ATV use, firearms discharge, and School Resource Officer

Gilpin Commissioners Meeting

By Staci McBrayer

The Gilpin County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday, October 8. Commissioners Buddy Schmalz, Chairman Connie McLain, and Gail Watson were present. Also attending were County Manager Roger Baker and Deputy Clerk to the Board, Sharon Cate.

Public Comment

Stephen Lefaiver, Executive Director of Nederland based Teens Inc., addressed the board. Teens, Inc. is a non-profit organization located in Nederland that officially took over youth services from the Town of Nederland in 1997. Lefaiver explained to the board the several grants it has obtained, and that they have submitted their application to the county for $8,000 to be determined during the county’s upcoming regular budgeting process. He stressed the point that approximately thirty percent of his organization’s youth participants are from Gilpin County.

Clerk & Recorder’s Monthly Report

County Clerk & Recorder Colleen Stewart presented her monthly report stating it was “about the same with nothing earth shattering.” Monthly total income recorded by Stewart’s office for the County was $153,808.83.

Stewart discussed with the Commissioners the upcoming elections. She informed them that a little over 5,000 official ballots will be sent out on October 15. Additionally, this year all active and inactive registered voters will be sent a ballot. In previous years, only active voters were mailed ballots. If a ballet sent to an inactive voter is returned by the postal service as undeliverable, then Stewart’s office then can remove that individual from the voter registration for the county. Stewart explained that this will be just one of the methods her office uses to keep the voter registration up to date.

Liquor License Transfer of Ownership Application

The Commissioners approved a Liquor License Transfer of Ownership to Heather Hatwan of Heather Hatwan Productions, LLC for The Stage Stop in Rollinsville. Hatwan leases the tavern/ restaurant from current owner William P. Schucard, 60 Main Street LLC. Because it was a transfer of ownership of the application, no public input was required. Commissioners commented that the application was well done and straightforward and approved the motion unanimously. Hatwan hoped to purchase the tavern next spring from the current owner.

Boundary Line Adjustment

ANJL Investment LLC requested a Boundary Line Adjustment (BLA). ANJL Investment owns 0.05 acre Lot 5A and a garage on the lot encroaches on the 0.60 acre Lot 1A owned by 60 Main Street LLC, the owners of the Stage Stop Inn. The proposed adjustment would transfer 0.05 acre from the Stage Stop Inn to the garage site thus resolving the garage encroachment. County Planner Tony Peterson requested the board to approve the BLA as Resolution BLA 13-02. The measure passed unanimously.

Preliminary Plan Review

The Commissioners approved a Preliminary Plan Review requested by Kathi Lambert. Lambert owns Francis Lode MS#16372, which is currently in conflict with other properties including the Redmen Cemetery, the Catholic Cemetery, and Central City. These conflicting properties likely have some legal claim of the overlaps, and possibility of these claims does cloud the Francis Lode’s title. In order to clear the title on the property of possible conflict, Lambert requested the Subdivision Exemption (SBE) that would convey all conflicted lands over to those to whom she is in conflict with.

The proposed BLA would grant conflicting lands to Central City, the Denver Archdiocese (land owner of the Catholic Cemetery), and Gilpin County for the Redmen Cemetery parcel. Peterson advised the board that the county has tried to contact the owners of the Redmen Cemetery to no avail, and as such the land would probably revert back to the county’s possession.

Peterson also urged the board to waive the $15,000 fee normally associated with the SBE citing that Lambert was not seeking the SBE to develop and subdivide the property, but rather to clear up the title on the land she would retain. Peterson recommended the Commissioners approve the SBE 13-01 Preliminary Plan dated 9/25/2013 and wave the fee based on the conditions that Lambert provide letters of support from all affected parties, provide title insurance or some other acceptable form of proof establishing clear ownership, complete and submit an Exemption Plat within one year as well as provide all deeds necessary to convey the created parcels. The Commissioners approved the request unanimously provided the conditions are met.

2014 Proposals for Inmate Medical Services

Sheriff’s Office Captain Tonia Kapke addressed the Commissioners with a proposal requesting more man-hour coverage for inmate medical services. Currently, the jail attends to the routine medical needs of inmates through Correctional Healthcare Companies at the rate of $14,430 per month. Through Correctional Healthcare Companies, Diane Anderson, RN works 32 hour per week for the jail. Nurse Anderson was present with Kapke as was and Carl Anderson (no relation), Contract Manager for Correctional Healthcare Companies.

Kapke informed the Commissioners that there is an increased need for routine medical services due to the increase in chronic illnesses in inmates. She stated that medical coverage is only available for the 32 hours per week that Diane Anderson is on duty, leaving a large gap in coverage. The delivering of medications to inmates alone takes two hours per night, and is currently being handled by jail deputies. The pitfall in this scenario is that the deputies do not have the medical training necessary to handle the medications thus increasing the county’s liability should a medical emergency arise due to the current dispensation method.

Kapke offered three options for the contract renewal, all of which included 2.59%  increase over the current rate. The first is to add no additional medical services at the current base rate plus the 2.59% increase for a total of $177,652.92 annually. The second is adding an additional 35 hours per week of LPN services at the rate of $239,770.92 annually. The third option is the addition of 35 hours per week of EMT services at the rate of $225,100.92 annually.

Commissioner McClain asked if it was possible to use currently employed EMTs to fill in the man-hour gap. Kapke explained that while the EMTs do respond to the jail for medical emergencies, having already employed EMTs doing routine medical services would create a situation where two sets of policies would be present and take needed EMTs off the road. Carl Anderson clarified that his company would recruit an EMT through their employment (and thus their policies.) Commissioner McClain asked if it was possible for Correctional Healthcare Companies to investigate whether the company itself could contract with current EMTs.

The proposal was tabled for further discussion next week with Commissioner Schmalz citing that the monetary increase required budget approval.

Emergency Management Items

The Commissioners designated Sheriff’s Office Communication’s Director Steven Watson as Emergency Manager. This appointment fulfills the county’s requirement in Colorado Revised Statute 24-33.5-707 that requires the county to create a disaster agency.

Watson then went on to discuss Resolution #13-17 Approving and Adopting the Gilpin County Emergency Operations Plan. Watson stated the plan was a starting point for the county, and that it would be updated in the future when needed. The plan was unanimously approved by the Commissioners .

Additional emergency management items included the approval of an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for Emergency Management with the City of Black Hawk. The IGA would allow for cooperation between municipalities in the event of a disaster or emergency situation. Commissioners approved the IGA, and a similar IGA will be presented to Central City in the near future.

School Resource Officer

Gilpin RE-1 School District is currently working in conjunction with the Commissioners to hire a School Resource Officer (SRO.) Commissioners opted to fund $35,000 of the salary that had previously been estimated to be approximately $72,000 for salary/benefits.

Much discussion was had with Commissioner Watson requesting that additional sources be applied for in conjunction with the county’s $35,000 contribution. Sheriff Bruce Hartman stated that Gilpin is one of the few counties in the state that did not fully fund the SRO position, with Clear Creek County being one of the only other counties that funded the position through an agreement between the school district and sheriff’s office.

The question arose concerning who would pay for the SRO for the time when school was out during the summer. Sheriff Hartman said that his office would like to use the deputy on the road due to the increased call load brought on during the warmer summer months. Commissioner Schmalz stated that the county had no intention of making the School District pay for that period of time when the SOR was not at the school.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was created and approved that stated the Sheriff’s Office was willing to provide a full time SRO to provide school security for nine hours per day, four days per week. A minimum of 90 days is required to hire and fully train the additional deputy.

It was estimated that the new SRO could possibly be implemented as early as January or February of 2014. Until then, the agreement states that the School District will continue to pay fifty percent of the personnel costs incurred by the Sheriff in providing a full time deputy as acting SRO.

County Manager Status Report

County Manager Roger Baker reported that the CO Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) application for a share in gaming revenues had been submitted. Baker felt confident that his presentation at DOLA hearings went well. Baker was commended by Commissioner Schmalz for the excellent work Baker did in preparing the presentation and application. Baker hoped to hear the outcome of the DOLA grants in early November.

Department Reports

Human Resources: The September report shows two new full-time and one part-time employees have been added. The county currently employs 184 people. Human Resources Director Susie Allen is working with Public Works to set up Flagger Certification and CDL Drug and Alcohol Recognition and Disqualifications Training. The county’s insurance company requires both trainings. Additionally, Allen is working with Cook & Associates and the county insurance companies to include civil unions under county insurance plans that will be effective January 1, 2014 in order to comply with Senate Bill 13-011.

Parks and Recreation Department: Parks and Recreation reported 3604 visits in the month of September including 794 individual county residents who used the facility 2730 times during the month. Revenue totaled $5,751. The 4th annual Wild Bear Fundraising Softball Tournament was held with 5 teams participating. Men’s slow pitch softball has played 14 games with some rainouts to be made up in October along with the end of season tournament. The Peak-to-Peak Soccer League is two-thirds complete on its season, and the outfield at Pete Gomes Memorial Park was aerated along with continuing weed abatements both on the playing field and outside the fence. The pool saw its annual maintenance and swim lessons have started again this month with 28 children participating.

County Attorney Status Report

County Attorney Jim Petrock advised the Commissioners that he is waiting to hear as to whether the State Supreme Court has handed down their decision as to whether they will hear the Brannan Sand & Gravel Lawsuit case. The Petrock expected the decision to be made soon.

Board of County Commissioners’ Status Report

Commissioners plan on attending the five county Commissioners meeting to be held in Idaho Springs in conjunction with neighboring counties on October 16 as well as the Gaming Commission meeting on October 17. The 2014 Budget Meeting will be held starting October 21 at 9:00 on the second floor of the Apex Building at 495 Apex Valley Road.

ATV Survey

Colorado Counties, Inc. (CCI) has asked the Commissioners to participate in a county OHV Access Survey to help CCI better represent Colorado’s counties in possible upcoming state legislation on the issue of off-highway vehicle. County Manager Baker was concerned about answering the question “If your county does NOT allow OHV usage on county roads, under what circumstances would you consider allowing OHVs on county roads?” Currently, no OHVs are allowed on Gilpin County Roads. Commissioner Watson felt that comments made by residents at an informal meeting at the Community Center on September 26th were compelling, and that there should be some way the county can find to give OHV owners limited access to perform yard work without being penalized. Commissioner McClain agreed, saying the county needs to work on this issue. Commissioner Schmalz instructed County Manager Baker to leave the question blank, as the issue would be addressed later on a countywide basis.

Pancreatic Cancer Month Proclamation

Commissioners proclaimed November Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. The death rate for pancreatic cancer is increasing and is anticipated to move from the fourth to the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. by 2020. Approximately 500 deaths will occur in Colorado in 2013 alone. The proclamation was made in order to increase awareness of the disease where the five-year relative survival rate is just six percent.

Public Comment on Sheriff’s Office Vehicles

Resident Patricia Eaton of Tolland Road complimented the Sheriff’s Office on the appearance of their four new patrol vehicles. She urged the county and sheriff to consider a fuel efficient or electric car as one of their vehicles as a statement of the county’s commitment to the environment.

Firearms Discharge in Residential Neighborhoods

A work session to discuss firearms discharge in the Gilpin subdivisions was had with Sheriff Hartman at the table. County Manager Roger Baker advised the Commissioners that in 1963 the state passed a law that gave the county power to restrict the discharge of firearms in residential area with a population density of a hundred persons per square mile. Baker stated that research into the county’s subdivision population density show that all of subdivisions in Gilpin County have such a density and could be cause to invoke the state law. However, the way the state law is written makes it only marginally effective in enforcing any type of restrictions, as there is no criminal penalty attached to it.

Upon further research, Baker said that the county does have a somewhat antiquated resolution from 1975 regarding the issue, but that it does not involve all subdivisions.

Sheriff Hartman further explained that the Sheriff’s Office routinely gets calls for “shots fired,” and that deputies do respond especially when they occur in the subdivisions. Currently, each incident is handled by the Sheriff’s Office to ensure that safe shooting practices with appropriate backdrops are being used. Hartman stated that there are currently adequate laws to address the issues of unsafe shooting, shooting across a road, shooting while drunk, etc. Commissioner Watson voiced her concern to address the issue of educating the public on what they can and can’t do legally as far as shooting, and how citizens can handle a complaint. Watson had constructed a two-sided handout that she presented to the board with such information, and requested that the Sheriff’s Office review it for accuracy.

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Commissioners will be October 22, 2013 at 9:00 at the Gilpin County Courthouse, 203 Eureka Street, Central City.

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