Looking toward the new year – estes park trail-gazette

Last year, your Town Board modernized the municipal court with the hiring of a new Court Judge and Prosecutor. Also, we balanced the 2019 Budget while reducing the Business License fee to help lessen town government’s burden on local business and to become more competitive with the our municipal neighbors. Additionally, we unanimously passed a resolution with a goal of having 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.

Our 2018 Citizen Survey highlighted many areas of superior service at Town Hall, but there are a couple of areas where the customer service is not up to your expectations. We realize that you are tired of the talk and want positive solutions.

Your Town Board is committed to addressing those issues and providing the services that you need in a timely and professional manner.

The biggest achievement in 2018 is the ACE accreditation in Dispatch. Estes Park Emergency Communications Center is taking center stage in recognition of achieving the most prominent distinction in 911 emergency communication services. The communication center is the 257th emergency dispatch center in the world to attain International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAED™) status as an Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) for its use of the Medical Priority Dispatch System™ (MPDS®). This distinction places it among the very highest-performing emergency dispatch agencies in the world.

The Estes Park Police Department is in the process of working with all emergency services departments in Larimer County through the Combined Regional Information Services Project (CRISP) to update its technology. This update will include changes to Computer Aided Dispatch, Records Management System and our Mobile Data Terminals in the squad cars. This update will continue to ensure that we have some of the best technology in the country and will continue to provide interoperability among all emergency service agencies in Larimer County.

As we conclude 2018, I am excited to report progress made during the year and outline some of our goals for the coming year. The staff and volunteers of the Estes Valley Fire Protection District have been hard at work to ensure we fulfill our organization’s mission, to provide the citizens of and visitors to the Estes Valley with superior fire prevention, fire protection, and emergency services in a safe and efficient manner. We will be posting a full annual report next month with full reports from each Division.

The state of our organization is strong. In 2018, we held a Spring election to elect three Board member positions. These seats were uncontested and filled by the incumbents. We had a Fall election with the goal of "de-Gallagherizing" our property tax revenues, which passed with 71% of the vote. This ensures long term stability for these revenues to help support the mission of the District. We also received support from the Town of Estes Park and Larimer County to implement Impact Fees which will bring revenue for capital purchases, funded strictly by new construction and growth within the District. We were able to renegotiate multiple third-party contracts to improve service and reduce costs for the organization.

Our Operations Division continues to see increasing call volume in fires, crashes, and technical rescues. We have worked with the ambulance service to reduce medical call response and the related burden on our volunteers. We promoted our Training Captain to the rank of Division Chief of Operations & Training, based on his continued robust performance and notable contributions to our organization. In June, we responded to a large fire at the historic Mary’s Lake Lodge, and your volunteers were able to contain the blaze to the building of origin after an extended firefight. We also sent mutual aid assistance to the Forest Canyon Fire and prescribed burning in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Our Training Division continued its growth by hosting our second Fire Academy with 18 students from the greater Estes Valley and Front Range Agencies. We hosted six advanced courses which increased members’ capabilities and enabled joint training with Front Range agencies. We continue development of our training facilities on Elm Road with the addition of training props, enhancing the learning opportunities provided.

•Enhanced our Quality Management and Accreditation Preparation. We received full accreditation from the State of Colorado and DNV-GL, a national accreditation organization. Our Emergency Department was recertified as a Level IV Trauma Center, Diagnostic Imaging received a three-year accreditation in Computed Tomography by the American College of Radiology and the Living Center was again recognized as one of the best nursing homes in Colorado by U.S. News & World Report.

•Implementing the Epic information system. This information system merges patient information from our hospital, clinic, and emergency department with patient information throughout the UCHealth and other health systems. Once implemented, your personal physician will be able to see all your medical information in one place and reduce the burden searching different information systems to manage your care.

2018 marked the approval of both "workforce" and "employer" housing projects. These terms are defined in the Estes Valley Development Code, with code provisions that are intended to promote private investment in housing for our local workforce. These provisions are also designed to encourage developments closer to our urban core and commercial corridors. With strong demand for housing, it is in the community’s interest to be thoughtful about providing workforce housing, rather than allow unintended consequences such as decreased essential services.

In 2018, the Estes Park Town Board authorized Town staff to move forward on an RFP to select an underwriter to finance high-speed, affordable and reliable internet. The Estes Park EDC Broadband Committee invested its efforts in supporting the initial feasibility study in 2015, and has engaged with both local and national Internet Service Providers concerning the need for such services since 2013. Community surveys have consistently identified this as a top community need, and after the Town reviewed eleven private-sector proposals for limited solutions, it appears the Town is the only potential provider looking at a community-wide solution.