Marijuana grow facility approved in south Gilpin County

Flying garbage truck crushes Jeep in Central City.

County Employee Handbook and Pay Plan updates

By Randy Beaudette

The Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) met on a snowy Wednesday January 22, 2019 at the Historic Gilpin County Courthouse.Present were Commissioner Chair Linda Isenhart with Commissioners Ron Engels and Gail Watson. Also present County Manager Abel Montoya, County Attorney Jim Petrock, and Deputy Clerk to the Board Sharon Cate.

Public Hearing

Madam Chair Isenhart opened the Public Hearing at 9:05 a.m.

Special Use Review (SUR 18-01)

Gilpin County Planner Danial Horn presented Special Use Review #18-01 along with Resolution #19-03 to the Gilpin County BOCC on behalf of Alternative Holistic Healing DBA Rocky Mountain Organics (RMO). The applicant is requesting a Special Use Review (SUR) that would permit a marijuana cultivation facility as permitted by Ordinance 17-01. The.76 acre subject site at 5312 Highway 119 is zoned C4 (Heavy Commercial). With the completion of this facility, RMO‘s goal is to be fully self-supplied by their grow operation in Gilpin County rather than shipping products from their Pueblo grow facility. Hours of operation, sanitation, traffic control and utilities were all addressed in the Public Hearing. Water use seemed to be the biggest issue. Co-applicant Jason Licata explained that water will be trucked from a facility in the metro area. The next big issue was noise and air emissions. Mr. Licata stated that the noise that this facility will emit not have an effect on surrounding properties and a carbon scrubber will be installed in the outgoing air handling system so that the outgoing air emissions will be minimal. These systems are used on RMO’s facility in Pueblo and there have not been any complaints. Resolution 19-03 is a resolution approving SUR #18-01 as recommended by the Gilpin County Planning Commissions. There were no public comments for or against either SUR #18-01 or Resolution #19-03. Gilpin County Commissioners approved both measures unanimously.

Communications equipment Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Gilpin County Sherriff Kevin Armstrong presented a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to the Gilpin County Commissioners. The MOU is with the State of Colorado for Co-location of communication equipment located on County-owned towers. The purpose of the MOU is to share the use of communication equipment for the purpose of improving public safety communications and microwave connectivity to the State’s Digital Trunked Radio System. Gilpin County Commissioners approved the MOU unanimously.

Budget Adjustment

Gilpin County Sheriff Division Chief Tom Ihme presented a budget adjustment to receive funding for a new patrol vehicle to be used in Central City. Gilpin County Sheriff’s Department will purchase the new vehicle for $45,000 and Central City will then reimburse the full amount back to Gilpin County. After some discussion the budget adjustment was approved unanimously for the full amount.

Vehicle Take home List

Gilpin County Finance Director Clorinda Smith presented the 2019 Vehicle Take Home Listing to the Commissioners. The justification is that certain Gilpin County employees designated as being “On-Call” are given a county vehicle to commute to and from home on a regular basis. The listing explains who receives this benefit and explains why this is a taxable fringe benefit to some of those employees and not others. The document also explains that personal use of the county vehicles is prohibited except for minimal use. Gilpin County Commissioners approved the Vehicle Take Home List unanimously.

Employee Handbook updates (Resolution 19-02)

Gilpin County Manager Abel Montoya presented Resolution #19-02 which is an update to the Gilpin County Employees Handbook that outlines Prohibition of Political Activities on County owned property. On December 18, 2018, the Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) approved the updates to the Gilpin County Employee Handbook with the exception of the Political Activities Guidelines. In the update the county stands strong that all employees have the right to vote as they choose and are encouraged to vote in all County elections. All employees have the right to express their opinions on political subjects, candidates, and participate in political campaigns outside the workplace on their own time. No employee or official of Gilpin County, either elected or appointed, shall use his/her official authority or influence to attempt to direct or  coerce another County employee to contribute to or participate in any political campaign, candidate, cause, or organization, or for the purposes of interfering or affecting the results of an election or nomination for office. The guidelines go on to state that no political signs may be displayed on county property, and employees can no longer wear buttons or any other campaign garb. This guideline aligns with Colorado and Federal laws that regulate any activity of political nature at the workplace. Gilpin County Commissioners approved Resolution #19-02 unanimously.

Elected Officials Updates

Gilpin County Manager Abel Montoya also presented the Elected Officials acceptance and adoption of the Pay Plan and Employee Handbook Acknowledgement sheet. Colorado revised Statutes require a classification and compensation plan be developed by elected officials, in this case the Board of County Commissioners, for all Gilpin County Employees. This centralized approach helps to avoid complications, disputes, mistakes, and saves time and costs in administration. It is also helpful because the Pay Plan fits easily within the County’s annual budget process. Having completed the Gilpin County Employee Handbook through the passage of Resolution 19-02, it was time for all elected officials to sign the acknowledgement for the approval and acceptance of said Handbook. Gilpin County BoCC approved the Elected Officials acceptance and adoption of the Pay Plan and Employee Handbook Acknowledgement sheet unanimously with minor corrections.

Transfer of Development Rights

Gilpin County Planner Danial Horn presented a Transfer of Development Rights (SBE #19-01) for the Roosevelt Ridge Subdivision. In 2005 Roosevelt Ridge was initially platted to establish 20 development rights (i.e., lots) with the ability to transfer a maximum seven additional development rights for a total of 27. The condition of approval also stipulated that the additional development rights were to be transferred from the existing one acre lots on two mining claims located within the perimeter bounds of Roosevelt Ridge but not under ownership. The applicant Lone Pine Real Estate L.L.C. request to plat lot 25 (a.k.a. Parcel D) and to do this they would transfer a development right from one of the stipulated in-holdings from the Iron Cross Lode. If approved, this particular one acre in-holding from the Iron Cross Lode would be restricted from development resulting in a no gain of developable lots. Gilpin County Commissioners approved SBE#19-01 unanimously.

Public Trustee’s Report

Gilpin County Treasurer and Public Trustee Mary Lorenz presented two reports, the Fourth Quarter Public Trustee report and the 2018 Year-end Public Trustee report. Both reports were actually prepared by outgoing Public Trustee Alynn Huffman before her departure. Ms. Lorenz started off by saying that foreclosures are down. Gilpin County currently does not have any foreclosures, which is good for the community but bad for the Public Trustee pocketbook. Other than lack of foreclosures, the report was for the most part nominal. In the fourth quarter report, $1,960 in Public Trustee fees and interest collected was dispersed along with $1,289 from the Operating Account to the Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners to be deposited into the Public Trustees Salary Fund. Another note, E releases skyrocketed to 30 in the month of October. Ms. Lorenz contributed this to the high number of homes that were re-financed or purchased before interest rates went up. In the year-end report, $7,815 in Public Trustee fees and interest collected was dispersed along with $6,637. The combined total $14,453 will be handed over to the Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners to be deposited to cover salaries and expenses for 2018. Gilpin County Commissioners accepted the report with a few minor corrections.

Legal Status Report

Gilpin County Attorney Jim Petrock was pleased to announce that the trial that he, former County Sheriff Bruce Hartman, former Treasurer Alynn Huffman, and County Corner Zane Laubhan testified at, resulted in 25 Felony counts against Lawrence Goodman accused of Obstruction of Government Operations and various related offences.

Mr. Petrock also requested to go into Executive Session after the regular meeting.

Manager’s Status report

Gilpin County Manager Abel Montoya presented two departmental reports. One report was from the Parks and Recreation Department and the other was from Detentions.

Gilpin County Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation reported that through the new registration system, they are tracking total visits as well as unique visits. In December 2018 there were 2,334 resident visits with 691 unique residential visits. Non-residents totaled 100 visits with 40 unique visits.

38 vendors participated in the Winter Arts Festival on December 8th and 9th. Almost 400 visitors attended on Saturday and more than 200 on Sunday.

The Holistic Fair held on December 15th saw more than 100 visitors interact with twelve different vendors.

Baseball registration opened up and Parks and Recreation is proud to offer online registration. The Youth Afterschool Camp had 145 registrations, while the Teen Afterschool Program had 105. Friday and Holiday camp combined for 57 registrations.

Gilpin County Detentions

Detentions reported 109 (77 Male, 32 Female) bookings for the month of December. Mr. Montoya stated that there is nothing notable in the report. The County is waiting for the official notification on the gaming grant dollars (DOLA grant), they have not received a letter or an e-mail on that distribution yet but once that is received it will be included in the packet.  Also noted in the report, total bookings for 2018 topped out at 1,651 a 5% increase over 2017 which totaled 1,570.

Gilpin Quality of Life Survey

Gilpin County Manager Abel Montoya submitted a Request for Proposal (RFP) to conduct a Gilpin County Quality of Life Survey. The survey will target residents and business owners in the County to rate different services that the county provides. The county is planning to work with other stakeholders that provide services to the county such as the School District, the Ambulance Authority, and the various Fire Districts. The RFP will close on February 11th with the survey results to be completed sometime this summer. $17,000 has been budgeted this year for such a survey.

Consent Agenda

Gilpin County Commissioners approved the meeting minutes from January 8, 2019 with some minor corrections.

Executive Session

Gilpin County Commissioners recessed into Executive Session per C.R.S. 24-6-402 (4) (b) to confer with an attorney for the purposes of receiving legal advice on specific legal questions.

Next Meeting

The next Gilpin County Commissioners regular meeting will be February 5, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. at the Gilpin County Courthouse at 203 Eureka St. Central City, Colorado.

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