Gold Hill Fire Department

GHFPD Board Meeting 9-19-13 notes

October 14th, 2013

Gold Hill FPD Board Meeting 9-19-13,  notes by Gretchen Diefenderfer

Next Fire Board Meeting will be Thursday, 10- 17-13, 7:00 pm at the Community Center

Present were President Donal Maloney, Rick Geesaman, Bobby Vrba, Secretary Dave Sturtz, Rich Lopez by phone, and citizens Tony Vrba and Gretchen Diefenderfer.

Donal called the meeting to order and called role.  The minutes of the last meeting were emailed, but had not been read – Dave read them aloud, and they were approved as read.

Public Input: Gretchen expressed the opinion that the Fire Board has a duty to communicate to the community and that they had said that the minutes would be posted on the FD website (  They aren’t posted nor has she, as someone on the email list, received them.  Dave apologized and said he would see to it.  Donal reaffirmed that it is the duty to communicate effectively with the community and said the board needs to keep an eye on this.

Tony Vrba reported that, as the new Member-at-Large of the Town Meeting, she plans to attend FB meetings.  She stated that she believes it is part of her job to help improve communications because it’s important for everybody to work together.


Rich reported that the original site chosen for the dry hydrant had washed away in the flood, but that he has met with the Lefthand Chief , Russ Leadingham, and they have found a better site on the other side of the bridge downstream.  He will pursue this once the debris piles have been cleared.

The Debit card proposal for our Chief was deferred until Chris is present.


Donal asked if there any big anticipated fiscal impacts from the flood for us.  Only normal truck repairs were reported.

Rich asked about any planning to improve communication in the future, since our communications were hampered by the electricity being out.  What about Hughesnet?  A temporaty cell phone repeater?  Donal thought this issue might come up at the Chief’s Meeting with the Sheriff (which is where Chief Finn is right now).  Dave Sturtz is a Hamm radio operator and part of MERN, but isn’t sure what Joe Citizen can do.  Donal thinks this is a priority item to work on.  AT&T cell phones work at the corner of the Bluebird Lodge, but not Verizon.  Small Chinese radios as well as emergency phones around the district were brought up.  Bobby said that the Safe Site organization was also hampered by communications being down, but only 1 or 2 people came up and it got handled.

As far as our overall Flood Response, the board needs the Chief to do a debriefing and bring any issues to the Board.  The Gold Hill Firefighters put in a lot of hours during the crisis and the departments are all operating outside district lines because of many departments inability to get to areas in their districts.



July 16th, 2013



As of 1400, today, July 16, 2013 the current fire ban in Boulder County will be rescinded. See attached press release for further details. Contact The USFS for information in reference to their current restrictions.


Jay C Stalnacker

Boulder County Sheriff’s Office

Fire Management Officer / SWAT


WORKING Media Release Rescind




GHFPD Board Meeting

July 16th, 2013

Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board meeting, June 20, 2013

Notes by Gretchen Diefenderfer

Next meeting will be Thursday, July 18, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center.


The meeting was called to order by President Donal Maloney.  Present were Secretary Dave Sturtz, Board Members Rich Lopez and Bobby Vrba, Chief Chris Finn, and resident Gretchen Diefenderfer.


Rich reported that the easement agreement for the subdivision cistern would be signed by the end of the week.

Also, he has sent a letter to the Smiths, who own the property where they’re thinking of putting in a dry hydrant, about the potential project.


Donal reported that there is a Fire Department Facebook page, which Adriana owns (from the time she was on the Board and working on the website, etc.) and the FD doesn’t have access to it.  Rich volunteered to talk to Adriana.  (Update, it’s been taken down now).

Dave reported that there are new firefighters who have gone through training and are certified, but have no pagers or gear.  Chris said they just need to call him or Leslie.  Donal added that they do look for a bonafide commitment.


Chris reported that they received the first part of the order under the SCBA Grant, got the bill and paid it, and have just received the rest of the masks.

They also got 1/3 of the Wildland Grant and have put in an order.  However, they will give us 3 shelters, so really we got more than 1/3.   Also asked for fittings/adapters.  The grant is through the CO Dept. of Public Safety now (used to be CSFS).

The brush truck is dead right now.  The plan is to make one good truck from two.  A former fire chief from Lyons named Tracy will work on it.  Donal added that it’s worth spending some money on.

While weed whacking around the barn, Chris found the gas can for the generator that belongs to the Safelink folks.  It needs to be located in a safer place – Dave said that Amy will take care of it and the shed has a combo lock.  She will email the combo.

Shivaun is handling the Red Cards (actually IQS cards and are no longer red).  This will enable firefighters to be on a crew after the first day (when we automatically go) and get paid.  There will be a bunch of paperwork.

The transparency notice on the website is not up to date.  Donal will send Dave another copy and Dave will update.  Chris has pictures, etc., he’d like on it – some are on dropbox and he will put more on.

Regarding Firebarn repairs, gutters and windows are on the list as well as the electrical work.  Dick Cole is watching Resource.  They’ll start with the locker room and slowly seal up the place.  Before the electrical work can be done, there is a cabinet in the way that needs to come out and there is a window behind it that will be nice to have exposed.  Bobby volunteered to do this.  The plan is to get more steel shelves to replace the cupboard.

Dave Hurley from Sunshine donated a pressure washer.  Bobby will take it from Dave’s house and make sure it’s working.  It’s gas fired.

If these planned repairs/renovations go over $1,000, Chris will bring them to the Board. Rich moved that we authorize the Chief to spend up to $1,000 on these repairs.  Bobby seconded and it passed.

Some work also needs to be done on the siding – screwing them in where they’re coming loose.  He’s thinking there might be a teenager looking for work who would be good to do this.

Dave suggested designating some Saturday a.m. for a workday and putting out the word for volunteers to help with these projects.

Donal inquired about what’s in the budget for maintenance in general – Chris reported that we have $4,000 budgeted for the station, $5,000 for the trucks, $1500 for equipment, and $1000 for radios.

We also anticipate spending some money on a speaker/siren for Engine 4.

Chris wondered about the class with our lawyer, Dick Lyons, that the board talked about earlier on legal concerns and just generally how the board should operate – probably 2-3 hours.  Rich thought it would be a good idea sooner rather than later, now that the board has settled into it’s 5 present members.  Donal said that he’s willing to come up here. He’ll check with Dick about times and send emails to the Board before the next meeting.

Chris would also like 5, 10 year plans, etc.

Chris pointed out that we’re heading into hard-core fire season.

Donal brought up the stabbing in Nederland and reminded everyone to approach all calls with caution, especially if violence is suspected.


And, last, but not least – Don’t forget the Pancake breakfast on the 4th.




GHFPD Thanks to All!

July 4th, 2013
Once again our surrounding communities came together to help support our tiny mountain fire department.  Once again it was a huge success.  By the numbers; 503 people served; $890 collected in the boots; $464 from t-shirts that will be sent to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation to support the families of the 19 firefighters lost in Arizona.  We cannot thank all of you folks enough!  Proceeds from the Gold Hill Fire Protection District’s 4th of July Pancake Breakfast are used for the purchase of equipment for firefighters. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this event a success.  We could not do it without our dedicated volunteers.
Leslie Finn  <>

GHFPD Board meeting 5-16-13 – report

June 19th, 2013

Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting, May 16, 2013

Notes by Gretchen Diefenderfer

Next Board Meeting is Thursday, June 20, 2013, 7:00 at the Community Center

Present were President Donal Maloney, Secretary Dave Sturtz, board members Rick Geesaman, Rich Lopez, and Bobby Vrba, and community member Gretchen Diefenderfer.

Donal opened the meeting with a tribute to Dave Nyquist, who died on May 15th.  He was a long-term Chief in Lefthand and continued to be very active on the Boulder County Incident Management Team, both locally and regionally.  He was very competent, well regarded, and always more than willing to teach.  Donal spoke of his appreciation for his personal experiences with Dave as well as Chris Finn’s, who told Donal that our best tribute would be to pass on our own knowledge and experience.

Minutes of the last meeting were not distributed.  Dave will email them and Rich made a motion that they be approved by email. The motion was approved.


Gretchen reported that the bigger metal address signs down Sunshine cost around $675 for 100, plus the posts at around 2.50 apiece.  One thought is to get the smaller green plastic ones from the County for all who do not have them within the town limits.  They are free and, being smaller, would minimize sign pollution in our close quarters. There are many missing signs and no consistent location for them.  Then, we could purchase the larger metal ones for the rest of our district.  The discussion centered on figuring out how many we would need and Dave Sturtz volunteered to help Gretchen.  They will look to get up-to-date maps and come up with a good estimate of the numbers needed and the cost.  Gretchen’s idea is that the FD and the Town Meeting could share the cost.  Good signage would be a big help in any emergency and a benefit for all.


Rich has written a letter to 2 property owners in the Rowena area where we are considering installing a dry hydrant.  They will be here this summer and he will continue to communicate with them about this.

Re: the Cistern in the subdivision: It went in originally with the permission of the property owners, the Giffin’s, sometime in the 90’s. We maintain it and fill it, typically with water from Lefthand.  The property now belongs to Sue Kidder and Paul Roberts who are moving to the Philippines this summer.  They have a draft agreement for a legal easement from the FD’s lawyer, Dick Lyons, but no agreement has been finalized.  Rich will pursue this.


Donal reported that they have $2000 budgeted for station repairs.  He got a list of things that need to be done – conduit, etc. – from the electrician who did the work when they put in the exhaust system.  Donal will bring in the list to the board, and have the electrician submit a bid.

Donal also reported on our readiness as a department for the upcoming fire season.  Steffi Wilson and Marielle Sidell have completed the Wildland Fire Fighter course and others did a refresher.  They will be doing more training and making sure the trucks are ready.  Dave Sturtz offered to help with the trucks.  Donal says they have a pretty good number of certified Wildland Firefighters – 12.  They are always recruiting firefighters as well as medical responders.  And they’re coming into good weather and will be doing more training with water.

Rich had questions about the fire danger rating signs – they are provided by the USFS and changed daily by the fire departments.

Rick wondered if the County would be providing the lightening locating software this year – Chris will probably know soon.  It was awesome, but quite expensive.i

Dave Sturtz reported that Amy is running the Emergency Preparedness group for Gold Hill and Dave, as a ham radio operator, attended the last meeting and offered to be the FD liaison to the group.   All approved.

Donal reported that the Chief has been training everyone on the new SCBAs and they are now on the trucks and operational.  They have lots of bells & whistles compared to the old ones, they weigh less, and are more comfortable.

Gretchen mentioned that she had not requested reimbursement for her EMT recertification as a donation to the FD, and the board thanked her.


Fire Ban

June 11th, 2013


Please see attached information on forthcoming Fire Ban in Boulder County. Pending final Sheriff’s signature this afternoon this will be enacted 12:00 Wednesday, June 12, 2013.


Jay C Stalnacker

Boulder County Sheriff’s Office

Fire Mangement Officer / SWAT

Fire Ban



Burn Regulations

May 15th, 2013

Burn regs


GHFPD Board Meeting 4/18/13

May 13th, 2013

Notes on the Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting 4/18/13. 

By Gretchen Diefenderfer


Next Meeting is Thursday, May 16, 2013, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center.


Present were President Donal Maloney, Secretary Dave Sturtz, Board Members Rick Geesaman, Bobby Vrba, and Rich Lopez, plus community member Gretchen Diefenderfer.


Donal reported on an explosion yesterday (April 17) in West, Texas, and the death of 5 volunteer firefighters.  Approximately ¾ of the firefighters in this country are volunteers.  This is Bobby’s hometown and 2 of his second cousins have not been heard from.  This past Saturday, several of our volunteers participated in the annual refresher – safety is a big component of all our training.


The minutes were approved as sent out.


Public Time

Gretchen reported on the new reflective green metal signs in Sunshine. Volunteers put together an excel sheet to determine how many they needed – single signs, multiple signs, etc. and their CWPP group purchased the metal signs and the numbers, assembled them and have been putting them up. They cost between $3,000 and $3,500. She asked about the FD maps and Chris said they’re 10 years old.  Donal estimated that we have between 250 – 300 structures in the district.  He suggested we look at our options: the cost and the people to carry the project.  Gretchen will do some more research and report back.  Sunshine would like to see good addressing spread like a virus.  At the last Town Meeting, people were interested also.



Chris reported that his #1 question is the long-standing need for a legal easement for the 12,000 gal. cistern in the subdivision.  It’s now been in the works for several years and Chris thinks it’s very important to get it settled.  Rich volunteered to look into it.

Chris also pointed out that our copy of the Exemption from Audit that was signed at the last meeting needs to be filed in the office in the Budget file.

He also reported that Leslie is still signing the checks and the Board needs to fill out the paperwork to sign on the account.  Dave moved that all Board members be signers, Rich seconded and all voted aye.  Chris will take a signed copy of the motion to the Vectra Bank on 17th & Pearl to get the process moving.

The question was raised that the current transparency notice needs to be posted on the website.  Donal has the terms from the lawyer, and it can be finished up.

Rich looked into the dry hydrant site in Lefthand.  It seems shallow and would need to be deepened, but Chris says it is the best place to pull a fire truck off.  Rich knows the owners and they are here in the summer.  All thought it would be a desirable thing for the property owners to have a fixed dry hydrant close to them and would hopefully be well received.   It was decided to proceed and talk to the owners.




Donal was pleased to report that the board is meeting with the full complement of 5 members for the first time and it’s important because Chris needs a functioning board.  Rich suggested that if someone is out of town, they could have phone participation if needed.



Chris reports that they have received most of the new SCBAs – they came with medium masks only and some hoses are missing.  Other sized masks and the missing hoses have been ordered.   The masks will be hanging in bags with the bunker gear and 1-2 spares will be in the truck.  They will go into service as soon as possible.  First the firefighters have to watch 2 short movies, take a test (takes only 15-20 minutes) and do training – contact Chris or Donal for info.  The new 60minute bottles (vs. the old 30-min. ones) are a huge advance for the department.

Chris has applied for a VFA grant for new wildland gear.  Our share of the cost will be 50%.  There have been some changes – he used to work with Allen Owen of the CSFS and now it’s the Colo. Dept. of Public Safety.

As of right now Steffi is in the First Responders class and Steffi and Marielle are beginning the Wildland class.

4th of July is coming up and they are always looking for help.

The Red equipment bags are all in the locker room stacked in the back – Chris reminded the firefighters that the floor is for walking on.

Motion to adjourn carried.







Understanding and Preparing for Wildfire

May 12th, 2013

Wildfire, Wildlands, and People: Understanding and Preparing for Wildfire in the Wildland-Urban Interface

Great publication from the USFS about the Wildland Urban Interface (where we live!)  From Luke Finn



Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board meeting, March 21, 2013

April 7th, 2013

Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board meeting, March 21, 2013

Notes by Gretchen Diefenderfer

Next meeting will be Thursday, April 18th, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center.

The meeting was called to order by President Donal Maloney.  Present were board members Donal, Bobby Vrba and Dave Sturtz, and residents Rich Lopez and Gretchen Diefenderfer.

Donal offered a public apology for the missed meetings due to lack of a quorum and encouraged everyone to be aware of the schedule in order to attend whenever possible.

The January minutes were approved as published.

Public Comment Period – Gretchen brought up the new address signs in Sunshine Canyon and suggested that we, the town and/or the fire department, look into getting and installing signs in our district.  Many residences have no visible numbers, which can be a problem, particularly in an emergency response situation.  She volunteered to find out about the county signs and the signs in Sunshine and bring the info back to the next meeting.

Agenda – Donal asked about old business and no one had any.

New Business – On his list, Donal  had the exemption from audit paperwork, the SCBA grant info, and strategic planning.  He also offered an official apology to Rich Lopez for how long it’s taken to get him on the Board.  He, Donal, missed 2 meetings due to what he called the need for spontaneous parenting, plus Rick was called out of town on short notice, and they have been short board members to start with.  He encouraged everyone to make every effort to make the regularly scheduled, 3rd Thursday of the month meetings

As far as appointing new members, the board members have the option to talk to a candidate and vote to appoint the person they decide on.  Recently they have tried to spread out the representation geographically and Rich lives in Lefthand, so that was one consideration.  Dave moved that they appoint Rich Lopez, and Bobby seconded.  Donal asked for discussion and Gretchen said she thinks it’s a great idea.   She served on the Community Foundation Committee after the Fourmile Fire with Rich and he was wonderful.  Donal added that they really need his expertise, having served on several boards.

Donal administered the oath of office, which basically amounts to swearing to support the constitution of the U.S., the State of CO, and to faithfully perform the duties of office, and gave Rich the floor.  Rich reported that since they moved up here 7 years ago, they have met a lot of people.  and “It’s our community”.  Serving on the Wildfire relief fund committee, he learned quite a bit about the fire departments.  And he has spent a lot of time on boards, including the Boulder City Council, the Denver Foundation Board, and the Boulder Community Hospital board.  He plans to learn a lot on this board.

Donal reported that a year and a half ago, the board was chaotic and there were a lot of resignations.  His goal is to establish a functional, stable board and when they come to consensus, he hopes the board members will be able to respectfully disagree and still accept decisions they might not agree with.   In terms of process, the aim is to learn to dot the I’s and cross the T’s.  Rich volunteered that, if people on the board all want what’s best for the organization, decisions should be good decisions.

Donal reported that he wants to see the board make strategic plans for the next year and then the next 2, 5 and maybe 10 years – to make a little more of a written plan/guiding document.  For this year, they plan to install at least 1 dry hydrant in Lefthand, possibly 2.  The priority is to have one near Rowena – the area of densest population.

They are also looking to replace at least one and maybe 2 of the old trucks in the next few years, and to take care of some needed maintenance on the building, including some electrical concerns (replacing Romex with conduit and upgrading boxes).

Rich commented that it would be advisable to take care of immediate needs first.  He suggested that facilitators can help with long term visioning (they helped BCH a lot) and there might be free resources available.

Donal added that the aim is that with planning they will be less reactive.  They also need officer development and succession planning.  He commented that after the 2010 fire he’s not sure he has another one of those in him, and Chris has been Chief for something like 16 years, so he will want to retire at some point, too.

Exemption from Audit – Everyone needs to sign the form and then get it to the Department of Local Governments.

SCBA – They got the $85,000 grant and Gold Hill had to kick in $5,000.  Chris got proposals from 2 or 3 places – Front Range is probably the best.  Per the grant they need to get 13 sets, plus individual masks for each firefighter, voice amplifiers and 60 minute bottles.  They decided the more air the better, especially if they need to go in and rescue people.  They should be delivered within the next 2 months and then everyone will get trained.  Regarding grants, Donal got an email from Kris Gibson – she and Bear are very motivated to write more grants since they got this SCBA one.  Kris might make a presentation at the next Board Meeting.

Another goal is for each board member to oversee a specific area of the department – like grants, building maintenance, etc.  The chief is in charge of operations and the Board is in charge of the infrastructure, budget, etc.

Rich asked about the site characteristics needed for the dry hydrant, which are easy access, in or near Rowena.  In particular, they want to be able to support fighting a potential structure fire in the Rowena area.   Donal will get with Max Yeager to look at ideas.



Gold Hill Fire Board Meeting

January 16th, 2013

The next Fire Board Meeting is Thursday, January 17th, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center.


Fire Board Meeting 12-3-12

December 1st, 2012

Notes  on the Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting, 11-15-12

By Gretchen Diefenderfer

Next meeting, Monday, December 3, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center

Present were board members Donal Maloney, President, Dave Sturtz, Secretary, Rick Geesaman, Chief Chris Finn, and community members Bobbie Vrba and Gretchen Diefenderfer.

Donal announced that they need to appoint a new board member within 60 days of Adriana’s resignation so they will need to meet early in December – they decided on Dec. 3.  They will publish and post notices as required.  The budget has to be in by the 15th, so if anything further needs to be done, they can take care of that, too.  Dave moved they meet on the 3rd, Rick seconded, and it passed.

Chris presented the budget and reported that the big balance of $60,000 in the income section of the budget would be moved from the bank account to the budget to hopefully purchase a new/used fire truck, plus another $5,000 to meet the required match for the SCBA grant.  We are getting there on the age of the trucks and Chris has been looking for another quick attack truck, which would carry enough water and have a 500 gpm pump, to be quick enough and small enough to get into places like Gretchen’s house (!).  We have to budget any money we intend to spend, or we’re not allowed to spend it without submitting a new budget per rules & regs.

Donal brought up the retirement fund and the board expressed interest in beginning to look at what’s required in January 2013. It’s a good deal – the state matches any money we put in.   The new board took charge in May and Donal wants to see it working toward strategic planning for a few years out.

Chris said there is quite a bit of work needed on the barn to think about.  Gretchen brought up that the Town Meeting voted to repaint the floor of the Community Center (which Michael Albes painted in the early 70s and hasn’t been done since), if that’s ok with the board.  The board requested that the GHTM bring a proposal for approval

Donal brought up the idea of a dry hydrant down in Lefthand Creek near Rowena to provide a water supply down there.  The board voted to budget an additional $5,000 from the bank account for this project.

They then went over the amounts in the various categories.  The budget resolution requires 2 signatures.  Chris will print up the amended budget, get the signatures, and submit it to the County Commissioners

He explained that we have 2 mill levies: one is the general operating fund which is subject to Tabor and so ratcheted down with the decreased valuation after the fire, and the other is a special fund which did not.  The CPA works out the exact figures and submits the required budget to the State.

Rick moved that they adopt the budget and it passed 3-0.

With that, the meeting adjourned.


Fire Board notes 11-15-12

December 1st, 2012

Notes  on the Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting, 11-15-12

By Gretchen Diefenderfer

Next meeting, Monday, December 3, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center

Present were board members Donal Maloney, President, Dave Sturtz, Secretary, Rick Geesaman, Chief Chris Finn, and community members Bobbie Vrba and Gretchen Diefenderfer.

Donal announced that they need to appoint a new board member within 60 days of Adriana’s resignation so they will need to meet early in December – they decided on Dec. 3.  They will publish and post notices as required.  The budget has to be in by the 15th, so if anything further needs to be done, they can take care of that, too.  Dave moved they meet on the 3rd, Rick seconded, and it passed.

Chris presented the budget and reported that the big balance of $60,000 in the income section of the budget would be moved from the bank account to the budget to hopefully purchase a new/used fire truck, plus another $5,000 to meet the required match for the SCBA grant.  We are getting there on the age of the trucks and Chris has been looking for another quick attack truck, which would carry enough water and have a 500 gpm pump, to be quick enough and small enough to get into places like Gretchen’s house (!).  We have to budget any money we intend to spend, or we’re not allowed to spend it without submitting a new budget per rules & regs.

Donal brought up the retirement fund and the board expressed interest in beginning to look at what’s required in January 2013. It’s a good deal – the state matches any money we put in.   The new board took charge in May and Donal wants to see it working toward strategic planning for a few years out.

Chris said there is quite a bit of work needed on the barn to think about.  Gretchen brought up that the Town Meeting voted to repaint the floor of the Community Center (which Michael Albes painted in the early 70s and hasn’t been done since), if that’s ok with the board.  The board requested that the GHTM bring a proposal for approval

Donal brought up the idea of a dry hydrant down in Lefthand Creek near Rowena to provide a water supply down there.  The board voted to budget an additional $5,000 from the bank account for this project.

They then went over the amounts in the various categories.  The budget resolution requires 2 signatures.  Chris will print up the amended budget, get the signatures, and submit it to the County Commissioners

He explained that we have 2 mill levies: one is the general operating fund which is subject to Tabor and so ratcheted down with the decreased valuation after the fire, and the other is a special fund which did not.  The CPA works out the exact figures and submits the required budget to the State.

Rick moved that they adopt the budget and it passed 3-0.

With that, the meeting adjourned.


Fire Board Meeting 9-20-2012

October 14th, 2012

Notes on the September 20, 2012 Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board meeting

By Gretchen Diefenderfer.  For the official minutes, contact Dave Sturtz, Secretary,  at


NEXT FIREBOARD MEETING will be Thursday, October 18th, 2010, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center.


The meeting was called to order by President Donal Maloney.  Present were Donal, Dave Sturtz, Rick Geesaman, Chief Chris Finn, and Gretchen Diefenderfer.


Minutes of the last meeting were approved.




Cistern Easement  – is at the attorney’s office per suggestions in the language by Paul Robert’s attorney.


Board Training – They are looking at mid October.  The attorney will look at dates and get back to the board.


Banking – Chris has emailed the info on the account signers and hasn’t heard back from Adriana.  Donal will email her to remind her to get the information to Chris so he can get it to the bank.


Website – Dave has worked some on it (  It has the transparency notice on it although not much else.  He’ll keep plugging away on it.  The site that Adriana registered ( still has some Word Press stuff on it and he has asked her to take it down.




Budget Process – It’s up and coming.  The board will be working on it for the next couple of months.  Chris will give the board spread sheets with their basic income – tax money, grant money and donations, as well as expenses for the last couple of years.  They budget high so if they get additional money so they can spend or save it without going through a re-budgeting process with the State.  He has to get ahold of DOLA.  The tax base went down and because of Tabor, etc., and the State 5% rule, our mill levy, which was 7.499 has been adjusted down to 7.47.  The tax base was ratcheted down because of the fire and once it goes down, it can’t go up without a vote.


Chris puts the basic budget together for the board to work on, but he would like more input from the board.  The building needs a fair amount of work.


Grant – Kris Gibson will get the figures on the SCBA Grant and our required match.


Melodrama – He has heard from Maggie that they will getting donations from the Melodrama performance.


Training – There was a good training last week on pumps and some motivated new trainees.  They really need everyone to show up for at least ½ of the trainings.  Calls are a team effort and it helps to have trained together.


Google Calendar – Dave Sturtz will set up a Google Calendar and put a link on the website to it. Trainings are the 4th Thursday (classroom training in the evening) and the second Saturday  (hands on training in the daytime) of each month.  The email list should also be working now.


Chris added that there will be a change in the training schedule in November – car fire and extrication training will be on Nov. 29th.


They have a new chief in Sunshine – Steve Waltman – he is actually a rocket. scientist.








GHFB Meeting notes from 8-16-12

September 19th, 2012

Notes on the Gold Hill Fire Board Meeting of August 16, 2012 by Gretchen Diefenderfer

Next Fire Board Meeting will be Thursday, September 20, 2012, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center

Before the meeting began, Donal said that emergency preparedness, community welfare and cooperation are important and we’re all in this together, but he has not put Amy and the Safelink on the agenda because of legality and liability concerns.  As soon as those are cleared up, he will put her on the agenda.

Present at the meeting: President Donal Maloney, Treasurer Gary Siemer, Secretary Dave Sturtz, Board members Adriana Galue and Rick Geesaman, Chief Chris Finn, and citizens John Sand, Amy Hardy, Jack Laughlin, Deb Yeager and Gretchen Diefenderfer.

Amy took the citizens comment time at the beginning of the meeting to speak about Safelink, which is a combination of Neighborlink (the phone tree system, etc., we’ve set up in case of emergencies) and Safe House (places up here that evacuated people, especially from other districts, can come up to for shelter, information, and help particularly in floods, but also in any emergency).  She is excited to have this coming together – mountain people would like to stay in the mountains in emergencies.  The Mountain Mayors Group has been working with Mike Chard of the Office of Emergency Management and he has obtained a grant for Gold Hill, Sunshine, and Ward for TuffSheds to hold equipment and supplies for temporary evacuation situations.  All the communities are working to set up cooperative arrangements with their Fire Departments. Given our situation on top of the hill from Fourmile, Sunshine, and Lefthand, there will be people stuck in the mountains.  There are signs posted saying, “Climb to Safety in case of Flash Flood” and that means here.  So we have these TuffSheds and Ham Radio systems (MERN = Mountain Emergency Radio Network) for when the electricity goes, as well as a generator.

We would prefer to work with our Fire Department.  The Safelink organization is under the Gold Hill Town Meeting.  Brett Gibson and the Fourmile FD gave us $200 as seed money for our needs, so we have a separate fund under the GHTM to hold and disburse these funds.

Safelink is not location dependent.  We have 20 local houses volunteered and are working with the GH School as a central location to gather.  This is citizens supporting citizens.  She is asking the FD for help with communication.  It would be great to have a meeting of the Safelink volunteers and the FD to establish a working relationship.  She would like somebody, a seasoned firefighter or Chris, as Chief, to come to 1 or 2 meetings and go over communications, possible scenarios.

Chris interjected that, as a governmental entity, the Fire Department could be legally liable if “affiliated” with Safelink.  For instance, the FD could be construed as having to cover people for workman’s comp.

Hopefully Mike Chard is working on the legalities of all this.

Donal added that when these legalities are worked out with Mike Chard it would be fine for Safelink to make a formal presentation to the Fire Board.  He doesn’t see a viable, supportable option right now.

Much conversation ensued.  John Sand encouraged the Fire Board to say, “Yes, we can work this out.  It’s too important to get lost in bureaucracy.”  Jack also encouraged them to make the fits work within the necessary defined liability limits.

Amy is working to set up a meeting with Mike Chard.  Dave Sturtz offered to be a liaison.  He believes in this stuff, also has a Ham Radio license and would come to a meeting.


Website update – Adriana announced that she decided just today to pull out because there have been too many roadblocks to her reactivating it.  She has not had access to the domain, etc., and only 3 days ago got administrative permission.  She found herself frustrated and burned out and unable to get her creative process together in the face of seeming mistrust and restrictions.  She would rather forego the money at this point.

Donal suggested that the board override the previous decision to pay her for her work.  After some discussion, the new plan is that Chris is in charge of the website and he delegated Dave Sturtz.  Dave will work on it (see  He said he may get stymied and have to hire somebody.  Matt Sturtz has been working to reinstate the email list.  Adriana was told to submit an invoice for her out of pocket expenses which she did 2 months ago and again today.  Gary will go to the bank and get his signing on the account straightened out.

Board Training – Donal will contact the lawyer and get 2 or 3 nights that the he is available to come up here in the next month or so, and then email the board members to see what works.


Chris stated that they need to fix the apron on Bay 3.  He brought it up before, but it was not officially approved by the board.  There is a big old hole they have to drive over.  Donal thought that, if it is in the budget, Chris could just do it.  Chris pointed out that the previous agreement between the board and the chief is that expenditures over $400-$500 need approval of the board.  The new apron will cost $1800.  Dave made a motion that Chris be authorized to get the bay repaired for no more than $2000.  Rick seconded it and it passed.

In September the budgeting process for the next year begins.  Chris puts together the basic budget and brings it to the board.  He will email the old budget out.  The board then officially accepts the budget and then it goes through the legal channels.


 Treasurer’s Role and Responsibilities – they need to get Gary set up and need to get 3-4 signers on the account.  Chris reported that they will need an official motion from the board to take to the bank.  Donal moved that the District accounts at Vectra Bank of CO be changed and the following 4 people be officially designated as signers on the account: William D. Sturtz, Gary Siemer, Richard Geesaman, and Adriana Galue.  Dave seconded and it was approved.  The plan is that Gary will go to the bank on Thursday and find out the process – does everyone need to go or can he bring a signature card up, or what.

Adriana had questions as a new member of the board about their fiduciary responsibilities.  Who signs checks, who keeps the books, etc.?   Chris reported that invoices and bank statements come in, he reviews the invoices and authorizes payment.  Kathleen is the bookkeeper and she cuts the checks and has been bringing them to Leslie to sign since she is still a signer on the account and Gary isn’t.  The bank statements Kathleen reviews and balances.  They have not required double signatures on the checks.  Present signers are Leslie, Dave, and Darrell McConell.  Adriana wanted to know the right process to see and review statements retroactively.  Kathleen has the current ones and old ones are in the files in the firebarn office.  Chris also has access to the new ones online.

Gary, as soon as he is officially a signer, will confer with Kathleen, get the financial statements and give treasurer’s reports to the board.

The meeting adjourned at 8:00.


Notes on the 7-19-12 Gold Hill Fire Board Meeting

August 12th, 2012

Notes on the GH Fire Board Meeting of July 19, 2012 by Gretchen Diefenderfer

Next Board Meeting will be Thursday, August 16, 2012, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center

President Donal Maloney called the meeting to order.  Present were Donal, Rick Geesaman, Treasurer Gary Siemer, Adriana Galue, Secretary Dave Sturtz, Fire Chief Chris Finn as well as citizens Leslie Finn, John Sand, and Gretchen Diefenderfer.


Donal move that the minutes be amended to include the date, and they were approved.


Donal reported that he has met with the department’s lawyer, Dick Lyons, about how the board should operate.  The lawyer offers a class in Effective Board Management, and Donal recommends that they take it, which was positively received.  He’ll check on possible times.


He checked on the terms of the board members, they are correct, and the transparency notice has been updated.  Donal, Dave, and Adriana have 4-year terms from 2-12 to 2-16.  Rick and Gary have 2-year terms from 2012 to 2114.


The minutes have to be open to inspection, available to the public, and copied to anyone requesting them.  Dick Lyons suggested that the secretary sign, scan and then post them as public record.  Presently they are all on drop box and board members can access them.


Regarding DOLA (department of legal affairs) on Special Districts, we have a decree/order of formation, which was filed in State District Court.  Kyna, the lawyer’s paralegal, will get the board a copy for the files.


The cistern agreement has been sent to the lawyer for final approval and should be settled soon.


Regarding Robert’s Rules of Order, the attorney suggested their adoption as a guideline, in order not to be completely restrictive.  Dave moved that they adopt the 2 page summary of Robert’s Rules of Order that Donal handed out at the last meeting  as a guideline for operation of Fire Board Meetings and it passed unanimously.


Regarding public input at the meetings, Dave suggested that it hadn’t seemed to be too much of a problem, and that it would be ok to have a rule to go to if they were getting bogged down.  Donal would like some kind of time frame, which could be extended for any important matter at the president’s discretion.  It was moved that all meetings have a period for public comment of 10 minutes or longer at the president’s discretion. Also, any member of the community can go to any board member and ask to be put on the agenda.  It was suggested that if someone wanted to discuss painting all the fire trucks purple, they probably wouldn’t be put on the agenda.  So there would be 2 options for public input and it was expressed that the board definitely feels that it’s part of their job to respond to the public.


It was clarified that part of the Chief’s responsibilities would be the scheduling of the building and signing the liability agreement.  The Chief would decide if any use should go before the board for approval.  Chris said the town meeting has a standing agreement, so there is no problem there.  There is a copy of the calendar posted at the Community Center and Chris has a copy at home.  Chris didn’t feel he has time to post the calendar on Google as well, and Dave Sturtz volunteered to do this.

The Chief is also to be in charge of the website – he has volunteers to help with this – Matt Sturtz and Steffi Wilson.  Chris said that both Sunshine and Fourmile have firefighters do it.


Donal expressed that the board is working to clarify the duties of the board and the Chief.  The Chief is responsible for the day-to-day running of the department and the board will be clarifying the levels of delegation and accountability over time.  Donal proposed a motion to put both the scheduling of the Fireboard and the administration of the website as part of the Chief’s responsibilities and, with some discussion, this was passed


Chief’s Report –  Chris reports that the dept. got a big thank you from BCARES for the donation of our old radios/packsets, and the repeater downstairs.

The mechanic is coming this weekend or next week to check the trucks.

Boulder County now has new software to track lightening strikes – this will help pinpoint (within 200’) locations in case of smoke reports.  It’s not perfect, but should help.  Chris will print out reports and put them on the desk downstairs.  He notes that Porphry Mountain gets a lot of strikes in our district.

SafeSite – per the last email, OEM is working on getting it to be part of the Town Meeting although Chris thinks there may be liability and workman’s comp issues.  OEM owns the shed with emergency supplies behind the Firebarn, and Chris thinks it is a problem that the Fire Department doesn’t have a key to it.  According to Emily Rose, the Gold Hill School cannot turn down any organization requesting the use of the school.  He hopes for more clarification on these issues before the next board meeting.

We have had lots of smoke reports and Chris encourages people to continue to call them in.  We will always go check


New Business

             Communications – Adriana asked for protocols for improving communications.  She expressed frustration about not getting any response to her questions or requests for input while working on the website.  She sent many emails requesting input as well as an invoice on 6 -26 and received only vague rumors that it is not ok to pay board members for work, except within some restrictions.  Donal replied that they apparently made the decision to pay Adriana for the website work in ignorance of the rules around that and he did not want to reply until he knew more.  Adriana stated that, at this point, it is not about getting paid for her work – she realized that a mistake was made and she is no longer asking for payment, but for improved communication – she requested that her emails and telephone calls be responded to.  In the absence of any response, she confirmed that she did shut down the website.  Donal said that he is still clarifying issues with the lawyer, but that the lawyer did say that Adriana should be paid.  Adriana asked that in the future, she would like to be told where things are and Donal responded that he was trying to be careful but will try to communicate better.


Website – Right now we do not have a website.  Before work on the new one began, the old one was up, but not functional.  Adriana cancelled the hosting because she had paid $179 for this out of pocket and received no response to her invoice.  Kathleen has a copy of her invoice.  The framework for the website is all there, and can be reactivated if the hosting bill is paid.  She is no longer asking to be paid for her work – this has all been too much unnecessary stress – but she does request to be paid for her out of pocket expense for transferring the domain name.

Rick expressed that the board made a verbal contract to pay Adriana and that she should be paid her 24 hours of work at $35.00 per hour plus expenses.  A lot of discussion followed about paying for all or part of the work Adriana did – she stressed that the old website was crashed, she set up the new one, loaded everything and tested the email list, made it possible to send out pictures, etc. to the email list, which had been a problem for Chris, posted the transparency notice and contacts, but is not asking to paid for her time, just to get this over with.  Eventually it was moved and seconded to pay Adriana’s invoice, including her out of pocket expenses – Rick added that it’s the right thing to do.  Adriana said that she’d be more than happy to train whoever wants – it’s easy to use and that’s why she chose WordPress.   Donal said that the lawyer stressed that it is within the legal realm, and Donal felt like they’d all learned lessons.  Adriana will submit a more detailed invoice as requested.  This can be taken out of contract labor. Chris added that, as a taxpayer, he didn’t like it.  Gretchen added that she had visited the website and they did get a great website out of it all.  Adriana said that it might take a week to get it up and running again and she will get with Matt Sturtz. The motion passed.






Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting of June 21, 2012

July 17th, 2012

Notes on the Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting, June 21, 2012

By Gretchen Diefenderfer


Next board meeting is Thursday, July 19, 2012


Present were President Donal Maloney, Treasurer Gary Siemer, Rick Geesaman, Adriana Galue, and Chief Chris Finn as well as visitors, Debra Yeager, John Sand, and Gretchen Diefenderfer.


Donal called roll and Gary agreed to take minutes in Dave Sturtz’s absence.


Donal said that the focus of this first meeting as a new board is organizational.  The Fire conditions are critical – some of the worst this early in the year.  The board’s job is to facilitate the effective and safe response to this in conjunction with the chief.

Last month, the department, in conjunction with Sunshine and AMR, saved a life – the first one in his 10 years -.   He is very proud that past boards have instilled the ability to respond to an emergency of this kind.


Regarding the cistern easement issue, it’s really close to being finalized, per Chris.  Donal hasn’t been able to get in touch with Sue and Paul, but he will.


Minutes of the last meeting were passed around and approved.




Donal reported that all the legal notices, etc., that Dave Steinmann reported were necessary at the last meeting are up to date for the transition to the new board.  The transparency notice has been filed with the state and is up on the website.  It was suggested that it have its own menu tab and Adriana will do that.  Official notices have been submitted to the County Clerk’s office.


Website Update – Adriana reported that she completely redid the website and added links that she got from different rural departments that would be useful to us, posted the transparency notice, contact links, will put up some pictures that Chris will send to her, and re-did the mailing system (the announce list).  She changed the hosting, as the one we had used previously was not secure.  It is easy to move things around on the site.   Chris will be put as the contact for joining the department.  Adriana said that having a website can be very handy, especially in case of a disaster as well as establishing relationships with other departments, etc.

Donal reported that we have to be careful about how we make decisions – there are conditions concerning paying board members.  We need a detailed invoice and should have gotten bids.  Adriana will submit a detailed invoice for 24 hours of work at $35.00 an hour (she also donated more hours of research).  She suggested that they could get a quote from Angela Bowman who set up the Town website and from Boulder Digital Arts for due diligence.  Another cost was for Blue Host to host the site – they are one of the best and cheapest.  She paid for 3 years.




Regarding meeting procedures, Donal suggested that they should be better organized and gave out a 2-page version of Robert’s Rules of Order for consideration.  He asked the board members to look them over and maybe vote on adopting them at the next meeting as well as posting them on the website.  The goal is to effectively and courteously conduct meetings so they don’t fall apart.


As far as provisions for public input, the opinion from the lawyer to Dave Steinmann last fall is that public participation at the board’s business meeting is at the board’s discretion.  It’s the republican form of government where elected officials make the decisions,.  Donal suggested that quarterly at least ½ of the meeting be dedicated to public input.  He suggested that the first one be at the August meeting.  For now he wants to emphasize getting organized.

If people want an issue put on the agenda of a regular board meeting, they should submit it 2-4 weeks before the meeting, and it will be decided if it needs to be put on the agenda.  It wasn’t clear if they would allow the person to talk. The point of contact would be any board member who would then submit it to Donal.  The agenda is not set in stone, but Donal would like to send out the possible agenda to the rest of the board 2 weeks before the meeting, get input from the other board members and then post the agenda the required 24 hours before the meeting.    The Sunshine law says that they cannot have a meeting online – that only 2 people can talk so he suggest they should not reply all.

Rick suggested making the agenda process simpler – Donal can make the decision to put whatever on the agenda.

Donal said again that public participation is not automatically allowed.  He then suggested putting a separate tab on the website for the agenda and any board member can add to it.  Than he will post it 24 hours ahead.  This issue will be Old Business for the next meeting when Dave Sturtz is back.


Board Planning Horizons – One question is which board members have 2 year terms and which have 4 year terms.  No one was sure.  However, Donal said that since they are all going to work together for at least 2 years, he would like to see them put together 2, 4, and 10 year plans & outlooks – to develop strategic plans,

Adriana added that they should look at what can be realistically done to improve the department within the next year.  It has already been suggested that new SCBA and Red Cards for qualified firefighters are needed.


Budget matters – Donal asked how would they be paying for the website as far as the approved budget goes.  For instance, as of May $547 has been spent on legal fees and the budget for the year is $1000.  Chris said that last year the board ok’d the Board President to call the lawyer whenever needed.  Chris reported that the budget was approved by the board in October of 2011, but basically things can be moved around and there is always money in the emergency fund.    Donal said that this a learning curve for all – watching what they spend and how they spend it.  Chris will send out the budget for 2012 to all the board members.  The budget is developed yearly by Chris.  He submits it to the board and after it is ok’d it is submitted to the CPA for the legal accounting that he does.


Donal stated that to formally delineate Board vs. Chief responsibilities, the Chief is responsible for operations. The Board makes the decisions on funding and the Chief carries this out tactically.  Donal wants to clear up the issues around the training room of the fire station and Community Center – the scheduling and use of the building, and who approves the use.  The original agreement approved by the lawyer says specific uses are approved by the board.  Donal would like to change this to the Chief.  According to a 2010 letter from the dept. lawyer, the FPD is liable for the use of the building and should notify the insurance company and check on the general liability insurance.

It was decided that the building is part of operations and the daily scheduling of the building should revert to the Chief. He will get liability waivers signed and post meetings on the calendar in the Community Center.  It was suggested that the calendar could be put on the website, but Chris stated he was not going to go online to post the schedule because of the extra time it would take.  He wanted to emphasize that the GHFPD has precedence over any use of the building.

For the next meeting they will work out the wording of the use agreement, submit it to the lawyer and vote on it at the next meeting.


The last thing Donal wanted to bring up is the Healthy Forest Initiative Memorandum of Understanding.  He wonders if there is a fiscal commitment.  He will ask the lawyer’s opinion.  Kris Gibson would like to be on the agenda to talk about this.  Donal would like a written presentation.  Chris pointed out that this department doesn’t put out money for mitigation work.


Chief’s Report – Chris reported that the third bay concrete apron is erupting and needs to be fixed.  He has calls into several people for bids.  He got a bid from Arturo for $1800 for a 10” thick apron.  He said the board had also been discussing paving the parking lot.  Estimates are that it would cost $8000 for road base recycled asphalt, $21,000 for asphalt, and $27,000 for concrete.  It is required by law that 20% of the budget has to be allocated to the emergency fund.

There is a total Fire Ban – no shooting, no fires.  He requested that if anyone is calling in a smoke report, it would help if they would figure out the direction.  Always call 9-1-1, if there is any question that it might be fire.  The Sheriff has written $500 tickets for illegal fires and the Fire Department puts them out.


Rick has been thinking about our water supply and generic ideas for improving it.  He suggested that the ranch swimming pool, although damaged, could be fixed and also, there was formerly a pond on Gold Run across from Gail’s that he thinks could be an incredibly cheap fix with flexible, thick plastic sheeting.  He also wondered about Chinaman’s ditch, but others thought that it’s allocated by water rights and is also discontinuous.


It was moved to adjourn and the motion passed.


Water Dogs

July 8th, 2012

Forwarded from  Shivaun Finn <> from Emmit Hoyl, Lieutenant with Timberline Fire Department

Your local fire departments are responding to a higher volume of smoke reports lately.  With all the fires burning in the state of Colorado right now, everyone is doing their part to scan the horizon, ready to report the slightest scent of campfire, lightning strike, or sight of what they think to be smoke.

When you make a smoke report, volunteers drop their work, jump in their trucks and head for the smoke.  Your report sets a huge web of action in motion.  A complete, accurate smoke report helps your firefighters protect you.  Here are the five things we need from you when you report smoke:

1)     STUDY:  Watch the smoke plume for more than one minute. Study it, Smoke plumes tend to rise vertically, and have a grayish, darker color than water vapor clouds. They rise continuously from one ground location.

2)     STAY:  where you are! Offer to give the dispatcher your name, phone number, and exact location and please STAY PUT. Be willing to wait for an emergency responder to make contact with you and see what you are seeing.   Please don’t just drive away after making your report.  Dozens of firefighters are on their way to you and they need you to point the smoke out to them.

3)     MONITOR: Continue to watch the plume while waiting for responders. Make note of any changes in the plume characteristics. Is it getting bigger or smaller? Has the color of the smoke changed? Is it emanating from the same location, or does it seem detached and behaving more like a cloud?

4)     GUIDE: If your house is difficult to find, drive out to the entrance of your driveway and guide the firefighters to your vantage to look at the smoke. Tell the dispatcher what kind of car you are in for easy identification.

5)     INVESTIGATE: If you smell smoke, go outside and try to find its origin.  Take note of the wind direction. Smoke and haze from distant fires frequently blows into our area. Distant fire smoke has a different smell than a fire nearby. Try to remember the difference between the strong odor a campfire nearby puts out, and the diffused scent of smoke coming from distant fires.   Distant fire smoke tends to appear as a haze blanketing the landscape, or appears as diffused clouds of smog with no origin from the ground.

The most common misidentification all of us make in this process is confusing water vapor (“water dogs”) with smoke.  Here are some helpful hints:

Vapor clouds tend to occur after rainstorms. They appear suddenly, and rise quickly from the ground, sometimes in a vertical column. Very shortly thereafter they will generally plateau out, and change to a more horizontal cloud, covering a broad area, with no central origin. Water dogs tend to dissipate within five to ten minutes of occurring. They are generated by temperature differences between the air and the ground. They frequently occur in open fields, over lakes, parking lots, or rock outcroppings. These places have a higher ground temperature than the surrounding air.  The moisture in them evaporates and then condenses to make a cloud in the cooler air.   This process can be accelerated when the sun comes out suddenly after a rain or particularly after a hailstorm.

I would like to finish by saying that we firefighters encourage people to ALWAYS error on the side of caution.  If you think you sense the real deal, call it in! Just remember, that your civic duty doesn’t end there, and we still need your help finding the fire.

Emmit Hoyl

Lieutenant with Timberline Fire Department


Notes on the May 17, 2012 GHFPD Board Meeting

June 18th, 2012

Notes on the May 17, 2012 GHFPD Board Meeting by Gretchen Diefenderfer

Next Meeting: Thursday, June 21, 2012, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center

This meeting was mostly about getting officially organized.  Dave Steinmann as the designated election official (DEO) and president of the last board filled everyone in on the protocol for all this.  Present were Dave Steinmann, Dave Sturtz, Donal Maloney, Rick Geesaman, Adriana Galue, Gary Siemer, and town members Leslie Finn, John Sand, Amy Hardy, and Gretchen Diefenderfer.

Dave Steinmann reported that the outgoing chair needed to be appointed as the temporary chair and the old board needed to approve the minutes of the last meeting and conduct any pending old business.  The new chair is officially President of the Special District and Chair of the Fire Board, so they tend to use the terms interchangeably.  Gary Siemer moved that Dave Steinman be appointed temporary chair, Donal seconded, and it passed unanimously.  Then Dave Steinmann moved that the minutes of the last meeting be approved, Gary Siemer seconded, and this was approved unanimously.

Next, Dave Steinman collected all the oaths of office, and the New Board was sworn it.  The Temporary Chair conducts the election for the new chair, who will then conduct elections for the treasurer, and the secretary (who may or may not be a member of the board).  They also need to adopt the seal, and file with the clerk a Corporate Fidelity Bond of not less than $5,000.  They then need to designate a time and place for their regular meetings.  There is a DOLA website with all the rules on Special Districts and Dave Steinmann will send the link to the new board.  and look under Special Districts.

Rick Geesaman nominated Donal as president.  Dave Sturtz seconded.  There was some discussion about the advisability of the assistant chief being the president.  Donal said that the role of assistant chief is operational – he runs a call if the chief is not there, and he doesn’t think it should interfere or be a conflict of interest.  Adriana inquired about what skills are needed and what the duties are.  Dave Steinmann reported that the president needs to attend most meetings, make up the agenda (any board member has the right to put anything on the agenda and members of the public can ask any board member to be added to the agenda).  The president then types it up and posts it 24 hours in advance of the meeting.  The president also needs to interact with the GHTM, with the town and the citizens, be organized, be communicative with the lawyer regarding legal questions, and make sure deadlines are met, including publishing the transparency notice.  Three board members are a quorum, but he suggested that it would be better to have all 5 there if there is anything controversial to be voted on.  He estimated that it probably averages 2-4 hours work per month, besides the meetings.

Dave Sturtz said that, in his mind, it might be better if the president was not an active firefighter, but both Rick and Gary cited the ignorance factor and said they’d take on more responsibility as time goes on.  Dave Sturtz then suggested they elect Donal and maybe have Adriana take over later, maybe in a year.  This was approved unanimously.

Leslie suggested that the board is supposed to officially go by Roberts Rules of Order, which means that all the chair can do is conduct meetings, but Dave Steinmann said that this is not in the State Statute.

Dave Sturtz thanked Dave Steinmann for his years of service and Donal seconded.

Donal, as the new chair, then conducted the election of the secretary and treasurer.  Dave Sturtz moved to nominate himself as secretary and Gary Siemer as treasurer, and this was approved unanimously.

Old Business

Regarding the easement to the cistern, Dave Steinmann will follow up on this.  Sue Kidder and Paul Roberts have sent a draft to the lawyer, Dick Lyons, requesting his review and opinion.  The board voted to pay any legal fees.

Dave Sturtz reported that they are supposed to have hard copies of all the minutes and they have all been printed out.  Leslie has kept the records organized.

The website is up, but can’t be revised or updated and we have to have the new transparency notice posted by June 7.  Adriana suggested WordPress – it’s straightforward, economical, and user friendly – easy to train new people on.   Dave Sturtz said that Matt Sturtz hosts it and will continue for the foreseeable future.  Adriana will talk to Matt directly and get this going.  See

Adriana bills $35.00 per hour, which is economical.

New Business

Donal encouraged the new board to be cooperative and respectful with each other and the chief.  His understanding is that the board decides on strategic issues and the chief applies the budget and is in charge of tactical matters.  He added that when the board votes on something it is the duty of the board members to get on board with the majority position.

The meeting time came up and after some discussion the motion was made to meet at 7:00 p.m. on the 3rd Thursday of the month.  Gary seconded and it passed unanimously.

The agenda and other information are posted in 3 separate places: the firebarn, the Gold Hill Store, and the bulletin board at the Inn.


GHFPD Board Meeting 4-19-12

May 6th, 2012

Gretchen’s notes on the Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting, April 19, 2012.  Official meeting minutes are available by emailing Dave at

Regular Board meetings are the 3rd Thursday of the month and the next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 17, 8:00 p.m. at the Community Center.

This was the last meeting of the present board.  Attending were Dave Steinmann, President, Dave Sturtz, Secretary, Board members Donal Maloney, Rick Geesaman, and Gary Siemer, Chief Chris Finn, plus visitors Deb Yeager and Gretchen Diefenderfer.

Dave Sturtz reported that old business from the last minutes included the easement for the cistern in the subdivision and the Fire Barn Use Agreement, which needs to be signed and returned by the Gold Hill Town Meeting.

Chris Finn questioned the terms for the respective board members posted at the Firebarn.  He was concerned that people appointed for the board members who resigned should now serve the same terms (there are 2 year terms and 4 year terms) as the board members terms they replaced.  Dave Steinmann was the Designated Election Official and stated that with the Elections all the positions are new and the Self Nominating form has a box to check to select the term desired.   (Dave checked with the lawyer the next day and his paralegal confirmed, “The District had 2-2year terms and 3-4 year terms open.  If the board candidates nominated themselves for the terms as you have listed them, then all is fine”.)

Dave Steinmann has provided all the new board members with the Oaths of Office.  They will take office on May 8.

Donal wondered, since most of the board is new, are there written requirements?  Dave Steinmann will get them before May from the State DOLA.


Dave Steinman has given the paperwork for the easements to Sue Kidder and Paul Roberts for the easement to the Fire Department cistern located on their property.  The cistern was installed when the property belonged to the Giffins. Brian was on the Fire Board and no formal easement was ever executed.  Chris is concerned that it is still hanging, but Dave Steinmann said Sue and Paul’s intent is fine.  The FD keeps the cistern full.

David Brigham volunteered in the past to check into a heat sensor/smoke alarm for the barn (he’s in the business), but it hasn’t been able to get to it.  It was suggested that perhaps we should call a service?

Chris brought up that the board needs to appoint a treasurer.  Responsibilities include submitting the budget to the County by December 12 and to the State by the end of January.  Chris submits the budget to the Board and they have 30 days to approve or amend it.  He estimates that it’s a 1-2 hour per month job.  Dave Steinmann pointed out that action items have to be put on the agenda 24 hours before the meeting.  Any board member can put anything on and the President makes up the agenda.  Since this has been previously discussed, Dave Steinmann moved that the board appoint Gary Siemer as Treasurer until May when the new Board takes office and can appoint him or whoever.  Dave Sturtz seconded and it passed.

Donal said that he would like to see the new board break out areas to oversee so Chris can delegate some of his present responsibilities, i.e., one board member could be responsible for overseeing the building and so on.  Dave Sturtz says he wants to continue as secretary.  Dave Steinmann volunteered to be available to help with any projects and will make sure the May 8 elections results are officially recorded at the appropriate agencies.  He pointed out that the present board had found out that if anyone misses 3 consecutive meetings, they automatically vacate their position.  The Board has to formally excuse him/her.  Dave Sturtz suggested that board members make an agreement not to miss 3 meetings in a row.  Also, after May 8th, the board has to update the State and the Transparency notice.  Steinmann will write up these responsibilities for the next President.  The lawyer, Dick Lyons and his paralegal Kyna send out emails regarding deadlines, etc., and the President is empowered to consult with the lawyer when there is a question.

The new sign is up and looks great.

Chris reported that the new shed by the stairs is from the Gold Hill Office of Emergency Preparedness and Amy Hardy, GHTM Chair, has the key – supplies for emergencies  are to come.

Also, Max will be moving the older shed, which is the Sheriffs Department’s, to the West more out of the way.

A bunch of firefighters attended the annual Wildland Firefighter refresher (12 from Gold Hill).  There will be 2 more opportunities to go.

Donal requested that this year’s budget be sent to all the board members.  Chris said the quarterly statement should be ready soon.  Income from the County comes in as people pay their property taxes.  If we need to we can take funds from the Community Foundation funds to make up for decreased revenue post fire.  Trucks are repaired from the emergency fund category.  We have plans to build the brush truck into something more helpful and useful.

Chris reported that United Way paid for a mental health check up post the Fourmile fire.  Joan Sabat of CDR Associates interviewed a selection from the rosters of Fourmile and Gold Hill and the report will be out soon.

Bret and Chris are working on putting together a class for present and future officers – classes, etc.

Chris will send out a list of our trainings again soon.  He will not be at the May  meeting, but will send out any info he has for the board.

Rick announced a benefit fund raiser for the Ranch on Saturday, May 5th at BMOCA: $50 admission, music, auctions, absinth martinis and food.

Chris added that there will be a bike race this summer that will affect us – a good viewing spot will be the end of County 52 and the Peak to Peak, so we need to be prepared for camping, etc., on Federal lands.




Notes on the Gold Hill Fire Board meeting 1-19-12, and notice of the upcoming election and call for nominations

February 15th, 2012

Notes on the Gold Hill Fire Board Meeting on 1-19-12

Present were President Dave Steinmann, new members Gary Siemer and Donal Maloney, as well as Darrell McConnell, who will probably be resigning as they think their house has sold and they will be moving, plus Chief Chris Finn, and visitors Dave Wilson, John Sand, and Gretchen Diefenderfer.  Fire Board Member Dave Sturtz is out of town.  The 2 new members were appointed at the December meeting.

The minutes of the December meeting were approved.

Dave Steinman reported that they have received a letter from the State regarding bond requirements and the elections.   He will send off oaths of office, which the Department lawyer was missing.

No one has volunteered to be the Designated Election Official for the upcoming election.  Dave agreed to do this if he can get some help, as he will not be running for re-election.  Gretchen volunteered to assist.  Election Day is Tuesday, May 5th.  The first step is the call for nominations, which needs to be published in the Daily Camera between Feb. 8 and Feb 23, plus posted at the Firebarn (see attached copy).  Self-nomination and acceptance forms are available from Dave.  The deadline for filing them with the Designated Election Official (Dave) is March 2.  If there are no more nominations for office than needed to fill the positions, no election is necessary.

Regarding the Meeting Space Agreement (the Community Center), Leslie took the Department’s lawyer’s basic form and adapted it for the GHFPD.  The District is liable for any injuries, dangerous conditions, or unreasonable risks associated with the whole building and will need signed waivers from any users of the space.  Dave will ask the Lawyer for the waiver form.  Concern about snow and ice removal was raised and Dave said he’d contact the Sunshine FD and see who does it for them, as arrangements for reliable volunteers haven’t worked out.

Dave mailed out the adopted budget for 2012 to all the board members to get their signatures and will send it to the State.

Chris reported that the grant for the SCBA was turned down.  They are thinking of re-applying for the SCBA and maybe for a new truck.

He also reported that there are some access problems on Rim Road, so be prepared it there is a call.

The United Way has arranged for people in all the Fire Departments involved in the Fourmile Fire to get mental health help and counseling.

Darrell sent an email to Sue Kidder and Paul Roberts, whose property the subdivision cistern is located on, requesting formal permission to use it.  It has never been a problem, the department is responsible for filling it, but we should have formal permission.  Dave will follow up.

They had a good training last weekend and Chris will be sending out the new schedule.  CPR recertification will be the second Sat. in Feb.

Dave Steinmann reported that the barricade gel is not just for protection, but it will smother a fire effectively, too.

Dave Wilson is a technical writer and volunteered to assist with grant writing, and we could ask people from the Fourmile Department as well, because they have gotten quite a few grants.

The formal minutes are available from Dave Sturtz

These notes were taken by Gretchen Diefenderfer.  Following is the formal notice of the upcoming election and call for nominations.



§§ 32-1-804.1; 32-1-804.3, 1-1-104(34), 32-1-905(2), C.R.S.

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, and, particularly, to the electors of the Gold Hill Fire Protection District of Boulder County, Colorado

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that an election will be held on the 8th day of May, 2012, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. At that time, 3 directors will be elected to serve 4-year terms  [and 2 directors will be elected to serve 2-year terms.] Eligible electors of the Gold Hill Fire Protection District interested in serving on the board of directors may obtain a Self-Nomination and Acceptance form from the District Designated Election Official (DEO):

David Steinmann  (Designated Election Official),      20 Rim Road  (DEO Address);

Boulder, CO  (DEO City, State, Zip Code)   303 444-1715 (DEO Telephone)

The Office of the DEO is open on: Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If the DEO determines that a Self-Nomination and Acceptance form is not sufficient, the eligible elector who submitted the form may amend the form once, at any time, prior to 3:00 p.m. on Friday, March 2,, 2012. The deadline to submit a Self-Nomination and Acceptance is close of business on Friday, March 2, 2012 (not less than 67 days before the election). Earlier submittal is encouraged as the deadline will not permit curing an insufficient form. Affidavit of Intent To Be A Write-In-Candidate forms must be submitted to the office of the Designated Election official by the close of business on Monday, March 5, 2012 (the sixty-fourth day before the election).

NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN, an application for an absentee (mail-in) ballot shall be filed with the Designated Election official no later than the close of business on Friday, May 4, 2012, except that, if the applicant wishes to receive the mail-in ballot by mail, the application shall be filed no later than the close of business on Tuesday, May 1, 2012.


Gold Hill Fire Protection  DISTRICT

David Steinmann, DEO




Gold Hill Fire Department

January 10th, 2012


Report on the Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting, 10/20/11

October 28th, 2011

Report on the Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board Meeting, 10/20/11

By Gretchen Diefenderfer

Fire Board meetings are the third Thursday of the Month.  Next Meeting is November 17, 2011, 8:00 p.m at the Community Center

The meeting was called to order by general consensus.  Attending were Dave Sturtz, Leslie Finn, Darrell McConnell, Chief Chris Finn and guests Amy Hardy and Gretchen Diefenderfer.

Minutes of the last meeting were approved.  Gretchen asked again to be copied on the minutes.

Amy announced that there is a Community Meeting in Sunshine on Monday night to discuss Ballot Issue 5C.  Chris reports that all the fire districts are against it.

Old Business

 Darrell reported that he did call Kris Gibson and Bear Carlson about writing more grant proposals and both are willing to do more.  They did not discuss pay, but Kris would like a list of what the department is looking for.  She said it was a lot of work (although now they will be able to cut and past into new proposals), but it’s more work trying to find available grants. Chris reported that, hopefully, through the Rountable, the yearly State Forest Service Grants and the yearly AFG (Assistance to Firefighters, which is basically Homeland Security) we will be able to fund a lot of our needs.  On our list now are wildland firefighting gear and a paved apron in front of the firebarn.

Dave Sturtz reported that he went to the last Town Meeting and they are willing to entertain a grant but would like a proposal from the Fire Department.

 Chris pointed out the new sign for the Firebarn, which looks great.

BCARES (the Ham Radio people) are putting in a station at our Firebarn for emergencies.  They’ve put up an antenna, which is a repeater for the Mountain Emergency Radio Network (MERN) and are looking for a grant, maybe from United Way, for a propane powered generator in case the power is down.  The plan is to build a little shed right outside the barn for it.  Dave Sturtz volunteered his 8-10 20# propane bottles in an emergency.

Gretchen reported that she went to the Town Meeting and reiterated that the decrease in property taxes due to the fire will impact the Fire Department’s yearly budget/income to the tune of around $14,000 less in the first year.  She recommended that people consider donating to the Fire Department the difference between the old amount of the mill levy allocated for fire protection and the amount that will appear on next year’s property taxes.  We’ll still save a lot more than that on the rest of the tax bill, so it seems like a good thing to do. The people at the Town Meeting seemed receptive to the idea.

New Business

 Chris passed around an email from Mike Tombolato, Chief of Rocky Mtn. Fire, advising voting no on Ballot Issue 5C.  Chris agrees and suggested we send out essentially the same letter to our district.  He felt that there are too many unanswered questions, that it sounds like another layer on top of what the Fire Districts already have in place.  Leslie moved that the GHFPD copy this letter with GHFPD changes and send it out to the people of our District.  Dave Sturtz seconded and it passed.

Leslie presented the Community Use of the Gold Hill Fire Protection District Facility agreement that their lawyer has recommended they put together. Their lawyer sent them an agreement used by the schools and recommended they adapt it for the FPD.  All the board members have read and approved it.  Darrell moved that they adopt this agreement.  Dave Sturtz asked if Amy or I had any input.  I replied that I had requested that the Town Council be included in the discussion of this agreement regarding the use of the Community Center.  This resulted in a discussion between Amy and me, as members of the Town Council, and the Fire Board members present.  I said that, since the entire town built this building with the intention that the upstairs would be the Community Center and the downstairs the Fire Department, that the Town should be in on putting together the agreement.  Leslie disagreed and said that the Fire Department owns the whole building, is legally responsible for it, and the Town does not get a say.  She stated emphatically that the fire department does not have a problem with the Town Meeting.  She understands that there were objections to the walling off of the 8+ feet for the locker room, as expressed at the town meeting she attended and subsequently, but they had been discussing this for more than 2 years and it was the best, cheapest solution.  Amy replied that she came to this meeting to help improve communications between the town and the fire department, so that the town knows more about what’s happening with the department. The motion to adopt the agreement was seconded and passed.

Dave Sturtz then made a separate motion that, pursuant to adopting the Community Use of the GHFPD Facility agreement, the Fire Board grants the GHTM permission to use the building for meetings with any charges waived.  Leslie seconded and it passed.

Chris reported that they are revising their training procedure – bringing more of it back home.  Half of the trainings will be with the 3 departments and half in Gold Hill doing our own training on our trucks and extrication gear, etc.

Amy inquired about how to obtain Red Cards for firefighters who have fulfilled the qualifications so that they can participate in controlled burns, etc.  Chris replied that it would require a lot of time to fill out paperwork on the computer and our firefighters can go to Brett Gibson or Eric Bader who have already done the paperwork and can do it for them.

Chris reported that the AirVac system to suck out diesel fumes when the trucks are running is now installed in the Firebarn.  It turns on automatically when anyone opens the big doors, so don’t be surprised at the sound.

Chris passed out the Proposed GHFPD 2012 Budget.  They will advertise in the Camera that the budget has been submitted to the Board, it will be revisited at the November 17th Fire Board Meeting and there will be a special form to fill our to adopt it and submit it to the State.