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Black Hawk opposes Amendment 74 for hidden agenda by special interest groups

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Council working with Georgetown on lake dredging project

By Randy Beaudette

Republican candidate for Gilpin County Clerk and Recorder Gail Maxwell rang the old church bell to announce the regular meeting of the Black Hawk City Council. The meeting was called to order on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 3 p.m. by Mayor David Spellman.

Along with Mayor Spellman were Aldermen: Linda Armbright, Paul Bennett, Hal Midcap, and Greg Moates, and Jim Johnson. Benito Torres was absent. Also present City Manager Jack Lewis and City Attorney Corey Hoffmann. Others in attendance were, Finance Director Lance Hillis, Community Planning and Development Administrator Cindy Linker, Public Works Director Tom Isbester, Fire Chief Christopher Woolley, Police Chief Stephen Cole, and Deputy City Clerk Michele Martin.

After Mayor Spellman led all in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance, City Attorney Cory Huffman asked Council to declare any Conflicts of Interest on any issue appearing on the agenda this afternoon other that than those already disclosed and filed with the City Clerk and Secretary of State. There were no objections.

City Attorney Hoffman then asked the audience if there were any objections to any member of City Council voting on any issue on the agenda this afternoon. The audience had no objections.

Agenda Changes

Resolution 64-2018 a resolution opposing amendment 74 and an amendment to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the town of Georgetown concerning the dredging of Georgetown Lake were both added to the agenda.

Executive Session

  Black Hawk City Council recessed to go into Executive Session on matters regarding negotiations in pursuant to C.R.S. 24-6- 402 (E)

Public Comment

Republican candidate for Gilpin County Clerk and Recorder Gail Maxwell addressed the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen concerning her candidacy for the Clerk and Recorder. Ms. Maxwell introduced herself, discussed her background and experience in the Clerk and Recorder’s office, and informed the Board of Aldermen of the peculiarities of the upcoming elections this year. She thanked the Board for their time asked for their consideration for her in the race for the Clerk and Recorder’s office.

Approval of Meeting Minutes

The meeting minutes were approved from the September 26, 2018 regular meeting. Alderman Jim Johnson abstained from the vote due to his absence of the September 26th meeting.

Public Hearing

  City Attorney Corey Hoffmann presented Ordinance 2018-22, which is an Ordinance Amending Chapter 5, Article V, of the Black Hawk Municipal Code to Expand the City’s Use Tax to All Tangible Property and All Taxable Services, Upon Approval of the Voters.

On November 6, 2018 City voters will be asked to approve an increase of the rate of the Use Tax as well as expansion of the Use Tax to apply to the privilege of using, storing, distributing or consuming any article of tangible personal property within the City. If voter approval is obtained, revisions to the Black Hawk Municipal Code will be required to enact the changes. This Ordinance conditionally implements the aforementioned changes, pending results from the upcoming election. Monarch Casino General Manager Craig Pleva requested clarification from the Board of Alderman on what goods and services this tax will affect. City Attorney Corey Hoffmann explained that this tax only affects goods that are purchased and acquired in another tax district. He used an example that if a business purchases material at Home Depot in town, they would have to pay an additional tax to the City of Black Hawk. Hoffmann also explained that there are a very few services that are affected by this tax. There were no other comments and Black Hawk City Council approved Ordinance 2018-22 unanimously.

Action Items

Black Hawk City Council also approved Resolution 64-2018 which is a Resolution Opposing Amendment 74, An Attempt to Amend the Colorado Constitution to Drastically Limit State and Local Government Services at a High Cost to Taxpayers. Amendment 74 has been written by certain out-of-state corporate interests to change the text of the Colorado Constitution, Article II, Section 15, which dates back to 1876 and threatens basic governmental services. Amendment 74 declares that any state or local government law or regulation that “reduces” the “fair market value” of a private parcel is subject to “just compensation.” Amendment 74 is shrouded in simple language and sounds like a good idea, but it has far-reaching and unintended impacts. Under the current Colorado Constitution, a property owner already has the right to seek compensation from state or local governments, so special interest groups should not be using our state’s most important document for their benefit. Amendment 74 essentially gives oil companies and farmers/ranchers a way to seek compensation from the state if new regulations, or new drilling restrictions are passed and diminish the value of their land or ability to develop their mineral rights. Every local government decision could be impacted and subject to a lawsuit under the measure. Those will be costly court battles that no city or town can afford.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) amendment

Black Hawk City Board of Aldermen approved an amendment to the MOU between the town of Georgetown, Colorado and the City of Black Hawk, Colorado for the design and construction of the Georgetown Lake lagoon dredging project.

City Manager Report

  City Manager Jack Lewis was happy to report that the City of Black Hawk 2019 draft budget is complete and ready for review by City Council. The budget is due on October 15. Mr. Lewis expressed his gratitude to Finance Director Lance Hillis for submitting the budget five days before the deadline. A work session is scheduled for October 24, 2018 at 2 p.m. to discuss the submitted budget.

City Attorney Report

City Attorney Hoffmann recommended an executive session regarding a potential claim against the City. Motion carried and Black Hawk City Council recessed to executive session at 3:29 p.m.

Next Meeting

The next Black Hawk City Council meeting will be October 24, 2018 at 3 p.m. at 211 Church Street, Black Hawk, Colorado.

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