FAA provides public response period to increased air traffic over Gilpin County

Commissioners review shooting complaints in Virginia Canyon

By Randy Beaudette

At the Gilpin County Commissioner’s (BoCC) meeting on November 19, 2019, highlights of the agenda included a Letter to the FAA concerning flight paths over Gilpin County, a Public Safety Radio Infrastructure Study Presentation, and a Shield 616 funding request.

Madam Chair Linda Isenhart opened up the meeting promptly at 9:05 a.m. with Commissioners Gail Watson and Ron Engels. Also present County Attorney Brad Benning, County Manager Abel Montoya, and Deputy Clerk to the Board Sharon Cate.

Agenda Changes

Commissioner Watson requested to add a NoCi 2050 discussion to the agenda. There were no other additions or changes.

Letter to FAA Concerning Flight Paths over Gilpin County

The Commissioners presented a letter that was published in last week’s Weekly Register-Call and sent to the FAA North West Mountain Region Administrator David Suomi concerning the increase of aircraft traffic over Gilpin County. The letter expressed concern about the Denver Metroplex Project and the lack of notification and involvement in our county. FAA Administrator Suomi replied that the letter was received on November 18 and it will be reviewed. As a side note, the final Environmental Assessment (EA) report was released on November 18, 2019 to be followed by a 32 day public comment period that expires on December 20, 2019. According to Madam Chair Isenhart, a copy of that report is on hand and available for review at the Gilpin County Library or can be viewed online at http://www.metroplexenvironmental.com/denver_metroplex/denver_docs.html.

Public Safety Radio Infrastructure Study Presentation

Gilpin County Sheriff Kevin Armstrong, Gilpin County Communications Manager Lyssa Gray, along with Talion Defense Corp. representative Brian Wilkerson presented the final results of the Public Safety Radio Infrastructure Study to the Commissioners. On August 20, 2019 the Board of County Commissioners approved the Public Safety Radio Infrastructure Study Agreement to evaluate Gilpin County’s current radio infrastructure and determine the appropriate path forward to ensure effective radio communications for Gilpin County agencies their partners. The current VHF system and end user equipment will need to be upgraded within six months to a year. Currently, Gilpin County is on an L-Core system with Clear Creek County and the City of Black Hawk. As of January 2020 the agreements of maintaining the L-Core system will expire and Gilpin will need to evaluate its plan for the current VHF infrastructure maintenance. The report suggests that the County upgrade to the “Digital Trunked Radio System” (DTRS-800) or 800 Meg system. The DTRS 800 additions would provide more coverage throughout the county and allow for interoperability with other partners plus the State will maintain the DTRS system infrastructure at no charge to the County.

Agreement for Cooperative Wildfire Protection

Gilpin County Emergency Preparedness Manager Nate Whittington presented the annual Cooperative Wildfire Protection Agreement between Gilpin County and Colorado Department of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC). DFPC agrees to provide technical assistance upon request to the County, the Fire Departments on local fire safety matters such as fire prevention, fire protection, fire investigation and emergency medical services. Gilpin County Commissioners approved the agreement unanimously.

Shield 616 Funding Request

Gilpin residents Lewis and Dianna Wagner along with Gilpin County Sheriff Kevin Armstrong presented a $40,000 request for funding to the Shield 616 program to provide equipment for all Gilpin County Sheriff’s personnel. Shield 616 is a community and faith based program that provides law enforcement with all day rifle protecting armor to include vests from Angel Armor and protective helmets from Revision. The number 616 comes from Ephesians 6:16 “Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Gilpin County Commissioners did not make a motion on this issue due to the notion that there should be a separation between church and state. The Commissioners thanked Mr. and Mrs. Wagner and agreed that any protective equipment needed by law enforcement, should be formally submitted and included into the annual budget. Shield 616 has already procured seven or eight kits for Gilpin County personnel to be presented in January.

Historic Preservation Advisory Commission (Resolution 19-01)

Gilpin County Commissioners made a motion for continuance of the first reading of the Historical Preservation revised Ordinance as presented by Historic Preservation Advisory Commission Secretary Tami Archer. For over two years the Historical Preservation Advisory Commission (HAC) has worked on developing a revised Historical Preservation Ordinance for Gilpin County. A workshop with the BoCC and HAC members was held in May 2019 to review the first draft of the proposal new ordinance which provides a very strong legal and operational framework for applicants, staff, HAC, and the BoCC. Another work session has been schedule for December 5th or 12th depending on the upcoming schedule. The final reading and formal adoption of Ordinance 19-01 will be presented soon after that.

Treasurer’s Monthly Report

Gilpin County Treasurer Mary Lorenz presented the October 2019 Monthly Report to the Commissioners. The Monthly Report shows once again that the amount of Property Taxes collected this year is 98.79%, a slight drop under the 99.96% from last year with a Grand Total of $21.6 million dollars for 2019, approximately $597,000 over the 2018 Grand Total. Ms. Lorenz also reported that on the very first online auction for delinquent properties started the morning of November 19th, there were 156 registered bidders competing for 116 parcels.

Shooting Complaints

Gilpin County Attorney Brad Benning reported that a follow up of the shooting complaints and zoning issues is currently underway to obtain proof of the violations on the Santiago Garcia property located at 591 Virginia Canyon Road. The property owners allowed Machine Gun Tours, which is a commercial operation, to utilize the property which is not zoned light commercial (C3). Machine Gun Tours notified the Sheriff’s office prior to the event and informed them that they are a licensed legal operator with registered legal fully automatic and high powered firearms and will be shooting on the property.

A second violation is being reviewed at 646 Emery Road which involves an Air B&B that also offers access to a shooting range on the property. A notice of violation has been sent out, but it is unclear if the property owners have received said notice. Mr. Benning added that recently the shooting range access has been removed from their website advertising the Air B&B.

Letter of Support for City of Central’s DOLA Grant Application for Belvidere Theatre

Gilpin County Manager Abel Montoya along with Community Development Director Office Manager Tami Archer presented a Letter of Support for approval from the Gilpin County Historic Preservation Advisory Commission (HAC) to the City of Central’s DOLA grant application for the rehabilitation of the historic Belvedere Theatre. Gilpin County Commissioners ratified the Letter of Support and agreed to initiate another Letter of Support from the BoCC.

High Country Auxiliary Facility Fee Waiver Request

Gilpin County Manager Abel Montoya along with Parks and Recreation Director Kyle Benedict, Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Gabrielle Chisholm, and Community Development Director Office Manager Tami Archer presented an issue that involves the Community Center rental and zoning. Under the Gilpin County Zoning Ordinance 2.13 identifies the process for a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) event less than 150 attendees is a Class A event, more than 150 attendees is considered a Class B event. The High Country Auxiliary Chili Supper held at the Rec Center is considered a Class B event that requires the organizers apply for a TUP through the Community Development Department. Commissioner Watson suggested that the Commissioners revisit this ordinance and adjust it accordingly. Additionally, the Commissioners agreed to waive the rental costs of the Community Center for the High Country Auxiliary Silent Auction and Chili Supper to be held in March.

Notice of Public Meetings

–November 27, at 8:00 am – Five-County Commissioners Breakfast Meeting  at the Wildfire Restaurant in Idaho Springs

–December 5, at 9:00 am – BoCC Work Session Gilpin County Courthouse in Central City

–December 19, at 9:00 am -BoCC Work Session Gilpin County Courthouse in Central City

Planning Commission Appointments

Gilpin County Commissioners appointed Dave Sietsema and Dorothy Sweet to the Gilpin County Planning Commission.

NoCo PLACES 2050

NoCo PLACES 2050 was formed out of the Northern Front Range Recreational Sports Shooting Partnership to manage impact on our outdoor resources due to current and expected population and tourism growth. This work will include local recreation and natural resource stewardship plans at a county level, a regional recreation and natural resource stewardship plan that includes the Arapahoe and Roosevelt National Forest (ARNF), and a forest plan update for the ARNF. These plans will include strategies to share in the management, infrastructure development, and maintenance of public lands for better and more efficient stewardship of natural resources and public lands.


Resolution #19-10 – 2019 Budget Supplemental

Gilpin County Commissioners unanimously approved the 2019 Budget Supplemental as presented by Gilpin County Finance Director Clorinda Smith. The supplemental noted an additional $312,860 in expenditures and $123,900 in revenues to equal $188,960 in additional expenditures.

Meeting minutes

The Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners approved the Meeting Minutes for November 5, 2019 regular meeting with no corrections or amendments.


Gilpin County Commissioners adjourned their Regular Meeting at 11:02 a.m.

Next Meeting

The next Gilpin County Commissioners regular meeting will be December 10, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. at the Gilpin County Courthouse at 203 Eureka St. Central City, Colorado.

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