Gilpin considering closing of all county roads to non-residents

Fire Protection Impact Fees added to new construction projects

By Randy Beaudette

Tuesday April 14, 2020 the Gilpin Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) held a special online meeting to discuss topics such as a possible upcoming motion to close all County roads to non-residents, a discussion of fire code impact fees, and a change order request to the Public Health/ Human Services building contract. Madam 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 (SLT) joined in as needed.

COVID-19 Update

Emergency Manager Nathan Whittington informed the Commissioners that Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been downgraded to Level 2 which is a “Monitoring Mode” concerning the COVID-19 situation. In order to comply with the social distancing order, personnel numbers in the EOC has been reduced. Resource requests are being processed through the EOC while the Mr. Whittington and the remaining personnel are working on a recovery policies and planning.

Public Health Coordinator Bonnie Albright shared the latest numbers from the Colorado COVID-19 website. Gilpin County still has only one case in which details were not shared due to Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act (HIPAA) rules.

Clear Creek County Closure  

Clear Creek County has closed access to non-residents on all County Roads effective from April 11th until further notice. This Public Health Order No. 20-1 (“Order”) is being issued to limit the health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic including without limitation preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Clear Creek County and protecting the health, safety and welfare of Clear Creek County residents, Clear Creek County public safety responders, and the public generally. This Order applies to the entirety of Clear Creek County. Gilpin County Attorney Brad Benning explained that these closures do not affect the towns of Idaho Springs, Georgetown, or Empire. Necessary travel, critical business, and critical government business travels are also exempt.

Gilpin County Commissioners are contemplating expanding the current closures and adopting a similar order for Gilpin County which will be discussed at the Thursday, April 16, 9:00 am meeting. Watch for the electronics signs on roads leading into the County or visit the County website:

Fire Protection Impact Fees

Timberline Fire Chief Paul Ondr presented a draft Impact Fee proposal to the Commissioners. The Impact Fee will be applied to all new residential construction projects and all new non-residential commercial construction. The Impact Fee is determined by the assessing the amount of firefighting assets that are available in a district and using a mathematical formula to equate the amount of Impact Fees a district can charge a builder to pay into those assets. Timberline Board adopted by Resolution a $2,327 fee for new residential construction, and a $2.82 per square foot fee for new Non-residential Commercial construction. Once adopted by the BoCC, these fees will take effect on June 1, 2020 and may be added to the Building Permit Fees.

Fire Code Adoption

Adoption of the 2018 International Fire Codes have been delayed by the Timberline Board at their April 13th meeting due to some regulation clarification concerning the impact of the code on existing buildings. The new codes will be discussed at the May Timberline Board meeting and if adopted, will be presented to the Commissioners sometime thereafter.

Public Health/ Human Services Building Cost Increase

Gilpin County Manager Abel Montoya announced that rehabilitation project of the Public Health/ Human Services building that has been contracted to Sky Blue Contractors is in need of a change order. In order to receive money from the DOLA grant, certain efficiency standards had to be met, increasing the costs of certain materials. There was also the discovery of some unpermitted work that removed a number of supporting walls and the requirement to make the building *ADA compliant, a change order to the contract is warranted. This change order will cost an additional $260,000. Commissioner Watson expressed her concerns about these additional costs and the impact to the County’s funds. Mr. Montoya shared some creative solutions that included utilizing Public Works for construction efforts and materials. Mr. Montoya stated that, “We’re trying to balance being practical with need and being frugal, thinking about the longevity of the decisions we are making today.” Gilpin County Commissioners agreed to postpone the vote on this change order until the Thursday Special meeting.

*Americans with Disabilities Act

Legal Status

Gilpin County Attorney Brad Benning provided an update on the large vehicle purchases. The cancellation for the front-end loader order with Wagner Equipment was discussed, and they offered to finance the purchase of the loader over time. Other matters concerning these purchases will be discussed in Executive Session.

County Manager’s Report 

Gilpin County various department monthly status reports will be available on within the next month or two. The reports available will include Public Works, Sheriff’s Department Detentions, Human Services, and Parks and Recreation.

Meeting Minutes

The Commissioners approved the meeting minutes from the April 9, 2020 Special Meeting.  

Executive Session

Gilpin County Commissioners moved to recess into Executive Session pursuant to CRS 24-6-402(4)(b) to receive legal advice on policy matters.

Stay up-to-date

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

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