Commissioners review Gilpin Quality of Life survey

Residents not happy about Dory Hill Road closures

By Randy Beaudette

The Gilpin County Quality of Life survey results and the Dory Hill Road closure dominated the conversation at the Gilpin County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting held on Tuesday July 9, 2019 at the Gilpin County Courthouse.

In attendance at the meeting were Madam Chair Linda Isenhart along with Commissioners Ron Engels and Gail Watson. Also present County Attorney Jim Petrock, County Manager Abel Montoya and Deputy Clerk to the Board Sharon Cate.

Public Comment

During the Public Comments time, Commissioner Engels played a voice mail he received last night from an unhappy resident that resides on Dory Hill Road. He expressed his concern about emergency access to his residence and the fact that his wife had to detour over to Hwy 119 around by the Justice Center and down Dory Hill Road, an additional eight miles, in order to get home. Engels responded that in the spirit of doing the right thing he was on the phone to Excel inviting them to the Commissioner’s meeting to answer some of these questions. A recently received email explained that Excel would not be able to attend the meeting, but they are going to look into this matter to ensure that overnight closures will not be happening in the future. For information on County road closures visit the County website at or the Gilpin County Sheriff’s website at

Quality of Life Survey Results

From the results received back from the recent Gilpin County Quality of Life Survey, most folks in the County are, for the most part, satisfied with the way the County is operating. Jerry Lindsleg from The Center for Research and Public Policy Inc. presented the survey results to the Gilpin County Commissioners. Residents listed the lack of available health care and amenities (grocery stores, banks, and shops) for things they don’t like about Gilpin County. The lack of a county-wide broadband was also high on the unfavorable list. Overall the majority of residents responded favorably to the Quality of Life experienced in the County. Results will be available soon on the Gilpin County website.

Insurance Broker for County Employees

The Gilpin County Commissioners unanimously approved Moody Insurance Agency as Gilpin County’s employee group insurance broker. The County solicited proposals from brokers to provide a full range of services related to the design, implementation, maintenance, communication, and improvement of the employee’s group insurance plan. Out of all the proposals, Moody’s provided the needed services at a reduced price.

Boundary Line Adjustment

Gilpin County Community Planner Danial Horn presented a Boundary Line Adjustment (BLA 19-01) on behalf of Michael McCarty and Beverly and Elroy Adams all of which reside on Upper Moon Gulch where the BLA will occur. The applicant requested to convey twelve acres from the 1830 Upper Moon Gulch address to 1624 Upper Moon Gulch Road due to a septic and leach field location. Gilpin County Commissioners approved BLA 19-01 unanimously.

Distribution of National Forest Funds

Gilpin County Treasurer Mary Lorenz presented a request to allocate $29,972 from the National Forest fund. Gilpin County RE-1 will receive $14,031, Boulder RE-2 will receive $5,750, and Gilpin County Road and Bridge will receive $10,190. This is an informational report and a vote from the Commissioners was not necessary.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Mary Lorenz also presented two monthly reports to the BOCC. One report was for the month of April 2019 and the other for May of 2019. The Monthly Reports show once again that the percentage of  County Taxes collected  this year are higher than last year’s (shown in parenthesis) The April report shows that 70.29% (57.52%) were collected with a Grand Total of $20.8 million dollars. The May report had equally impressive results with 77.61% (75.42%) of the taxes collected for Grand total of $16 million dollars, which is $1.21 million dollars over May 2018 totals. The $4 million Grand Total drop from April to May was due in large part to a $4.1 million dollar Payable to Districts Total.

Clerk and Recorder Report

Gilpin County Clerk and Recorder Sahari McCormick and Chief Deputy Clerk Elaine Lewers presented the Clerk and Recorder’s monthly report for the months of April and May of 2019. McCormick stated that even though the State Department of Revenue gained about $16,000 more, the Collected County Portion remained about the same. All other disbursements remained about the same. The May report showed a big difference in the funds that the State Department of Revenue gained, which is what the County Clerk’s office lost. McCormick had no explanation for this disparity, but her office has turned all of the reports from 2017, 2018, and 2019 over to the State Comptroller’s office to audit those records. The State said on the surface it looks unusual, but they will audit the 2017 and 2018 records. The Commissioners agreed with the State that a nearly $30,000 difference in the numbers is something that needs to be looked into. McCormick concluded that the State informed her that the old system was not aligned with the State’s Statutes as they were passed, and they were expecting to see a distribution shift in funds, but not one of this magnitude.

County Attorney’s Report

Gilpin County Attorney Jim Petrock reported that he now has access to all the exhibits attached to the Xcel Energy permit. They are installing approximately 15 miles of natural gas line through the county. Dory Hill Road has a prescriptive easement and is so narrow in some places that Xcel has to close that road in some places labeled “rolling stops.” Nobody would be denied access to their property, but they may not get to their property on a route they are used to. Commissioner Engels stated he is concerned about emergency access and that should be available around the clock. Petrock replied the he didn’t know if there is anything in the permit that is inconsistent with that notice was given to everyone. The Sheriff knows about this and the information is available on the Sheriff’s website.

County Manager’s Report

Gilpin County Manager Abel Montoya also commented on the subject of the Xcel road closures stating that Xcel has committed to resolve this issue and they are meeting with us Friday to discuss this with us. At that meeting the exact language of the permit will be discussed to let them know what they can and cannot do and from there we can continue the conversation. It certainly sounds like Xcel wants to resolve this issue.

Public Works Report

Gilpin County Public Works Director Gordon Thompson presented the March, April, and May Gilpin County Public Works Department report to the Commissioners. Highlights included the large volume of recycled asphalt being utilized in the County. The County’s stolen gooseneck trailer has been partially recovered at a makeshift trailer chop shop between Adams and Weld County. Apparently these people get a hold of stolen trailers and chop them up to make new trailers. The majority of the trailer has not been recovered yet. All that remains is the gooseneck hitch that had identifying numbers that traced it back to Gilpin County Public Works. The stolen trailer was a custom unit that Public Works fabricated in their shop that consisted of a flatbed trailer with a crane with grappling hook on it to lift culverts into place. Once the insurance pays out the insured cost, the County will have to obtain the needed parts and fabricate another trailer.

Commissioners Public Meetings

–July 18, Thursday, 6-7 pm – US Forrest Service Shooting Decision  Gilpin County Community, Center, 250 Norton Drive

–July 12, Friday, 9 am – BOCC Work Session, Gilpin County Courthouse, 203 Eureka Street

–July 17, Wednesday, 6:30-8 pm – Conversation with Commissioners (Coffee, Road trip), Rollinsville Public Works, 135 Tolland Road

Meeting Minutes

Gilpin County Commissioners approved the minutes from the June 25, 2019 regular meeting with some corrections.

Public Comment

Tom Brienza and Shirley Arends expressed their concerns about the Dory Hill Road closures in case of medical, fire, or law enforcement emergencies.

Sandy Hollingsworth complimented the County officials on doing the Quality of Life Survey. With a background in human services, she expressed the importance of getting input from the community to focus on areas that are important to our future. County Manager Abel Montoya asked Ms. Hollingsworth to refer any questions about the survey to him.

Adjournment & Next Meeting

Gilpin County Commissioners adjourned at 11:05 a.m.

The next Gilpin County Commissioners regular meeting will be July 9, 2019 at 9 a.m. at the Gilpin County Courthouse at 203 Eureka St. Central City, Colorado. For more information, visit the Gilpin County website at

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