City of Lone Tree Adds Electric Vehicle Charging Stations to its Amenities

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Thanks to a partnership with Rampart Range Metropolitan District, the City of Lone Tree can now add electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to its list of community amenities.  Five new EV charging stations, including a DC Fast Charger which can fully charge a vehicle in 30 to 45 minutes, are now available in the Lincoln Commons parking garage located at 10001 Commons Street.

On Wednesday, Mayor Jackie Millet and City Council were joined by Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director Shoshana Lew, Colorado Energy Office Executive Director Will Toor, Vice President of Development for Coventry Development Keith Simon and Regional Air Quality Council Executive Director Michael Silverstein in celebrating with a ribbon-cutting ceremony

“We’re so excited to offer this as an amenity to our residents and visitors,” said Millet. “With our prominent location along the I-25 and C-470 corridors, it makes a lot of sense to make charging stations available.”

The charging stations, which were installed at the end of April, are located in the RidgeGate community and provide drivers with easy access to the Lone Tree Arts Center, and numerous dinning and retail establishments in the area.

“We are thrilled to welcome the new EV charging stations to RidgeGate as another partnership project focused on innovation in the community,” said Simon. “They are another feature that will enhance mobility and transportation choice, and support RidgeGate's position as the most connected community in the Denver Metro area.”

The cost to use the stations will vary from $0.15 per kWh to $0.30 per kWh depending on whether drivers are using the DC Fast Charger or the Level 2 stations.

The stations are also funded in part by a grant from the Regional Air Quality Council’s Charge Ahead Colorado program.

Tree Trimming Tips

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The trees in Lone Tree are finally starting to turn green!  Homeowners, businesses and property managers are noticing new tree growth is causing some tree branches to obstruct street signs and sidewalks.  To eliminate safety hazards while preserving your valued trees:

  • Saw, don’t snap and pull tree limbs. This minimizes the risk of decay, as well as the opportunity for insects or diseases to enter the tree wound.

  • While you are there, check for broken tree branches. Remove broken branches by pruning the limb at the branch collar – the point where a branch joins a larger one – and be mindful of potential pent-up energy if the branch is twisted or bent.

  • Don’t over-prune. With the loss of some branches, a tree may look unbalanced, but most trees quickly grow new foliage that hides bare areas.

  • For large projects, think long and hard about doing the clean-up work yourself, or hiring a contractor. Many of us are afraid of chain saws and ladders.  

Lone Tree Youth Commission Presents Event Dedicated to Destigmatizing Mental Health

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In an effort to bring awareness to the impacts of mental health on youth, the City of Lone Tree Youth Commission is hosting It’s Not Nothing, sponsored by Sky Ridge Medical Center, on Thursday, May 16 at 7 p.m. at the Lone Tree Arts Center.

This event, featuring guest speakers, a mental health resource fair and a Q&A, will provide a raw look at how mental illness affects youth, and explore how to bridge disconnects between youth and mental health resources.

“One in five teens struggle with mental illness, so when walking down the halls, I can't help but wonder who’s hurting,” said Noelle Harff, Lone Tree Youth Commission chair.

The event speakers include:

  • Maria Bales, a mental health activist and mother of Nick Bales, a local teen who lost his life to suicide last year

  • Denny Ying, an ultra-athlete who has been riding his bike around the world to raise awareness for mental health issues after fighting his own battles

  • Alex Bush, a teen who lost her father to suicide

  • Sarah Davidon, a phycologist from Mental Health Colorado

“We’ve looked into many different aspects behind the importance of self-care and looking out for others,” said Ava Taylor, Lone Tree Youth Commission co-chair. “Destigmatizing such a difficult topic to our age group is really important to us.”

Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for general admission, available for purchase at the Lone Tree Arts Center box office or online at lonetreeartscenter.org. Family four-packs are available for $20. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Mental Health Colorado.

For more information, contact Austin Good, Youth Commission Staff Liaison, at 720-509-1256 or austin.good@cityoflonetree.com.

Dealing With Tree Damage Due To Heavy Snow

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If heavy snows damaged your trees over the winter, you can minimize the damage this spring.

The first step is to assess the damage. If a tree is healthy overall and still possesses its leader (the main upward branch), most of its major limbs and 50 percent or more of its crown, the chance is good for a complete recovery.

Think long and hard about doing the clean-up work yourself, or hiring a contractor. Many of us are afraid of chain saws and ladders.  Google “Denver tree care companies” to identify potential contractors.  

Here are a few tips for do-it-yourselfers:

  • Remove broken branches. Saw, don’t pull broken limbs. This minimizes the damaged area. Doing so reduces the risk of decay, as well as the opportunity for insects or diseases to enter the tree wound.

  • Prune near the branch collar – the point where a branch joins a larger one – and be mindful of potential pent-up energy if the branch is twisted or bent.

  • Don’t over-prune. With the loss of some branches, a tree may look unbalanced, but most trees quickly grow new foliage that hides bare areas.

Throughout the month of April, we will be sharing tree tips with the community in celebration of Arbor Day. Stay tuned and be ready to leaf into action!

All About Mulch

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Throughout the month of April, we will be sharing tree tips with the community in celebration of Arbor Day. Stay tuned and be ready to leaf into action!

Trees can suffer from too much of a good thing!  Mulch can help your trees flourish in the extreme daytime temperatures that will soon be the norm. Mulch retains moisture in the soil at the base of your trees. Mulch helps to prevent unwanted grass and weed growth, and helps prevent damaging lawnmower or weed eater strikes to the trunk of the tree.

What’s wrong with this picture? The many benefits of mulching the base of your tree are negated by not leaving a three inch gap between the tree trunk and the mulch.

What’s wrong with this picture? The many benefits of mulching the base of your tree are negated by not leaving a three inch gap between the tree trunk and the mulch.

For best results, don’t mulch an area extending three inches from the base of your tree, and keep organic mulch to a depth of three inches. When mulch is placed up against the trunk of your trees, and when mulch is too deep, it creates an environment harmful to trees. Tree bark is meant to protect the trunk. It works best in the air and light. If you pile mulch onto the bark, it is now exposed to dark and moisture. Bark will begin to rot, and rotted bark cannot protect the tree from insects and diseases. Harmful diseases grow better in this type of environment.

Mulch piled around the trunk also promotes the growth of secondary roots, which can encircle the trunk and choke off the trees main roots. Some trees have shallow roots such as maples, and deep mulch encourages these roots to grow into it. A mountain of mulch, piled high against a tree trunk will not kill the tree immediately - it results in slow death over several years.

Have a Phone You're Not Using? Donate It!

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Do you have an old, gently used cell phone laying around that you need to get rid of? Consider donating it in recognition of National Victim's Rights Week and support your community.

The Victims Assistance Units from the Lone Tree Police Department, Castle Rock Police Department and Parker Police Departments are joining forces to help raise awareness of victim’s rights during a cell phone drive to benefit victims of crime and the elderly. Gently used cell phones can be donated to participating local police departments during National Victim’s Rights week (April 8 - April 12).

The old cell phones will be checked for functionality and wiped of data if necessary. Phones that are disconnected from a cellular provider still have the ability to call 911. The phones will then be distributed to The Crisis Center, Douglas County Adult Protective Services and Aging Resources of Douglas County.

"The efforts of the Douglas County Law Enforcement Community in collecting phones for victims of domestic violence is an important way to increase victim safety and accessibility to police intervention,” said Jennifer Walker, Executive Director of The Crisis Center. “Many victims of domestic violence feel isolated from local resources.  By donating a phone during Victim’s Rights’ Week, you are part of creating a safer community and saving lives. "

Cell phones can be dropped off at any of the locations below from April 8 to April 12 during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please include chargers or extra batteries for the phones if possible. A donation form is available upon request for tax deduction purposes.

Drop-off locations:

Lone Tree Police Department, 9220 Kimmer Drive, #120 

Castle Rock Police Department, 100 Perry Street

 Parker Police Department, 18600 Lincoln Meadows Parkway

 

Arbor Day Foundation Names Lone Tree “Tree City USA”

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For the sixteenth year in a row, the City of Lone Tree was named a 2018 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of our commitment to effective urban forest management.  The Arbor Day Foundation created the Tree City USA program to celebrate the importance of an urban tree canopy and improve the care of these vital city trees.

A first-ever tree survey was conducted by 12 Douglas County Master Gardener volunteers in June 2017 to establish a baseline estimate of the total number of trees located within the City of Lone Tree. Approximately  45,000 trees are estimated to be located in developed Lone Tree.

The tree survey revealed that our region is a difficult place for trees to survive.  Our beloved local climate is awesome for people, yet it is harsh on trees. Extreme weather changes are common. Much of Colorado is very dry averaging only 17 inches of precipitation per year statewide. It is very rare when some portion of the state is not in some degree of drought.

Trees located within the City of Lone Tree are subjected to a wide range of  conditions that can and do cause tree damage.  They include:

  • Heavy wet snowfall occurring when many trees may be foliated. 

  • Severe and sudden temperature changes.

  • Long periods with little moisture and extreme heat.

  • Severe wind events.  

  • Insects, rodents and diseases.

Providing recommended maintenance can reduce tree stress, and as a consequence, enable trees to better resist insects, diseases and weather events.  Examples of needed tree care are watering during dry periods in  the winter, structural pruning, adequate depth of mulch and pest prevention and treatment. 

For tips on selecting the right tree for your property and determining the right place for it in consideration of future tree growth, visit www.cityoflonetree.com/TreeCare

Throughout the month of April, we will be sharing tree tips with the community. Stay tuned and be ready to leaf into action!

Douglas County apologizes for mill levy certification error

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Mill Levy Certification Hotline created to answer taxpayer questions.

Approximately 7,600 residential and commercial property owners in Acres Green, portions of Lone Tree and the Province and Province Center neighborhoods in Douglas County will soon receive a corrected property tax statement, as these taxpayers were under-charged due to a clerical error by the Douglas County Budget staff on the 2018 Mill Levy Certification.

The County erroneously omitted a portion of the South Suburban Park and Recreation District (SSPRD) mill levy on the Certification. This omission resulted in a negative impact of $5,589,802 in SSPRD operating revenue.

“On behalf of the County Budget Department, I apologize to the impacted taxpayers and to the District for our error and the concern this has created,” said Doug DeBord, County Manager.

The process associated with correcting the error that will ensure that SSPRD will receive all the money the District is due, begins with approval of a corrected mill levy certification by the Board of Douglas County Commissioners. Following the Board’s approval, the County Assessor’s Office will make corrections to the tax warrant for all affected property owners and submit this information to the County Treasurer’s Office, after which all affected property owners will receive a corrected billing, with an apology and explanation of the County’s error.

Douglas County anticipates that the average homeowner impact will be $311.00 based on the average home value of $579,745.

What should the impacted taxpayer expect?

·       If you have a mortgage and escrow your property taxes, the Douglas County Treasurer’s Office will notify your mortgage holder directly of the corrected taxes due and the mortgage holder will pay the additional amount due.

·       If you pay your own property taxes you will be billed directly for the corrected taxes, due on or before June 15, 2019 – whether your taxes have already been paid in part or in full.

To make it easier for these questions and more to be resolved, Douglas County has created a South Suburban Mill Levy Certification hotline:  720-733-6922, where staff will be available to answer questions Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 For additional information please visit Certification of Tax Levies

“Our omission led to property owners receiving an incomplete property tax statement in 2019,” continued Mr. DeBord. “From the moment we were notified by SSPRD on March 8, our objective was to identify – from the statutory to the procedural – what would be required to make it right,” DeBord said.

He also noted that the South Suburban Park and Recreation District was timely and accurate with their certification to the Board of County Commissioners and this error is not the result of any action by the District.

Audition Call: Teen Actors Wanted For Youth Commission Mental Health Event

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ATTENTION ALL YOUNG ACTORS

Are you a young performer? Whether you’re in theater at your high school or participate in other plays, we’d love for you to be a part of the Lone Tree Youth Commission’s “It’s Not Nothing” mental health skit.

The Lone Tree Youth Commission is hosting a mental health awareness event at the Lone Tree Arts Center on May 16th. On this night, we will be addressing the serious mental health issues that our generation is facing. This night will include a 15 min. skit (put on by you!) and multiple speakers, all accompanied by a brief presentation. Through the skit we will display a variety of situations and offer multiple perspectives on issues such as depression, anxiety, suicide, etc.

Auditions will be on Wednesday, March 6th at the City Municipal Building (9220 Kimmer Dr) with audition slots ranging between 6pm-7:30pm.

If you are interested and would like to be a part of this, please RSVP Here

We will respond with more details - including the script!

Event Details:

When? Thursday, May 16th (evening)

Where? Lone Tree Arts Center

Who? The Lone Tree Youth Commission is made up of 7 high schoolers in the city of Lone Tree. We are the youth advisers to our city council, and the advocates/representatives of the teenagers in our community. Each year, we pick a certain topic or group to support. Click here to learn more about us and check out what we did last year.

What? On this night, we will be addressing the serious mental health issues that our generation is facing. We will display a variety of situations and offer multiple perspectives on issues such as depression, anxiety, suicide, etc. This night will include a skit (put on by you!) and multiple speakers, all accompanied by a brief presentation.