End of Year Update
from Mayor Sindelar
This year has been particularly challenging for us all. I know it is easy to focus on the bad and all that we couldn't do or that has changed since the pandemic started, but I have been reflecting on what successes we have had this year at the Town of Firestone and wanted to share.
Throughout this year, the Town continued to provide essential services to the community, all while taking appropriate precautions. Even when needing to work remotely, the Town continued to operate and conduct business by utilizing technology. The Town of Firestone has continually affirmed its commitment to protecting residents' and employees' health and safety while still providing services to the public. The Board of Trustees and the Town Manager agree - it's our #1 priority.
Below are a few highlights from the year:
- Applied for and was awarded a $1 million grant from the State of Colorado (DOLA) to construct the new Town Hall.
- Oversaw the Gould Property structures' demolition to allow for the St. Vrain Water Treatment Plant to begin construction.
- Completed the Broadband Assessment & Feasibility Study that obtained data that will help the Board of Trustees make informed decisions concerning high-speed internet delivery options. Additionally, the Board is exploring a range of alternatives available for promoting advanced broadband services to Firestone citizens, businesses and Town agencies.
- Coordinated with Via Paratransit Service to begin transportation services for Firestone residents who are 60 years or older, or have a disability.
- Throughout the year, the Economic Development team promoted approved developments, available properties, and updates to the development process and regulations to site selectors, brokers, commercial developers, and consulting firms.
- Since March, have been providing up-to-date COVID-19 related business resources to Firestone businesses through email, webpage updates, social media, personal phone calls, and in-person visits when feasible.
- Updated Firestone Urban Renewal Authority webpages.
- Rewrote the Town's Engineering Standards and Specifications for Design and Construction. This is the guiding document that requires that Town owned public improvements (roads, water lines, storm sewer, etc.) are designed and constructed in a safe and quality manner and ensures Town improvements meet an expected service life.
- Streamlined the Right-of-Way Permit review and issuance process for quicker approvals and permit issuance.
- Created a new GIS WebHub on the Town's website to provide easier access to a wider range of Town maps.
- Completed bringing engineering development review in house, reducing the reliance on outside consultants.
- Received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the GFOA.
- Updated the Debt Policy, Investment Policy, Travel Policy, and Working Reserve Policy and created new processes within those areas.
- Invested $10 million into higher yield investment instruments through a Managed Investments Firm.
- Issued Water Enterprise Bonds for the construction of the St. Vrain Water Treatment Facility.
- Issued Certificates of Participation for the construction of the new Town Hall facility.
- Adopted the 2021 Annual Operating & Capital Improvement Budget.
- Recruited and employed 7 new approved positions and filled 10 vacant positions.
- Developed and introduced new Town-wide job descriptions and performance evaluation documents.
- Introduced a new Pay for Performance program and Official Pay Scale for Town employees and a Step Pay Plan for Police Officers.
- Conducted an Organization Culture Survey. As a result, we now have a Culture Advisory Team with members from all departments working on building upon the Town's current culture.
- The Human Resources Department has served as the primary resource for the Town's response, as an employer to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, the department was responsible for:
- Establishing the Coronavirus Response Plan
- Developed Communicable Diseases/Illnesses policy
- Introduced and oversee the FFCRA paid leave entitlements
- Created leave entitlement request forms and work with staff requesting leave and help them understand the requirements for completing documentation
- Communicate and enforce the requirements of our State's Stay at Home and Safer at Home Executive Orders
- Issued a Return to Work Guide in our phased staff return
- Created an onsite safety protocol and precautions communication for returning employees to a safe work environment
- Purchased, introduced and implemented HealthCheck by StratumHealth online platform for recording employee daily health screenings
MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
- Despite the constantly changing regulations, the Events team hosted safe, socially distanced events all year long. The Town of Firestone knew how important it was to continue to host these events, as they provided a much-needed reprieve to the community. This included:
- A scaled-back 4th at Firestone event, with one of the biggest fireworks shows we've ever hosted.
- The Food & Flick Friday series moved locations, rather than being in parks all summer, were held as Drive-In movies at the Firestone Regional Sports Complex.
- Hosted a drive-thru Holiday Festival, with crafts, hot cocoa, donuts and an opportunity to wave to Santa.
- Continued to improve processes and strategies to ensure we are proactively communicating to keep the public well-informed.
PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT
- The Board of Trustees adopted the Town's new Firestone Development Code (FDC), unifying subdivision standards, development regulations, and processes.
- The Board of Trustees adopted the Town's first development review fee schedule.
- The Board of Trustees adopted the 2018 International Code Council family of codes, the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code, and the 2020 National Electric Code. The updated codes allow for the design and installation of new, innovative, and more efficient materials and technologies, reflect the modern advances in construction methods and standards, and ensure that all structures within the Town are held to the same minimum standard of quality and safety.
- Established a Lot Inventory database to assist with projections, budgeting, and tracking of residential growth. The inventory identifies a total of 649 platted residential lots for which building permits may be issued.
- Entitled several commercial businesses within the Oak Meadows Village and Firestone City Center developments.
- Issued 250 new residential permits for single-family detached and paired homes.
- Issued 1,250 permits in 2020 with an estimated construction valuation of approximately $100 million.
- Installation of LEXIPOL, an online policy and training solution that is always accessible to employees.
- Throughout the year, hired 5 new Police Officers, including 3 replacements and 2 new positions.
- Purchased 2 new police vehicles.
- Successfully hosted an alternative National Night Out event as a drive-in movie and hosted a scaled back Halloween Safe Night this fall.
- Board of Trustees adopted the 2020-2050 Water Action Plan. This Plan is a big step toward greater control of the Town's water destiny and security.
- Completed designs for the St Vrain Water Treatment Plant (WTP), St Vrain WTP blend pipeline and pump station, Firestone Reservoir No. 1 plumbing and Gould alluvial well field.
- Started construction of the St Vrain WTP and Gould alluvial well field.
- Completed crack filling in Stoneridge, Monarch Estates, and Sagebrush subdivisions and replaced cross pans and performed asphalt repair in Historic Firestone.
- Repaired the East I-25 Frontage Road Bridge.
- Installed a new recycled asphalt trail in Neighbors Point.
- Completed Firestone Sports Complex improvements, including laser grading of infield surfaces and dugout entrance enhancements.
- Replaced the backstop at Hart Park's baseball field and resurfaced the basketball courts in Settlers Park, Hart Park and Sagebrush Park.
- Completed the Parks, Open Space and Trails Master Plan, a guiding document for the Board of Trustees for the development of future parks and recreational amenities and the enhancement of existing resources that will best meet the needs of this community.
- Hosted an annual community Clean-Up Day this summer, rescheduled from the spring, and hosted a yard waste disposal event this fall.
- Successfully held a municipal election amid the COVID-19 pandemic, making many necessary changes to ensure safety and security during that process.
- Standardized onboarding of voluntary board and commission appointees.
- Updated and revised internal policies to better align with Colorado Revised Statutes.
As you can see, even in the midst of a global pandemic, we've had a very busy year. Thank you to all of the hardworking, committed Town staff who show up every day to serve the needs of Firestone residents, businesses and neighbors. From Town Hall to Public Works, and the brave men and women in blue at the Firestone Police Department who keep our residents and streets safe each and every day – thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you do.
It's my honor and privilege to serve the Town of Firestone alongside our Board of Trustees. Thanks to each of you for your tireless commitment and many contributions to making the Town of Firestone the thriving and special community it is.
-- Mayor Bobbi Sindelar