Gilpin County Summit and Strategic Plan

Commissioners Review County Programs

By Randy Beaudette

In a designated Special Meeting on December 4, 2018, Gilpin County Commissioners participated in a Gilpin County Human Services Status Discussion. In attendance were Commissioner Chair Ron Engels along with Commissioners Linda Isenhart and Gail Watson, County Attorney Jim Petrock, County Manager Abel Montoya, and Deputy Clerk to the Board Sharon Cate.

Gilpin County Human Services Staff led by Human Services Director Sherrin Ashcraft conducted the Human Services Status presentation for the Gilpin County Commissioners. In the lengthy report, topics such as Financial and Medical Assistance, Adult Protective Services, Gilpin Connect, Veteran Services, Family Support Services, Food Bank, and Senior Services were discussed. Gilpin County Human Services provides the various services to a monthly average of 648 cases from January through September of 2018.

Assistance Programs

Case Manager Supervisor Karen Erdman informed the Commissioners that even though the Food Assistance cases are dropping, the Adult Financial cases (A&D) are increasing. A&D cases involve old age pensions and homeless based services. This is an indicator the Gilpin County’s aging disabled population is increasing. Ms. Erdman also stated that starting in January, Human Services will start tracking denials for services. Effort for approvals and denials involve the same amount of work, but only the approvals are currently tracked. This information may be used as justification for hiring an additional Case Manager. The Emergency Assistance Program received 24 applications, 14 of which were approved, paying out just over $13,000. These are not funds just from Gilpin County Human Services; the County also works in collaboration with Ermel’s Emporium (run by St. James United Methodist Church), Canyon Cares, Salvation Army, United Power Roundup Program, and Friends of Man. Low Income Energy Program (LEAP) provides seasonal financial assistance with home heating bills to residents. Gilpin County Contracts with The Goodwill Industries to process applications for LEAP. To date, 54 Gilpin County residences received assistance from LEAP, totaling about $15,000 in benefits.

Veteran Programs

Gilpin County Veteran Services Officer Leon Pohl explained Veteran Services Status to the Gilpin County Commissioners. Mr. Pohl started off by stating there are 574 veterans in Gilpin County according to the 2009 Census. Of those, 70 are from the Korean War, three are from WWII, and the remaining are from Vietnam era veterans. Gilpin County has only five known veterans that have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Since January 2018, the Veteran’s office submitted 19 claims to the Colorado Division of Military Affairs. 17 have been for service connected disabilities. Six of the 19 have been approved for payments that range from $137 for 10% to $2,974 for 100% disability per month with no dependents. Nine cases are pending, and two are on appeal. Mr. Pohl expressed his satisfaction with the current administration’s signing of the 2017 VA Accountability and Whistleblowers Act, and the Veteran’s Appeal Improvement and Modernization Act. Both are replacing an outdated process that took years to get applications processed and approved. The current updated process has been streamlined so that when an application is submitted, within sixty days the applicant is notified of the status of their claim. The Veteran’s office submitted three Survival Death Benefit applications; two have been approved and are receiving compensation. The remaining claim was rejected because the death was not service connected. Mr. Pohl shared several stories of hardship experienced by Gilpin County veterans since his appointment in January 2018. Through his hard work and dedication, these former military members will be properly cared for.

Senior Services

Gilpin County Senior Services Coordinator Mary Ellen Makosky shared the current status of the Senior Services Program with the Commissioners. The Gilpin County Senior Program offers a variety of activities and services for the seniors of our community. Meals on Wheels delivered meals to 15 County residents totaling 273 meals. Congregate lunch served 62 folks that ate 416 meals, two participants in Medicaid took three trips to medical appointments. Senior transport had 15 participants for 40 trips, and Gilpin Connect had zero trips. Commissioner Isenhart asked if there is a way to utilize the Gilpin Connect more. Ms. Makosky responded saying that Gilpin Connect needs more PR to get information out that this is available for senior and veteran medical transportation Monday through Friday.

Food Bank

Case Manager Supervisor Karen Erdman presented the Food Bank Report for Coordinator Jennifer Josselyn. Food Bank participants so far in 2018 have been 75 families (161 individuals). In 2017 there were 66 families (131 individuals). Ms. Erdman thinks the increase in participation is due to increase of awareness throughout the County and the increase of transient population during the summer and fall months. Summer lunch program served 93 individuals in 38 families, up from 53 individuals in 29 families in 2017. The cost of those meals dropped significantly from $19.61 in 2017 to $9.25 in 2018 due to larger contributions and grants from local businesses. The Holiday Gift program is currently in full swing with 50 families responding to about 120 letters that were sent out. 79 Gilpin County children will receive gifts and goodies up from the 73 kids in 2017.

Child Welfare

Human Services Director Sherrin Ashcraft reported that in 2017, 82 cases of child abuse and neglect were reported. So far in 2018, 126 reports of child abuse and neglect with 10 open cases and two pending cases which may be opened, with nine adoption cases.

Facilitated 2019 County Summit and Strategic Plan

Scope of Work

Gilpin County is seeking a consultant to facilitate a County summit that will provide a strategic plan that will provide organizational guidance and continuous development for future decision making. The purpose of the strategic planning process will be to:

  1. Establish or reconfirm the County’s mission, vision, values and goals;
  2. Develop a comprehensive and effective strategic plan that builds upon organizational strengths and successes to support efficient organizational procedures and contribute to the prosperity of Gilpin County;
  3. Aid in the creation of a strategic plan which identifies, communicates and monitors progress of key priorities for each task to assist in the advancement of the strategic plan;
  4. Determine organizational priorities;
  5. Create a team oriented and shared vision for the public, elected offices, departments, and key service providers and;
  6. Prepare the County’s Strategic Plan based on stakeholder feedback.


Gilpin County sought proposals from interested and qualified individuals and firms to provide a Facilitated 2019 County Summit and Strategic Plan and a request for proposals (RFP) was posted. Eleven proposals were submitted and reviewed by the County’s RFP Selection Committee, which included representation from Community Development, Human Resources, Parks and Recreation, Finance, and the County Manager’s Office.

The County RFP Selection Committee met on November 19, 2018 and evaluated each of the proposals based on the responses to the RFP. Each proposal was ranked, and based on this review, three of the top ranked proposals were selected which included HRQ, CDR, and SBrand to continue the evaluation process. Clarifying questions were sent to each entity and responses were received. The RFP Selection Committee found that SBrand will provide the best customized Summit and Strategic Plan for the best value while balancing the needs as identified in the RFP. SBrand has experience in Colorado rural and mountain communities such as Eagle County, Custer County, and Delta County plus has experience with the Central City Main Street facilitated retreats and strategic plans among others. The facilitator also has experience as an assistant and interim county administrator in Siskiyou County, California which is a small rural mountain community.


The RFP Selection Committee is recommending that the County enter into a contract with SBrand for the Facilitated 2019 Gilpin County Summit and Strategic Plan. Estimated costs would be $18,000.

If the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) agrees with this recommendation, the next steps would include entering into a contract with SBrand on or before December 18, 2018. County members of the RFP Selection Committee will also be available for questions at the December 4, 2018 public hearing.

Gilpin County Commissioners approved the recommended bid as presented by Gilpin County Manager Abel Montoya. The bid from SBrand is to conduct a 2019 Facilitated County Summit and Strategic Plan through now to the end of April 2019.

Executive Session

Gilpin County Commissioners recessed into executive Session Per C.R.S. 24-6-402(b) and (d) to receive legal advice and discuss possible investigations and C.R.S. 24-6-402 (4)(b) and (e) to receive legal advice and to discuss matters that may be subject to negotiations.

Next Meeting

The next Gilpin County Commissioners regular meeting will be December 18, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. at the Gilpin County Courthouse at 203 Eureka St. Central City, Colorado.

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