Gilpin commissioners waiting on hospital capability and State approval to file casino and bar variance request

COVID-19 Testing Starts June 2 for Gilpin Residents

By Randy Beaudette

The May 26, 2020 Gilpin Board of County Commissioners held a special online meeting that featured topics such as an update from the Casino Opening variance discussion, an extension of Gilpin County’s Emergency Declaration, and a note on the progress of a COVID-19 testing site.

Board-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, Deputy Clerk Sharon Cate, and members from the Senior Leadership Team who joined in as needed.

COVID-19 Update

Gilpin County Emergency Manager Nathan Whittington provided the weekly COVID-19 update stating the Public Health Coordinator Bonnie Albright is currently in Clear Creek County with Gilpin County Ambulance Authority Manager Brandon Daruna to receive hands-on training needed to establish a local COVID-19 testing site available to Gilpin County residents. Testing will start June 2, 2020 at the Public Health Building located at 101 Norton Drive. The test will be the drive-up nasal swab method by appointment. For more info refer to the Gilpin County website Latest COVID numbers remain at two confirmed cases with one probable and no COVID related deaths in Gilpin County.

Public Trustee Report

Public Trustee Mary Lorenz was happy to report that for the first quarter of 2020 there was only one foreclosure with another reported last week which will be included in the second quarter report due out the end of June.

Treasurer’s Report

Gilpin County Treasurer Mary Lorenz reported that in April the Treasurer’s Office took in 63% percent of property taxes which show a slight drop from 2019 actuals of 70.29 %.

Emergency Declaration Extension

With the Current Emergency Declaration expiring on May 31, Gilpin County Commissioners approved a motion to extend the Emergency Declaration for Gilpin County until June 30, 2020. The Declaration is necessary to receive State and Federal aid associated with the COVID -19 outbreak.

Casino Opening Variance Request

Commissioner Ron Engels reported that the final protocol details are being worked out to the Variance Request that will be filed with the state to open up the casinos and bars. Currently the request is missing some key documents from area hospitals that they have the capacity and capabilities to handle any influx of COVID -19 cases that this Variance might produce. The state currently has no protocols in place that will allow bars and casinos to open, but when that happens, Gilpin County will have the Variance already on file to ensure a streamlined approval that will protect the health of the employees as well as the patrons of the local casinos and bars.

History Colorado Education Scholarship

Gilpin County Historic Liaison Tami Archer presented a grant application for approval that will allow the Historical Preservation Committee President Bret Johnson and Vice-Chair Travis Wright to attend the virtual National Alliance of Preservation Commissions (NAPC) 2020 Forum in July. The grant is for $200 and does not require matching funds. Gilpin County Commissioners approve the grant application unanimously.

Sheriff’s Office Grant Application

The Gilpin County Commissioners less Commissioner Isenhart (excused absence) approved an amended grant application that will assist the Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office to recover some of the revenue loss due to the COVID outbreak. The grant will be used to provide salaries and benefits to employees of the Sheriff’s Department.

Legal News

Gilpin County Attorney Brad Benning informed online attendees that the Attorney’s Office continues to prepare the legal issues associated with submission of Gilpin County’s Variance Request.

Community Development has requested legal services concerning some zoning matters that include complaints that some Air B&Bs in the county are continuing to operate even though they are in violation of the State’s Safer-at-Home order. The Attorney’s office is planning to reach out to those booking organizations reminding them of the State and County Health order violations.

County Manager’s Report

Gilpin County Manager Abel Montoya reported that he is researching some good examples for and Inter-governmental Agreement (IGA) with Black Hawk and Central City in regards to the dispersing of Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. That IGA is necessary and is required to accompany the report and request to DOLA for funding. The IGA will also outline the manner in which Gilpin County and the two municipalities will spend that money. CARES money can only be used on COVID -19 related components and not to be used to backfill losses due to losses in revenue.

Non-Residential Traffic on County Roads

Commissioners Gail Watson stated that several residents commented that they were seeing too much non-residential travel on the County roads. Public Works Director Gordon Thompson responded saying that Road and Bridge has a couple of the old-style traffic counters that can be deployed in areas that are causing the most concern. The Commissioners would like to postpone any response on this subject until they receive more research data and more feedback from residents living along those troubled roads.


Gilpin County Public Works employee Nancy Larson informed the online participants that the paint recycling program will be available on July 30, 2019. Paints and stains will be accepted for disposal at no charge. More information will be available at the virtual Town Hall meeting on June 1st, online at, and informational fliers will be available at selected locations throughout the County.        

Executive Session

The Commissioners adjourned to Executive Session to discuss options for Additional Operational Scenarios in a conference with the County Attorney for the purpose of receiving legal advice under C.R.S. Section 24-6-402(4)(b)

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