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Gilpin election ballots delayed in mail

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Commissioners recognize Mountain Mask Project

By Randy Beaudette

Board-chair Gail Watson called to order the Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) online meeting on June 16, 2020 promptly at 9:00 am. Joining her were Commissioners Ron Engels and Linda Isenhart to discuss items such as the Mountain Mask Project Proclamation, a renewal to the Colorado Communities for Climate Change coalition, and Volunteers of America Service Agreement renewal. Also present online were County Attorney Brad Benning, County Manager Abel Montoya, Deputy Clerk Sharon Cate, and members of the Senior Leadership Team.

COVID 19 Update

There was not a lot of news from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) headed up by Emergency Manager Nathan Whittington, except that the EOC continues to acquire Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to support the opening of County offices and businesses.

Public Health Coordinator Bonnie Albrecht announced that her team is continuing to perform inspections of the casinos for the long-awaited Wednesday, June 17th opening for limited gaming.

Symptomatic COVID-19 testing continues to be performed by Gilpin County paramedics at the Public Health Office located at 101 Norton Drive. To schedule an appointment go to www.co.gilpin.co.us/departments/public_health_agency

Colorado Communities for Climate Change Renewal

The Commissioners passed a motion to renew their annual membership in the Colorado Communities for Climate Change Action (CC4CA) coalition. The annual membership dues are $5,000 which allows CC4CA to lobby at the State house on behalf of Gilpin County.

CC4CA is a coalition of 32 counties and municipalities across Colorado advocating for effective state climate policy, CC4CA members span the Western Slope and the Front Range. CC4CA is touted as an increasing influential organization at the State Capital that regularly meets with state legislatures and is invited to testify in legislative hearings and play a consequential role on climate related legislation.

June 30 Election Update

Gilpin County Clerk and Recorder Sahari McCormick commented on the delay of ballot mailing. According to Ms. McCormick, the ballots were sent out to the Denver hub on June 8th and somehow got lost in the shuffle, though they did finally arrive at the local Post Offices on Monday, June 15. The ballots are in the County and residents should check their mailboxes. An investigation has been launched by the Post Office to identify the cause of the delay. Residents are encouraged to use one of the three ballot drop boxes located throughout the County in lieu of the US Mail. Ballots must be received by the Clerk and Recorder’s Office by 7:00 pm on Election Day, June 30, 2020 to be counted. Postmarks do not count. If you have any questions, please call the Clerk and Recorder’s office at 303-582-5321 or e-mail elections@gilpincounty.org.

Proclamation for the Mountain Mask Project

Gilpin County Commissioners approved a proclamation recognizing the work of the Mountain Mask Project. The Board thanked the Mountain Mask project which has provided 5,000 free masks to businesses, residents, and schools in a humanitarian act of great compassion and civic concern. 60 volunteers whose names were read online contributed to the project, along with the Commissioners, the entire community would like to extend a heart-felt thank you for everyone’s effort.

Volunteers of America Service Agreement

  Gilpin County Human Services, Senior Services Coordinator Marry Ellen Makosky presented a Sub-contractors Transportation Services Agreement Renewal between Gilpin County and Volunteers of America (VOA). The contract is to provide transportation for Gilpin County Seniors to the Community Center and deliver Meals on Wheels to those that are homebound.  Gilpin County Commissioners approved the contract renewal pending legal review which will be effective from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

Treasurer’s Announcement

Gilpin County Treasurer Mary Lorenz announced that with Governor Polis signed a bill HB-1421 which allows County Commissioners, upon County Treasurer approval, to initiate a measure that will reduce, waive, or suspend any interest on late taxes for the period from June 15 -October 1st (Second Half Taxes). Ms. Lorenz stated that she does not support this legislation citing that the measure is not fair to the tax payers who did pay interest on their first half of yearly taxes. As of June 15, Gilpin County property taxpayers are accumulating 1% per month interest on any late property taxes. The Commissioners agreed to table this matter until there is sufficient time to gather and review more information from the Treasurer’s office and casino owners.

Board of Health

Gilpin County Board of Health approved a motion to amend Public Health Order # 20-09 that will allow casinos to open an hour early on the June 17 opening day to discourage gathering at casino entrances and violating social distancing orders at 8 am.

Legal Status

County Attorney Benning announced that the property owner of 26 Hornblend Road contacted the Attorney’s office to admit that the vehicles on his property are in excess of County zoning code. The owner agreed to move some vehicles to another location to comply with the County code.

The Attorneys office is also working on an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with Black Hawk and Central City on matters concerning the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) act fund distribution. $536,000 has been allocated through Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) to Gilpin County for distribution for Coronavirus related expenses. The funds are not to be used as a budget backfill due to the lack of income revenue.

Employee Volunteers

After an Executive session on the matter, Gilpin Commissioners agreed to adopt an amendment to the Gilpin County Employees Handbook concerning emergency response volunteer compensation. The amendment applies to County employees that are deployed to a confirmed fire in Gilpin County and does not cover any other type of emergency response. County employees that respond to fires will be paid for their normal working hours, but are not covered by the County’s Workman’s Compensation Policy or Liability insurance policy. Volunteers will be covered by those insurance exclusions through their volunteer agencies. References to the Gilpin County Animal Response Team (GCART) have been removed from the handbook because there are currently no County employees that are GCART volunteers

Detentions Report

County Manager Abel Montoya shared that in the May 2020 jail detention report, total bookings stood at eleven people with an average daily population of 25. This is a drastic reduction from the January 2020 report which showed 106 bookings with an average daily population 52. Surprisingly, there were four gaming-related arrests. With the casinos closed, Division Chief Wheeler explained that these are from ongoing investigations on violations that were reported before the COVID-19 outbreak.    

Meeting Minutes

Gilpin County BoCC approved the minutes from the June 9th and the June 11th meetings with no amendments or corrections

Executive Session

The Commissioners moved to adjourn into Executive Session for a conference with the County Attorney for the purpose of receiving legal advice on specific legal questions.

For More Information

To stay informed in this very dynamic environment, go to www.co.gilpin.co.us.

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