Black Hawk receives annexation protest from Central City

Public Works Reorganization

By Randy Beaudette

Two amendments to Black Hawk’s Pay Plan and the license agreement with the Monarch Growth Inc., and an annexation protest from Central City were the highlights from the Black Hawk City Council regular meeting held on February 26, 2020.

Baseline Engineering representative Julie Estrel rang the bell promptly at 3:00 pm to signal the start of the meeting. Mayor Spellman called the Council to order followed by Roll Call, then led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Council members present were Aldermen Linda Armbright, Paul Bennett, Jim Johnson, Hal Midcap, Greg Moates, and Benito Torres. Also present were City Attorney Corey Hoffmann, City Manager Stephen Cole, Police Chief Kenneth Lloyd, Fire Chief Christopher Woolley, City Clerk/ Administrative Services Director Melissa Greiner, Finance Director Lance Hillis, Planning and Development Director Cindy Linker, and Deputy City Clerk Michele Martin.

City Attorney Hoffmann 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 from the City Council or from the attendees in the chambers.


Black Hawk Aldermen approved the meeting minutes from the January 22, 2020 Regular Meeting with no changes or amendments.


Pay Plan Amendment (Council Bill-1/ Ordinance 2020-1)

City Clerk/ Administrative Services Director Melissa Greiner introduced CB1/ Ordinance 2020-1 which is an Ordinance Amending the City of Black Hawk 2020 Pay Plan for the Public Works Organizational Structure.  The City contracted with HR Green, Inc. in June of 2019 for an assessment of the Public Works Department’s organizational structure. HR Green noted the Public Works Director currently has eight direct reports, which is more than optimal. HR Green recommended restructuring the Public Works Department and after reviewing their recommendations. HR Green recommended the following changes in Public Works:

Restructure Public Works into three (3) Divisions: Engineering, Maintenance, and Water, thereby reducing the span of control (direct reports) for the Public Works Director. Reducing the number of direct reports will allow the Public Works Director more time to lead the Public Works Department strategically.

Add a Civil Engineer (new position budgeted for 2020) to support the current high level of project management work and to provide bench depth in succession planning for impending retirements.

Add a Maintenance Services Manager (new position budgeted for 2020) to supervise a Fleet Supervisor, Streets Supervisor, and Facilities Supervisor. The Maintenance Services Manager will direct all maintenance operations and report to the Department Director.

Add new classifications of a Lead worker in the Fleet, Street Maintenance, Facilities, and Water Divisions. The Lead workers will be existing employees who will report directly to Supervisors within their respective units. The change provides opportunities to develop leadership skills for existing staff and supports succession planning.

Add a new classification of City Engineer (currently the Senior Civil Engineer) to provide supervision of the new Civil Engineer (new position budgeted for 2020), the GIS Analyst/ Engineering Associate, consultants, and CIP projects. The City Engineer will share the workload but have supervisory responsibilities.

Add a new classification of Water Manager (currently Senior Civil Engineer – Water Resources position) to provide additional oversight to the Water Division. In summary, two new positions (Maintenance Services Manager and Civil Engineer) were approved in the 2020 budget as well as the new classifications, as potential changes were anticipated within the Public Works Department.

The restructuring of the Department is needed to position the Department to effectively and efficiently address the City’s growth and increased workload. The new positions will increase staffing by two (2) employees to 33 full-time employees and two (2) seasonal, part-time employees.

There were no public inputs for or against the Ordinance and Black Hawk City Council approved Ordinance 2020-1 unanimously.

License Amendment (Resolution 20-2020)

A Resolution Approving the First Amendment to the License Between the City of Black Hawk, Colorado and Monarch Growth, Inc. Black Hawk City Council approved the Resolution amending the License Agreement between the City of Black Hawk and Monarch Growth, Inc to include the correct legal description depicting the location of the improvements of the Monarch Hotel Tower extending over the Main Street Right-of-Way. The City of Black Hawk has received an application from Daniel Farahi requesting an amendment to an existing license agreement previously approved by Resolution No. 60-2016 which includes portions of the Monarch Hotel Tower that extend into the right-of-way. The improvements contemplated by the original agreement are not located within the property licensed as defined in the original agreement, and the City and applicant therefore desire to amend the original agreement to add more airspace encroachment.

Lease Agreement (Resolution 21-2020)

Black Hawk City Council also approved Resolution 21-2020 Approving the Agreement of Lease Between the City of Black Hawk as Lessor and Basin & Bend PBC as Lessee. The term of this Lease shall commence on March 1, 2020, and shall expire on February 28, 2023.

City Attorney’s Report

City Attorney Corey Hoffmann presented the Central City letter objecting to the proposed Annexation of Lake Whiskey Gulch. The Requested Annexation of Parcels of Unincorporated Territory Located in the County of Gilpin (Lake Gulch Whiskey Resort Annexations), a Resolution accepting the petitions for annexation and establishing March 25, 2020, as the date of the public hearing on the requested annexation of parcels of unincorporated territory located in the County of Gilpin (Lake Gulch Whiskey Resort annexations). The City of Black Hawk has received seven petitions for the annexation of property in unincorporated Gilpin County. The petitions are from RSM Partners LLC, landowner, and cover approximately 221.9 acres of land south of Miners Mesa and north/east of Lake Gulch Road. The petitions appear to be in substantial compliance with the requirements of state statutes and the public hearing concerning the annexation can be set. The proposed public hearing date is March 25, 2020.

Central City filed the letter of objection due to the possible time sensitivities operating upon the parties, however, Central City feels compelled, now to clearly and strongly express its position that annexation and development of the site, as it has been presented recently, would directly violate the 1999  Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) and agreement still in effect and is binding upon both Central City and Black Hawk, as well as Gilpin County and the Black Hawk-Central City Sanitation District.

City Attorney Hoffmann reported that in the packet was a correspondence that the City had received from the City of Central in response to the City of Black Hawk adopting the Resolution of Substantial Compliance related to the RSM Annexation indicting their preliminary objection to the proposed annexation. He said that he at strongly disagrees with the position that the City of Central has taken, but nonetheless, the City did have a productive meeting with Central yesterday and are continuing to discuss the matter with them.

Mayor Spellman added that Council does believe that the County Commissioners are in support of the annexation, so he has reached out to Commissioner Ron Engels and invited him to the public hearing on March 25 to speak in favor of the annexation as the Commissioner from District 1. Mayor Spellman said he believes Commissioner Engels is the appropriate commissioner to come and speak in favor of it and he thinks it is consistent with the County’s plan and goal to diversify from gaming, so it is a good opportunity for the County to support this project. The project will certainly drive additional assessed valuation their way, ideally drive more visitation to Black Hawk, and drive gaming revenue, so he said he thinks the County realizes what a win-win this is not just for Black Hawk, but also for the County.

Executive Session

Council made a motion to recess into Executive Session to confer with an attorney for the local public body for the purposes of receiving legal advice on specific legal questions.

Next Meeting

The next Black Hawk City Council regular meeting will be held on March 11, 2020 at 3:00 pm at 211 Church Street, Black Hawk, Colorado. For more information visit

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply