Gilpin Commissioners regret having to make decision

Commissioners April 23 Meeting

By Randy Beaudette

On April 23, 2020 the Gilpin Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) held a regular online meeting to discuss topics such as the Gilpin County Comprehensive Plan and The Church Ditch water lease. Commissioner Chair Gail Watson opened up the meeting at 9:00 am along with Commissioners Ron Engels and Linda Isenhart. Also online were County Manager Abel Montoya, County Attorney Brad Benning, and Deputy Clerk Sharon Cates. Others from the Senior Leadership Team joined in as needed.


Board Chair Gail Watson commented on the difficult decision to furlough employees of the Parks and Recreation Department. She expressed that the Board has a duty to provide statutory services to residents such as Sheriff’s department patrol, road maintenance, and other services. Regarding the discretionary yet vital services provided at the Community Center, the board deeply regrets having to make that decision and extend that regret and concern to the affected employees on furlough.

COVID Update

Gilpin County Public Health Coordinator Bonnie Albrecht reported that the single COVID case that was reported in Gilpin County in now out of the Intensive Care Unit and on the road to recovery. The contact tracking of the infected individual went well and all the contacts that are associated with the case are all in fourteen-day quarantine.

Emergency Manager Nathan Whittington informed the Commissioners that the EOC is reviewing its next revolution which is the upcoming wildfire season. They are reviewing policies and procedures as far as sheltering and evacuation concerns during the COVID-19 social distancing and how that impacts the County’s reaction to wildland fires. The Emergency Operations Center is continuing to support the County with supplies and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the first responders.

Church Ditch Water Lease

A Water Rights Lease between lessor Gilpin County and Lessee Gary Gambino for 4 inches of water from the Church Ditch water rights in the Golden area. The lease and its effectiveness are contingent upon the lessee paying Gilpin County $680 for the lease. The term of the agreement will be for the 2020 irrigation season only. Gilpin County commissioners agreed to approve the Church Ditch Water lease agreement.

Comprehensive Plan

Community Development Director Stephen Strohminger announced that on May 5th, the public is invited to join in a virtual meeting to comment on Gilpin County’s Comprehensive Plan. There are multiple Phases and Tasks of this project that will need to be accomplished, including four public input meetings, before the Comprehensive Land Use plan is implemented. Comprehensive Planning is a process that determines the County’s goals and aspirations in terms of community development. The result is called a plan that outlines and regulates public policies on transportation, utilities, land use, recreation, and housing. Comprehensive plans typically encompass large geographical areas, a broad range of topics, and will cover long-term projects. The open virtual meeting will be held on Tuesday May 5, from 5:30-7:30. For more information and the meeting invite, visit

Legal – FAA Update

County Attorney Brad Benning announced that a draft Statement of Issues has been completed and is ready to be filed next week along with a petition from Greenwood Village

County Management Report

County Manager Abel Montoya reported that the slash pile will be open to local residents only and will be operated by existing employees due to the hiring moratorium.

Human Services

Human Services Director Laura Solomon reported that according to her financial review of the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), the County is overspent by $15,000 as of February 29th. By the end of the fiscal year on June 30, it is projected that the County will have to raise $65,000 to break even. To make that up, Human Services reached out to other counties to purchase child care credits for a greatly reduced price. Gilpin County Commissioners approved $9,750 to receive $65,000 in credits.

Commissioners Meetings on Tuesdays Only

Gilpin County Commissioners agreed to no longer hold the Thursday meeting, but retain the Tuesday meetings every week.

Meeting Minutes

The Commissioners approved the meeting minutes from the April 21, 2020 Regular meeting.

Executive Session

The BoCC agreed to Adjourn to Executive Session pursuant to CRS 24-6-402(4)(b) to receive legal advice on policy matters and matters that may be subject to negotiations, and CRS 24-6-402(4)(e) to instruct negotiators.

Stay Up-to-Date

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

Recorded Meetings Online

All the Gilpin County BoCC recorded meetings from March 17, 2020 to present are available at




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