Variance request submitted to State for projected casino opening in mid-June

Gilpin County roads now open to recreation traffic

By Randy Beaudette

On May 28, 2020 the Gilpin Board of County Commissioners/ Board of Health held a Special Meeting Thursday online that featured a vote on a Variance to re-open casinos, further discussion on road closures, and an opposition letter of HB20-1400. Board-Chair Gail Watson opened up the meeting at 9:04 am along with Commissioners Ron Engels and Linda Isenhart. Also online were County Manager Abel Montoya, County Attorney Brad Benning, and Deputy Clerk Sharon Cate. Members from the Senior Leadership Team contributed input as needed.

COVID Community Testing

Emergency Manager Nathan Whittington informed folks online that local COVID-19 testing site has been established and symptomatic testing will be available to Gilpin County residents. A revised testing date is now Saturday, June 6, from 10 am to 1 pm, and Tuesday, June 9 from 10 am to noon. Testing will be administered at the Public Health Building located at 101 Norton Drive. The test will be the drive-up nasal swab method by appointment. For more information refer to the Gilpin County website

Road Closures

The Gilpin County Board of Health approved a motion to align the Road Closure Public Health Order #20-07 with the state and Federal Health Orders. Road closures to non-residents will expire on May 31, 2020.

Variance to open Casinos

Commissioner Engels presented the final and complete draft of the Variance Request to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) that will allow casinos to open. Guidance protocols from CDPHE for casinos are expected to be approved, “Sometime in mid-June,” according to Commissioner Watson. When approval occurs, Gilpin County will have the Variance already on file to ensure a streamlined approval that will protect the health of the employees as well as the patrons of the local casinos and bars. Gilpin County Board of Health and the Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners approved the Variance Request unanimously.

HB20-1400 Opposition Letter

Gilpin County Commissioners approved an opposition letter to our state legislatures against HB20-1400. This bill will change the method in which Gaming Revenue will be distributed.

According to HB20-1400 temporarily modifies the manner in which limited gaming tax revenues are allocated between the limited gaming fund and the extended limited gaming fund (i.e., the portion of limited gaming tax revenues derived from increased hours of operation, enlarged wagering limit, and the addition of craps and roulette) in order to more equitably address recovery in the years immediately following the global pandemic and economic recession of 2020. The modification ends in the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which total limited gaming tax revenues again equal or exceed the total limited gaming tax revenues collected in state fiscal year 2018-19.

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