Commissioners approve vacation change for Gilpin employees

Lifeguards needed to keep pool open

By Randy Beaudette

An increase in lifeguard compensation, the County’s Hazard Mitigation Grant, and a change in the County employee handbook were a few of the highlights of the January 21, 2020 Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) regular meeting.

Madam-Chair Gale Watson sounded the gavel promptly at 9:00 am to announce the meeting along with Commissioners Linda Isenhart and Ron Engels, County Attorney Bradford (Brad) Benning, County Manager Abel Montoya, and Deputy Clerk to the Board Sharon Cate.

Cost Allocation Plan

Gilpin County Financial Director Clorinda Smith presented the 2020 Cost Allocation Plan Agreement between the County of Gilpin and MGT of America Consulting, LLC. A Cost Allocation plan is necessary in order to receive funds from the State of Colorado for Finance, Human Recourses, Information Technology (IT), County Manager, and facility items. Total cost for this agreement will be $4,550 which is included in the 2020 budget and because this is already in the budget, Commissioner Engels questioned the necessity for approval as this should be an informational item. All three Commissioners agreed that this no longer needs to be presented for approval, but they did unanimously approve authorization for Ms. Smith to sign the agreement in the future to streamline the process.

Vacation Accrual changes for County Employees 

Gilpin County BoCC unanimously approved a change to the Gilpin County Employees Handbook concerning Vacation Accrual as presented by Human Resources Specialist Christine Wilhelm. Currently the County Manager needs to approve waivers if an employee has accrued over 208 hours in any given pay period. The new wording will no longer require a waiver; employees may continue to accrue vacation hours without the potential by-weekly deadline of use or reduction of accrued vacation hours. If accrued hours over 208 are not used in the upcoming calendar year, the hours over 208 shall be forfeited the final payroll of the year.

Lifeguard pay rate increase 

Parks and Recreation Kyle Benedict presented a proposal to increase the compensation of the currently vacated Head Lifeguard position to $15.14 per hour. The Head Lifeguard position has been vacated since August 2018 and hasn’t received any applications since August 2019. The advertised starting rate $12.36/hr. plus benefits for 30 hours per week. This position is integral to the early morning and day time operations of its aquatic facility. Parks and Recreation Department is now faced with not having adequate staff to keep the pools open for the weekday 8am to 12pm shifts. The increase in pay is aligned with similar positions in surrounding counties. Gilpin County Commissioners approved the request unanimously.

Hazard Mitigation Grant

Gilpin County Emergency Manager Nathan Whittington presented an application for a Hazardous Mitigation Grant to fund an outside contractor to complete a two-year Hazard Mitigation and Community Wildfire Preparedness Plans for Gilpin County. The current Plan, written in May 2016, is in need of an update and there are residual Federal Funds available for such purposes. Gilpin County BoCC approved the application unanimously.

Colorado Communities for Climate Change Action (CC4CA)

Colorado Communities for Climate Change Action Executive Director Jacob Smith presented an informational session to the Commissioners and those in the chambers explaining the roles and legislative successes of the Colorado Communities for Climate Change Action coalition. Colorado Communities for Climate Change Action or CC4CA is a coalition of 32 counties and municipalities across Colorado advocating for effective state climate policy, CC4CA members span the Western Slope and the Front Range. CC4CA is touted as an increasing influential organization at the State Capital that regularly meets with state legislatures and is invited to testify legislative hearings and played a consequential role on climate related legislation during the 2019 session. The twenty-minute presentation also covered the possible impacts of climate change on communities such as less water, less snow, extreme weather events, infrastructure damage, health risks and an increase of wildfire events. The Commissioners thanked Mr. Smith for his presentation and agreed that it is a good cause.

Surveying Services Agreement  

Gilpin County Commissioners approved an agreement between Gilpin County and Flatirons Inc. for Surveying, Engineering, and Geomatics services as presented by Gilpin County Community Development Director Stephen Strohminger. The term of the agreement goes into effect immediately and expires December 31, 2022.

Local Liquor Licensing

Madam-Chair Watson adjourned as the BoCC and reconvened as the Gilpin County Local Licensing Authority (LLA) at 10:05 am.

Gilpin County LLA approved Resolution 20-01 which allows licensed agents to increase the practice of tastings from 26 events to 52 events per calendar year.

The LLA reviewed the Retail Liquor License Renewal Applications for Mid County Liquors located at 17218 Hwy 119, Black Hawk, Colo. and Roy’s Last Shot located at 17268 Hwy 119, Black Hawk Colo. as presented by Deputy Clerk to the Board, Sharon Cate. The Board reviewed the applications and approved the renewals unanimously.

Legal Report

Reconvening  as the BoCC, the Commissioners heard from Gilpin County Attorney Brad Benning stating that there will be an executive session on the FAA matters following the regular meeting per CRS 24-402(4) (b) to hold conferences with an attorney for the local public body for the purposes of receiving legal advice on specific legal questions.

County Manager Report

Gilpin County Manager Abel Montoya presented a series of reports from Human Services, the December Report from the Public Works Department, and the December detentions report from the Sheriff’s Department. All are available at

Notice of Public Meetings

Other than the Regular meetings, there will be Work Session on February 6, 2020 at 9:00 am. Location will be at the Gilpin County Courthouse, 203 Eureka, Central City, Co.

Next Meeting

The next Regular meeting will be February 4, 2020 at 9:00 am at the Gilpin County Courthouse, 203 Eureka, Central City, Co.

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