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Governor extends “Stay at home” order to April 26th

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April 5th Commissioners Meeting

By Randy Beaudette

At the Tuesday, April 5, 2020 Gilpin County Commissioners special online meeting, topics include a hold on Gilpin Ambulance Licensing, and a discussion on the XCEL pipeline.

Madam Chair Gail Watson Commissioners Ron Engels and Linda Isenhart were all present along with 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

Public Health Coordinator Bonnie Albrecht, and Emergency Manager Nathan Whittington provided a COVID-19 update. There are currently in Colorado 5,172 cases with 994 hospitalized resulting in 150 deaths. Good news the “Stay at Home” order seems to be working resulting in a drop in new cases.  According to Monday’s report, 222 new cases were reported Monday which is down from Saturday’s numbers by 164. The most densely populated counties, Denver with 847, and Weld with 652 are reporting the highest numbers. The most reported deaths are occurring in El Paso (Colorado Springs area) with 28 and Weld with 26 deaths. Gilpin County currently has no cases. The “Stay at Home” order has been extended to April 26th. Governor Polis strongly urges that anyone who has to out in public wear some kind of face covering. A disposable or cloth mask or a bandana is sufficient. Reporter’s note: Please dispose of your protective gloves properly. The store parking lot is not the proper place. Most stores have trash cans within walking distance of the parking lot.

Ambulance Licensing Requirements on Hold

Gilpin Ambulance Authority Executive Director Brandon Daruna announced that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has waived licensing of county ambulances due to the state of emergency declared by Governor Polis. The reason is to expand the system to utilize more ambulances in non-emergency situations. This decision will add about 80 privately contracted ambulances into rural areas that have no capability to transport patients to more advance care and resources. CDPHE is anticipating that County Emergency Medical Systems (EMS) will fail due to the overload from potential COVID-19 patients. In these instances, the private ambulances will be called in to assist the small county and rural EMS. In Gilpin County, call volume is extremely low from its usual numbers when the casinos are open. According to Mr. Daruna, “There is a slight uptick of potential COVID cases, but as yet there are no cases in Gilpin County.”

Town Hall Presentation Recap

Colorado State University Extension Agent Jennifer Cook reported that the feedback from participants indicated that the Town Hall presented on April 6 at 7 pm was easy to follow with the visuals that showed details and examples of what the speaker was talking about. About 125 participants joined online to get the most up-to-date information from the Gilpin County government. Commissioner Watson commented that the presentation seemed “Too front and Center.” The PowerPoint content had a tendency to take over the view. Ms. Watson suggested that the presenter shown be more evenly matched with the content presented on the screen. The number of folks online were about a third of those that viewed the first Town Hall. This was possibly the result of the Governor’s update aired just prior at 6:30 pm, or could be the difficulty of access to the www.OpenGov site. The next Town Hall will be Monday, April 20, with invitations going out to congressional representatives from the State and Federal level. To view the April 6 Town Hall, go to www.co.gilpin.co.us and click the link called “Click here for more information” near the bottom of the banner, and scroll down to the “BOCC RECORDED VIDEOS” tab. Click to open the tab.

Large Vehicle Purchases

County Attorney Brad Benning informed the commissioners that he has contacted all the vendors for the vehicles that are on order and received encouraging responses from all of them.  One big ticket item is a front-end loader from Wagner Equipment who was contacted and they understand the situation that the County is in, and they indicated that they are willing to work with the county. The dealer that is supplying the Sheriff’s vehicles also indicated that are willing to work with the County. The vehicles are not completed yet because they are being fitted with equipment in accordance to the specifications that the Sheriff’s Office requested. They indicated that they are willing to work with the County, but they are currently not sure what is possible until they voice the County’s concerns up the chain of command to determine a solution. Cancellation of these purchases could save the County up to $741,000 in expenditures.

XCEL Pipeline Discussion

Gilpin County Public Works Director Gordon Thompson reported that Xcel is still planning to continue the work pipeline installation north along Highway 119. Residents will see no difference from last year’s pipeline installation work effort. Xcel is currently waiting for permits from the Forest Service and Boulder County. A few hundred feet of South Beaver Road is expected to be the only County road that will be impacted to install some pipeline support equipment.

Legal Report

County Attorney Brad Benning reported that he is working on the contract purchasing matters, plus is continuing to work on proposed legislation benefiting the County through the Assessor’s Office to assist the County with obtaining revenue that we would normally be receiving from gaming.

FAA Update

County Attorney Benning reported that he is working on coordinating a meeting with all the attorneys handling the petitioners and coordinate the various filings that are coming up later this month. These are procedural filings giving petitioners a standing to file, and the issues that are anticipated to be raised during the briefing when it is set.

Approval of Minutes

Gilpin County Commissioners approved the meeting minutes from the March 31st regular meeting and April 2nd, special meeting with no corrections or amendments.

Executive Session

Gilpin County BoCC moved to adjourn into Executive Session per CRS-24-6-402(4)(b) to confer with an attorney for the local public body for the purposes of receiving legal advice on specific legal questions.  

Stay up-to-date

For up-to-date information and the next meeting refer to the Gilpin County website at www.co.gilpin.co.us.

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