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Council approves new contracts job, dispatch

 

Last updated 10/6/2021 at 9:47am | View PDF

Karin Hill

Members of the American Legion Post 5 present a plaque to Council Member Detra Duncan on Sept. 28 in recognition of her work with the Fountain Youth Council. They also presented a check for $400 for the newly re-established Youth Council.

The city of Fountain will hire a new Contracts and Programs Administrator to manage various intergovernmental agreements between the city and Fort Carson, and any other military or government entities, as Fountain provides more and more services for those outside agencies.

The City Council on Sept. 28 approved the position, with pay range of $83,180 to a maximum $119,780, to support the Intergovernmental Support Agreement (IGSA) program. Revenue generated by the city's current and planned IGSAs will "more than cover" the expense, said John Trylch, the city's Communications, Strategy and Military Partnerships manager.

In March 2020, Fountain entered an IGSA for the city to provide pest control services on Fort Carson. This July, Fountain and Fort Carson signed a second IGSA – this one for general facility construction services on post. Officials say these IGSAs are mutually beneficial because they allow the city to get the work done faster than the military – sometimes because there's less red tape – and it generates revenue for the city.

"IGSAs are absolutely a great avenue ... to improve our financial position," Trylch said.

The first IGSA generates about $37-40,000 a year, Trylch said. The second one is just getting under way and is expected to raise $135,000 a year.

The city is eyeing a third IGSA currently, with more on the horizon at various military installations in the Colorado Springs regions. The additional workload warrants the new employee, officials said. It would be difficult to expand the IGSA program without this support person in place.

"The IGSA program is expanding pretty vigorously," Trylch said.

As an added benefit, this employee would also perform duties such as grant writing, benefitting various departments in the city.

Also on Sept. 28, the council approved a park and open space agreement between the city and Aspen Ranch, the housing development under construction at Link and Kane roads. The resolution formalizes the proposed improvements of park space, including a 7.1-acre neighborhood park, and installation of various amenities. The agreement allows the developer to provide at least $384,000 of park improvements in lieu of an additional 4.4 acres included in the previously approved development plan.

The council also approved on first reading the refinancing of some utility revenue bonds from a 2013 water department loan, which has an outstanding principal balance of $9.9 million.

"We have an opportunity to refinance this bond and significantly reduce our interest rate," Utilities Director Dan Blankenship said. "Based on current market rates, our net present value savings is estimated to be a total of $1.3 million over the life of the bond."

In addition to saving money, it does not extend the payoff date, he said.

The council also approved a resolution bringing a transit dispatch service into the city's transportation division. Until now, it has been run through the Fountain Valley Senior Center, which runs its own set of buses. The city pays FVSC to provide dispatch service for city transit. Staff report that a number of challenges have arisen, bringing to light the need to bring this service in house.

Deputy City Manager Todd Evans said since 2012, these dispatch employees essentially "have had two bosses all of these years." In addition, the dispatch service leaves a 4-hour gap in coverage, which the city needs to have filled.

"Basically, that's the lifeline for your buses," Evans said.

In other business, the council:

Formally declared a vacancy for the at-large council seat that has been empty since Greg Lauer announced his resignation. The council opted not to fill the seat on an interim basis since the Nov. 2 election is coming up so soon. One candidate, Frederick Hinton, is running for that position.

Approved two resolutions related to the proposed annexation of property along Marksheffel Road, consisting of public right of way northwest of Link Road. The land currently is in El Paso County jurisdiction.

Lastly, the council heard a presentation on the new Water Master Plan (see separate story on this page).

 

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