Two possible shooting sites targeted

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John Scarffe, Gilpin County.  The Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners discussed two possible sites for public shooting during a regular meeting on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, at the Gilpin County Courthouse. The Board has designated two new mapped locations as potential sport range sites.

Commissioner Gail Watson displayed a County map indicating the two possible sites. The first site, the County-owned La Place parcel, sits off the Hidee Mine Road, and the second site, a privately owned parcel, is located off Missouri Gulch Road.

Commissioner Watson said she would look into substituting the County owned site on a grant application to Colorado Parks and Wildlife to replace the Missouri Gulch site. “I haven’t seen this site,” Watson said. “We invite questions from residents.” A letter will be posted on the County website that will discuss both properties and will invite questions from all Gilpin County residents.

Commissioner Watson said the Northern Front Range Recreational Sport Shooting Management Partnership wants to create a video for the purpose of identifying problem areas and to educate the public about how safe shooting sites are selected. Other larger counties in the Partnership have contributed $1,000, but Commissioner Watson requested that Gilpin County contribute $500, due to its size.

The Partnership did a couple of videos two years ago, and the County didn’t participate, Watson said. It would address safety and how to identify an appropriate area for shooting. “They have to be out in front on sports shooting,” Watson said.

Commissioner Buddy Schmalz asked if anyone actually watches videos. “The type of folks we’re concerned with I don’t see going to a site and saying, ‘How do I do this?’”

Watson said it would be distributed at gun shows and gun shops. “I think it’s worth $500.” Commission Chair Linda Isenhart agreed saying she has heard about machine gun shooting recently, and the Sheriff’s Office has responded. “I would agree that $500 is a good baby step.”

Schmalz said he objected just a little bit. “There’s got to be a different approach. It seems like we’re keeping someone busy doing videos.”

During public comment, Gilpin County Resident Martin Loyd said he has called law enforcement on individuals who have been shooting nearby, and, generally speaking, people are pretty easy to deal with. “People who come in county don’t pay attention,” Loyd said. “We need some regulations and guidelines.”

He suggested the County give some consideration to options other than video. Watson moved to approve a $500 contribution. Schmalz seconded the motion and then voted against it, the motion passing by a 2 to 1vote.

More Funding Issues

Through contact with Serene Karplus with the Nederland Area Seniors (NAS), the group has requested $2,500 in funding, since 25 percent of their clientele are Gilpin County residents. NAS offers meals in a community setting, wellness programs, reading and writing activities, educational programs and cultural outings.

County Manager Roger Baker said the Board has received requests in the past and had funded them, but this year’s request is well over the usual provided annually. Commissioner Watson pointed out that the County funds its own senior program, and103 unique individuals participate.

Isenhart said she would like to talk to Karplus. “I think we serve our Gilpin County seniors quite well. I wouldn’t want to put up a barrier for Gilpin residents attending Nederland activities. We need to concentrate our efforts on our own program.”

Baker noted that Karplus could attend a future Board meeting to discuss the group’s request. The Commissioners will compile a list of questions, and Baker will send them to Karplus.

Commissioner Watson introduced a funding proposal for Rural Philanthropy Days, a statewide program that brings skill building, collaborative and funding opportunities to nonprofits and community organizations through annual regional conferences. She said she planned to host a local listening tour on April 4 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Gilpin County Community Center.

Watson explained that the tour would include a cross section of the County and that funders would be present to view local needs. Then at the conference in September applicants will propose their projects to funders.
The conference, September 28, 29, 30, will bring together funders, and the list is impressive, Watson said. The Anschutz Family Foundation program officer was in attendance.

Watson requested a $500 contribution to create a scholarship to help with conference registration fees for some attendees and added that the Alan Green Foundation had approved $1,000 to help with fees for volunteers from organizations. The registration fee is $125.

“We have a number of programs that could benefit from this,” Watson said, listing Central City, Black Hawk and the Eagle’s Nest. She is trying to get more buy in from county nonprofits.

Schmalz said he didn’t know if this is a good use of County funds. The nonprofits should be responsible for it because they would benefit. “Who gets to pick who goes where?”

Watson replied that it is a good use of help funding and gives organizations access to those who have more funding potential than the County. Isenhart suggested that the Commissioners read over the information and table this for a month or so. Watson asked that it be placed on the next agenda.

County Manager Baker announced that Gilpin County has been conditionally awarded a $23,500 grant from History Colorado to perform the Russell Gulch Historic Resources Survey. The award included $5,500 more than requested and requires that an archaeological scope of work and budget, including the mapping of mines and underground resources, be submitted and approved for the award to be given. A proposal will be developed soon.

Finance Director Clorinda Smith presented a resolution to authorize a lease and purchase agreement for a road material compactor between Gilpin County and Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, Inc. She stated that the cost of the compactor was $150,000 plus interest, which would total just over $160,000. The resolution passed.

The Gilpin County Commissioners met on Tuesday, March 8, and will meet next on Tuesday, March 22, at 9 a.m. at the Gilpin County Courthouse, 203 Eureka Street, Central City.