Smith celebrates 20 years of service to Gilpin

Gilpin County Fair this Saturday!

By Aaron Storms

Thanks to Sharon Cate for assistance with this story! The Gilpin Commissioners opened the July 20th meeting with a celebration of Finance Director Clorinda Smith’s retirement after 20 years of dedicated service to Gilpin County.  The reception was well attended by friends and co-workers in appreciation for the great job she has done for the residents of the County. The Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) reviewed the agenda and determined that they would need to hold an Executive Session at the end of the day’s regular meeting to discuss issues not yet available to the public.

Abandoned Propane Tanks Removed
During the Public/ Press Comment time, Timberline Fire Protection District Chief Paul Ondr thanked County Attorney Bradford Benning for his work on having abandoned propane tanks removed from a site next to the Rec Center in the County, making the area safer and cleaner.
COVID-19 Update

An update from the County Health Department regarding COVID-19 cases shows 6.9% Positivity, with one new case reported in the last week. Stats show that 60.8% residents have had at least one dose of the vaccine, and 56.7% residents are fully vaccinated.

Upcoming Vaccination Clinics

–Wednesday, July 21st from 9-10 am at the Public Health Building.

–Saturday, July 24th, from 10 am – 6 pm. Look for us at the Gilpin County Fair!

–July 21, August 11, September 1, from 9 am – 3 pm at the Senior lunches at the Community Center.

–Wednesday, August 4th at the Library from 9 am – 1 pm for the summer reading finale Magic Show and Ice Cream Celebration!

–Thursday, August 5 from 5-8 pm at the Back To School night event

New County Position

The Emergency Management Planner position shifted from a temporary grant-funded position to a County employee paid position until September, and will be re-evaluated then.
Trading Guns for Vests

Discussion ensued around Resolution #21-08, which is the Disposal of Abandoned Property (Firearms) in the Sheriff’s Office. These firearms are mostly from cases that have been resolved and cannot be returned to the previous owners. They can be traded to a licensed firearm trader in exchange for bullet-proof vests for deputies, and other law enforcement equipment needs.  Commissioners approved Resolution #21-08 unanimously.
Sheriff’s Office Report

Sheriff Armstrong noted that they have been partnering with the Colorado State Patrol to address speeding and other traffic violations on Hwy 119 and Hwy 46, and summarized significant events prior to sharing June reports.

The Sheriff’s Office saw an increase in OHV accidents in the month of June.

There was also a death investigation regarding a female’s body that was dumped off the side of the road on Hwy 72 about a mile east of Pinecliffe. The female had been at this location at least a week before being found. This is being investigated as a homicide.

A less tragic domestic violence case was regarding a female who was arrested for DV/2nd degree Arson. A man and a woman were involved in an argument before the female took a suitcase of the man’s personal belongings and set them on fire.

There was lightning strike on the side of a mountain up from Cottonwood Creek at about mile marker 4 that started a fire. The fire was attacked by two helicopters and was extinguished quickly.

Compliments received and kudos given:

–Communications Supervisor received an email from a citizen, complementing Shandee Hartvigson on her being an exceptional dispatcher. The citizen outlined her achievements during a very busy night.

–Dispatcher Marie Romero did an exceptional job during the fire in south Gilpin County. She not only fielded numerous calls coming into the center, ordered fire suppression helicopters and handled a rescue off a mountain. All this and still getting calls of service done across the county.

–Sheriff Armstrong received five complements for deputies who stopped drivers for traffic violations complementing them on their professionalism and curtesy.

The Sheriff also presented a 22 page PowerPoint deck showing the Sheriff’s Office activity for June. It’s public information and is also posted on the Commissioners’ page at the Gilpin County website as a work document for this July 20 meeting. Some interesting highlights are following.

Dispatch had 454 “9-1-1” calls.

Victim Services had 106 victims served for 184 reported crimes. 26 calls were for Assault, 55 calls were for Domestic Violence, 23 calls were for Harassment, 1 call was for Menacing, and 27 calls were for ID Theft/Fraud. There were 6 reports of Sex Assault, 7 reports were for Sex Assault on a Child, 5 reports were for Child Abuse/Neglect, 13 reports were for Stalking, and 15 reports were for Probation Violations.

The Evidence team booked 44 items and disposed of 260 items.

Detentions had total bookings of 34, of which 28 were males, and 6 were females. 12 bookings were Domestic Violence related, 4 bookings were DUI/DWAI Arrests, 24 bookings were gaming related, and only 6 were actual Gilpin County Residents. The average daily population in the “Gray Bar Hotel” was 22. Of these, Black Hawk PD arrested 14 individuals, the Gilpin Sheriff’s Office arrested 16, and the Colorado State Patrol arrested 4. Detentions served 1,912 inmate meals in June.

Patrol had calls for service due to 10 Disturbances, 2 Death Investigations, 5 for Domestic Violence, 12 for Theft, 15 for Trespassing, 9 for Criminal Mischief, and 1 Sex Crime. There were 32 calls for Suspicious Incidents, 29 calls for Shooting Complaints, 2 calls for DUI, 14 for REDDI reports, 49 calls for Welfare Checks, and 5 calls for Suicidal Parties. The Patrol team was called out for 15 Motorist Assists, 42 VIN Inspections, 9 Civil Attempts, 6 Civil Served, and 35 Assists to Other Agencies.

Patrol activity shows Traffic Summons issued were 18, which included Speeding, Illegal Passing, Driving Under Restraint, and Careless Driving.

Revenue generated was $3,149 which includes booking fees, medical reimbursement, Detentions collect call commissions, Detentions bond fees collected, Detentions meal tickets, and Detentions fingerprints.

Concealed Weapon Permits are up from last year, with 73 applications already compared to a total of 90 applications for all of 2020. Of those applications, 47 are new, and 26 are renewals.
Temporary Employment Agreement

Former Finance Director Clorinda Smith has agreed to help complete a list of critical tasks until a new Finance Director is hired. Commissioners approved this unanimously.
Telecommuting Policy

The County’s Telecommuting Policy sets requirements and parameters for some positions to be performed by some employee hour worked onsite and some hours worked remotely. Commissioners approved the policy unanimously.

COVID Sick Leave

The Board agreed to extend the existing COVID sick leave of 80 hours to September 20, for employees who test positive.
Vacation Accruals

Due to staff accruing vacation hours that are near or over the cap of 208 hours, options discussed were: Potential Deferral of Deadline or a one-time payout of 50% of the value of those hours, which would be fifty cents on the dollar. Employees will be given a choice, but it is a one-time offer only.
Full-Time Senior Services and Transportation Aides

The Commissioners unanimously approved hiring two full-time Aides at an hourly rate of $15.51.
Senator Hickenlooper Assistance

Chris Rork, Regional Aide for US Senator John Hickenlooper, gave an update on Hickenlooper’s work and the pending House bill. Gilpin County residents are waiting to see if he can help Front Range communities work with the FAA to alter the Denver airport flight paths which have been redirected over Gilpin County, causing a lot of air traffic noise pollution.
Gilpin County Org Change

The Board unanimously agreed to restore the County Organizational Chart to the better format used up until two years ago. Changes are the following:

–Infrastructure and Development Services will go back to separate departments of Public Works (Road & Bridge, Facilities, and Trash Transfer Station) and Community Development (Planning, Zoning, Building).

–People and Culture will go back to Human Resources
Treasurer/ Public Trustee’s Reports

There are Uncollectable Property Taxes owed by Buffawhale Coffee and Tea, in the amount of $4,930. They were the previous owners of the sandwich/coffee shop next to the Eagles’ Mart, but the County is now unable to locate them to collect taxes owed. The Commissioners unanimously approved cancellation of those taxes.

The Public Trustee’s 2nd Quarter 2021 Report shows that the number of foreclosures in 2021 is very low. Commissioners approved this report unanimously.

Treasurer’s June 2021 Report showed that Tax collections are at 86.92% compared to 77.87% same month last year. Commissioners approved this report unanimously.


Cost Allocation Plan

The MGT Consulting Group presented their annual report on costs incurred by the County Human Resources and Finance departments to assist other County departments and was applied to overall costs. This report is based on the prior year’s actual expenses.
Legal Status Report

County Attorney Benning told of the Sheriff’s Office working onsite with the legal team and tow trucks to perform court-ordered removal of junk vehicles, scrap metal, and other debris from properties in the County. Some vehicles were stolen, and some hazardous waste still needs to be removed by professionals. The Board approved up to $10,000 for the remainder of the clean-up costs. These costs will be recovered through legal action.

County Attorney Benning is working on tasks for Gilpin County Senior Living, a potential land lease and Agreement with Friends of the Community Center for helping the County with the Community Center. Also, the Magnolia Trail expansion to be built on Toll property by Boulder County in Gilpin County, will be under Gilpin County law enforcement.

Recognition of Volunteer

Melena Hollingsworth walks County roads almost every evening and picks up trash and takes to the County’s trash transfer site at her own expense. The Board thanked her and agreed to provide her with some punch cards to be used for free disposal of this trash. The County will ask CDOT to provide Melena with some of their orange trash bags.
Upcoming Commissioner’s Public Meetings

–July 22, USFS at Moffat Tunnel.

–Five-County Commissioners’ breakfast meeting July 28.

–Regular Board meetings on August 2, 24 and 31. They will also host a booth at the County Fair to raise awareness of many positions open at Gilpin County.
Historic Preservation Commission

Commissioners unanimously approved appointing Jeremy Kaiser, based on Commission recommendation and letter from HPC Chair Bret Johnson.
Meeting Minutes

The Board unanimously approved minutes from July 6 and 9, 2021, then adjourned to Executive Session at 12:50 p.m.

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