Gilpin Commissioners debate County health insurance options

Timberline FPD mil levy ballot issue supported

By Randy Beaudette

Gilpin County Commissioners Chair Ron Engels, Gail Watson, and Linda Isenhart, faced a full and varied agenda for the regular Commissioners meeting that took place on Tuesday September 25, 2018 at the Gilpin County Courthouse. To assist with the tasks at hand were County Attorney Jim Petrock, County Manager Abel Montoya, and Deputy Clerk to the Board Sharon Cate.

Treasurer’s Report

Gilpin County Treasurer/ Public Trustee Alynn Huffman Treasurer’s Report for the month of August 2018 and the Public Trustee report for the second quarter of 2018. One item that stands out on the Treasurer’s Report, is that the percentage of taxes collected slumped slightly from 2017. So far this year only 97.76% of the taxes have been collected down from last year’s 98.96%. This shortfall in percentages does not have an effect on the $23.5 million dollar County Funds grand total for this year in comparison to last year’s $20.5 million dollars. Ms. Huffman also presented the Gilpin County Public Trustee Report for the second quarter of 2018. A sum of $17,380 was carried over from March 2018; add to that $314,408 of income from the first quarter minus $13,216 in total disbursements for first quarter 2018, and that leaves a total balance of $318,570. There were no questions from the Commissioners and the report was accepted

Washing Machine Bids

Gilpin County Sherriff’s Deputy Captain Tonia Kapke presented a supplemental request to the 2018 budget to replace a broken washing machine located in detentions. 2018 has been hard on equipment and the Sheriff’s department has had several items that have required attention in the jail and with the influx of inmates, additional jail uniforms and shoes have also been required. These items have all put a severe strain on the approved 2018 budget. The breakdown of the washing machine was not anticipated nor was it budgeted. Ms. Kapke submitted a request for $12,519 for the purchase and installation of a new commercial machine. Gilpin County facilities will assist with the removal and disposition of the old machine. Gilpin County Commissioners approved the request unanimously.

Justice Center Hot Water Recirculation Contract

Gilpin County Public Works Director Gordon Thompson presented a contract with JCOR Mechanical Inc. for the replacement of the aging hot water recirculation system. In July 2018 an analysis of the system revealed a number of pinhole leaks and initiations (beginnings of eventual pinhole perforations). It was recommended at that time to replace the aging copper system with a PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) piping and replace the recirculation pump. Total cost of the installation and repairs will cost $88,110. Gilpin County BoCC approved the contract and work can begin on the problematic recirculation system.

Timberline Ballot Issue

Gilpin County Commissioners approved Resolution #18-19 which will support passage of Timberline Fire Protection District ballot issue “A” in the upcoming November election for a mil levy increase. Due to the large increase in property values and double-digit growth in Colorado, all tax dependent municipalities, including Timberline FPD, are affected by the Gallagher Amendment of TABOR (Tax Payers Bill of Rights). The Gallagher Amendment, passed in 1982, was designed to maintain a constant ratio between the property tax revenue that comes from residential property and from business property. To simplify a set of complex formulas, the effect of Gallagher was to reduce the assessment rate (the percent of property value that is subject to taxation) whenever statewide total residential property values increased faster than business property values. (Source: With that, property taxpayers will see about an 18% decrease in the amount of taxes they pay. That translates into about a $70,000 drop in revenue for Timberline. If ballot issue “A” is passed, it will provide Timberline with the stabilized revenues needed to carry out their mission of protecting life and property within the District.

Employee insurance renewal

Gilpin County Human Services Director Susan Allen and Cook & Associates Representative, Bill Cook presented possible options that will affect the Gilpin County Employees 2019 health insurance plan. If the Commissioners renew the current grandfathered plans, the expected premium change will increase as much as 13.68 %. Under the Custom Plan which is non-grandfathered, the increase will cost Gilpin County about 8.89% more. Both options offer similar coverage except the current plan offers an $85K stop loss and the Custom plan contains a $100K stop loss. Another consideration on the table is a change the employee’s share of the medical premium, if the non-grandfathered option is approved, to reduce the burden of the County’s share. After a much heated and emotional debate, the Gilpin County Commissioners agreed to conduct a workshop on October 5, 2018 to fully understand the different options and then place it on the agenda for  the October 9th  regular meeting.

Library Report

Circulation for the month reached another all-time record high of approximately 3,230 items checked out, which is a 10.5% increase over this time last year. There were approximately 1,409 patron visits, which was a slight decrease, but overall Library use is up 7% for the year. Watch for the upcoming Bake & Book Sale on October 12the and 13th. For more info patrons are encouraged to visit

Detention Division report

Total bookings at the Gilpin County Sherriff’s Detention Center were down slightly for the month of August to 125. Domestic Victim related arrests were down, but DUI/DWAI offences took a slight jump over the previous month.

Public Works Report

Public Works Director Gordon Thompson reported that two aging snow plows were prepared for auction this last month along with a lowboy trailer. New equipment has already been purchased to replace these items. The reconstruction and recycled asphalt project has already been started on Apex Valley Road from Hwy 119 to beyond the County Apex facility. This project will include removing willows and reinforcing the creek bank, lifting the low areas of the road and capping the road with recycled asphalt.

Human Services Report

Gilpin County Human Services Director Sherrin Ashcroft reported that Colorado Human Services has recently migrated their servers to a Cloud based server. The state is implementing three interconnected main computer systems which are CBMS (system used to determining a citizens eligibility for assistance), TRAILS (the system that supports activities in the Division of Child Welfare), and CHATS (which is the system that determines eligibility in the Child Care Assistance Program. These systems are the backbone of the Human Services work that is performed by staff.

Approval of meeting minutes

Gilpin County Commissioners approve the minutes from the BoCC Regular meeting dated September 11, 2018 with some corrections.

Gilpin County Commissioners adjourned the meeting at 11:40 a.m.

Next Meeting

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

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