Black Hawk City Council meets in new digs

John ScarffeBlack Hawk City Council
Black Hawk

The City of Black Hawk City Council met for its regular meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 9, for the second time in its new Council Chambers on the second floor of 211 Church Street. The chambers are located next to the police station at the end of Church Street and above the city’s office building.
In the first meeting in the new Chamber on Sept. 25, Mayor David Spellman stated that what this project represents to the City of Black Hawk is a remarkable repurposing of one of the most historical and iconic buildings in the City of Black Hawk. Mayor Spellman explained it is remarkable to think the entire second floor Council Chambers did not exist prior to this project. It was all attic space. Today this building is as much a museum as it is a public meeting room.
Mayor Spellman explained some of the items the City has are on the walls. The City will add to the artifacts. Mayor Spellman said two of the survey maps date to 1866 and the other 1896. Those were the surveys the Council at the time would have looked at when discussing the City.
Mayor Spellman stated the City’s Charter from 1864 is hanging up in hallway. The Heritage Panels represent all the elected officials from 1864 including the marshal and city attorney, who also were appointed.
The first two panels represent the individuals who helped in the founding of the City of Black Hawk as well as building Black Hawk. The next five panels are the individuals who kept Black Hawk in existence during some lean years and decades.
The last panels are the individuals who helped usher in the new gold rush years — renaissance era. That is the gaming industry. Mayor Spellman stated there is not another city that has gone to the extent as the City of Black Hawk with regards to the Heritage Panels.
The new chambers also feature beautiful woodwork and a tan carpet. High tech features include a table for a presentation lap top and large televisions or monitors on the front and back walls.
Black Hawk CO City CouncilSpellman said the Council has a new tradition. Each meeting will open with ringing the bell in the new Chambers, so Alderman Linda Armbright rang the bell to open the meeting.
One agenda change was requested of the council by City Manager Jack Lewis: the presentation the preliminary 2014 budget. “I’m very proud to present this proposed budget,” Lewis said.
The city budget for 2014 was due by Oct. 15. “It is balanced and the skinniest budget this council has looked at in a long time,” he said. The budget does not include many of the projects the city would like to take on, but it does include a potential water line project on Mill Street.
For the rest, they will wait to add them to the budget until the election in November, pending the outcome of bond issues. A budget workshop will be scheduled in November after the elections.
The Council also approved a resolution approving the Judges and Alternate Judge selected to serve for the Special Municipal Election in the City of Black Hawk on Nov. 5. City Clerk Jeannie Magno said it will be a long day for the judges this year and requested $200 for each judge. The Council approved the request.
The council opened a public hearing on an ordinance approving the memorandum of understanding between the City of Central, Timberline Fire Protection District and the City of Black Hawk for Fire Protection. Currently the city falls under an umbrella agreement with City of Denver Fire Departments, but an agreement with local fire departments is needed.
Chief Taylor said Timberline and Central City have already signed the agreement. The Council approved the ordinance unanimously.
Vince Harris with Baseline brought a resolution conditionally approving a Certificate of Appropriateness and Site Development Plan for the property located at 444 Main Street and Known as the Monarch Casino Parking Garage. This is the first phase of development and redevelopment of the Riviera Property and will include public improvements on the street, Harris said. Eight items need to be fixed before final approval of the resolution.
An official with Monarch said he was excited to bring this first phase of redevelopment to the council, and he looks forward to many other phases and completing this project. The property will be rebranded as the Monarch on Oct. 21. The Council approved the first phase with the eight conditions stipulated.
The Council approved a letter of interest for an opening on the Historic Preservation Commission from Larry Linker of 301 Chase Street. He has participated in the rehabilitation of two properties on Chase Street.
A resolution supporting the policy of the Gilpin County School District RE-1 regarding proposed adjustments of its mill levy was approved. The School District seeks to increase the mill levy 1.699 mills. Mayor Spellman said if the district is successful in raising the mill levy it would reduce taxes needed for the district.
The Council moved to go into executive session to discuss pending legislation and negotiations. The next meeting of the Black Hawk City Council will be on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 211 Church Street, Black Hawk.