Gilpin to try again for shooting-range funding

By Linda Detroy

The county will seek a grant of $131,250 from Colorado Parks and Wildlife toward the purchase of land for a public shooting range in southern Gilpin County.
The Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved during its Jan. 29 meeting, submitting the grant application, which would provide 75 percent of the purchase price of land for a shooting range. About 35 acres of land across Highway 119 from Bullwhackers gas station had been identified last year as a likely site.
Before the vote, Commissioner Connie McLain asked whether the grant, if approved, would be tied to a specific property, and Public Works Director Curt Logsdon said it would not.
A grant application for $131,250 was denied last year, but Commissioner Gail Watson said the denial was because no county funds were included for the development of the range. Watson, who was appointed to the Recreational Sports Shooting Collaborative earlier this month, said the county was strongly urged to reapply and include that funding.
The grant application this year, which was due by Feb. 1, will include a $90,000 matching grant from the county. Of that, about $41,000 would be used to develop the shooting range, if the county decides to proceed with it. If the grant is approved, county funds could be budgeted next year.
“I’ve heard from so many people that shooting in neighborhoods and campgrounds is a real problem for peace of mind, for their dogs,” Watson said. “This can be a real nuisance. A shooting range will help neighborhoods and law enforcement. It gives an option to petition the Forest Service to ban shooting in campgrounds.”
“My only concern is that the shooting range is not on our front burner,” board Chairman Buddy Schmalz said. “This approval doesn’t commit us to anything and gives us time to consider how to proceed. I’m not afraid to turn down a grant if county funds aren’t available.”
County Administrator Roger Baker said the grant and developing a shooting range in southern Gilpin would not preclude developing a recreational shooting range in the northern part of the county, which is also being discussed.
Sewage disposal system approved for residence
The commissioners unanimously approved installation of an individual sewage disposal system for a residence owned by Jerome Hulderman at 325 Missouri Flats Road, a property originally built as a permitted garage and now serving as a residence. The system is a requirement of a lawsuit involving the property and was ordered by the court in December. Water for the system will be supplied by a potable water cistern, and the non-discharging system will not impact neighbors in any way.
“One of the keys to approving this,” Schamlz said, “is that it does involve a professional pumping service.”
In other business, the commissioners accepted the annual certification of the Gilpin County Ambulance Authority and the Highway Users Tax Fund. The commissioners also approved continuation of a water-rights lease for 3 inches of water in Church Ditch that are not currently needed by the county. Val McCurdy will lease the rights for $300 for irrigation purposes.
The commissioners approved changes to the bylaws of the Gilpin County Planning Commission that simplify the process to appoint members and defines the roles of members.
Finally, the commissioners approved the reappointment of Bret Johnson and Linda Jones to new terms on the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, both terms ending Jan. 12, 2013; appointed Herman Gaines Jr. as a full member of the advisory committee, with a term ending Jan. 10, 2015; and appointed firefighter Christopher Williams as an alternate representative to the Foothills Regional Emergency Medical and Trauma Advisory Council (RETAC) Board of Directors.
The next meeting of the Gilpin County commissioners will be at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, in council chambers, 203 Eureka St., Central City.