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VHS radio network coming to Black Hawk, Gilpin and Clear Creek Counties

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New iPads, new phone system, special recognitions

By Lynn Volkens

Black Hawk City Council met the afternoon of February 27, 2013. Mayor David Spellman and Aldermen Linda Armbright, Paul Bennett, Diane Cales, Jim Johnson, Greg Moates and Benito Torres attended. They began their meeting with a work session-a tutorial for the Aldermen to learn how to use their new iPads.

Top Dogs!

  Black Hawk was recognized by the Friends of Charlie’s Place, the Clear Creek/Gilpin County Animal Shelter, with appreciation for the City’s financial donations. Black Hawk money helped fund an enclosed exercise area for the animals to use at the shelter.  Council members Armbright and Cales had attended the ceremony to accept the award, “We’re Top Dogs” over there,” they said.

Friend of the City Award

  The Council recognized Wendell Pickett for 20 years of service to the City. Pickett said that when he started, “Main Street was still dark.” Since then he has worked with the City to resolve parking, land, street and bridge and other development issues. Pickett has sold his interest in Black Hawk properties and resigned from the Business Improvement District, ending a long history of working with the City in that capacity. Mayor Spellman presented him with a captain’s clock noting that Pickett is “A true friend and honorary citizen of the City of Black Hawk.”

Setback 200 Dubois Street

  In adopting Resolution 08-2013, the Aldermen approved a variance to the City’s setback code for a shed that will be constructed at 200 Dubois Street. Property owner, Robert Cameron, requested the variance so that a side-yard shed can be reconstructed with a window opening on the west side. In September, the Council had approved a zero-foot setback for both the side and the front setbacks so that the reconstructed shed could be located in its original position. Cameron also wants to install a window where there was one before, however current code prohibits a window in that location as it is too close to the property line. City staff determined that the window could be allowed as long as it is stipulated that no new construction will occur on the west side of the shed, within the right-of-way of Dubois Street, and that, consequently, the placement of the window won’t pose any threat to an adjacent structure in the case of fire.  The variance is a one-time, case-specific variance conditioned on the applicant obtaining the required certificate of appropriateness and building permit.

Communications MOU

  The Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Black Hawk, Gilpin County, Clear Creek County and the Evergreen Fire Protection District, which establishes the Gilpin/Clear Creek Communications Consortium and the guidelines under which it operates. The parties will be operating a regional VHS radio network and, under this MOU, will share the costs of maintaining it. The Consortium will consist of four voting members with a representative from each party. They are to create an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) spelling out the part each party will play in the operation and maintenance of the radio network. “We’ve been working on a radio system the last 6-7 years,” said Police Chief Stephen Cole, emphasizing that this system could not interfere with Gilpin and Clear Creek County operations. He is to return to the Council when further details have been worked out.

271 Church Street

The owner of the home at 271 Church Street, Jeannie Larkins, asked that a cabinetry project in the kitchen of the home be completed under the City’s grant program. The project had been started in 1996 but at that time, not all of the cabinetry had been replaced after the kitchen had been reconfigured to move a doorway. The property is also in the queue for grant-funded exterior work (stabilization, rock wall and iron fence, painting, gutters and downspouts) and two interior storm doors. Noting that nothing would need to be torn out, but that additional cabinetry and countertop could be put in to match what’s already there, the Council asked that staff go back and measure, see if the additional cabinetry would comply with the current grant program, and return to the Council with their findings.

Attorney’s Update

City Attorney Corey Hoffmann advised the Council that the answering brief, related to the ongoing Brannan Sand and Gravel litigation, which also involves Gilpin County and private parties, would be heard the following day. The court is to determine if Brannan still has standing in the Gilpin County case, since the property involved has changed ownership.

City Manager’s Report

  City Manager Jack Lewis had just received a check for $40,000 as payment of the fire truck the City sold to an Alabama fire department.  He also told the Aldermen that the City’s new phone system had been hooked up. “It’s an exciting project with a lot of capability and a lot of power,” he told them. The new digital system replaces the old single phone lines which were costing Black Hawk $60 per month, so will save the City money. It also adds features like Caller ID, relieves the City Clerk from acting as “telephone operator” and provides Black Hawk with the newest telephone technology.

Executive Session

Following the business meeting, the Council met with Hoffmann to discuss matters related to property acquisition, potential legislation and the City’s scholarship program. They took no further action.

Heads Up

  Black Hawk City Council meets next on March 13, 2013.

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