Board's Corner July 2022

Board Corner Header Graphic

Welcome to the new Board’s Corner! To improve district transparency and communications with the Evergreen Community and our critical volunteers and paid staff, the Board of Directors will be providing a monthly “Board’s Corner” newsletter. Each edition will contain a synopsis of the board meeting, committee updates and progress toward our outlined priorities.

We encourage everyone to attend our monthly Board of Directors meetings to stay informed about district financials, current and future strategies, and discussions about obstacles, challenges, and opportunities within the district. Our meetings are built around collaboration, actions, and clear boundaries.  Our goal is to increase transparency and communication while developing strong working relationships with all our constituents.  

The board has a vision for improving the safety of our community and supporting our critical volunteers and paid staff, and to rebuild an environment of trust and partnership between all constituents. Our action-oriented approach includes:

Strengthening the health and responsiveness of our volunteer fire department by:
  • Providing balanced operational and capital budgeting.
  • Ensuring volunteer participation at all levels of the department.
  • Providing board support and inclusion in all appropriate decisions.
Ensuring a more prepared department and wildfire-ready community by:
  • Prioritizing expenditures to support more wildland training for volunteers and paid staff.
  • Implementing and funding Evergreen Fire/Rescue’s 2020 Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) objectives.
  • Aggressively pursuing wildfire preparedness and evacuation route mitigation grant opportunities.
  • Developing and maintaining working relationships with other districts, external wildfire resources and community leaders.
Increasing transparency and improving communications with the Evergreen Community and internal organization by:
  • Publishing all finance and board documents, including account-level monthly reports and audio meeting recordings.   
  • Providing an open and responsive board that encourages community involvement and increases community involvement.
Providing a taxpayer-centered fiduciary voice by:
  • Ensuring all funding decisions are balanced to meet short and long-term needs of the department and greater Evergreen community.

Board Committee Reports - Finance
2021 Financial Audit Report: Haynie & Company
According to the District’s Auditor, the financial statements of the governmental activities and the major fund of Evergreen Fire Protection District for the year ending December 31, 2021 present fairly, in all material respects, the respective financial position of the governmental activities and the respective changes in financial position in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

District Revenue and Expense Analysis:
  • 2021 Revenues increased by $480,101 (5%) from 2020.  Increase was primarily a result of the sale of land assets and service charges (i.e., wildland billing and codes, permits and planning fees.)
  • 2021 Expenses decreased by $2,260,702 (22%) from 2020.  Decrease was primarily due to postponement of a truck purchase due to supply chain issues, unfilled paid positions, and miscellaneous division project postponements.
    Net Position increased by $2,635,270 (14%) compared to 2020.
  • The previous board’s priority and decision was to transfer unspent 2021 budgeted expenses into the Assigned Station 1 Fund Balance.

The estimated 2022 Station 1 starting balance was $5,110,605 vs. the audited 2021 amount of $5,882,634.  With the additional budgeted increase of $1,000,000, the assigned fund will have a balance of $6,882,634 minus any capital expenses for architecture design & construction fees.  It was anticipated the department would incur $850,000 in expenditures.  This number will decrease due to the current legal issue with the Station 1 project (see Building Committee Report for more details.)

August Board Meeting Agenda Request
Based on the net position increase in the budget, the Board requested all Division heads attend the August Board meeting to present a reprioritized list of needs/requirements that include both 2021 projects that were budgeted (but not funded), current 2022 budgeted projects, and any new projections. The board will work with Chief Weege and the Division leaders to reallocate available funds from the 2021 budget cycle.

Employee Peer Support Assistance Fund (Resolution 2020-004, dated 7/07/20 & SOG 106.5, dated 10/27/20)
The Employee Assistance Fund, or “hardship” policy has been suspended until further legal review can be completed.  The program was determined to have issues with resolution language, use of taxpayer fund eligibility, procedural accounting by issuing 1099s instead of processing payments through payroll, and inconsistencies with payments.

Monetary Donations Processing (SOG 102.16, dated 7/01/22)
Concerns were raised at the July Board meeting regarding the processing of monetary donations received by the district.  The Board decided all donations will be initially reviewed by both the district Treasurer (Julie Ann Courim) and the EVPD Board Treasurer (Byrne McKenna) prior to bank deposit and allocation into either the EFPD or EVFD budget.  Further review and analysis of all donations received in 2022 will also be conducted.  

August Board Meeting Agenda Request
Follow-up discussion and analysis results will be presented during the August Board meeting.

Board Committee Reports - Building Committee
Station 1 Project - Status
The Board of Directors was informed on May 12, 2022, less than 48 hours after being sworn into office, that a lease assumed when the property was purchased in 2019 had a legally-binding 5-year extension clause.  The lease owner informed EFPD on March 10, 2022, he would be exercising his option to renew the lease until 2027.  After an internal review of the purchase contracts and lease agreements by current Board members and in-house counsel, a specialize, commercial real estate legal expert was hired to determine Evergreen’s legal standing and assist with any ongoing negotiations.  Based on the submitted report by the retained attorney, Rod Atherton, the Station 1 project was put on hold.  Architecture and construction documents being prepared by F+D International were also suspended after the 2nd Milestone contract deliverable was completed.  Project updates will be given at the monthly board meetings when available.  

To read the Building Committee’s detailed report, please click the following link: Station 1 Project – Detailed Report