Gilpin Community Center reopening plan phases

Parks & Recreation hoping for February 2021

By Jaclyn Schrock

Gilpin County voted to allow a short-term mill levy increase to our property taxes for two of the four requests this November. Our county revenue took a serious cut with the COVID-19 lockdown. Casinos were closed so not generating the tax revenue as we have become accustomed and budgeted.

Gilpin County has a savings account to help a sure maintaining the state required services for the county. Revenue losses impacted some Gilpin elected services, until 2021 taxes are collected. Cuts of about a million each were made, for the Sheriff’s department, Community Center, and the Library, along with some county employee hours reduced.

Sadly, the vote for our Gilpin County Sheriff’s department did not pass to supplement the loss of tax revenue. Requesting an increase of 2.270 mill levy over a short time failed by a little over 600 votes of the 4,120 votes cast.

The school request of unknown amount intended to retain quality teachers and keep class size low failed by 33 votes. Surprisingly, only half Gilpin County voters cast a vote on the school board question.

Both the Sheriff’s Department and the School are committed to making services the best they can be, despite the loss of funds. We have a county diligent to do what is best.

The library requested an increase to provide for what the county had previously contributed to the Gilpin County Library District. This is our library’s first request to increase the mill levy in 25 years, from 0.239 to .9000. So property owners annual cost by average would change from $5 to $25.

The mill levy request passed with 64.73% yes and 35.27% no, or 1,214 more wanting to keep the library open. There was concern it would have to close permanently without these funds.

The increased library funding will allow:

  • restoring 56 hours open a week now cut to 20
  • funding of special ages and interest of reader programs
  • restore summer reading and similar programs and entertainment
  • provide community wide access to computers and internet
  • rehire laid off staff

The Gilpin County Community Center

The Gilpin Community Center mill levy request passed by 170 votes, 52.06% for and 47.94% against the increase. This was a very tight decision of the community.

GCCC requested a mill levy increase because previously all its funds came from the general Gilpin County budget.

Beginning in mid-2021, Gilpin voters approved $1,130,800 from the 2.570 mill levy increase for tax years 2021-2023, funds will be specifically provided primarily for maintaining the use of the GCCC indoor and outdoor facilities. This does not budget for making any repairs or improvements. These funds will not be available until after 2021 taxes are paid, however the county budget will make opening funds available sooner.

Gilpin County budget continues to support GCCC with funds for staff and insurance for employees, the barn, arena, and community use activities.

Gilpin residents and area users have hopes of being back in the recreation center some time in February 2021.

Hiring staff is the first order of business. There has been an opening for custodial staff while the center was closed that has taken much time to be filled. Class leaders, facility operators and program directors are among the positions needing to be filled.

Agreements with the health department to make the GCCC compliant with COVID-19 restrictions will be factors that also determine when we can use the indoor facilities again.

Plans to reopen Gilpin’s Community Center is proposed in two phases.

Phase One beginning some time in February would open the front desk 43 hours a week. This would make the after school youth program available Monday through Friday. The facility would be open for low-touch athletic, crafting and community activities Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.

Phase Two beginning by April or May would open the front desk 52 hours week, with the pool available 37 hours a week. The addition of the Senior Lunch program is included with these plans.

Thank you Gilpin County for keeping our Community Center and Library available to the community!

Gilpin County Outdoor Facilities Use

Gilpin County Outdoor Facilities are open from dawn to dusk. Masks must be worn on ALL Gilpin County property indoors and outdoors per Public Health Order 20-5. Exceptions are allowed for children under 3 years of age, or if wearing a mask endangers your health.

–Masks must be worn in any public building.

–Playground is open up to 10 people at a time and practicing social distancing.

–Ballfields for individual (non-league) use is open up to 25 people at a time per field.

–Outdoor Arena is open for use up to four horses with four people, and a 2-hour time limit.

–Indoor Arena may only be used for official 4-H or GCART emergency activities.

–Bring hand sanitizer to clean hands when soap and water is not available.

–Avoid recreating in public spaces if anyone in your household is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

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