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Commissioners approve radio tower near Justice Center

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Deputy at school, meeting with Dory Lakes officials

By Lynn Volkens

Gilpin County Commissioners Buddy Schmalz, Connie McLain and Gail Watson met February 12, 2013. They took another look at a proposal to employ a full-time deputy at Gilpin County Re-1 School District, and they moved forward with the erection of a radio tower near the Justice Center on Dory Hill Road.

Personnel Policy Amendments

  Following up on amendments recommended by Human Resources Director Susie Allen at their last meeting, Commissioners adopted Resolution 13-01, revising the document and changing the document title from “The Gilpin County Personnel Policies and Guidelines” to “The Gilpin County Employee Handbook.” The revisions, discussed at a work session on January 31, 2013, include allowing volunteer emergency responders (mainly firefighters) to continue to draw their County pay while responding to a very limited number of emergencies, as needed (natural disasters such as a wild land fire, and structure fires). Other revisions mentioned, and Allen said there were a lot of them, include marijuana prohibitions and the appeals process for employee disputes. The final Handbook is to be distributed to all employees and meetings will be held to discuss the revisions.

Treasurer’s and Public Trustee’s Reports

  Gilpin County Treasurer Alynn Huffman presented her January report showing 0.53% of County Taxes collected as of January 31, 2013. At that time, the County’s coffers contained a grand total of $8,527,889 (compared to $8,028,669 at the same time last year). The breakdown of the ten funds making up that grand total are as follows: General Fund, $6,090,259; Department of Human Services, $779,727; Public Works, $589,896; Solid Waste, $169,365; Retirement, $159,265; Public Health Agency, $155,002; Library Fund, $68,250; Retirement Fund, $61,797; County Abatement, $505; and Capital Improvement Fund, $0.

Huffman also presented the 2012 Fourth Quarter Public Trustee Report showing the Trustee’s beginning balance on September 30, 2012 as $60,953; Income (sales, releases, interest) totaling $36,793; Disbursements (Clerk fees, advertising, redemption/refunds, Kuvera fee, eFees, Public Trustee fund) totaling $38,062; and an Ending Balance on December 31, 2012 of $59,684. Commissioners accepted the report and Huffman disbursed $9,399 I Public Trustee fees and interest collected for this period. She also issued a check to Commissioners of $8,822 from her operating account for deposit to the Public Trustee Salary Fund encompassed in the County’s General Fund, to cover the 2012 fourth quarter salaries and invoices. A third check, issued to the Gilpin County Public Trustee Reserve Account was in the amount of $577 and represented the balance of fees and interest collected which must be put into the Reserve to maintain the amount that was budgeted for 2012.

The Public Trustee 2012 annual report (January 1-December showed a Beginning Balance of $66,741; Income of $149,105; Disbursements at $156,162; and an Ending Balance of $59,684. In total, the Trustee disbursed the Public Trustee fees and interest collected for 2012 in the amount of $26,637; issued checks to the Commissioners in the amount of $26,976 for the Public Trustee Salary Fund and $339 to the Reserve Account.

Huffman provided a summary of foreclosures in Gilpin County for 2012 in its entirety. Foreclosures numbered 56 in 2012 (down from 86 in 2011). Releases were up: 458 in 2012 compared to 345 in 2011.

Pine Ridge Boundary Line Adjustment

Adjacent property owners of Pine Ridge Parcels E (Daniel Marks) and Parcel D (Laura Danley) have come to an agreement that will settle a setback encroachment at 34982 Pine Ridge Lane (off Camp Eden Road). The parties have been working on a resolution since last summer. They’ve agreed to a Boundary Line Adjustment (BLA) which will eliminate the need for the variance which Marks had originally requested. Community Planner Ray Rears brought Commissioners up to date on the matter and they approved BLA 12-02, which will be filed with the County Clerk and Recorder.

Mountain Family Health Centers Agreement

Commissioners approved an agreement for Mountain Family Health Centers (MFHC) to provide medical services for Gilpin County residents. Specifically, MFHC will provide flu shots for Gilpin County residents, on a first come-first served basis at a charge of $10 per resident. The County stipulates how many doses it will fund each year and MFHC purchases that number and administers them. Public Health Coordinator Ann Marie Bailey said she had authorized purchase of 200 vaccines for this flu season and that there are still some left. Due to poor attendance at flu “clinics” this year, Bailey said she was discontinuing the clinics and vaccines would be given at MFHC. MFHC also administers Hepatitis B vaccine to county employees, as required. Gilpin reimburses MFHC services at the rate of $35 per hour for the Registered Nurse; $20 per hour for the Medical Assistant; and $00.485 per mile for travel time. The agreement is effective January 1, 2013 until terminated. MFHC is currently looking for a doctor to staff the center in Black Hawk.

School Requests On-site Deputy

  Gilpin County Undersheriff Jon Bayne presented a proposal to have a deputy stationed at Gilpin County School on days the school is in session. While at the school, the deputy would respond to calls to service at the school. There were 121 calls for service at the school in 2012 and the Sheriff’s Office reports 345 hours were spent at the school by a deputy doing school checks. While at the school, the deputy would be expected to maintain high visibility to aid in detection and prevention of dangerous incidents and crime at the school, and act as a liaison and resource for school personnel, parents and the Sheriff’s Office. The cost for a deputy, including base pay and benefits at 41%, would be $73,602. During summertime and school breaks, the deputy would be assigned to routine patrol and other duties at the Sheriff’s Office. The proposal shows there will be 151 days in the school year for 2013 and that there would be 57 days when the deputy would not have to be on site. Undersheriff Bayne provided a survey showing how neighboring counties are handling and funding duty school officers. Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) has one School Resource Officer (SRO) who stays mainly at one school, but does travel to others. Deputies do school checks as well. Boulder County funds the SRO. In St. Vrain Valley School District, the school district funds 1 ½ of two SROS and Boulder County funds the additional. Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has nine deputies and one sergeant who are SRO’s for the schools in unincorporated areas only and who deal mainly with juvenile problems when not at the schools. JeffCo funds these SROS 100%. Neither Summit nor Grand County have SRO’s. Clear Creek County has one full-time salaried SRO for which the school district pays Clear Creek County $25,000.

Gilpin Commissioners told Bayne to continue with the current school coverage for the remainder of this school year. Commissioners plan to meet with Gilpin School Board members to discuss the school’s current safety plan, the need for an officer and how to fund that officer’s pay and benefits. Gilpin School’s Interim Superintendent, Morris Ververs, told Commissioners the school board has not committed to funding an officer. After meeting with the school board, Commissioners plan to hold a forum for the community regarding putting an officer on duty full-time at the school. Following those meetings, Commissioners hope to have a plan in place before school starts again in the fall. Commissioner Watson stressed that there are children in Gilpin County who attend Boulder Valley School District schools, and she wants to make sure whatever the County does is fair to that district as well.

Dory Hill Radio Tower

  Steve Watson, the County’s Emergency Preparedness Director and Communications Supervisor, asked Commissioners to approve additional funding of $9,000 so that he could move forward with erection of a radio tower on the east side of the Justice Center on Dory Hill Road. Commissioners had budgeted $25,000 for the project, but the project cost will be $34,000. Watson said he needed immediate approval as a deadline to meet federal regulations had expired last Friday. Commissioner Watson objected to the last minute presentation, noting as a new commissioner, she was not up to speed on the tower project. She also expressed concerns that the tower job had not been put out for competitive bids. The proposed plan utilizes a tower Sheriff Hartman had acquired from an agency that was scrapping it a few years ago. That tower can be reinforced and rebuilt to serve Gilpin’s needs, thus keeping the cost to $34,000. The bulk of the cost is for the concrete pad to anchor the tower, which is proposed to be 140 feet high and will not require a flashing red light at the top. The main purpose of the tower will be to comply with federal regulations requiring that law enforcement stop using broadband frequencies by January 1, 2013 (Gilpin has a one year waiver). The tower will primarily improve communications for Gilpin law enforcement and allow them to communicate with agencies in nearby counties and the metropolitan area. It is hoped that a cell phone service provider will utilize the tower as well.  Commissioners determined that they would be risking less than $10,000 and that, with a performance bond written into the contract, the risk was reduced of erecting a used tower that, for whatever reason, didn’t work. They voted unanimously to proceed with the used tower.   

Departmental Reports

  The Human Resources January report shows the County was employing a total of 176 people at the end of last month; 112 are full-time employees; 56 are part-time (6 with partial benefits); and 8 Property Tax Work off Program participants. Turnover in 2012 was 25%, up from 11.81 % in 2011 and 16% in 2010. Human Resources Director Susie Allen had compiled turnover statistics via Mountain States Employers Council (MSEC) for the years 2005-2011 which show that “Gilpin appears to have a consistently higher turnover rate than other Colorado governmental agencies.” The average length of service for all current full-time Gilpin County employees is 7 years and 9 months. Based on age-related information, Allen speculated that 24 employees (excluding Property Tax Work Off Program participants and elected officials) will retire over the next five years.

At the Parks and Recreation Department, the January report shows 1,076 individual County residents used the Community Center last month, comprising a total of 4,238 visits. Adding observers, non-residents and class attendees brings the number of individuals up to 1,376 and the corresponding total number of visits up to 5,321. Drop-In Admission fees raised $2,618 in revenues for January, and Membership fees brought in $6,268. Eighty-five children are participating in the youth basketball program, including quite a few from Nederland. There are now a dozen teams. The spring season of Adult COED Volleyball is beginning shortly.

The Sheriff’s Office/Detentions Division January report shows 79 total bookings for last month (61 male). The breakdown of agencies originating the arrests: Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office, 42; Black Hawk Police Department, 18; Central City police Department, 12; Colorado State Patrol, 5; and Division of Gaming, 2. Sixty-one of the arrests were gaming-related. Six arrestees were Gilpinites. The average daily population at the County Jail was 47 inmates.

Historic Preservation Commission Application

  Commissioners appointed Mike Keeler to fill a vacancy on the County’s Historic Preservation Commission.

Executive Session

  County Attorney Jim Petrock requested an Executive Session to discuss the Limited Gaming law with Commissioners.

Dory Lakes Work Session

  Dave Hunter and Mike Lobato introduced themselves to Commissioners as the new president and vice president, respectively, of the Dory Lakes Property Owners Association (DLPOA). That board is currently seeking one more member. County Manager Roger Baker and County Attorney Petrock brought the DLPOA officials up to speed on the water storage arrangement, and history, that the County has with DLPOA. Hunter said his top priority is revitalizing the playground/park area in the middle of the subdivision. Commissioner Schmalz commented that there might be a way to work together with the County on that project, at least in restoring the baseball field, as the County needs another place for Little Leaguers and others to practice.

Heads Up

  Gilpin County Commissioners meet next on February 26, 2013.

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