Despite the Pandemic, Triview Made a Number of Improvements in 2021
The Triview Metro District is a wonderful community in which to live. Our homeowners enjoy a well-cared-for community with incredible vistas, plentiful parks and easy access to extensive walking, hiking and mountain bike trails. We also have a high-performing public school system, as well as some of the nation’s most respected colleges and universities nearby in Colorado Springs. It should come as no surprise that the average household income of our residents and their home values are significantly higher than the statewide averages.
Just as we have built an incredible community over the past 36 years, we also have to maintain and protect what we have built. Part of that effort includes:
- Improving the northwest corner of Leather Chaps Drive and Baptist Road, including updates to the irrigation, a new retaining wall and an electric meter to power the monument signage, irrigation controller and our holiday lights.
- Making road improvements to increase the quality of life of residents and reduce long-term maintenance costs. In May, we finished the final stretch of roadway in the district that was targeted for asphalt overlay – a one-mile stretch of Leather Chaps Drive from Bear Creek Elementary to Jackson Creek Parkway.
Ensuring Adequate Water Supplies for Our Community
In addition to taking care of our infrastructure, taking steps to ensure adequate water supplies is also critical to ensuring we remain a desirable place to live. Last year, amid a record drought in our state, the federal government officially declared the first-ever water shortage in the Colorado River basin. That declaration was made because reservoirs across the West have dropped so low that they can no longer meet the water and energy demands of the communities they serve.
That threat is why we continue to take proactive steps to secure rights that will give us access to the water we need today and well into the future. Over the past year, we have taken several specific steps that will protect Triview against the threat of depleting water supplies, ensuring that our community continues to thrive even in the face of challenges.
To provide the water that Triview residents and businesses require, we need both water rights and the ability to store water for immediate use. For example, last year we acquired rights to nearly 600 acre-feet of water from water sources near Salida and Buena Vista. That adds to the more than 560 acre-feet of water rights the district acquired from the Stonewall Springs Reservoir Co. in summer 2020. Those acquisitions, combined with the existing water rights we have already secured, put Triview in an enviable position as we look to the future.
Additionally, we have acquired a 40-year lease to store 999 acre-feet of excess storage capacity in Pueblo Reservoir along with the right to use the North Outlet that is tied to Colorado Springs Utilities Southern Delivery System. Water is pumped back to Colorado Springs, then gets routed and transferred to Triview Metro District. The district is also nearing the completion of a reservoir known as Stonewall Springs South Reservoir, which will store 1,850 acre-feet of water from the Arkansas River, including our water derived from the Upper Arkansas River, the Lower Arkansas River, Fountain Creek and Denver Basin return flows. The district continues to design and permit the Stonewall Springs Central Reservoir, which will be built in the future in partnership with other utility providers and will have a storage capacity of over 8,000 acre-feet.
We also championed the Northern Delivery System (NDS), a proposed water pipeline project that involves a number of Northern El Paso County water suppliers, including Forest Lakes. This proposed pipeline is being developed to bring renewable water to northern El Paso County. The NDS will construct a booster pump station that will move potable water from a tank at the northern edge of the Colorado Springs Utilities service area to northern water systems. Triview has been a big part of this proposed project (we held public meetings in the district in October and November 2021 and January 2022). The information shared at those meetings can be found on our website. We expect to finalize the route for the pipeline in February. More information can be found here.
A Focus on Fiscal Responsibility
Triview is subject to the same inflationary pressures you are – it seems like everything costs more now. That is one of the reasons we have taken steps to help homeowners and businesses reduce costs and fees wherever we can.
During our 2022 budget deliberations, the Triview Metro District board of directors supported reducing the district mill levy from 27 mills to 24. Of the 24 mills, 21.5 go toward debt service and 2.5 are for district operations and maintenance. What this means for our residents is that you will pay less in property taxes to the district in 2022. For example, if your home is estimated to be worth $600,000, you will save $128 in property taxes. And those savings will continue each year.
We also continued our efforts to create the Northern Monument Creek Interceptor Project, which will create a 10-mile pipeline to collect wastewater flows from six districts (including Triview) and northern Colorado Springs and transport it for treatment in Colorado Springs. The project ultimately will lower Triview’s costs to meet increasingly stringent state and federal wastewater standards by spreading them across a larger customer base. The pipeline is scheduled to begin design in the third quarter of 2022, with completion expected in 2025.
Additionally, we have made new smart water meters available free of charge to Triview residents. One of the key benefits of the new meters is that you can monitor water usage in real-time from your computer or phone, which will quickly allow you to detect any issues such as a leak or if you’re over-watering. As we all know, water is an expensive, precious resource and we want residents to have the best information to monitor their usage. All water meters are being replaced over the next two years, but if you’re interested in replacing your water meter now, please email us: email@example.com or call the office at 719-488-6868.
- There is no charge to the homeowner to change out their meter.
- It will take approximately 30 minutes to change out your meter.
- Homeowners will need to be present because most water meters are located in basements.
- Homeowners will be able to schedule their appointment, and some evening/weekend hours will be available.
After not raising rates in 2021, the district implemented a slight increase in water and wastewater rates for 2022. Based on a thorough review of our previous rates and future revenue requirements, the board voted to make this increase effective Jan. 1, 2022. A typical homeowner who uses 10,000 gallons of water and 5,000 gallons of wastewater will see their bill increase by $7.27 per month, an increase of 4.4%. The increase allows the district to continue its focus on our transition to renewable water and comply with environmental mandates from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment. Also, please note that the district increased the maximum amount of use in Tier 1 to 8,000 gallons as opposed to 6,000 gallons in the previous year. This change is designed to give our residents more leeway before moving into the next higher tier.
Triview Board Approves Our 2022 Budget
The five-member Triview Board of Directors unanimously approved the 2022 budget at its Dec. 14 meeting. The full, adopted budget is available on our website, but below is the high-level overview:
District General Fund $7,379,445.00
Utility Enterprise $6,529,293.00
Enterprise Capital Projects $5,124,100.00
Total Revenue $19,032,838.00
District General Fund $5,808,702.00
Utility Enterprise $5,456,926.00
General Fund Capital Projects $637,500.00
Enterprise Capital Projects $5,204,228.00
Total Expenses $17,107,356.00
Ending Fund Balance General Fund 2022: $4,445,480.00
Ending Fund Balance Utility Enterprise Fund 2022: $18,942,599.00
Triview Builds a New Maintenance Facility
Located along Jackson Creek Parkway, the 5,600-square foot public works facility allows the district to store our trucks and other equipment inside, as well as perform maintenance indoors (a bonus on frigid days). The facility includes four offices and a break room for our hardworking team of 10-12 who keep our roads clear, and our parks and open space looking good.
Triview to Provide Maintenance Services to Forest Lakes Metropolitan District
You may have noticed a mention of Forest Lakes on the Triview website. As of Jan. 1, Triview is providing contract operations for the Forest Lakes Metropolitan District, so their residents visit our website to pay their water and wastewater bills. Make sure you click on the Triview “Pay My Bill” button on the home page if you live in the Triview Metro District. If you live in Forest Lakes, there is a button you can click on to pay your bill online. Revenue from this contract will go into the utility operations budget for the district and help lower the amount of funds we need from district residents and businesses.