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Andy Kovacs is the new chief of Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District

MONUMENT • Rather than building new offices for its public works department, the Town of Monument is looking to purchase and make use of property on Beacon Lite Road.

At the Monument Board of Trustees’ Feb. 16 meeting, the board heard from town manager Mike Foreman regarding the purchase property known as Lot 1 of the JJ Tracks replat. At a previous meeting, Foreman was instructed by the board to negotiate the purchase of the 259 Beacon Lite Road, Monument, property. Known as the Code One building, the property is owned by Norton Smith, who offered to sell it to the town for $1.2 million.

Once it’s under the town’s ownership, the building would provide space for the public works department and water department staff. It would also negate the need to construct a new building.

“It’s much less of a cost than building new office space,” Foreman said.

Upon approval of the board, Foreman said the town was required to put down $50,000 in earnest money toward the purchase contract the next day. Funds for the purchase are to come from the town’s 2A Fund.

Town Attorney Andrew Richey said although the 2009 Board of Trustees approved the 2A Fund to go toward water projects, Monument voters initially approved the fund to be used in 2005 for projects like the purchase of such property. Foreman said there is $6 million in the 2A Fund not marked to repay debts incurred last year or any projects funded against it. Appraisal of the property is scheduled for March and the town would be able to get out of the contract should it appraise for less than $1.2 million.

Foreman said should that happen, he would bring the matter back to the board for further direction.

The ordinance to authorize the purchase was approved by the board 6-1 with trustee Laurie Clark being the vote against.

In other business, the Trustees approved an ordinance to renew a franchise agreement with Mountain View Electric Association to maintain infrastructure and right of way being used by the utility company. Richey said the town has had franchise agreements with MVEA at least since the 1990s, with the most recent in 2006.

Monument receives a 3% franchise fee with the term of the agreement being 15 years. Richey said the terms of the agreement were not substantially different from the 2006 agreement.

The board approved the ordinance 7-0.

Later in the meeting, the board approved a resolution to set forth a finding of facts and conclusions concerning the proposed annexation to the town of an area known as Native Sun Construction annexation. The area is south of Baptist Road, west of Interstate 25, and near Woodcarver Road. The property, which is part of El Paso County and not the Town of Monument, is a little more than 10 acres, is vacant and has just one owner, Manning said.

Residential properties closest to the property are to the southwest.

The resolution is step two of a three-step process where it is determined if the land in question has the required physical elements, Planning Director Larry Manning said. In addition, the land has to be greater than 6% in contiguity to the town and that a community interest exists. Manning said the property is greater than 6% in contiguity.

The resolution specified an ordinance would come in March for the actual annexation. Manning said more information than the narrative provided by the applicant would be presented to the trustees after it is reviewed by the planning commission. The resolution was passed 7-0.

Additionally, Trustees were also introduced to Andy Kovacs, new chief of Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District. Kovacs comes to the district from the Brighton Fire Rescue District and was previously with the Orange County Fire Authority in California.

Kovacs has nearly 31 years of fire service. He started in public safety at the age of 16 as a beach lifeguard and was later inspired to become an EMT and a paramedic, which got his foot in the door to fire service, he said. With Orange County, he was responsible for fire service in four cities.

The Monument Police Department also announced some changes. Police chief Sean Hemingway presented officers Tim Johnson and Andrew Romano with promotions to the rank of sergeant. Romano, who has been with the department since 2012, and Johnson, who has served Monument since 2019, were both sworn into their new positions during the meeting.

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