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County Commissioners approve installation of emergency call box at Fair Barn

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Board of Equalization meets regarding property valuation protests

by Patty Unruh

The Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) met on Thursday, August 2, at 9:00 a.m. at the Gilpin County Courthouse. Those present were Chair Ron Engels, Commissioners Linda Isenhart and Gail Watson, County Attorney Jim Petrock, and Deputy Clerk to the Board Sharon Cate. The only amendment to the agenda was the addition of a resolution, #18-11, supporting grant applications for the rehabilitation of the Belvidere Theatre by the City of Central.

Prior to beginning the meeting, Engels noted the addition of a new sound system, which included four speakers and nearly 20 wall panels around the room, in the same color as the walls. The new system improved the ability of the public to hear those speaking.

Engels also noted the passing of Gilpin County icon Bill Lorenz and requested a moment of silence.

There was no public comment on any agenda item.

Information about the Gilpin County Commissioners may be found at the new web address, www.gilpincounty.org.

Emergency Call Box

Vicki Nemec, phone system coordinator, presented a request for installation of an emergency call box outside of the Fair exhibit barn. The BOCC approved the request, which came following a horse death/rider accident at the arena earlier this summer, on a Saturday when the building was closed. There was some concern that an emergency may occur again when the facility is used outside normal business hours.

Accordingly, Nemec had priced a call box for the outside of the barn. She advised that the phone line from the Extension Agent’s office will be utilized for this phone, so no monthly expenses should be incurred after installation. The phone will have a push button that only dials 911, and no other calls could be made from the phone. Nemec had received a price quote of $1,235 for the phone, including equipment, labor, and installation.

Marijuana Zoning Regs

After the required public hearing at the August 2 meeting, the BOCC approved Resolution 18-09, Revisions to Zoning Regulations, Section 2.15 (Marijuana). Community Development Director Stephen Strohminger presented the resolution. The issue was whether to add a separation requirement to the regulations that marijuana cultivation facilities shall not locate less than 3,500 feet from other licensed marijuana cultivation facilities.

This had been considered several months ago, and at the BOCC’s March 27 meeting, the Commissioners had asked the County Planning Commission to revisit this requirement. It was the BOCC’s intent, with water use being an issue, that only one license be issued in each district of the county, for a total of three facilities.

The Resolution states that the revision adding the separation requirement will go into effect on August 6, 2018.

Minors after School at Community Center

Kyle Benedict, Director of Parks and Recreation at the Gilpin Community Center (GCC), presented new guidelines for after-school use of the GCC by 12- to 17-year-olds that would give more structure and safety to youth in this age group who are already visiting the center during this time. The Commissioners approved a new registration form that incorporated these guidelines.

Benedict indicated that no financial impact is expected.

The Commissioners discussed usage of the GCC as a benefit for Gilpin County employees and recommended a review of the pricing structure going forward and setting a meeting on special use groups.

The teen program needs to be in place by the start of Gilpin RE-1’s school year, Monday, August 13. A resolution was needed, and the BOCC pre-approved a resolution verbally before putting one in writing.

Core Plan for Child Welfare

Human Services Director Sherrin Ashcraft appeared regarding the Core Services Program. This is the third of a three-year plan that needed to be approved by the BOCC before submission to the Colorado Department of Human Services Division of Child Welfare. The plan outlines Core Services that are accessible to children and their families. The BOCC approved implementing the plan.

The services include home-based intervention, intensive family therapy, sexual abuse treatment, mental health, economic assistance, substance abuse treatment, and life skills, and are intended to help preserve families, protect children, and try to reunite children with their families.

Ashcraft explained that the county gets an allocation for Core Services from the state and federal governments.

“Last year, we got $85,000, and this year we got $83,000. We are pleased that this amount has not gone down more,” she said.

Based on the service, Gilpin County gets reimbursed by the state either 80 percent or 100 percent.

One problem is, if the plan does not list a particular service, that service can’t be used. Accordingly, Ashcraft listed all services. A dollar amount must be designated to each service, but that amount can be transferred among the various services as needed. A second difficulty is that in the past, many services were invoiced by the provider and paid by the case management service for Child Welfare; this year, she said, the county must pay.

She noted that it is common for most counties to exceed their funding, but the state has some funds to cover the excess.

Stage 2 Fire Restrictions Rescinded

The Commissioners approved Resolution 18-10 rescinding Stage 2 temporary fire restrictions that had been imposed on July 10, downgrading to Stage 1 restrictions. This had already been announced on July 25, but the Resolution made it official.

Sheriff Bruce Hartman noted that the current high percentage of smoke in the air is from California fires. A director from NOAA in Boulder had been in the Gilpin Sheriff’s Office the previous day to update a weather forecast.

“The long-range forecast is not bad. We are drying out, but there is supposed to be some moisture the first part of next week,” Hartman reported.

To avoid confusion to the public, he said, “We’ve gotten better at working with Boulder and Clear Creek Counties, so we all do the same restrictions at the same time.”

Briefly, Stage 1 restrictions include no maintaining of any campfire except within a permanently constructed fire grate in a developed campground or picnic area; no smoking except in enclosed or cleared areas; no open burning; no fireworks of any kind; no discharging firearms for recreational purposes on public lands; and no operating of a chainsaw or off-road vehicle without a spark arresting device in proper working order.

Some things that are permitted under Stage 1 restrictions include use of liquid or gas-fueled appliances, wood pellet stoves, charcoal barbeque grills, portable fireplaces, and welding appliances, provided all of these are not closer than 30 feet from an undeveloped area.

On a different subject, Hartman said the message board sign on the Central City Parkway, which is controlled by CDOT, had reported the previous night that there was an escaped prisoner. A count of prisoners in the Gilpin County Jail found that all were present. A female prisoner from Camp George West (Colorado Correctional Center) in Golden had escaped but had been apprehended.

Support for the Belvidere

The Commissioners approved, with minor wording changes, Resolution 18-11 Supporting Grant Applications for the Rehabilitation of the Belvidere Theatre by the City of Central. The Main Street Central City program had prepared a general letter of support for the BOCC to sign, to be used for a number of grant applications to fund restoration efforts on the Belvidere Theatre. The organization then decided that a BOCC resolution would carry more weight.

The Resolution stated that a revitalized Belvidere would provide a needed meeting space and performance venue and that grant applications for architectural plans and rehabilitation of the theatre are critical for the success of the project.

Legal Status Report

County Attorney Jim Petrock updated the Commissioners on the Dirk Larsen situation. Larsen had been served with a lawsuit and answered, denying all allegations. Petrock advised that Larsen is representing himself in the suit and hoped that a trial date in county court would be set within two or three weeks. He said he would ask for a two-day trial and expects the judge to rule from the bench. Commissioner Watson asked whether the county would get its legal fees covered. Petrock said that was not within the statute, but a per diem amount for expenses could be imposed.

Upcoming Meetings

Meetings for the BOCC in August occur on the following dates:

Tuesday, August 14, 4:00 p.m., Gilpin County Courthouse, work session with RJA Architecture. Same date and location, 7:00 p.m., joint work session regarding policy with Planning Commission.

Tuesday, August 21, 6:30 p.m., Gilpin Community Center, 250 Norton Drive, Coffee with the Commissioners.

Wednesday, August 22, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Apex Facility, 495 Apex Valley Road, Government immunity act training presented by CTSI (County Technical Services).

Department Reports

CSU Extension Director Irene Shonle’s written report for the second quarter of 2018 summarized progress on the weed spray check-out program and bids on the ROW spray/grant treatment. She also reported on the success of the Fire Preparedness Workshop in April, the mitigation grant, installation of stock tanks at the community gardens, and the 4-H programs.

Meeting Minutes

The BOCC approved the meeting minutes of July 24.

Executive Session

The BOCC adjourned the public session of the meeting at 9:57 and went into executive session pursuant to CRS 24-6-402(4), determining negotiation positions.

Board of Equalization

Following the executive session, the BOCC met as the Gilpin County Board of Equalization (BOE). The purpose of the meeting was to rule on the recommendations of Hearing Officer John W. Storb on property valuation protests. Engels advised that Storb was an independent, neutral third party who did not know either the property owners or the county officials involved. County Assessor Anne Schafer presented Storb’s recommendations for the BOE’s action.

The first property valuation protest was Schedule Number R005546. The Assessor’s Office valued that property at $422,830. The Commissioners voted 3 to 0 to affirm the Hearing Officer’s recommendation to accept the Assessor’s value.

The next protest was Schedule Number N002574. The Assessor had valued the property at $2,140. The Commissioners voted 3 to 0 to affirm the Hearing Officer’s recommendation to accept the Assessor’s value.

Next was Schedule Number N007573. The Assessor had valued this property at $14,100. The Commissioners voted 3 to 0 to affirm the Hearing Officer’s recommendation to accept the Assessor’s value.

Next was Schedule Number N012102. The Assessor had valued the property at $15,490. The Commissioners voted 3 to 0 to affirm the Hearing Officer’s recommendation to accept the Assessor’s value.

Next was Schedule Number R004209. The Assessor had valued the property at $29,770. Commissioner Watson moved to affirm the Hearing Officer’s recommendation to adjust the Assessor’s value to $1,082. Commissioner Isenhart seconded the motion, which passed by a vote of 3 to 0. After further discussion, Commissioner Watson moved to reject the Hearing Officer’s recommendation and to retain the Assessor’s value of $29,770. Commissioner Isenhart seconded the motion, which passed by a vote of 2 to 1, with Commissioner Engels voting against.

Next was Schedule Number R004208. The Assessor had valued the property at $5,730. Commissioner Watson moved to affirm the Hearing Officer’s recommendation to adjust the Assessor’s value to $425. Commissioner Isenhart seconded the motion, which passed by a vote of 3 to 0. After further discussion, Commissioner Watson moved to reject the Hearing Officer’s recommendation, and to retain the Assessor’s value of $5,730. Commissioner Isenhart seconded the motion, which passed by a vote of 2 to 1, with Commissioner Engels voting against.

Next was Schedule Number R002218. The Assessor had valued the property at $14,000. The Commissioners voted 3 to 0 to affirm the Hearing Officer’s recommendation to accept the Assessor’s value.

Last was Schedule Number R009355. The Assessor had valued the property at $16,200. The Commissioners voted 3 to 0 to affirm the Hearing Officer’s recommendation to accept the Assessor’s value.

The meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

Next Meeting

The next regular meeting of the Gilpin County Board of Commissioners will be at 9:00 a.m. on August 21 at the historic Gilpin County Courthouse, 203 Eureka Street, Central City, CO. For Gilpin County business or departments, visit www.gilpincounty.org.

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