Preparing for 2020 and finding a spare $3 million in property taxes
By Randy Beaudette
At the Gilpin County Commissioner’s (BoCC) meeting on December 11, 2019 the agenda included multiple end of year financial and public works items, and the 2020 pay plan for Gilpin County employees.
Madam Chair Linda Isenhart opened up the meeting promptly at 9:07 a.m. with Commissioners Gail Watson and Ron Engels. Also present were County Attorney Jim Petrock, County Manager Abel Montoya, and Deputy Clerk to the Board Sharon Cate.
Rebecca Strong-Johnson was wondering why it is taking so long to so long to process a Right-of Way application filed in October 31, 2019. County Manager Abel Montoya replied that he is familiar with her case and passed it on to the Community Development and Planning Department to get it on the agenda as soon as possible.
Elena Gutierrez commented on an occupied trailer near the creek located on Dory Hill Road. Ms. Gutierrez stated that it is nearly impossible to empty the waste from this trailer given the close proximity to the creek and the high possibility that any leakage from the trailer holding tank will drain directly into the creek. Madam-Chair Isenhart referred the case to County Manager Montoya so he could gather more information and pass it on to Code Enforcement for possible violations.
Margret Tucker, Author Gallegos, and Donna Okray-Parman all commented on the Denver Metroplex Environmental Assessment Final Report and the increase in air traffic over Gilpin County. The Commissioners scheduled a work session at the courthouse Thursday, December 12, at 1:30 p.m. to address such issues.
Public Safety Radio Infrastructure Addendum
Gilpin County Sheriff and Communications Officer Lyssa Gray presented an addendum to the agreement with Talion Defense Corporation. Gilpin County Commissioners approved the contract with Talion at their December 5, 2019 Special meeting. The $67,000 contract will upgrade law enforcement communications from the current VHS system to the “Digital Trunked Radio System” (DTRS-800) or 800 Meg system DTRS. The addendum outlined activities that are necessary to be accomplished before the March 2020 roll-out. Cost or the activities included in the addendum will be $32,000. Gilpin County BoCC approved the addendum unanimously.
2020 Budget Public Hearing
Madam Chair Isenhart opened up the Public Hearing at 10:10 a.m. to allow the Gilpin County Commissioners to approve Resolution #19-12, adopting the 2020 Budget as presented by Gilpin County Finance Director Clorinda Smith. The budget includes expenditures at just under $32 million dollars and $28 million dollars in revenues. The $4 million dollar overrun is due to the law enforcement radio upgrade, and the renovation to the Public Health and Human Services building. Commissioner Isenhart pointed out that Gilpin County has received over $1 million dollars from a DOLA funding grant to help get both projects completed in a timely manner. There were no comments for or opposed the Resolution. Public Hearing closed at 10:14 a.m.
General Property Tax Levy
Ms. Smith also presented Resolution #19-13 which is a request to levy general property taxes for the year 2019 to help defray the cost of government for Gilpin County for the 2020 budget year. This action is required in order to receive property tax revenues. For the 2020 budget year, there will 7.236 mills upon each dollar of valuation for assessment of all taxable property which is made up of 8.029 mills minus a temporary tax credit of .793 mills for the General Fund, .847 mills upon each dollar of valuation for assessment of all taxable property for the Public Works Fund, .239 mills upon each dollar of valuation for assessment of all taxable property for the Library Fund, ,282 mills upon each dollar of valuation for assessment of all taxable property for the Solid Waste Fund, and .441 mills upon each dollar of valuation for assessment of all taxable property for total 9.045 mills upon each dollar of valuation for assessment of all taxable property, which includes the .793 mill tax credit and .001 mill from an abatement refund. Gilpin County Commissioners approved Resolution #19-13 unanimously.
Finance Director Smith then presented a request for Audit Services with Hinkle & Company for the year ending 12/31/2019. Financial impact will be $17,000 for a single audit with additional services not to exceed $3,000. At this point, the Financial Department is anticipating that only a single audit will be necessary. Gilpin County Commissioners approved the audit request unanimously.
2020 Pay Plan
Gilpin County Commissioners approved the 2020 Pay Plan as presented by Human Resources Specialist Christine Wilhelm. The new pay plan will align with the State mandated minimum wage requirement of $12.00 per hour to be effective January 1, 2020. Other changes include new positions of Custodian, Paralegal, and County Attorney with a job title change of Fair and Special Events Coordinator.
Board of Adjustments: Temporary Housing Extension Public Hearing
Community Development Office Manager Tami Archer presented BOA #19-06 which is a Temporary Housing application on behalf of Michael and Tye Price who reside on Old Hughesville Road. The applicant is requesting an extension of Temporary Housing beyond what is allowed by building and zoning codes. Mr. Price sites health issues and financial hardship as the basis for this request. Gilpin County code allows 12 months on-site temporary housing for individuals building a permanent residence. Neighbors Michael Nuzum and Kristen McFarland spoke in opposition of the temporary housing extension stating various reasons. Gilpin County Code Enforcement will investigate further and present a recommendation in January 2020. The Board decided a continuance is in order until further information is available.
Board of Health: Variance Request Public Hearing
Community Development Office Manager Tami Archer also presented BOH #19-01 which is a Variance Request from the Gilpin County Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS) Regulations for the conditional approval of a vault privy installation located on Tomonel Lane. Applicant Paula Benjamin requested the variance stating the cabin built in 1911 has no plumbing. The property has been in the owner’s family for over 70 years and is used as a summer retreat for typically 30-60 days a year. Ms. Benjamin is moving forward with plumbing and water installations for the cabin. She engaged the services of local OWTS engineer Mike Ikeler to design an OWTS for her house. Mr. Ikeler’s site investigation determined that, due to the distances prescribed in Gilpin County’s OWTS regulations, it is not possible to install an absorption bed. For this reason, Gilpin County Commissioners approved the variance request unanimously.
Public Works Items
Public Works Director Gordon Thompson presented a 2020 contract renewal with Larry Sterling Excavating for maintenance of the fairground arena in which the Commissioners approved.
Also from Mr. Thompson, the annual Highways Users Tax Fund (HUTF) report of 145.56 miles of eligible mileage that will be sent to CDOT for reimbursement. Gilpin County BoCC approved the report and it will be signed and sent to CDOT soon.
County Attorney Jim Petrock was glad to announce that there is no litigation pending from or against the County.
County Manager’s Report
County Manager Abel Montoya presented a series of reports to the Commissioners. His Detentions Report highlighted that October Total Bookings are slightly down about 3% from the October 2018 total, but the Average Daily Population numbers are up from 53.42 in October 2018 to 60.38 for October of this year.
The Public Works Report highlighted our latest snowstorms which kept crews busy keeping the County roads clear and drivers safe. South Beaver Creek Road bridge over Boulder Creek was milled and hot asphalt overlay was installed and damaged road signs are being repaired or replaced with new road signs sprouting up throughout the County.
The Community Development Report showed that 175 Building Permits were issued from January 2019 to October 2019 with 15 OWTS permits issued during that same period.
Notice of Public Meetings
December 19, at 9:00 am – BoCC Work Session held at the Gilpin County Courthouse, 203 Eureka Street.
Library Board Appointment
Gilpin County Commissioners appointed Alisa Witt for another 3-year term to the Gilpin County Library Board of Trustees.
Approval of Minutes
Gilpin County Commissioners approved the meeting minutes from the November 19, 2019 Regular Meeting and the December 5, 2019 Special Meeting with no corrections or amendments.
Weekly Register-Call reporter Randy Beaudette invited the Commissioners to sign up to be bell ringers for the Salvation Army Kettle Drive in Black Hawk. There are still plenty opportunities available.
The next Gilpin County Commissioners regular meeting will be December 17, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. at the Gilpin County Courthouse at 203 Eureka St. Central City, Colorado.