County auctions off the Albert Extension Mine

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Gilpin Commissioners Honor John Combs

By Staci McBrayer

  The Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) met on Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 at the Gilpin County Courthouse. Commissioner Buddy Schmalz, Commissioner Connie McLain, and Commissioner Gail Watson were in attendance along with County Manager Roger Baker and County Attorney Brad Benning.

Sale of the Albert Extension Mine

  Public auction for a two-acre parcel of land known as the Albert Extension Mine, located in Black Hawk, was held. The actual value of the property as per the county property records is $12,500. The property has been off the tax rolls since 1971.

  The property owner elected to have the County auction the property off. County Manager Baker commented that an elected sale has not been something that has occurred in his ten years of employment. The auction was done in a similar manner of tax lien sales and was publically open to bidders. Two bidders were present: Mr. Alva W. Busch and Mr. Jack Lewis, who represented the City of Black Hawk. Lewis offered the opening and only bid at $12,500. No other bids were made, and the property was awarded to the City of Black Hawk pending proper payment.

  Monies earned by the sale will be distributed to the County, Black Hawk, the Sanitation District, and School District based on the 2012 tax year. Due to the City of Black Hawk’s purchasing the property, it is exempt from going back on the County tax rolls and thus the County will see no further tax income on the property.

Zoning Change

 County Planner Ray Rears presented the BOCC with a zoning change request for property north of Tolland Road at 511 Forest Service Camp Road owned by Marc and Carol Giuliani. The Forest Service formerly owned the property that was zoned as “GX” or government exempt lands. GX land acquired by private individuals shall not be eligible for Gilpin County building permits until such lands are rezoned by resolution via Gilpin County Rezoning process. The couple purchased the property with plans to retire there, and sought the zone change from GX to “RR” (rural residential.) Commissioners granted the zoning change.

Special Use Permit

  Planner Rears also presented Commissioners with a special use permit request for a generator installation in excess of the 10 kW at 556 Pisgah Lake Road. The applicant is Sue Mohr. Rears identified upfront to the Commissioners that he himself owns the property immediately adjacent to the property in question.

  The special use permit is being sought as there is no access to power available for the 1500 square foot home. The 20 kW generator chosen to power the home exceeds the 10 kW rating established by county ordinance. The concern is the noise impact the generator will have on neighbors and wildlife in the area (one side of the property abuts National Forest.)

  The planning commission recommended approving the special use permit with conditions. One condition is that the noise levels shall not exceed 45db at the subject site property lines. Such compliance may require the generator to be encased in a wall that will permit adequate airflow but will reduce the sound leaving the property. Additional conditions include restricting generator operation to daylight hours for battery charging purposes, and daily generator operation may not exceed an average of 2.5 hours per day for any single week during the year.

  Commissioners approved the special use permit with the planning commission’s conditions.

CLD Grant

 Rears also notified the BOCC that the County was awarded a grant to survey the town of Nevadaville. The purpose of the survey is to plan for future work, which could include an amendment to the Central City – Black Hawk National Register District. The survey will include an intensive survey of the residential and commercial structures as well as mining resources in the area. It is estimated that there are twenty-one properties and twenty-five substantial mining resources.

  The total cost of the survey is $23,000 with 100% of the funding coming from the National Park Service overseen by History Colorado. The grant requires no monetary match from the county.

Clerk & Recorder’s Monthly Report

  Clerk and Recorder Colleen Stewart presented her January monthly report to the Commissioners. Stewart noted that the County received an election payment $3,795.00 from State to costs associated with the 2013 election. Stewart said that the State pays the county 90 cents per voter, but that this amount does not cover all the expenses the county occurs in holding an election.

Opposition to Public Trust Water Initiatives

  Commissioners approved Resolution 14-01 in opposition to the Public Trust Doctrine initiatives. Several initiatives have been proposed to amend the Colorado Constitution to impose public trust doctrine on Colorado water use. The Resolution sites that the most recent initiative attacks people’s private property rights to their water and their land and would wipe out historical ownership of water in the State. Furthermore, the initiative would shift control of the State’s water supply away from local providers and stop projects to store water for use during droughts. The approved Resolution states that the BOCC opposes the adoption of a public trust doctrine as unwise, unnecessary, and disruptive to the fair and responsible allocation and stewardship of Colorado’s scarce water resources as well as an unwarranted taking of vested property interests.

Facilities Charge Waiver

  Christ the King Church sought and received a waiver of fees for use of the County Fairgrounds Barn for a Youth Ham Shoot scheduled for April 12th. Church Pastor Tom Davidson and his wife, Judy, as well as event coordinator Staci McBrayer shared with the commissioners that the target shooting competition for youth 8-16 years of age is being planned as a free, open to the public event as part of the church’s outreach program Christian Outdoor Fellowship of America (COFA.)     

  McBrayer informed the commissioners the safety precautions to be put in place for the event such as participants using only COFA provided BB guns, crowd flow mechanisms put in place to prevent participants from wandering onto the firing line, firearm safety education for participants, and the use of tarps and window coverings to prevent any damage to the facility.

  Commissioners approved waiving the $1,000 damage deposit as well as the cost of heat and electricity during the event estimated to be about $75.

Supplemental Appropriations to the 2014 Budget Public Hearing

  The BOCC approved Resolution 14-02 for supplemental appropriations to the 2014 budget. County Finance Director Clorinda Smith said the effect of the resolution would be that budgeted moneys for employee benefits will be moved from the General Fund into specific department funds. Those department funds include Public Works ($316,000), Library ($41,000), Public Health Fund ($16,000) and Solid Waste (41,000.)

Recognition of Public Works Employee John Combs

  County Manager Baker advised the BOCC that he received an email commending Public Works snowplow driver John Combs for his life saving actions taken during an automobile accident that occurred while Holmes was working.

  William “Todd” Elliott sent an email stating that on February 17th, he and his wife were returning from a trip up Tolland Road to visit the east entrance of the Moffat Tunnel when their vehicle slid off the road. The vehicle landed upside down in Boulder Creek. Neither party received injuries, but were cold, wet, and shaken.  

  Combs was driving a snowplow about 100 yards away, and immediately assisted the crash victims. Combs recognized that Elliott was going into shock, and made efforts to get him medical attention, which included contacting the Sheriff’s Office as well as the railroad to get a train stopped across Tolland Road moved so the ambulance could reach the victim.

Work Session on County Employee Certifications

   Commissioners held a work session with Human Resources Director Susie Allen and Finance Director Clorinda Smith concerning paying for employee training and certifications. The goal of the work session was to create a certification list and procedures to determine when the County should pay for certifications and training. In the past, the county has consistently paid for minimum job requirement certifications with a clear reference to why the requirement is needed. The County, however, has been inconsistent with paying for certifications that are not a minimum job requirement. Results of the work session will be used to create procedural consistency countywide.

Next Meeting

  The next scheduled meeting for the BOCC is on March 11th, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. on the 2nd floor of the Gilpin County Courthouse, 203 Eureka Street, Central City, Colorado.


Caption: Public Works employee John Combs was recognized by Commissioners for his above and beyond assistance when a car landed in Boulder Creek on February 17th. 

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