Black Hawk takes care of business

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Council reviews rock mitigation, BID, fire regulations, and decorations

By Staci McBrayer

The Black Hawk City Council met in the Council Chambers for their regularly scheduled meeting on August 27, 2014. Mayor David Spellman, Aldermen Jim Johnson, Paul Bennett, Linda Armbright, Greg Moates, Hal Midcap and Benito Torres along with City Attorney Corey Hoffman were present. City Manager Jack Lewis was absent.

New Employee

The Aldermen were introduced to new employee Rebecca Blondo. Blondo is filling the position of Executive Administrative Assistant.

Public Comment

Mary Kay and Gerard Schopen, owners of the property at 321 High Street, spoke to the Aldermen during the public comment section of the meeting regarding concerns they had regarding the denial of their site work application for 321 High Street. The Schopens received an official denial at the administrative level on July 28th. Mr. Schopen stated that they are specifically looking for corrective action to keep rocks from coming down and ultimately destroying the house.

The denial denied a rock wall, and Mr. Schopen asked the Aldermen if a wall is not practical, what about a net? Mayor Spellman noted informed Mr. Schopen that a public hearing will be set for September 24th to address the issue.

Black Hawk Business Improvement District

Aldermen approved CB15 that allowed for the inclusion of City Hall, located at 201 Selak Street, in the Black Hawk Business Improvement District. The same resolution changed the boundaries of the district due to the inclusion. Aldermen approved a resolution at the previous meeting that authorized the Mayor, as the representative of the City, to petition the City for the inclusion. The petition also specified that the City Hall Property will become tax-exempt and will not be assessed.

The new ordinance rectifies a situation created by the new Black Hawk sign code that made it illegal for casinos to post items on their windows. This would include posting meeting notices. The inclusion of the City Hall in the district will allow casinos to post meeting notices at the City Hall.

Aldermen also appointed two directors to the Board of the Black Hawk Business Improvement District. Sean Demeule, general manager at the Ameristar Casino, and Craig Pleva, general manager at the Monarch Casino, were appointed.

Fire Department Rules, Regulations, and Standard Operating Guidelines

Fire Chief Don Taylor presented the Council with a revised Fire Department Rules and Regulations and Standard Operating Guidelines. Taylor said the updates made necessary modifications to existing fire department policies to match changes made to the City policies. A few new guidelines were added including protocols for the proper presentation of the U.S. Flag in inclement weather, death in the line of duty, and serious injury and death to immediate family member.

Spellman asked Taylor why are the regulations were referred to as “guidelines” and not “standard operating procedures.” Taylor said they want the officers to have the ability to make judgment decisions on the fly instead of having black and white policy. “We don’t want them to have to worry about violating policy if it is in the best interest of the call or the citizen or the personnel,” Taylor told the Council.

General Fund Paint Program Guide to Program

City Council approved the General Fund Paint to Program Guide to Program that was continued from the August 13th meeting. All residential properties within the City Limits of Black Hawk are qualified to participate even if they are non-historic. The program covers preparation work and paint, but not significant repairs. The funding cycle is once every five years. However, once a property has participated under the five-year cycle, eligibility reverts to an eight-year cycle.

Holiday Decoration Contract

Aldermen approved the holiday decorations contract for the 2014-2015 holiday season. The contractor is Alpine Artisan Studios and the contract is not to exceed $142,917.20.

The City has used the specialty contractor for the last four years. Existing décor will be refurbished, cleaned, and placed in generally the same locations as last year. New additions will be a wreath and sprays placed on Miner’s Mesa and a new 16-foot tree and giant gifts to be displayed for the entrance to the City on Hwy 119. The décor will be up prior to Thanksgiving and will be removed in early February.

City Manager’s Report

Police Chief Stephen Cole sat in for City Manager Lewis and gave his report for him. Cole requested approval to dispose of a street sweeper and two old bluebird buses. Council gave a consensus for the disposal.

Next Meeting

 The next regularly scheduled meeting for the Black Hawk City Council is Wednesday, September 10th at 3:00 pm in the council chambers located upstairs at 211 Church Street, Black Hawk.



Photo Caption: Rebecca Blondo joins the Black Hawk staff as Executive Administrative Assistant. 

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