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Gilpin and Clear Creek counties pursuing joint high-speed internet improvements


Commissioners submit application for broadband DOLA grant

by Heather Worrell

The regular meeting for the Board of County Commissioners was called to order at 9 am and held at the Gilpin County Courthouse in Central City. All three commissioners were present. There were no public comments.

Clerk & Recorder Monthly Report

County Clerk & Recorder Colleen Stewart presented her monthly report to the Board. She indicated that her department has been busy. In November, there were revenues totaling over $153,000. This shows an increase over last year of about 25%.

Jefferson Center for Mental Health Board Appointment

The Board next reviewed a letter of interest from Karen Erdman for the Jefferson Center for Mental Health (JCMH) Board of Directors appointment. This board represents all different facets of the society from government officials to attorneys, to advisors, financial advisors and several other various others. JCMH currently requires two representatives from Gilpin County, the first is a Commissioner representative currently filled by Linda Isenhart.

The second is an at-large-community position. George Clark in Clear Creek has been serving in this role, however he is planning to step down. Erdman wrote a letter of interest noting that she has worked for the Department of Human Services for the last 20 years and has various other skills and experience that would make her an excellent candidate for consideration. Isenhart noted that Karen has worked in Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties and that she has a good working relationship with both counties. Commissioner Gail Watson indicated that she is very appreciative that Erdman is volunteering to serve in this capacity. The Commissioners approved this appointment.

Annual Board Appointments

Commissioners approved the Annual Board of County Commissioners Appointments. Each year the Board must formally note the various appointments including: Commissioners to Convey; Chair of the Board of County Commissioners; County Manager; County Attorney; Administrative Assistant to Board of County Commissioners; Budget Officer; Chief Building Inspector; Emergency Preparedness Coordinator; Board of Adjustment; Local Liquor Licensing Authority; Depository Banks for Gilpin County, and the Newspaper of Record.

The appointment changes for 2016 were to make Linda Isenhart the Commissioner Board Chair as well as appointing Kevin Armstrong as the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. Isenhart thanked Commissioner Schmalz, “As a freshman Commissioner last year, you were a great support to me. You leave some big shoes to fill.” Isenhart immediately began acting as Chair.

Monthly Reports and Correspondence

County Manager Roger Baker provided monthly departmental reports to the Commissioners. The first was from the Parks & Recreation Department for the month of November. There were total of 871 individual county residents that used the facility during November a total of 3,091 times.

Recycle and waste expenses are being passed along according to the rates the County is charged. Shingles and computer monitors must be disposed differently than regular trash and these rates have changed. Basic disposal and recycling rates will not change. There have been ongoing changes about how cardboard is handled at the transfer station. Larger cardboard boxes should be deposited at the cardboard collection area while the smaller cartons, like soda or cereal boxes, will be recycled with the paper. Baker indicates that some additional changes may be made as they see how this works.

Commissioners Status Report

The Board first provided notice of public meetings. The next Coffee with the Commissioners meeting will be on January 19 at the recreation center. On January 20 the Commissioners will participate in a five county breakfast. The participating counties take turns paying and hosting for these meetings. Also, Commissioner Watson wants to schedule a work session for the economic development and revenue generation and dialogue about five-year budget discussion.

DOLA Application for Broadband Infrastructure

Gilpin and Clear Creek Counties are working together to submit a DOLA Broadband Assessment. A request for proposal has been created and prepared by Clear Creek IT Director John Bottomley. This RFP also includes work for western Jefferson County for some reason, which caused some noted concern from Commissioners. Jefferson County didn’t repeal Senate Bill152 because most of their county is well-served in the area of broadband and telecommunications infrastructure. Bottomley was not available for comment on the reason the rural west Jefferson County area was included.

The DOLA assessment grant is in the total amount of $100,000 with a 25% match to be split from Gilpin and Clear Creek counties. The Commissioners approved the submitting of the RFP as presented to them by Bottomley with the intention to keep the project moving forward. The Commissioners will be looking at the scope of work very carefully once proposals come in.

Other Business

The December 22 meeting minutes were approved by Commissioners. The meeting minutes for the Board of Human Services were also approved from the same date.

Executive Session and Adjournment

County Attorney Jim Petrock had nothing to report, but did request an executive session for matters related to providing legal advice and negotiation positions. This session occurred after the meeting was adjourned at 9:45 am.

Correction for Employee Raises from the Last Meeting

Commissioner Isenhart wanted to provide a correction to the reported facts from the last meeting. All employees across the board will receive a pay increase (via market adjustment) as opposed to just a few. In the previous Weekly Register-Call issue printed December 31, the article indicated that employees would not be eligible for both the market adjustment and merit increase, but this is not the case. There are only about ten employees, also including elected officials, who would not be eligible for a merit increase. A few employees would not be eligible due to their compensation already being at the upper limits of the appropriate pay scale for their position.

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