Gilpin adjusts summer events, assistance, and budget

April 2nd Commissioners Meeting

By Randy Beaudette

At the Thursday Gilpin County Commissioners online meeting, topics ranged from County summer events discussion to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, and the 2020 Budget expenditures adjustments.

Madam Chair Gail Watson Commissioners Ron Engels and Linda Isenhart were all present along with County Manager Abel Montoya, County Attorney Brad Benning, and Deputy Clerk Sharon Cates. Others from the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) joined in as needed.

COVID-19 Update

Public Health Coordinator Bonnie Albrecht and Emergency Manager Nathan Whittington presented the latest from the Gilpin County Emergency Office Center and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).  Ms. Albright began with “To date there are 3,342 COVID cases with 620 hospitalized, 50 counties are affected, with more than 18,000 tested, and 80 deaths. School closures have been extended until April 30. CDPHE has issued new guidelines for construction workers that are still on the job and considered essential.” Gilpin County still has zero cases. Nate Whittington added that the EOC had a re-origination meeting with the State of Colorado and the regional field managers to evaluate the cascading effects of the COVID-19. This being day 18 of the current Level II activation with a possible 30 more days activation to go, the team wanted to evaluate the process of an extended activation. Gilpin County Sheriff and Incident Commander Kevin Armstrong signed delegation of authority to the Unified Command Team (UCT) that consists of the EOC and Gilpin County Public Health along with the Black Hawk Emergency Office headed by Black Hawk Fire Chief Chris Woolley. Delegation of that authority took place at 8:00 am on April 2. The UCT will to relay information, track documentation, build a recovery structure that is approved through FEMA and work on guidance from the State of Colorado and FEMA Region 8.

2020 County Fair and Flea Market Frenzy Events Update

Gilpin County Parks and Recreation (GCPR) Director Kyle Benedict presented an update on the upcoming summer events. Conversations between the Fair Committee and GCPR are ongoing to establish a new date. The Flea Market Frenzy headed up by the High-Country Auxiliary (HCA) in June has been cancelled. A new date will be established as soon as a meeting between HCA and GCPR takes place. Nothing new concerning those two events, but as information becomes available, it will be posted on the County Website.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Funding

Human Services Director Laura Solomon presented a proposed policy for greater flexibility (Resolution 20-05) to the Gilpin County Board of Health. Gilpin County Human Services is requesting for more flexibility from the County and State regarding the distribution of TANF funding due to the County being under an Emergency Disaster declaration. A two-parent family with one child making up to $75,000 a year may qualify for a one-time distribution of $10,000 in aid. The TANF program is designed to help needy families achieve self-sufficiency. States receive block grants to design and operate programs that accomplish one of the purposes of the TANF program. The four purposes of the TANF program are to:

  • Provide assistance to needy families so that children can be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives
  • End the dependence of needy parents by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage
  • Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies
  • Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families

Gilpin County Board of Health approved Resolution 20-05 unanimously.

For more information call Gilpin County Human Services at (303) 582-5444 0r on the web at

Legal Report

Gilpin County Attorney Brad Benning reported that he is reviewing contracts on purchases to determine which contracts the County can be terminated with little or no ramifications and which contracts that the County is bound to. Expenditures on large ticket items have to be reduced due to the reductions in revenue. Vendors have been contacted and negotiations are ongoing. Mr. Benning also reported that he is actively coordinating responses on the Metroplex petition which will be up for review the second week of April.

County Manager’s Report

County Manager Abel Montoya reported updates from Human Services and Public Works.

Human Services Report

Human Services Director Laura Solomon reported that the Human Services status reports are now in a new format that is available on the new website which is linked to the Gilpin County website.

Public Works Report

Public Works Director Gordon Thompson reported that as long as the Emergency Declaration is in place, household solid waste disposal along with recyclables will be free to any County resident. Some folks thought that this would be a good time to perform some spring cleaning and dispose of their items that would normally go into the large roll-off bins. Trucks with 45 to 50 bags have been showing up with much more than household trash. Bags of construction debris and carpet have been disposed in the compactor which it is not equipped to handle. In order to curb such abuse, Public Work will impose a three-bag limit of household trash per vehicle. Also note corrugated cardboard will now be accepted in a special bin. Just ask the attendant on duty for instructions.

2020 Expenditures Update

County Manager Abel Montoya and Finance Director Clorinda Smith once again reviewed the expenditures that were scheduled to be dispersed 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the reductions of revenue, a reduction of non-essential expenditures must take place in order for the County to be fiscally responsible. Some of the expenditure’s contracts have legal ramifications if they are terminated and some are already in progress such as new vehicles for the Sheriff’s Department and some heavy machinery for Public Works. The goal that County manager Montoya has set for himself and the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) is to delay purchases if possible without legal ramifications and favor a position to repair the current equipment rather than replace them. This is considering the uncertain environment in which small governments such as Gilpin County are trying to navigate around in. Some items that were entered into the delay column included furniture at the Courthouse, the Thorn Lake project, and the Social Media, Web and re-branding project. Items that were given a green light were the playground equipment at the ballfields that is covered mostly by an Outdoors for Colorado grant, the much-needed culvert on Crawford Gulch Road, Public Works fuel system update, and other essential projects. The Commissioners reiterated that work will continue on the Human Services/ Public Health building since the biggest portion of the renovation expenses are covered by a DOLA grant.

Notice of Public Meetings

Online meetings are scheduled every Tuesday and Thursday at 9:00 am for the duration of the Emergency Disaster declaration.

Executive Session

A motion was passed to recess into Executive Session per CRS-24-6-402(4)(b) to confer with an attorney for the local public body for the purposes of receiving legal advice on specific legal questions.  

Stay up-to-date

For up-to-date information and the next meeting refer to the Gilpin County website at

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