Published August 2011 - Administration Home - El Paso County

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Published August 2011 - Administration Home - El Paso County

Published August 2011


County Administration

El Paso County Commissioners

Amy Lathen, Chair

District 2

719.520.6412

amylathen@elpasoco.com

Sallie Clark, Vice Chair

District 3

719.520.6413

sallieclark@elpasoco.com

Dennis Hisey

District 4

719.520.6414

dennishisey@elpasoco.com

Darryl Glenn

District 1

719.520.6411

darrylglenn@elpasoco.com

Peggy Littleton

District 5

719.520.6415

peggylittleton@elpasoco.com

El Paso County Administration

Jeff Greene

County Administrator

719.520.6417

jeffgreene@elpasoco.com

Monnie Gore

Deputy Administrator

719.520.6900

monniegore@elpasoco.com

1


About El Paso County

2010 El Paso County Administration Annual Report

El Paso County encompasses some 2,158 square miles (more than twice the

size of Rhode Island). The County is bordered on the north by Douglas and

Elbert counties, on the west by Teller and Fremont counties, on the south by

Pueblo county and on the east by Elbert and Lincoln counties. The western

portion of El Paso County is prominently framed by the Rocky Mountains,

while the eastern portion is largely prairie land, where ranching and agriculture

are prominent trades.

Our County is the proud home of five military installations representing both

Army and Air Force branches, in addition to dozens of scenic parks and trails,

and a variety of historic, tourist attractions—including Cave of the Winds,

Old Colorado City and Seven Falls.

Established in 1861, El Paso County will be celebrating its sesquicentennial

(150 years) during the 2011 calendar year. With altitudes ranging from the

14,115-foot summit of Pikes Peak and 5,052-foot valley at Chico Creek along

the south central border, El Paso County is the most populous in all of

Colorado and nationally noted for its postcard scenery, diversity and

many opportunities.

El Paso County Commissioners District Boundaries

El Paso County Mission:

Our mission is to

provide excellent

services that are valued

by our residents,

delivered in the most

cost-effective manner

by a dedicated and

productive workforce,

resulting in a financially

sustainable government.

El Paso County Goals:

1. Maintain financially

sustainable, fiscally

responsible county

government.

2. Increase public

understanding, trust

and confidence in

county government.

3. Improve county

transportation,

buildings, facilities,

infrastructure and

technology.

4. Assure a safe and

secure community.

5. Strengthen the local

economy and tax base.

6. Make El Paso County

a better place to live.

7. Support a healthy

community.

2


Letter From the Chair

Historians view the decisions we make, the accomplishments we

celebrate and the losses we suffer through the prism of time. It‘s

their job to decide if any of these are truly ―history-making‖ events.

But there is no doubt in my mind that 2010 was a year of

noteworthy milestones in El Paso County.

“There is no

doubt in my

mind that

2010 was a

year of

noteworthy

milestones

in El

Paso County.”


Commissioner Chair

Amy Lathen

Noteworthy accomplishments in transportation include completion

of the El Paso County-PPRTA improvements on south Academy

Boulevard. For the first time ever, traffic leaving Fort Carson‘s B

Street Gate can now go west to Highway 115 and traffic in and out

of Pikes Peak Community College is smoother and safer. In 2010, El Paso County Public

Services was also able to take advantage of favorable contracting conditions to work on

a serious backlog of needed maintenance and rebuilding of long neglected county roads.

El Paso County Parks added more than a thousand acres of new open space and trails at

no cost to local taxpayers through the creative use of conservation easements,

collaboration with the non-profit Palmer Land Trust and donations from property owners.

County parks also acquired, for the symbolic sum of ten dollars, the historic Rainbow

Falls area and began collaborative efforts with interested volunteers to restore the natural

beauty of this area for the benefit of all citizens. There was record attendance for the

2010 El Paso County Fair and El Paso County Parks won prestigious recognition from

the Colorado Lottery for its effective and efficient use of Lottery funds dedicated to

parks and recreation.

The Career Building Academy moved from concept and plan to hammer and nails in

2010. This is an innovative collaboration of the El Paso County Housing Authority,

local builders and building supply retailers, and Harrison School District 2. At-risk high

school students are given valuable construction trade training as they build new homes

from the ground up. The program pays for itself when the homes are sold.

Our Department of Human Services served record numbers of clients in 2010 through

innovative programs designed to move families to self sufficiency. Through

collaboration with non-profits and the contributions of volunteers, El Paso County

DHS handles a greater number of child abuse cases but receives only a fraction of the

state funding provided to Denver County.

This report gives you more information on these and many more accomplishment in

2010. But we‘ll have to wait to recognize the long-term benefits of what future historians

may consider the most noteworthy of 2010. This was the year that El Paso County

initiated a series of strategic moves designed to meet our critical and urgent facilities

needs. It will be 2012 before the dust settles on these moves, which include the

consolidation and relocation of many county offices. But I believe that when viewed

through the prism of time, the 2010 decision to make these moves, divest ourselves of

the county‘s most troublesome and inefficient buildings, and take advantage of

once-in-a-lifetime market conditions — at no additional cost to taxpayers and with no

reduction in services — will be viewed as a very important milestone, if not a

historic event.

Sincerely,

Amy Lathen

El Paso County Commissioner Chair

3


2010 El Paso County Administration Annual Report

Letter From the County Administrator

The realignment and consolidation of El Paso County Departments and Divisions that began with

the severe budget reductions of 2008 continued in 2010 when the Board of County Commissioners

consolidated the administration of the Department of Human Services under County Administration.

This organizational change gives us the opportunity to utilize and maximize the equipment and

personnel resources available through County Information Technology, Budget and Finance,

Facilities, Support Services and Public Information to improve operating efficiencies and provide

greater fiscal control.

Conservative revenue projections, continued under spending by our elected officials and County offices,

and effective fiscal oversight by the Board of County Commissioners were recognized by the bond rating agencies

in 2010. Our high bond rating, in turn, resulted in very favorable interest rates for El Paso County‘s purchase of the

Citizens‘ Service Center, repurposing older county buildings and improving the energy efficiency of most

county facilities.

Together, the ―strategic moves‖ listed above were initiated in 2010 to address the backlog of facilities needs that

had grown to total more than $300 million and resulted in catastrophic mechanical failures in some of our oldest and

least functional buildings. At the direction of the Board of County Commissioners, Deputy County Administrator

Monnie Gore assembled a team of local real estate professionals, mechanical contractors and commercial builders

to review our existing facilities, research currently available commercial properties and develop options. As the

team completed its assessment, a series of public meetings were held and presentations were made to a variety of

stakeholder groups. With broad support from groups throughout the community, the Commissioners made the

decision to move forward with a plan that will consolidate customer services functions in an efficient, one-stop

center that will serve the citizens of El Paso County for decades to come.

As you flip through the pages of this report, please bear in mind that these are just some of the highlights from

County Administration in 2010. This report does not include the programs and services provided by the Countywide

Elected offices. Our Sheriff, Coroner, District Attorney, Appraiser, Clerk and Recorder and Treasurer are

independent elected offices established by statute. The Board of County Commissioners and County Administration

have the duty and privilege of supporting these elected offices and providing resources for them to carry out their

statutory obligations. The County is also required by statute to provide facilities for the courts, support for public

health, oversight of the Pikes Peak Workforce Center, operations of the Department of Human Services and to a

wide variety of other services and functions as an agent of the state and federal government.

If you would like to learn more about El Paso County government, I would encourage you to visit our County

website at www.elpasoco.com or call our administrative offices at 520-PASO for information about upcoming

activities and events, along with a host of volunteer opportunities through our many citizen-based boards

and commissions.

Kind Regards,

Jeff Greene

El Paso County Administrator

4


By the N

County sales ta

have been inco

the past severa

2010 were low

2005 revenues

2010 Budget

*Budgeted sales tax figure.

*Budgeted property tax figure.

*

► Although prop

revenues have

increased over

years, future re

expected to de

10% annually b

current proper

► Approximately

County’s annu

generated by S

Property taxes.

► More than 60%

County’s unres

General Fund

Public Safety.

*2010 Budgeted Tax Revenues.

5


Information

2010 El Paso County Administration Annual Report

umbers:

x revenues

nsistent over

l years and in

er than

.

erty tax

gradually

the past 5

venues are

cline by about

ased on

ty valuations.

45% of the

al revenue is

ales/Use and

2010 County Revenue Sources

Total Approved Budget: $242.2 Million

of the

tricted

is focused on

6


2010 10-County

El Paso County

has the lowest

property taxes

per-capita in

the entire state.

Our county

also has the

lowest

combined sales

and property

taxes per capita

of the 10

largest

Counties

in Colorado.

(Sales/Use and Property Taxes)

7


Comparisons

2010 El Paso County Administration Annual Report

El Paso County

is the largest

populated

county in

Colorado and

serves more

citizens percapita

than all

other large

Counties

statewide.

8


2010 Department of Human

In 2010, El

Paso County

received far

more calls to

our child abuse

and neglect

hotline than

any other

county in the

state. The

number of calls

greatly

increases the

workload for

caseworkers.

9


2010 El Paso County Administration Annual Report

Services Information

(Millions)

According to a

report from the

Director of the

State Food

and Nutrition

programs, every

$5 in food

assistance

equals $9.20 in

total community

spending —

translating to

over $183

million in 2010

for El

Paso County.

10


2010 El Paso County

M aintain financially sustainable, fiscally responsible

County Government ...

Community Services

► The Environmental Division increased the Solid Waste Disposal Site and

Facility Users‘ Fund service charges and adopted a new methodology for

submitting waste by weight and/or cubic yards – providing additional

funding for landfill diversion in El Paso County and resulting in a more

accurate and precise measurement tool, which mirrors the State of

Colorado‘s reporting process.

► The Recreation and Cultural Services Division generated $450,000

through programs, donations, sponsorships, grants and in-kind donations.

In 2010, the County Fair was honored with a National Association of

Counties (NACo) Achievement Award for its exemplary financial

sustainability model.

► In August 2010, the Community Services Department partnered with the

Trails and Open Space Coalition (TOSC) to sponsor a special event at the

Bear Creek Nature Center, which raised $18,000 to support the long-term

financial sustainability of County parks and nature centers.

► The El Paso County Fairgrounds Corporation was established to manage

the County‘s liquor license at the Fairgrounds. The Corporation provided

$30,000 for ongoing Fairground programs and facility improvements from

2010 operation proceeds.

► In 2010, El Paso County submitted approximately $2.2 million in grant

applications and was awarded approximately $1.2 million in grant funding.

Several high-dollar grants included one from Great Outdoors Colorado in

partnership with Rural Colorado Community Development, Inc. –

earmarked for a family aquatic center in Calhan – in addition to grants

dedicated to Court security and improvements at Bear Creek Dog Park.

El Paso County’s per-capita funding for

park operations is $0.95 compared to a

$7.33 average per capita for other Front

Range counties.

119


2010 El Paso County Administration Annual Report

Goals and Achievements

Human Services

► During 2010, the Department of Human Services operated within its funding

allocations without increasing staffing levels, despite record-setting demands for

DHS programs and services. 2010 service accomplishments included nearly 60,000

residents receiving Food Assistance, over 63,000 residents receiving Medicaid and

over 4,600 new economic assistance applications processed monthly.

► The Department of Human Services was more fully integrated into County

Administration. The DHS Director now reports directly to the County

Administrator; DHS financial and budget functions were merged with County

Budget Administration; DHS IT functions were transitioned to County IT;

and DHS Human Resources functions will be integrated with County EBMS

in early 2011.

► DHS increased allocation funding for its major programs through active

participation on state allocation sub-committees. Through the efforts of County

Commissioners and DHS staff, Child Welfare allocations are expected to increase

as of July 2011. The TANF allocation committee is recommending a new model

to be adopted for SFY 2011, which will likely result in the County‘s allocation

remaining whole or slightly increased.

Development Services

► The Development Services Department (DSD) updated its Cost of

Service study to match implemented processes and revised the

application fee schedule accordingly.

► DSD developed and implemented a Board of County

Commissioners-approved subdivision phasing process to preserve the

rights of previously approved but unrecorded subdivision plats.

Public Services

► The Public Services Department completed the first year of a Facility Maintenance

Agreement with the City of Colorado Springs, which resulted in substantial

savings to City taxpayers and more efficient use of specialized manpower and

equipment. Under the agreement, the Facilities division used 14 city-funded

technicians to provide a full range of operations and maintenance services for 132

city buildings. This service has been extended and expanded for 2011.

► Public Services was reorganized to ensure a more sustainable model by

consolidating the Transportation, Fleet Services, Facilities Management,

Security and Parking Services, and Contracts and Procurement divisions. The

restructured department realized significant efficiencies and cost savings by

consolidating and cross-utilizing professional, administrative and technical

positions to meet diverse responsibilities, including a 12% increase in completed

transportation projects.

El Paso County’s per-

capita funding for

the Department of

Human Services is

$95 compared to a

$111 average per

capita for other Front

Range counties.

1210


2010 El Paso County

M aintain financially sustainable, fiscally responsible

County Government ...

Budget Administration

► Budget Administration successfully completed seven audits on Use Tax

collections using a new use tax collection system, which identified areas

of lost revenue to El Paso County and underscored opportunities for

process improvements.

► The Budget Division presented a five-year financial forecast, including a

detailed analysis of current revenue streams and anticipated impacts of

changes in Sales and Use Tax and Property Tax collections. This analysis

provided the Board of County Commissioners and citizens with a better

understanding of the County‘s current and projected financial position.

► Budget Administration worked closely with the executive team to advance

the County‘s Strategic Moves Project and assisted with the identification of

a facility to purchase and the re-purposing of several other County facilities.

The Budget group helped navigate the complexities of the various funding

mechanisms available to El Paso County to ensure the most cost effective

solution to funding the Strategic Moves Project. Through this effort, the

County is addressing $189 million of the $385 million in existing critical

capital needs at a cost of approximately $50 million.

► The Finance Division increased P-card usage by 300% from $2.6 million in

2009 to $10.3 million in 2010, resulting in anticipated rebates totaling

approximately $150,000.

► Budget Administration provided significant assistance for upgrading the JD

Edwards Financial Software, which was successfully completed in

September 2010. Concurrently, the Warrant Reconciliation Project was

completed and integrated into JD Edwards.

► During 2010, DHS finance and budget functions were successfully merged

with Budget Administration. As a result, certain management positions were

eliminated, allowing for the shifting of resources to critical functions, such

as DHS Audit Response, which needed additional support.

► The Budget Division initiated quarterly budget meetings with all

departments and elected offices to provide high-level assessments of their

financial position. Working together, the Budget team and department/office

leaders identified ways to optimize the use of restricted funds to maintain

operational needs of the County.

13

9


2010 El Paso County Administration Annual Report

Goals and Achievements

Support Services

► The Benefits Division conducted and completed an

ambitious ‗Request for Proposal‘ process resulting in the

selection of different vendors to provide medical plan

administration, claims processing and stop-loss coverage –

previously maintained by one vendor. These efforts

reduced the fixed cost for the County‘s medical plan by

$811,000 and will better align the benefits plan with the

wellness program moving forward.

► The Benefits Division completed a ‗Request for Proposal‘

process for the 2011 dental plan, resulting in future

savings of over 19% and significant improvements

in services.

► The Benefits Division expanded its partnership with the

Penrose Health System from designated hospital services

to full access to the health care system, thus positioning

our medical plan for a larger pricing discount on all

services. The expansion included the development of closer

partnership between the County Employee Health Centers‘

medical doctors and the Penrose Health Care System, which

will yield a greater level of services for our plan members by

improving the coordination of care.

► 'Reach Your Peak' (RYP) expanded from a wellness initiative to

a fully integrated health management program, which remains

clinic-centric. The expanded RYP program is designed to discover

and mitigate health plan risk through early detection and

treatment. The RYP program focuses on preventative health

screenings, follow-up consultations, vaccinations, referrals for

diagnostic testing and informational health programs addressing

high-risk health issues. Participation in RYP increased from 650

individuals in 2009 to over 900 enrollees for 2010.

► The Community Corrections Division initiated an electronic

file distribution system to reduce staff time and significantly

reduce postage costs.

1410


2010 El Paso County

I ncrease public understanding, trust and confidence in

County Government ...

Community Services

► The Community Services Department updated the County‘s Conservation

Easement Policy and Procedures, allowing for more accurate and substantive

details regarding the rights and responsibilities of landowners and easement

holders. This documentation sets equitable and lawful standards for all

parties involved, and was instrumental in El Paso County achieving

certification from the State of Colorado Division of Real Estate, which grants

the County permission to continue accepting conservation easements.

► Community Services completed a variety of collaborative projects with local

businesses and corporations that have built trust and confidence in County

government. These partnerships included: The Independent, Heuberger

Motors, Mountain View Electric, Outlaw Bait & Tackle, REI, Boeing and

Pepsi. Additionally, El Paso County Parks partnered with numerous

other government agencies and non-profits – including Rock Ledge

Ranch, Cities and Towns associated with the County Fair, Air Force

Academy, Fort Carson, Trails and Open Space Coalition, Colorado

Springs Philharmonic and the Colorado Literacy Center.

► The Veterans Services Office facilitated nearly 1,900 Veterans benefits

claims and conducted outreach presentations for over 3,500 eligible

veterans and their families to provide information about available

veterans‘ benefits and explain services provided by the County office.

► The County received a Starburst Award – recognizing outstanding use of

dollars reserved for parks and open space development – from the Colorado

Lottery for the development of the Stratmoor Valley Community Park.

Human Services

► During 2010, the Human Services Department distributed 36 news releases/

media advisories informing the public of DHS services. The majority of the

news releases resulted in stories in weekly newspapers and several

appeared in the Gazette, Independent and on television and radio stations in

El Paso County. Eight informational videos also were created and posted on

YouTube to promote programs at the Department of Human Services; they

have been viewed online over 3,000 times. The DHS website was revamped

for easier navigation – including dedicated sections for news releases,

informational videos, event photos, fact sheets and annual reports. An

adoption page also was added to the website with information about children

that are currently available for adoption.

15


2010 El Paso County Administration Annual Report

Goals and Achievements

Human Services (Cont.)

► The Board of County Commissioners approved and appointed a

nine-member Department of Human Services Advisory Commission.

The Commission meets monthly to review DHS programs, funding

and staffing, and makes recommendations to the BoCC from a

community perspective.

► As directed by the Board of County Commissioners, DHS actively

participated in the statewide, multi-county effort to combat a statebased

Human Services system versus the current model, which

provides for local control. Collaborations also continued between

counties, Colorado Counties Incorporated (CCI) and the Colorado

Human Services Director‘s Association (CHSDA) with the goal of

educating community stakeholders about the benefits of a

county-managed, Human Services delivery system. These efforts

resulted in the Governor‘s advisory committee voting to oppose

any statewide call center or centralization of human services. CCI

recently appointed a new Steering committee to continue

strengthening our county-wide system.

Development Services

► Through a permitting process, the Development Services

Department created and implemented revised zoning

regulations regarding medical marijuana facilities in

response to identified legislative changes.

► Development Services improved and restructured its website,

allowing the public, developers and consultants easier access

to information and department forms.

Public Services

► The Public Services Department analyzed the feasibility and

cost-effectiveness of outsourcing the management of County

parking operations. After comparing a private sector quote

with existing operations, internal staffing changes were approved to

retain parking operations in-house with a projected annual savings

of $35,000.

1610


2010 El Paso County

I ncrease public understanding, trust and confidence in

County Government ...

Budget Administration

► The County‘s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report received a clean

audit opinion and was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for

Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers

Association. The County has received this award from 1990-1999, and

2005 to present.

► The Public Information Division launched a County website hosted on

YouTube, which includes dozens of timely, informational videos

highlighting County programs, services and initiatives – including DHS

programs, the County Fair, Snowplow and Road Maintenance, Sustainable

Facilities and Strategic Moves Initiatives, H1N1 County Outreach/Response,

Emergency Services Planning and Response, Fire Mitigation and Hazardous

Materials Disposal.

► Public Information enhanced the County‘s transparency to the public by

establishing procedures to streamline and accelerate responses to Open

Records Requests – responding to more than 150 CORA requests in 2010.

► The Public Information Office assumed the management of the County‘s

audio-video operations during public meetings to assure consistent quality

of ―broadcasts‖ and recordings.

► Through the efforts of the Public Information Division, communications and

participation with the Citizen Outreach Group (COG) were enhanced –

including COG‘s participation in the County Fair, Citizens‘ College and

Volunteer Appreciation events.

► The Public Information Division provided timely and compelling media

relations and public meeting support dedicated to the County‘s Strategic

Moves Project – including nearly 1,000 reporter requests for information,

approximately 100 media releases and various forms of public meeting

support, which notably increased public awareness of the County‘s existing,

outdated and inoperable facilities, resulting in broad based community

support for the strategic moved initiative approved by the Board of County

Commissioners to provide cost-effective solutions to critical facilities needs.

► Public Information Officer Dave Rose received special recognition for

Leadership in the Public Sector from the Chamber of Commerce –

presented to Mr. Rose for his active role in promoting community

partnerships and building public trust. 17

11


2010 El Paso County Administration Annual Report

Goals and Achievements

Support Services

► The Community Corrections Division hosted the Colorado

Association of Community Corrections quarterly board meeting

in November 2010.

► Information Technologies provided ongoing support to County

departments/divisions to better utilize technology in order to

increase and enhance public awareness and online services via the

County website.

County Administration

El Paso County Administration initiated the development of an

annual Strategic Action Plan to establish objectives that will assist

the County in meeting its overarching mission and related goals.

This plan will tangibly demonstrate to County leadership and the

public at-large how County Administration is both planning for

and executing strategic, cost-effective services valued by our

citizens. In addition, the plan will promote collaboration among

the County‘s Administrative departments to achieve shared

objectives and encourage proactive management. County

Administration will, likewise, prepare an annual report to

document progress on the agreed upon objectives.

County Administration received seven achievement awards

at the 2010 National Association of Counties (NACo)

Conference. The awards included: Training and

Employment Connection for County Residents (Information

Technologies Division); Child Welfare Military Project

(Department of Human Services); County Fair

Sustainability (Recreation and Cultural Services Division);

“Operation Medicine Round-up”: Household Medication

Disposal Program (Environmental Services Division);

Prescription Discount Card Program (El Paso County

Administration); Proactive Maintenance Program (Fleet

Management Division); and Teen Self-Sufficiency Program

(Department of Human Services).

18 10


2010 El Paso County

I mprove County transportation, buildings, facilities,

infrastructure and technology ...

Community Services

► The Community Services Department added approximately 5,200

square feet to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility, which

doubled the size of the facility. The additional space will address a

significant increase in customer participation, improve and expand

customer service, accommodate additional programs, increase landfill

diversion rates and enhance environmental education efforts. This

facility expansion was funded by Solid Waste Disposal Site and

Facility Users‘ funds.

► The Park Operations Division upgraded the trail system at the Black

Forest Section 16. This project improved the drainage of the trail

system by installing culverts and new surfacing materials to enhance

the usability for park trail patrons.

► The Planning and Park Operations divisions initiated development of a

Master Plan for Black Forest Regional Park. Under a Park Lands

Agreement with the Cathedral Pines developer, the County secured

ownership of an additional 145 acres of park land. The Master Plan

establishes parameters for public access and use of the park land,

addresses the allocation of improvement funds and establishes

management and maintenance requirements for the park land and

associated facilities. A Forestry and Noxious Weeds Management Plan

was also developed.

El Paso County secured ownership of the Rainbow Falls property near

Manitou Springs through a dedication by the Mansfield Development

Company. A coalition of stakeholders worked collaboratively on

clean-up, restoration and development of a Master Plan. The Master Plan

will be completed in early 2011. A grant from Great Outdoors Colorado

has been obtained to fund improvements – including access, parking and

trails, and park amenities.

► Community Services staff collaborated with Colorado Springs Utilities

(CSU) and numerous stakeholders to develop a section of the Ute Pass

Trail from Manitou Springs to Cascade. A conceptual trail plan was completed

in 2010 as part of CSU‘s Plan for Recreational Uses on Municipal

Watershed Lands. The County submitted a grant application to Colorado

State Parks to assist with the construction of the trail, and a final award is

anticipated in the second quarter of 2011.

19


2010 El Paso County Administration Annual Report

Goals and Achievements

Community Services (Cont.)

► Community Services received a $197,720 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado to

fund Bear Creek Dog Park improvements. These improvements include parking

area upgrades, trail improvements, a permanent restroom and stream bank

restoration – all slated for completion in 2011.

► The Community Services Department secured ownership of 1,067 acres of open

space from the Sanctuary in the Pines Development dedicated for a regional park

under an amended Park Lands Agreement. A Great Outdoors Colorado grant was

obtained to help fund the master planning process. A Master Plan Committee,

appointed by the Park Advisory Board, served as a sounding board on issues

and alternatives. The Palmer Land Trust, which holds a conservation easement on

1,040 acres of the property, actively participated in the planning process. The

Pineries Open Space Master Plan was completed and approved by the Board of

County Commissioners on December 21, 2010.

► The Veterans Affairs Office increased service efficiency and productivity by

utilizing computer-based programs for processing, tracking and storing veterans‘

applications. This measure has resulted in an 83% increase in applications from

2008 to 2010 without a significant increase in staffing. VA staff dedicated

considerable time and effort to learning the computer-based application process.

As a result, the entire staff has gained accreditation by both the Colorado Division

of Veteran Affairs and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

El Paso County partnered with Colorado Open Lands to secure approximately

2,150 acres of conservation easements along Fountain Creek in southern El Paso

County, in addition to three conservation easements totaling 142 acres in northern

El Paso County.

Human Services

► The Department of Human Services integrated its Information Technology

functions into the County IT infrastructure, resulting in improved data access

and report management, and enhanced

technology for staff. This systems

improvement also provided an

opportunity to partner on a State grant

to acquire mini-laptops for child

protection caseworkers.

14

20


2010 El Paso County

I mprove County transportation, buildings, facilities,

infrastructure and technology ...

Public Services

► The Public Services Department completed approximately $5.2 million of

road rehabilitation and maintenance projects funded by the PPRTA

Maintenance Program. Improvements included: Thirty-nine miles of paving

overlay for segments of Calhan Highway South and Peyton Highway

(contract labor); 34 miles of chip seal; and 24 miles of re-graveling

(completed by County staff).

► Public Services continued its successful fulfillment of PPRTA capital

projects by advancing high-priority projects – including Marksheffel Road

construction and completion of the South Academy Boulevard project.

El Paso County’s annual

operating cost per lane

mile is $9,868 compared

to a $15,834 average per

lane mile for other

Front Range counties.

► Public Services utilized Road & Bridge funds and County labor to complete

various Right-of-Way projects – including 18 major drainage improvements,

dust abatement on 38 miles of road, 3,400 miles of roadside mowing and

service maintenance for nearly 1,000 miles of gravel roads.

► The Public Services Department delivered strategic stormwater programs,

projects and services – including submission of the annual Municipal

Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit to the Colorado Department

of Public Health and Environment.

► Public Services achieved substantial progress on three high-priority

transportation planning projects that include the Major Transportation

Corridors Plan, Traffic Impact Fee Program and Highway 94 Access

Management Plan.

► The Public Services Department coordinated the purchase of the 298,000

square-foot Corporate Ridge facility. The $25 million purchase price

included an office building, parking structure (1060 spaces) and a 25,000

square-foot support building. The new facility will house the Clerk and

Recorder, Assessor, Treasurer, Department of Human Services, Health

Department and Pikes Peak Work Force Center. The new facility will

provide for expanded and integrated services in a more modern and

efficient building.

► In 2010, Public Services maintained the County‘s fleet of over 1,100

vehicles and equipment pieces to ensure manufacturer, federal and County

standards for operation and safety – achieving an 85% vehicle readiness rate.

Fleet Management received a 2010 National Association of Counties

Achievement Award for its Proactive Maintenance Program.

21


2010 El Paso County Administration Annual Report

Goals and Achievements

Support Services

The Information Technology Division completed the

following technology improvements that enhanced

efficiency and effectiveness of County operations:

► Updated and replace critical obsolete

Network equipment.

► Implemented the Enterprise systems and hardware

replacements in the county Data Center.

► Completed the PC, Software and printer

replacement programs.

► Completed major VAX conversion projects and

implemented custom applications for county

offices and departments.

► Completed the JDE Primary Systems upgrade.

► Completed records and imaging projects.

► Ongoing assessments and developing design and logistical plans to

move county offices and department into the newly county acquired

Corporate Ridge Building.

► Adding wireless access in most county building based on customer

demand.

► Received and completed over 16,000 customer service requests and

completed 140 projects.

► Implemented an upgrade to the county web presence and working

with county offices and departments to provide up to date content

and additional online services.

► Worked to ensure the county website offers complete information

about county offices for public review and interactivity.

22


2010 El Paso County

A ssure a safe and secure community ...

Community Services

► The Community Services Department reviewed and

updated all Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) managed

by the Community Services and Public Services

departments. This project included reviewing and revising

all Hazardous Materials Standard Operating Procedures

and MSDS administration – providing uniform

environmental policies and procedures to ensure

broad compliance.

► The Park Operations Division participated in the fire

mitigation program for Bear Creek Regional Park. The

two-year project, funded through a FEMA grant and

managed by the Colorado Springs Fire Department,

removed the majority of dead scrub oak and provided

residents with a safer and healthier park.

Human Services

► Child Welfare Services received over 12,600 child abuse/

neglect referrals in 2010 (3,000 more than Denver).

Caseworkers completed formal assessments on over half of

these reports in 2010.

► The Department of Human Services instituted several initiatives

to track and develop enhanced reporting of Child Protective

Services referrals, assessments, cases and outcomes – including a

system that extracts data from the TRAILS central data base. DHS

is currently collaborating with other large-population counties on a

comprehensive report that tracks federal outcomes data related to

child safety, permanency and well-being.

► DHS provided approximately 79,000 service contacts for El Paso

County citizens – including cash assistance, food assistance,

medical benefits and other services contributing to a safe and

secure community.

2315


2010 El Paso County Administration Annual Report

Goals and Achievements

S trengthen the local economy and tax base ...

Budget Administration

► During 2010, the Economic Development Division received $1,046,824 in Community

Development Block Grant funds and $1,421,551 in Neighborhood Stabilization Program

Funds. Six contracts were awarded for infrastructure projects (five street/sidewalk

improvement projects and one water/sewer project) and three public facilities projects

(veteran facility, youth center and senior center).

El Paso County facilitated bond issues for Colorado College and the Cheyenne Mountain

Zoo. Additionally, the County provided financing for Partners In Housing, The Career

Building Academy, Pikes Peak Community Agency, Ecumenical Social Ministries, Greccio

Housing and the Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust.

► The Economic Development Division secured Enterprise Zone Contribution Project

approvals from the State of Colorado for the Space Foundation, Habitat for Humanity,

El Paso County Fairgrounds, Operation 6035 and the Eastern Plains Aquatic Center. These

projects will assist in improving economic conditions in the region with private donations

for which the contributor receives a 25% state income tax credit. In 2010, El Paso County‘s

Enterprise Zone Projects received over $4 million.

El Paso County helped secure the local presence of Everest College by providing a

$200,000 incentive to locate its new service center within the boundaries of the County‘s

Enterprise Zone. This incentive was made available from the Business Revolving Loan

Fund and will be paid when the agreed-upon terms have been fulfilled – including the

creation and maintenance (1-year minimum) of 450 full-time-equivalent jobs on or before

December 31, 2014.

► The Economic Development Division utilized

Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds, awarded by

the US Department of Housing and Urban Development,

to purchase and rehabilitate nine houses in foreclosure.

The homes are located in the Cimarron Hills, Security/

Widefield and Fountain areas, and will be sold to

first-time homebuyers in conjunction with the Rocky

Mountain Community Land Trust. Both homeowners and

neighborhoods will benefit from this initiative.

► In 2010, the Economic Development Division helped 116

local families achieve home ownership by facilitating

Affordable Housing loans through the 2009A Single Family Bond Program.

► Economic Development staff broadly promoted self-sufficiency opportunities for citizens

and infrastructure investment via the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

Program – resulting in 30,000 residents being assisted by CDBG funds during 2010.

24


2010 El Paso County

M ake El Paso County a better place to live ...

Community Services

► The Environmental Services Division updated and expanded its Noxious

Weeds and Controls Information Guide. The guide ensures current,

accurate, concise and helpful education regarding noxious weeds –

providing citizens with effective, straightforward information and control

measures for the most common noxious weeds in El Paso County.

► The 2010 El Paso County Fair achieved an attendance record and met

self-sustaining budget objectives while continuing to provide residents

with the opportunity to celebrate our County‘s culture and heritage.

El Paso County’ s per-capita

funding for our CSU

Extension Office is $0.26

compared to a $1.69 average

per capita for other

Front Range counties.

El Paso County was an active participant in the Great Parks-Great

Communities Initiative that is being led by the Trails and Open Space

Coalition (TOSC) to address the long-term financial sustainability, regional

cooperation and efficiencies for Parks systems operated by the County and

municipalities in El Paso County.

► Community Services collaborated with the City of Colorado Springs to

research financial sustainability options for the Pioneers Museum – the

historic County courthouse.

► The Community Services Department worked closely with the Department

of Veterans Affairs (VA) regarding the location of the Southern Colorado

Veteran‘s Cemetery at the Kane Ranch. Kane Ranch has been selected as

the preferred site, and the VA is currently completing an environmental

assessment of the site and soon will be contracting with a design consultant.

► The Planning Division provided leadership and support for water resources

planning and protection initiatives—including facilitation of the

Groundwater Quality Study Committee and Phase 1 of the Groundwater

Quality Study for the Upper Black Squirrel Creek Basin; three different

source water protection planning efforts by local water districts facilitated by

the Colorado Rural Water Association; and the activities of the Fountain

Creek Watershed, Flood Control and Greenway District.

Human Services

► In 2010, the Department of Human Services authorized a monthly average

of $8,300,000 in Food Assistance benefits and authorized over $400 million

in Medicaid services to residents in El Paso County.

Development Services

► The Development Services Department reviewed and proposed revised

regulations pertaining to electronic billboards, which included an extensive

stakeholder process.

25


2010 El Paso County Administration Annual Report

Goals and Achievements

S upport a healthy community ...

Community Services

► The Recreation and Cultural Services Division

expanded recreational opportunities for County

residents by providing fishing derbies, tennis lessons,

dog obedience lessons, summer youth camps,

gardening classes, outdoor concerts, movies in

the parks and open-access to horseback riding at

the fairgrounds.

► The Recreation and Cultural Services Division

also initiated a series of programs developed as part

of the ―No Child Left Inside‖ national campaign –

encouraging children to rely less on the use of

electronic games and television for their entertainment

and participate more in healthy, outdoor alternatives.

Human Services

► Utilizing TANF funding, DHS partnered with the El Paso County

Health Department to bolster their ―Strong and Healthy Families‖

program, which provides services to new and expecting mothers that

enhance their parenting skills, improve the health of their children

and allow mothers to gain job skills that will assist them in

securing employment.

► DHS collaborated with Goodwill Industries and the Center on Fathering

to develop the ―Fathers as Providers Employment Program,‖ which

provides fathers focused, classroom-based job search and readiness

classes; on-site work experience; and guided job search activities that

enable them to secure gainful employment and eliminate the need for

public assistance. Additionally, the Department of Human Services

partnered with the Pikes Peak Workforce Center and Young Williams

to encourage the payment of child support, which provides children

with life‘s essentials – including healthy life styles.

26


Special Thanks to Contributing Staff Members on the

County Administration Strategic Planning Committee:

Paul Andersen

Budget Administration

Elaine Kleckner

Community Services Department

Nancy Lanning

Department of Human Services

Gary Hamacher

Development Services Department

Hilary Johnson

Support Services Department

Max Kirschbaum

Public Services Department

Tim Wolken — Chair

Community Services Department

Bradd Hafer

Public Information

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