Renaming streets in Black Hawk

Health Insurance and Identity Theft Insurance Upgrades for City Staff

By Randy Beaudette

The Lake Gulch Road improvement and maintenance IGA, a Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Grant agreement, a street renaming Resolution, and several Resolutions concerning various insurance options for Black Hawk employees were the highlights of the Black Hawk City Council regular online meeting held April 28, 2021.

Mayor Spellman called the Council to order promptly at 3:00 pm followed by Roll Call and an online Pledge of Allegiance. Roll call revealed Council members that were present online included Council Members Linda Armbright, Paul Bennett, Jim Johnson, Greg Moates, and Benito Torres. Alderman Hal Midcap was absent. Also present online were City Attorney Corey Hoffmann, City Manager Stephen Cole, City Clerk/ Admin Services Director Melissa Greiner, and Deputy City Clerk Michele Martin.

City Attorney Hoffmann asked Council to declare any Conflicts of Interest on any issue appearing on the agenda other that than those already disclosed and filed with the City Clerk and Secretary of State. There were no objections from the City Council or from anyone online.

Meeting Minutes

Black Hawk City Council approved the meeting minutes from the April 14, 2021 Regular Meeting with no corrections or amendments.

Lake Gulch Road InterGovernmental Agreement (IGA) (Council Bill 11)
  Black Hawk City Council approved Council Bill 11 which ratifies an InterGovernmental Agreement between Black Hawk and Gilpin County that will deed a portion of Lake Gulch Road to Black Hawk. In the past, Lake Gulch Road has been considered a county road and was maintained by the County. With the recent approval of the Lake Gulch Whiskey Resort in the area, Black Hawk is requesting the deeding of Lake Gulch Road in which Black Hawk will be responsible for any improvements or maintenance of the road. On April 20, 2021, Gilpin County approved their portion of the IGA in which the County released possession of the road.

CDOT Grant Agreement (Council Bill 12)

Council Bill 2021-12 is an Ordinance approving the FTA Section 5311 Operating Grant Agreement Between the Colorado Department of Transportation, Division of Transit and Rail, and the City of Black Hawk dba Black Hawk and Central City Tramway for 2021 in an amount not to exceed $112,884 and requires a 50% match. This is the same grant program that Black Hawk has been fortunate to receive as far back as 2018. This grant is typically used to offset some of the costs the City has incurred through the contract operator. Black Hawk City Council unanimously approved a motion to accept the transportation agreement with CDOT, unanimously approving Council Bill 12.

Street Renaming (Resolution 22-2021)

The City of Black Hawk is responsible for maintaining accurate and organized addressing within the Black Hawk city limits. In September 2020, the City Council approved Resolution 62-2020 which added addresses for new construction and made changes to certain street names and building numbers in order to correct and clarify addresses located on Highway 119/ Clear Creek Boulevard, Chase Street, and Miners Mesa Road. In March 2021, the City Council approved Resolution 12-2021 which made changes to building numbers on Gregory Street that were found to be duplicates in Central City. With the recent approvals that will allow further development on Miners Mesa Road, City staff proposes four (4) street name changes that will facilitate better/easier wayfinding throughout the City.

Highway 119: The main thoroughfare thorough the City is Highway 119, and before the approval of Resolution 62-2020, had been known as Clear Creek Street. Due to confusion between residential buildings on Clear Creek Street and commercial buildings on Highway 119, the section of Highway 119 within the City Limits was changed to Clear Creek Boulevard. City staff now believes that the use of “Black Hawk” is more appropriate for the main thoroughfare through the City, and recommends that the section of Highway 119 within the Black Hawk city limits be changed from “Clear Creek Boulevard” to “Black Hawk Boulevard.”

Miners Mesa Road: Similarly, staff feels the use of “Miners Mesa” is not appropriate since Miners Mesa Road leads up to Gregory Hill which is not a mesa. Staff proposes that Miners Mesa Road be changed to remove the term “mesa” and simply become “Miners Road.”

Black Hawk Street and Mill Street: Two short sections of street are proposed for renaming to their connecting streets. First, the short section of Black Hawk Street between Highway 119 and Main Street is proposed to change to Gregory Street. No properties are currently addressed on Black Hawk Street. Second, the short section of Mill Street between Highway 119 and Main Street is proposed to change to Miners Road. No properties are currently addressed on Mill Street.

Black Hawk City Council unanimously approved Resolution 22-2021.

Ancillary Insurance Coverage (Resolution 23-2021)

The City’s current ancillary carrier which covers Basic/Voluntary Life, AD&D, Short Term Disability, and Long-Term Disability, CIGNA, was acquired by New York Life in 2020. During the months leading up to and since the transition to New York Life, the City has experienced unacceptable administrative service and claims management by the carrier. So much so that CIGNA issued a credit under the performance guarantee for $1,815.

In an effort to find quality customer service for the City’s administrative staff and responsible claims management for employees, IMA, the City’s benefits broker, was asked to solicit bids from other carriers. Three carriers responded to the request for quotes, Hartford, Standard, and Symetra. Hartford and Standard quoted rates higher than CIGNA’s current rates. Symetra quoted rates with an approximate $7,200 savings over CIGNA’s current rates with a two-year rate guarantee. In addition, inequities with the current benefit maximum for the City’s highest-paid employees were addressed in Symetra’s quote. A third class of enrollees will be added with increased Group Life coverage from 2x annual salary up from $300,000 to $500,000 (with medical underwriting), the maximum STD benefit of 66.7% of weekly salary will increase from $2,000 to $2,300, and the maximum LTD benefit of 60% of monthly salary will increase from $8,000 to $9,000. Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, Symetra Life Insurance Company was founded in 1957. They have offices in 14 cities across the U.S. Symetra Life has over $58.9 billion in assets as of December 2020. Symetra received sound financial ratings from A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s, which assess the ability of the company to meet its obligations to policyholders. Their web platform for administration and claims management is the latest in technology, updated in real-time every 15 minutes. The City will have a dedicated claims manager for all claims instead of random call center operators. The transition from CIGNA to Symetra will be seamless for employees. Staff budgeted for a 10% increase at renewal for plan year July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022. Symetra’s quote is a cost savings of 9.8% over existing coverage. City Council unanimously approved Resolution 23-2021

Dental Coverage (Resolution 24-2021)

Council approved Resolution 24-2021 which is a Resolution Approving the 2021-2022 Contract with Delta Dental in the Estimated Amount of $123,041 for Group Dental Insurance. Delta Dental presented a renewal rate increase of 5% for the City’s 2021-2022 benefit plan year with no change to the current benefit plan. The estimated annual cost is based on the current enrollment population. Staff budgeted for a 10% increase in the premium.

Health Insurance (Resolution 25-2021)

Black Hawk City Council also approved Resolution 25-2021 which is a Resolution approving the 2021-2022 contract with Kaiser Permanente in the estimated amount of $1,104,449 for Group Health Insurance. Kaiser Permanente (KP) presented a quote for health care coverage for the 2021-2022 plan year with a rate increase of 6.3% with the inclusion of an Expanded Rx List, which will allow employees to acquire certain medical supplies and prescriptions for specific diseases such as diabetes and hypertension at no cost. The City budgeted for a 15% increase for the plan year. The quote is based on our current enrollment. Current employer HSA/457 contributions will remain in place for the new plan year. The spousal surcharge/incentive programs will also continue.

Identity Theft Protection Resolution 26-2021)

  Employers across U.S. and Colorado are experiencing an unprecedented amount of Identity Theft for current and former employees due to Unemployment Insurance fraud. Beginning late 2020, the City has received notification of fraudulent Unemployment Claims for approximately 30% of our employees, with separate claims being filed multiple times for some employees. In an effort to provide employees with Identify Theft Protection, staff reached out to IMA, the City’s benefits broker, for quotes for Identity Theft Protection coverage from reputable vendors, along with information on customer service ratings. Of the five carriers quoted, ID Watchdog, Life Lock, IDX, IDShield, and Cyberscout, ID Watchdog is the most competitive at the Platinum level of the five vendors reviewed. Customer Service reports were favorable for all carriers. The City currently offers Legal Shield group coverage as a voluntary, employee-paid benefit for legal support. Legal Shield also offers additional ID Theft coverage at the cost of $9.95 per month for family coverage, which is in addition to the cost of legal coverage of $15.95 per month for family coverage, for a total of $25.90 per month. The cost of family coverage for ID Theft Protection alone is $12.95 per month. Staff recommends ID Watchdog, based on the low cost, minimal difference in cost between Employee & Family coverage, and ID Watchdog is owned by Equifax credit bureau. There are two options for coverage. City Council unanimously approved Resolution 26-2021

Municipal Court Judge Reappointment (Resolution 27-2021)

Black Hawk City Council approved a Resolution Repealing and Replacing Resolution 31-2020 Reappointing Thad Renaud to be the City of Black Hawk Assistant Municipal Court Judge. The Assistant to the Municipal Court Judge was reappointed for a two (2) year term on April 8, 2020; however, there is an error in the expiration year of the term in the Resolution. Resolution 31-2020 states the term of Assistant Municipal Court Judge shall expire on May 1, 2020, and it should read May 1, 2022. Resolution 27-2021 corrects the error.

Property Disconnection (Resolution 28-2021)

Black Hawk Council approved a Resolution Accepting an Application for the Disconnection of the Dory Hill Road Properties from the City of Black Hawk, Preliminarily Approving Said Disconnection, and Setting a Public Hearing for May 26, 2021 Concerning said Disconnection.

Next Meeting

The next Black Hawk City Council regular online meeting is scheduled to be held on May 12, 2021 at 3:00 pm. For more information, visit

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