Mike Foreman took the oath of office as town manager of Monument at last week’s town hall meeting. The board of trustees voted unanimously in April to appoint Foreman to the position. Prior to his appointment, he served four months as the interim town manager of Monument. This was a trial period for Foreman to acquaint himself with the town and for the board members to assess his performance.
During an April interview with The Tribune, Foreman spoke about his experience with Monument so far.
“We have an excellent town staff,” he said. “They’re very dedicated to the Town of Monument. They provide extreme customer service.”
Foreman said the town is doing more to celebrate staff for their accomplishments, such as the members of the public works department who assisted during a severe snow storm a few months ago.
Foreman has also been working with the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce to learn from business owners about their needs and how the town can assist them. This could include relying more on local businesses to provide services to the town, he said. The town is considering using welder Jodie Bliss, owner of Bliss Studio and Gallery in downtown Monument, for the construction of several benches to be placed throughout the community.
Foreman has been working in city government for 30 years and was the city manager of Craig, Colo., before taking his position in Monument.
Willow Springs Housing Development
Monument got a little bigger last week when the board of trustees approved the addition of 219 acres of land within the town limits. The land will be developed into the Willow Springs subdivision of about 400 single-family homes in an area located north of Forest Lakes Drive and west of Old Denver Road.
Last year, the Board of Trustees voted against including the Willow Springs subdivision within the town limits. Some board members were concerned that the new 400 homes would put a strain on Monument’s limited water supply that depends on precious groundwater.
Site plans will need to be approved before the subdivision is completed. According to town officials, the subdivision has a range of benefits such as increasing Monument’s water supply, reducing congestion in downtown Monument and even helping with the building of a new elementary school.
Director of Public Works Thomas Tharnish said the property gives Monument access to groundwater located beneath the 219-acre plot of land. This will significantly increase the town’s water portfolio and will be “more than enough” to support the Willow Springs subdivision without straining Monument’s water supply, Tharnish said.
“We have plenty of water available to support a development like this,” he said.
The housing development is expected to generate more than $7 million in tap fees, the cost of connecting the homes to Monument’s water system. That money will go directly to the town’s water fund and could be used for important projects like upgrading water treatment plants, fixing water pumps and repairing groundwater wells.
To service the new community, a new road will be built through the middle of the Willow Springs subdivision by extending Synthes Avenue south to Forest Lakes Drive. The roadway will include a bridge that spans Monument Creek.
Terri Hayes, president and CEO of the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce, said the new roadway could divert semi trucks away from downtown Monument by offering a more convenient route to the industries just north of the proposed housing development. Hayes said the road will also give Monument residents another exit route in case of wildfires.
The Willow Springs subdivision may even help alleviate overcrowding in schools. The developer Daniel Brown negotiated with school officials to dedicate five acres to the Lewis-Palmer School District. The five acres are part of a larger 16-acre site that will be used to build a 650-student elementary.
“This was quite an undertaking and demonstrates cooperation by numerous parties to benefit our youngest students,” said Superintendent Karen Brofft in a letter to Town Manager Mike Foreman.