Fire restrictions lifted in Gilpin County

Russell Gulch Phase II Survey grants awarded

By Randy Beaudette

Once again the Gilpin County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) Chair Ron Engels along with Gail Watson, Linda Isenhart, were greeted with a full and varied agenda for the regular Commissioners meeting that took place promptly at 9:01 a.m. on Tuesday October 9, 2018 at the Historic Gilpin County Courthouse. To assist with the tasks at hand were County Manager Abel Montoya, County Attorney Bradford (Brad) Benning, and Deputy Clerk to the Board Sharon Cate.

Agenda Changes

Resolution 18-22, to rescind the County’s Temporary Fire Restrictions, was added to the agenda.

Appreciation of Service

Gilpin County Commissioners formally recognized Nora Shumate for 16 years of service to Gilpin County Human Services Department. Ms. Shumate is moving on to join her husband in their family business.

Audit Review 

  Gilpin County Finance director Clorinda Smith and C.P.A Wendy Swanhorst, a representative of Hinkle & Company, presented the 2017 Financial Statements and Audit Review to the Gilpin County Commissioners. The lengthy report listed items like 2017 Financial Highlights, Governmental Funds, Fiduciary Funds, etc. Total Net Position serves as a useful indicator of a County’s financial position. At the close of 2017 assets exceeded liabilities and deferred inflows of resources to indicate a Total Net Position of $40.2 million dollars. This is an increase of $1.2 million dollars over the 2016 report. Because this is an informational report, it was not necessary for the Commissioners to make a motion to accept the favorable report. A copy of the report will soon be available on

County Employee Health Benefits Renewal

Human Resources Director Susie Allen presented two different options for the Medical and Dental insurance for County Employees. Gilpin County Commissioners elected to renew the current dental plan with upgrades which will be a 2.2% cost reduction and also renew PPO base grandfathered plan. The renewed plan has $100,000 Stop Loss, zero deductible, Max out of pocket will be $2,000 (single), $6,000 (family) for the base plan and $1,000 (single) $3,000 (family) Max out of pocket for the buy-up plan. Both plans were approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report

Gilpin County Treasurer Alynn Huffman presented Treasurer’s Report for the month of September 2018. Once again, the percentage of taxes collected are down in 2018. So far this year only 99.47% of the taxes have been collected down from last year’s percentage of 99.73%. This shortfall in percentages does not have an effect on the $22.5 million dollar County Funds grand total for this year in comparison to last year’s total of $20.6 million dollars. One thing that stands out in the report is that Ms. Huffman and her staff has moved a lot of money around into safer accounts. $6.0 million dollars was moved into the Colorado Trust General account, and an additional $2.0 million was moved into the C Safe account.

Firearms Exchange

Gilpin County Commissioners approved Resolution #18-20 which authorizes the exchange of certain county owned firearms acquired by the Sherriff’s Office in the course of performing the statutory duties of the Department. These firearms will be exchanged with Federally Licensed Firearms dealer for the purpose of acquiring firearms, parts, etc. more suitable for law enforcement activities.

Rescinding Fire Restrictions

Gilpin County Commissioners also approved Resolution 18-22 which rescinds the County-wide Stage 1 temporary fire restrictions.

Historical Surveys

Gilpin County Community Development Director Stephen Strohminger presented Resolution 18-21 approving the award of the Archaeological and Building Survey Bids to Flattops Archaeological Consultants for the archaeological portion, and to Three Gables Preservation for the structural portion of the survey. This is for the Russell Gulch Phase II survey that will be funded by a $24,914 grant received in July from the Colorado State Historic Preservation Office. Gilpin County Commissioners approved Resolution 18-21 awarding the bids to the two firms.

Boundary Line Adjustment (BLA)

Gilpin County Community Development Director Stephen Strohminger presented a Boundary line Adjustment (BLA 16-04) to the Gilpin County Commissioners on behalf of Lucas and Dori Little and Kelly Sineni in the Meadowlake Mountain Acres subdivision. The BLA will eliminate the 1.96 acre Lot #4 and combine it with Lots #6 and #7 to form Lot #6A at 2.09 acres and Lot #7A and make it 2.26 acres. Gilpin County Commissioners approved BLA 16-04 unanimously.

Legal Status

County Attorney Brad Benning asked Director Strohminger about the status on the Dirk Larsen property in the Russell Gulch area. Strohminger replied that the last inspection of the property last week, one camper had been removed and there were some additional improvements on the property, but other than that little has changed on the status of the property cleanup. Benning explained to the Commissioners that the judgement from the September court proceedings assessed a $6,000 fine in a one-time judgement, plus a $100 per day per diem in fines. These fines are being transferred to liens. The liens are recorded on all the properties Mr. Larsen owns inside and outside of Gilpin County. Mr. Benning also reported that because some County employees are running for elected positions, the County Attorney office has been contacted to work with the County Clerk’s Office to provide guidance to make this a smooth and transparent process prior to the upcoming election.

County Manager’s report

County Manager Abel Montoya reported that a series of meetings with County employees along with the County Attorney office to remind employees what’s allowed and what isn’t in regards to campaigning and politics in the workplace. Mr. Montoya also proposed a number of future work sessions with topics such as Affordable Housing and assistance, Veteran Services, County Security, Animal Livestock Mediation Board by-laws, Animal ordinances, radio systems and a shared dispatch center, and law enforcement issues in the National Forests. Commissioner Gail Watson proposed an additional work session on the sustainability for the County, specifically in light to the United Nations (UN) projection that climate change will hit much sooner than previously thought. Watson continues,” I think this is a conversation we should be having here.” Mr. Montoya agreed to add county sustainability to the list of work sessions.

Notice of Public Meetings

October 13, at 9 a.m. – Meet the Candidates   Gilpin County Community Center 250 Norton Drive

October 16, at 9 a.m. – Budget Hearings, Apex Facility, 495 Apex Valley Road

October 17, at 11 a.m. – Budget Hearings, Apex Facility, 495 Apex Valley Road

October 18, at 9 a.m. – Budget Hearings, Apex Facility, 495 Apex Valley Road

October 30, at 9 a.m. – Budget Hearings, Apex Facility, 495 Apex Valley Road

Child Welfare Allocation Committee

Gilpin County Commissioners ratified and recognized that Jeanne McQeeney is the Child Welfare Allocation Committee Mountain District Representative.

Approval of Minutes

  Gilpin County Commissioners approved the meeting minutes from the September 25, 2018 regular meeting and from October 2, 2018 special meeting.


Gilpin County Commissioners adjourned their regular meeting at 10:20 a.m. then went into the executive session at 10:22 a.m.

Next Meeting

The next Gilpin County Commissioners regular meeting will be October 17, 2018 at 9 a.m. at the historical Gilpin County Courthouse located at 203 Eureka St. Central City, Colorado.

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