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Black Hawk ponders improvements to annual 4th of July fireworks display

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Chase Street rehabilitation project, BID appointment

By Lynn Volkens

Black Hawk Mayor David Spellman and City Council members Linda Armbright, Paul Bennett, Diane Cales, Jim Johnson, Greg Moates and Benito Torres met for their regularly scheduled City Council meeting on July 24, 2013. They appointed a new member to the Business Improvement District, approved a grant-funded residential rehabilitation project, and discussed the 4th of July fireworks display.

BID Appointment

After conducting the required public hearing, the Aldermen approved Council Bill 36, an ordinance appointing John Zimpel, owner of Bullwhackers Casino, to the Black Hawk Business Improvement District.

301 Chase Street

  Big Valley Construction won the contract to rehabilitate the home at 301 Chase Street, owned by Cynthia and Larry Linker. Two other contractors submitted bids: White Construction Group and Whitestone Construction. Big Valley was the only one of the three to submit a complete bid package including bid certification forms and lists of subcontractors. Big Valley’s bid came in at $538,729; White Construction Group, $614,300; and Whitestone Construction, $632,946. In addition to the lower bid amount, Big Valley’s costs for “alternates” (portions of the project that will be paid for by the homeowners) was significantly lower at $7,036 (White Construction: $14,700; Whitestone Construction: $17,968). Work is scheduled to start on August 5, 2013, and be completed by March 5, 2013. Should there be any change orders, Big Valley’s overhead and profit amount is locked in at 13%.

Grant Proposal

Terry Peterson returned to the Council with a revised proposal for a grant application to CSU-Global in the amount of $1,000. The funding, if awarded, will be used to add an HPC section to the City’s website. Peterson had originally presented the application with a proposal to add information to the website that included a listing of the historic landmarks and residential renovations, a history of the properties, and a narrative of Black Hawk’s rise from a mining town to present day leader in Colorado’s gaming industry. The Council declined that application as it contained a clause allowing CSU-Global’s logo to be put on the City’s website. Mayor Spellman had suggested that Peterson focus on the historic landmarks and exclude the individual residential property renovations. The revised application proposes to list only the Black Hawk properties that have current historic landmark status or are expected to have that designation in the future, with a narrative history of each property and the story of Black Hawk’s history. If CSU-Global wants to pursue logo recognition on the City’s website, they can do that on their own, separately from the grant award. The addition of the HPC’s information is timely as the City is currently planning other enhancements for the website. Peterson’s position on the HPC plus his association with CSU provided the grant opportunity. The Aldermen approved the revised grant application.

Fireworks Music

  There were 354 unique devices connected to the music stream which accompanied the Boom Town fireworks display this year. Black Hawk’s Information Technician, Jeff Young, said the devices used only about half of the City’s network; it can handle 700-800 devices. He had reviewed online and other comments about the music. Of 32 comments, 22 were favorable, he said. Five of those commenting did not like the choice of music; five others preferred no music. Acknowledging that it’s hard to top the display as it is, City Manager Jack Lewis said he and City staff members would meet with the fireworks contractor shortly to discuss ideas for improvement.

NIMS Training

  The City Manager has scheduled a National Incident Management System (NIMS) class for the aldermen in October.

Attorney’s Update

  City Attorney Corey Hoffmann said the closing on the City’s purchase of the buildings at 211 and 260 Gregory Street (the former Eureka Casino and Winners’ Haven/Otto’s Casino) from Mutual of Omaha Bank is on schedule to occur on July 29, 2013. The purchase price is $1,400,000. The properties will become part of the Gregory Street Corridor, an area Black Hawk is developing for commercial enterprises.

Executive Session

  Following the business meeting, the Council met with Hoffmann in Executive Session to discuss matters of pending legislation and pending litigation. They took no further action.

Heads Up

  Black Hawk City Council meets next on August 14, 2013. One item planned for that agenda is consideration of appointments to the Historic Preservation Commission.

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