Commissioners approve Sheriff’s UTV
By Randy Beaudette
The Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners meeting was called to order on this last day of winter, Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 8:59 a.m. 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.
Commissioner Ron Engels added an item to discuss the issue concerning “Holistic Homestead” utilizing the Public Health Trailer as a place of business for the non-profit and as a food bank.
Boundary Line Elimination
Gilpin County Community Development Director Stephan Strohminger presented a Boundary Line Elimination (BLE #18-06) on behalf of Barbara Anton on Globe Flower Lane. The applicant requested that boundary line be eliminated between 111 Globe Flower Lane and 120 Globe Flower Lane to form Parcel A which will consist of 39.11 acres of improved land. BLE #18-06 was unanimously approved by the Commissioners.
Temporary Use Permit
Gilpin County Community Development Director Stephan Strohminger also presented a Class B Temporary Use Permit to the Commissioners on behalf of Thomas and Debora Dillinger for a large wedding event that will take place on September 9, 2019. The location of the adjoining properties will be at 127 Tschaikovsky Rd and 143 Tschaikovsky Rd and will operate from noon to 10:00 pm. The wedding is expected to attract 200 to 275 guests. One big issue that required some debate was the parking situation. The properties can accommodate parking for about 30 vehicles with some additional vehicles being allowed to park on Tschaikovsky as an approved onetime special event per County Ordinance # 00-10. Additional parking spaces would be located at the Fair Grounds and the participants would be shuttled in vans to the Tschaikovsky address. Gilpin County Manager Abel Montoya stated that currently there is no agreement with the applicants to utilize the Fair Grounds as a parking facility. Gilpin County Community Center Director Kyle Benedict and Recreation Assistant Director Gabrielle Chisholm stated that the arrangements for gathering were just penciled onto the calendar, but there were no agreements or use fees paid yet. To date there have been no formal arrangements due to some possible changes in the agreement. There were no Public Comments in favor or against this Temporary Use Permit. After some additional discussion the Gilpin County Commissioners approved the Temporary Use Permit on the condition that an agreement is established between the Community Center and the applicants.
Gilpin County Treasurer Mary Lorenz presented the 2018 Year End Report, and January 2019 Monthly Report to the Commissioners. In the Semi-Annual report, the year-end total balance was $17.9 million dollars and the full detailed report will be published in next week’s edition of the Weekly Register-Call. The January Monthly Report shows that the amount of Property Taxes collected so far this year is .2 % higher than last year with a Grand Total of $16.4 million dollars for 2019, $800,000 over the 2018 Grand Total at this same date. Other than that, all agreed that nothing stands out as being unusual.
Colorado Opportunity Scholarship (Resolution #19-05)
Recently the Colorado Department of Higher Education asked if Colorado Mountain College would be willing to sponsor Gilpin County residence by way of the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI). The COSI Program requires that counties authorize fiscal agents by way of a resolution. Colorado Mountain College (CMC) runs the COSI scholarship programs in Summit, Lake, Chaffee, Jackson Eagle, Grand, Routt, Garfield, and Pitkin Counties. The State has asked CMC to support students from Gilpin County in 2019-2020 as other colleges are not in a position to support the County. CMC is willing to do this, but first they need Gilpin County Commissioners to pass a Resolution authorizing CMC to withdraw funds on behalf of the residents of Gilpin County. Commissioner Watson stated the she was under the impression the County was aligned with Red Rocks Community College. Deputy Clerk Sharon Cate stated that Gilpin County did send students to Red Rocks in 2016, but this is for a different year (2019-2020). The Commissioners agreed to table Resolution #19-05 until they have a time to conduct a conversation with Red Rocks about this issue.
Gilpin County Human Resources Director Susie Allen presented a request for a County Surveyor Job Posting and Contract Surveying Services. Under Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) 30-10-904, if the office of County Surveyor is at any time vacant, the Board of County Commissioners shall, within six months that the vacancy occurs, appoint a suitable qualified person, who need not be a resident, to fill the position of County Surveyor until the next General Election. Deadline for this appointment is June 1, 2019. County Surveyor is a part-time position that will pay $4,204 annually with additional work available at a rate of $75 per hour up to $8,500 annually. Commissioner Engels commented that with this ridiculously low salary, “Is there any way to offer benefits with this position?” Commissioner Watson replied,” Let’s send this out now and see what kind of response we get. Maybe at budget time benefits may be added in 2020 to this position.” After some additional discussion and some corrections to the Services Agreement, Gilpin County Commissioners agreed to allow Ms. Allen to continue with the process of hiring a County Surveyor.
Utility Task Vehicle (UTV)
Gilpin County Sheriff Kevin Armstrong and Division Chief Tom Ihme once again approached the Commissioners for a new UTV. Chief Ihme informed the Commissioners that he was under the assumption that the new UTV had already approved and was in the budget to be funded by Pay in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) money. PILT money is paid by the Federal Government to offset services provided local authorities such as law enforcement and fire services. Because the US government does not pay property taxes, money for such services are available through PILT grants. The PILT money is filtered through the local governments, such as the Gilpin County to be distributed law enforcement and fire. The whole purpose of PILT money is to equip local authorities with tools such as the UTV. Chief Ihme informed that the sale of the Command Van has already been completed and brought in $23,000. Those funds should be available for this purchase in the near future. With the $23,000 from the Command Van and $4,000 from the PILT fund, there is enough money available to purchase the new UTV with little or no impact to the County budget. With all this explanation, the Commissioners were still reluctant to approve this new addition to the Sheriff’s fleet. The request approval was split with two voted for, and one against by Commissioner Engels, standing behind his original argument.
Legal Status Report
Gilpin County Attorney Jim Petrock reported that though there are a couple of legal matters of litigation that the County is involved in, neither one is of great consequence. The County is involved in a Quiet Title Action or Suit in Russell Gulch. There is a property owner that owns a house with no land. This individual has filed a Quiet Title Suit involving three or four neighbors to assemble a parcel of land for the house to set on. This involves changing of legal boundaries and the County would typically be involved with a simple Boundary Line elimination, but in this case it will be a court order and the law states that if a court orders something that would normally be approved through the county land use process and if the County does not object, then it is fait accompli and no other action is required from the county. The other matter is four cases in the State Board of Assessment Appeal involving property tax assessments.
County Manager’s Report
Gilpin County Manager Abel Montoya reports that the jail detention report is all he has this session. Highlights for February were a total number of 114 bookings with an average day population of 51.21 inmates. Sheriff Kevin Armstrong continued that the Sheriff’s Office has nearly completed the evidence audit that was started back in February with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. The audit is a task that has taken longer than the Sheriff had anticipated, as it hadn’t been done in 25 years, and the audit is a task that should be done every year per industry practices. Sheriff Armstrong stated that they are still trying to hire more qualified people for the Sheriff’s office as Dispatch is still short-staffed even with recently hiring two individuals. They are in training and will be ready and fully functional in about six months.
Ambulance Inspection Report
Gilpin County Commissioners unanimously accepted the inspection report for the new ambulance Unit Number 117 which replaced the old Unit 108 which was sold due to mechanical problems.
Gilpin County Commissioners conducted a brief discussion concerning the status of the Food Bank.
Arwen Ek from Holistic Homestead reached out to the county with a proposal to occupy the soon-to-be-former Public Health trailers as a location of the non-profit Holistic Homestead and the County Food Bank. Commissioner Watson supports continued dialog to partner with Holistic Homestead to ease the demands placed upon Human Services personnel and facilities. Commissioners Isenhart and Engels feel that the County Food Bank should be tied to Human Services and should be a part of that program. One suggestion is to establish a part-time position to staff the Food Bank in the 2020 budget and ease such demands. Commissioner Engels spoke highly of the staff and volunteers that facilitate the current Food Bank program, especially Jennifer Josselyn with her ability to help those in need. The work that Ms. Josselyn does at the Food Bank for people in need is absolutely phenomenal. Commissioner Engels stated that he is willing to step in on distribution day to help out with the tasks at hand. Engels continued, “I would like thank Arwen for her work through Holistic Homestead and wish her all the best, but right now I have no interest in moving the Food Bank from where it is right now.” Commissioner Isenhart agreed with Commissioner Engels and prefers to keep the Food Bank under the County umbrella and encourage volunteerism.
Meeting Minutes Approval
Gilpin County Commissioners approved the minutes from the March 5, 2019, Regular Commissioner’s Meeting with no corrections.
Adjournment and Next Meeting
Gilpin County Commissioners adjourned their Regular Meeting at 11:02 a.m. The next Gilpin County Commissioners regular meeting will be April 9, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. at the Gilpin County Courthouse at 203 Eureka St. Central City, Colorado.