City Council Business
by Staci McBrayer
The Black Hawk City Council met in the Council Chambers for their regularly scheduled meeting on December 10th, 2014. Mayor David Spellman, Aldermen Jim Johnson, Paul Bennett, Linda Armbright, Benito Torres, and Hal Midcap along with City Attorney Corey Hoffman and City Manager Jack Lewis were present. Alderman Greg Moates was absent.
IT Director’s Retirement
Members of the City Council held a cake reception for retiring City IT Director Jeffrey Young. Young began his career with the City in April 2003 as an IT Consultant before becoming a the IT Director in December of 2007. Young thanked the City for working with him as the City’s IT department started from scratch. “We started from almost nothing to where we are today,” Young said.
Recreational Marijuana Business License
Aldermen conditionally approved a recreational marijuana business license application for 5B1S, LLC DBA 1859 at 231 Gregory Street. The conditions included that the business obtain all other required permits or licenses related to the operation of a recreational marijuana store, complete background investigations on all employees, and a City inspection of the premises.
City Council approved the 2015 budget. The City’s total revenue is projected to be $25.9 million, a decrease of 1.9% over 2014’s. The City is anticipating gaming tax revue to be flat as compared to the previous year, though device fee revenues are expected to be up slightly. Sales tax revenue is also expected to be flat. There will be no increase in water rates, property taxes or device taxes.
Total expenditures are budgeted at $39.2 million. Due to ambitious capital projects incurred in 2014 and 2015, the General Fund, Capital Projects Fund, Preservation & Restoration Fund and the Water Fund are projected to have significant deficit spending. Proposed capital funds projects include construction of a commercial building on Gregory Street ($6.3 million) and construction of a parking structure on Gregory Street ($2.8 million from the budget coupled with $1.5 million from parking impact funds).
Aldermen approved Council Bill 26 that sets the property tax mill levy at .039 mills. The mill levy is the same as 2014’s rate. The assessed value for property in Black Hawk according to the Gilpin County Assessor is $217,921,025. The tax will produce $8,499 in revenue for the City.
Exterior Rehabilitation Certificates of Appropriateness
The City Council approved two certificates of appropriateness for full exterior rehabilitation and site work at two different residences. The first was for applicants Lloyd and Christina Larsen for a historic dwelling located at 301 High Street. The second was for applicants Josh Smith and Mary Keefhus for property located at 401 Chase Street.
Change of Use for Sanitary Sewer Taps
Aldermen approved a resolution authorizing the change of use of the sanitary sewer taps on city-owned property located at 211 and 260 Gregory Street. The sewer taps were classified as “gaming,” however; the City intends the property to be used for non-gaming commercial activities. Downgrading the tap use to reflect the non-gaming commercial status will reduce the associated user fees incurred by the City.
2015 Holiday Schedule and City Council Meeting Schedule
City Council approved the 2015 Holiday Schedule and the 2015 City Council Regular Council Meeting Schedule. The City has eleven approved Holidays slated for 2015. Veteran’s Day was removed from the recognized holiday list and turned into a floating Holiday as a cost saving measure to the City. “It does not mean that Veteran’s Day is not important in the scheme of things,” City Manager Jack Lewis noted.
Aldermen also approved the continuation of regular City Council Meeting on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month at 3:00 p.m. Exceptions will be in November and December when the meetings will be held on the 1st Wednesday. A second meeting is tentatively set for the 2nd Wednesday of November and December if Council determines a need for the second meeting.
Veteran’s Memorial Plaque at Dory Hill Cemetery
City Council approved the placement of a veteran’s memorial plaque at the Dory Hill Cemetery. The request was made by the Mountain Rendezvous Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution to honor the deceased veterans interred at the cemetery. Council voted to require that a bronze plaque be used standard with other Black Hawk plaques, and also approved covering the cost different of the upgrade from the enamel black requested by the DAR. The City will build a quartz memorial to go along with the plaque and voted to cover the cost of that addition as well.
Transportation Services Agreement
Aldermen approved an agreement with MV Public Transportation for management and operation of the Black Hawk Tramway. MV Public Transportation has been the providing transportation services for the City for several years. The service will cost Black Hawk $6,487 per month in 2015 and is the same as the 2014 rate.
City Manager’s Report
City Manager Jack Lewis requested the Council to decide whether the City should keep its current use of USA Cable’s channel 10 or discontinue use of the antiquated form of media. Lewis noted that in order to continue using the cable channel as a means of promoting information to residents about the City, $500-$1000 in equipment upgrades would be needed. He questioned the value in retaining the channel considering the City recently launched a new website that contains the same, if not more, information. Aldermen agreed that the cable channel was unnecessary and gave Lewis approval to continue with the website only.
The next regularly scheduled meeting for the Black Hawk City Council is Wednesday, January 14th at 3:00 p.m. in the council chambers located upstairs at 211 Church Street, Black Hawk.
Photo caption: Retiring IT Director Jeffrey Young receives a plaque thanking him for his service to the City of Black Hawk from Mayor David Spellman.