All mail-in ballots for November election
By Lynn Volkens
Gilpin County Commissioners Buddy Schmalz, Connie McLain and Gail Watson met August 20, 2013. They approved an ordinance prohibiting all retail marijuana establishments in unincorporated Gilpin County; revised the sign code; established the location of the lone vote center for the November election; and conducted two extensive work sessions.
GOCO Grant Support
Commissioners adopted Resolution 13-14, a statement of support for a Local Parks and Outdoor Recreation Grant from the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) trust fund. If the grant request of $35,892 is awarded, Commissioners will use it for construction of the Ken Burch Picnic Pavilion, near the baseball diamonds. Parks and Recreation Coordinator, Kathi Lambert, said she would need approximately $12,000 as a match for the grant and would take that money from donations that have accumulated over the year. The County must agree to fund on-going maintenance of the pavilion if the grant is awarded.
November Election Preparations
At the request of Gilpin County Clerk and Recorder Colleen Stewart, Commissioners adopted Resolution 13-15, ratifying the establishment of the Gilpin County Courthouse in Central City as a Voter Service and Polling Center for the November 5, 2013 election. As it is an all-mail-ballot election, Stewart said only one center is needed. Therefore, there will be no vote centers in Rollinsville or at the Community Center as in past elections. The County will save money in equipment and by reducing the number of election judges, although more ballot judges will be needed, Stewart said. Should someone not want to vote by mail, he or she can turn in the mail ballot (that ballot will be “spoiled”) and the person can vote at the center. Turning in a ballot and voting this way must be done within 22 days of the election date.
Commissioners approved two Intergovernmental Agreements (IGA’s) regarding the election. The first, between the County and the Gilpin County School District RE-1, authorizes the school to coordinate the Board of Education election with the County. The second IGA authorizes the same coordination for the Boulder Valley School District RE-2 Board of Education election. Stewart will serve as the Election Official and the primary liaison between the school districts and the County.
Gilpin County Deputy Treasurer, Mary Lorenz, submitted the July report showing 97.71% of County taxes had been collected as of July 31, 2103 and County coffers held a grand total of $5,880,340 (compared to $5,908,842 at the same time last year).
Lorenz also provided the second quarter Public Trustee’s report showing a beginning balance of $55,042; revenue of $13,400; disbursements of $14,914; and an ending balance of $53,528. There have been 21 foreclosures year-to-date, compared to 32 at the end of July in 2012.
Veterans Services Update
Veterans Services Officer, Todd Kumro, distributed information to Commissioners regarding the Affordable Healthcare Act and veterans, plus some of the resources that are available for veterans, should Commissioners be asked. Kumro said he is currently coordinating transportation services with Clear Creek County’s Veterans Services Officer. Kumro is currently working more than 14 hour per week and said he would give Commissioners his best estimate of how many hours will be needed to do the job, once he accounts for training and outreach. Commissioners had asked for that information to more accurately budget for veterans services in 2014. September 20, 2013 is POW/MIA Remembrance Day.
Commissioners conducted a public hearing and the second reading of Ordinance 13-02 which prohibits all retail marijuana establishments in the County. Existing medical marijuana dispensaries, one at 9 Karlann Drive, and another at 5312 Highway 119, are exempted. The two dispensaries will be allowed to continue operation as medical marijuana dispensaries and could also operate as retail marijuana stores if they obtain licensing as dual operations from the State of Colorado Licensing Authority. They could also surrender their medical marijuana dispensary licenses and be licensed by the State as retail marijuana stores, subject to Gilpin County Zoning Regulations. Two people spoke during the public hearing, asking questions and offering information, however neither was taking a stand either for or against the prohibition. Commissioners approved the ordinance.
Zoning/Sign Code Amendments
Commissioners conducted a public hearing before adopting Resolution 13-12, revising the County’s zoning regulations related to signs. There was no input from the public. The revised code includes a section exempting certain signs from permit requirements. It states that offsite directional signs leading to points-of-interest owned and operated or maintained by governmental entities and not-for-profit organizations shall not exceed two in number and six square feet in area. The signs must be located on private property or on County right-of-way. If the latter, the signs must comply with Uniform Traffic Control Device codes as far as size and placement. Signs placed in the County right-of-way will require approval from the Public Works Department.
CSU Extension Agent, Irene Shonle, was successful in obtaining a Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Program from the State of Colorado in the amount of $204,992. The funding will be used to help groups of homeowners cut and remove fire fuels on their properties. That program is currently in the development phase and will be publicized when the details have been worked out.
At Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office/Detentions Division, the July report shows 98 bookings for the month (72 male). Eighty of the arrests were gaming-related. Of those arrested, four were Gilpinites. The breakdown of arrests by agency: Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office, 59; Black Hawk Police Department, 17; Central City Police Department, 13; Colorado State Patrol, 6; Division of Gaming, 2; and Parks and Recreation, 1. The average daily population of the jail was 43 inmates.
The Human Resources July report notes two employees hired and none leaving the county’s employ that month. The County was employing 186 people at the time of the report (111 full-time).
Colorado Counties, Incorporated (CCI), a legislative lobbying organization in which Gilpin County has a membership, required their annual Legislative Committee Member appointment. Commissioner Schmalz was designated as Gilpin’s representative.
Commissioner Watson was appointed as the County’s representative on an advisory council to the Gilpin County Emergency Services Council (GCSEC). Commissioner McLain was appointed to serve as alternate. GCSEC is the name taken by the Local Emergency Planning Committee, which formed last month to help with coordination and planning related to personnel, support services and community volunteers that might be needed in emergency events (such as a forest fire or blizzard). The primary (voting) members of GCSEC are representatives from Black Hawk Fire Department, Black Hawk Police Department, Central City Police Department, Central City Volunteer Fire Department, Colorado Division of Gaming, Colorado State Patrol, Coal Creek Canyon Fire Protection District, Gilpin County Ambulance Authority, Gilpin County Emergency Manager, Gilpin County Public Health, Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office, Golden Gate State Park and Timberline Fire Protection District. Other advisory (non-voting) members are from the American Red Cross, Black Hawk City Council, Black Hawk Road & Bridge Department, Casino District, Central City Council, Central City Road & Bridge Department, Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado Forest Service, Gilpin County Animal Response Team, Gilpin County Commissioners, Gilpin County Department of Human Services, Gilpin County Public Works Department, Local Business, Salvation Army and U.S. Forest Service. GCSEC will be providing quarterly reports.
County Attorney Jim Petrock requested an executive session to discuss a contract matter. Commissioners adjourned into Executive Session for approximately fifteen minutes, then continued their business meeting. No action was taken related to the executive session.
Following the business meeting, Commissioners met for two work sessions, the first related to non-County maintained roads, and the second to discuss Commissioners’ goals and objectives for 2014.
Gilpin County Commissioners meet next on September 3, 2013.