ASPEN TRAILS METRO DISTRICT (ATMD) FACT SHEET (Rev. June, 2017)
Type of District: Aspen Trails Metropolitan District (ATMD or “District”) is a Colorado Special District that was created by general election in November 2003. ATMD is not a homeowner’s association.
District Purpose: ATMD was established to perform necessary services that the County would not otherwise provide to the District. ATMD’s primary purpose is to maintain and improve District roads. Secondarily, ATMD is authorized to provide limited parks and recreation services using funds obtained through grants and donations.
The ATMD Board of Directors (“Board”) is the governing body responsible for the maintenance and operations of ATMD. The Board discusses and executes official District business during public Board meetings.
Board Elections: Regular elections of the Board are held in May of even-numbered years. If there are fewer nominations than positions open for election, the Board may cancel the election and fill the position by appointment.
Board Meetings: The Board meets regularly throughout the year to discuss and execute District business. Board meetings are open to the public.
Meeting Schedule: The Board’s meeting schedule is published in ATMD’s annual Notice to Electors and posted on the ATMD website.
Meeting Notice/Agenda: Meeting notices and agendas will be posted at the ATMD mailbox bulletin boards and on the ATMD website.
Meeting Minutes: The Board keeps a written record of public business discussed and executed at Board meetings. Approved meeting minutes are posted on the ATMD website.
Motions & Resolutions: Official actions of the Board require a motion or resolution and must be documented in the meeting minutes. Resolutions also require a separate, formal document. Approved minutes and resolutions are posted on the ATMD website.
District Budget & Funding:
ATMD’s annual budget is posted on the ATMD website. ATMD’s budget is funded through mill levies, annual fees imposed by the Board and grants/donations.
Mill Levies: ATMD owners approved the following two taxes by special election in 2003. Both taxes are charged as direct line items on each owner’s annual property taxes.
Operating Mill Levy: This mill levy is used for ATMD’s general operations and maintenance. A tax of 5 mills is levied against the assessed value of each owner’s ATMD property each year.
Bond Mill Levy: This mill levy finances ATMD’s annual debt payments for a $200,000 general obligation bond (used to fund major road improvements in 2004). This mill levy expires in 2023 after the general obligation bond has been repaid. The variable rate is calculated each year based on the aggregate value of ATMD property. Refer to the “Fees” section of the ATMD website for current rates.
Annual Fees: ATMD’s operational needs exceed the funding provide by the Operating Mill Levy. As such, through special election in 2003, ATMD owners authorized the Board to collect annual fees/assessments for District maintenance and operations. The amount of the annual Operations and Maintenance Fee is established by Board resolution each year. Refer to the “Fees” section of the ATMD website for current rates.
Grants/Donations: ATMD receives quarterly distributions from the Conservation Trust Fund. Such funding is provided by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for purposes of providing park and recreation services to the District. Funding provided to date is not sufficient to begin any park and recreation projects. ATMD will continue to reserve such funding for future projects.
Road Maintenance & Improvements:
ATMD’s budget allocates annual funding for road maintenance, snow removal and capital improvement projects.
Road Maintenance: Road Maintenance includes standard and ongoing maintenance performed each year. Generally, standard maintenance includes minor road repairs, minor drainage improvements, adding road base/material to eroded areas and grading the roads.
Snow Removal: Snow removal starts with primary roads (e.g., Trew Creek, Bear Run and Sierra Drive) and then focuses on secondary roads (e.g., Aspen Drive, Sierra Circle, Turkey Trail, Upper Sierra Drive). Unimproved tertiary roads (e.g., Sierra Circle connector) may not be accessible during winter months. A map of approved plow routes is included on the ATMD website.
Snow removal generally begins after 6” of snow accumulation; however, it may begin sooner or later at the Board’s discretion. For wetter/heavier snow, the Board may initiate services with less than 6” accumulation. For lighter snow, or to better manage storm cycles, services may be delayed after 6” accumulation. The Board’s goal is to ensure that roads accessible for the morning and evening commutes.
Capital Road Improvements: Capital improvement projects include major repair and improvement projects. Common examples include major drainage work (such as culvert installation/replacement) and major road work (such as building, rebuilding or widening roads). Capital improvements also include the purchase of longer term assets and equipment, such as speed bumps, tractor blades and chains.
Beginning in 2014, ATMD was notified that the local trash provider will no longer bill and manage individual resident accounts in ATMD. As such, ATMD coordinates the collection and payment of resident trash fees under a single ATMD account. Trash rates are set annually based on resident participation in the service. Refer to the “Fees” section of the ATMD website for current rates.
Acceptable Use: Dumpsters are for household waste only. Construction waste, hazardous materials, car tires, mattresses, hot water heater, furniture and other large items must be taken to the Durango Transfer Station (259-2915). Do not place such items in or next to the dumpster.
Rental Properties: ATMD properties that operate as rental units, in any capacity, must participate in the ATMD trash program and provide renters with access to the ATMD dumpster. This requirement is intended to prevent improper storage and dumping of trash in ATMD. Exemptions may be given if an owner can demonstrate that renters use an alternate acceptable trash service.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR RESIDENTS:
Annual Fees/Assessments: Taxes and fees imposed on property owners by ATMD are legally enforceable. Unpaid taxes/fees may result in interest/finance charges, collection fees and property liens.
- ATMD subdivisions I, II, III and Trew Creek Estates each have different covenants that apply to respective property owners.
- Covenants for subdivisions I, II and III are available on the ATMD website.
- For information and assistance regarding covenants, contact the County or a current owner in the respective subdivision.
- ATMD is not a homeowner’s association. The Board does not monitor the behavior of property owners or their pets. Furthermore, the Board does not have the authority to enforce covenants, unless an owner’s non-compliance has a detrimental impact on ATMD roads.
- The Speed Limit is 15 mph on all ATMD roads. There are many children, adults and pets that use our roads. Excess speeds damage roads and spread dust. Please drive slowly and respect your neighbors and our neighborhood.
- There is no parking on ATMD roads. Vehicle may be booted or towed at owner’s expense.
- Driveways must have proper drainage and should not drain on to District roads. Owners are responsible for clearing debris from culverts and ditches. A property owner may be held financially responsible for any damage to the roads resulting from improper property drainage.
- 4x4 vehicles are recommended year-round. Snow tires, studded snow tires or chains are recommended during winter months.
- Chains required for commercial vehicles November – March.
- Large construction equipment and moving vehicles may have difficulty navigating ATMD roads without causing road damage. Consult with contractors/movers on acceptable equipment. A property owner may be held financially responsible for any damage to the roads caused by contractors/movers.
- New Construction: Building permits are required by La Plata County for all new construction and additions. Contact the La Plata County Building Inspection office at 382-6250 to apply for a permit.
- Not all land parcels are suitable for building or development. Building permits may not be issued for lots that are of concern to the County.
- Any construction work that may impact ATMD roads (e.g., drilling wells, digging underground utilities, driveway or culvert installation, etc.) must be reviewed and approved by an ATMD Board representative, prior to the work, to ensure the work meets ATMD standards. Owners may be required to post a bond for the proposed work.
- A property owner may be held financially responsible for any damage to the roads caused by contractors or resulting from construction work.
Utility and Service Information:
- Driveway Snow Removal: ATMD is not responsible for driveway snow removal. A number of local contractors offer driveway snow removal services.
- Electrical Service: La Plata Electric Company (247-5786) provides electricity to ATMD.
- Emergency Services: The Upper Pine Fire Protection District is the first responder for fire and medical emergencies in our area. 911 is the central dispatch number to call for all emergency situations. For non-emergencies, call 385-2900.
- Internet: Internet Service is available through CenturyLink (970-230-3454) or Cedar Networks (884-385-2500).
- Mail and Packages: USPS Mail will be delivered to the ATMD mailboxes near the entrance. Contact the Durango post office (247-8433) with any questions. Packages shipped by FedEx, UPS, USPS and other major carriers are generally left in the main package box at the mailbox bank.
- Newspaper Delivery: Newspapers are delivered to the ATMD mailboxes; house delivery service is not available.
- Property Rentals/Sales: If you rent or sell your property, please inform the new renters/residents of any information they should know about the property or living in the neighborhood. Please give them a copy of this fact sheet.
- School District: Students in Aspen Trails attend School District 9-R schools in Durango. The school bus stops at the entrance to the subdivision on CR 240.
- Septic: There is not a common sewer system in ATMD. Please contact San Juan Basin Health Department (247-5702) for information on septic requirements.
- Telephone: Landline telephone service is available through CenturyLink (970-230-3454) or Cedar Networks (884-385-2500).
- Water: There is not a standard water service/system in Aspen Trails. Options for service include:
Delivery: A number of local companies provide water delivery and cistern filling services.
- Seasonal Water: The Aspen Trail Water Company manages a seasonal water supply for some properties. Contact Judy Bolton (247-0893) for details.
- Wells: Permits for well drilling must be obtained from the Colorado Division of Water Resources 247-1845. Note: Not all wells will provide quality drinking water or an adequate supply during drought seasons.
- Water: There is not a standard water service/system in Aspen Trails. Options for service include:
OTHER INFORMATION FOR RESIDENTS
Defensible Space and Vegetation: Trees are beautiful and useful but they can also be dangerous. Forest fires can be deterred by creating clear open spaces between buildings. Cutting dense brush and ladder fuels back away from your home will make it easier to protect from fire. Many of the trees in our area are stressed due to fire damage or disease, and are prone to heart or root rot. The tops can snap off; or the entire tree from the root up can blow over without warning.
Fences: Fences do not necessarily define property lines.
Open Range: Colorado has an open range law. If you don't want someone else's livestock on your property you must fence them out.
Power Outages: Power Outages tend to occur a little more often in our area due to extreme weather (snow, wind and lightning) that can damage power lines and down trees. Be prepared, especially in winter months.
Weed Control: There are many noxious weeds spreading across La Plata County. It is your responsibility as a property owner to control them on your property.
Wildlife: Mountain residents must learn to co-exist with bear, elk, deer, turkey, coyote, rodents, snakes, cottontails, eagles, hawks, and the occasional mountain lion. Keep trash and food sources inaccessible to limit unwanted encounters.
Winter Road Advice: Please be patient during the winter months as heavy snowfall requires more time to plow. Be considerate of your neighbors, maintenance and emergency vehicles that use ATMD roads. With the heavy snows we experience, it can be difficult to see unexpected obstacles (like cars jutting out into the roadway). Make sure that your vehicle is parked in your driveway and that it is not on the road or partially blocking the road. Residents are strongly advised to plan for seasonal weather conditions: carry chains (and know how to put them on) or use studded snow tires from November - May. Poor driving technique during extreme weather conditions can destroy roads. Many of our roads cannot withstand continual heavy use while wet or icy by vehicles with poor traction without causing damage. Avoid driving in the same rut as the last driver.