $75,000 contained in the Contingency Fund.  Then the funds were reallocated to the following line items, as listed below:

Firefighter Recognition: Increased from $2,000 to $3,000

Recruitment and Retention:  Increased from $2,500 to $3,500

Other Office Equipment: Increased from $2,000 to $8,500

Fire Marshal/Prevention: Increased from $4,160 to $6,160

Other Communication Equipment: Increased from $4,000 to $10,000

Equipment and Tools: Increased from $10,000 to $40,000

Supplies, Water, MRE’s: Increased from $750 to 1,750

Training: Increased from $10,000 to $25,000

Vehicle Fuel: Increased from $7,500 to $22,500

Vehicle Repair: Increased from $12,500 to $15,000

Vehicle Supplies: Increased from $2,500 to $4,000

Heads Up

  Timberline Fire Protection District’s Board meets next on September 10, 2013, 7 p.m. at Station 7. That meeting includes a Pension Board meeting. A work session to discuss policies has been scheduled for October 9, 2013, 7 p.m., at Station 3 (660 Highway 46).

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