Gilpin County awarded DOLA grants

Gilpin County Area DEMJohn Scarffe, Gilpin County.  Gilpin County has received grant funding for seven projects from the Local Gaming Impact Advisory Committee through the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), the Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners learned during a regular meeting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at the Gilpin County Courthouse. County Manager Roger Baker told the Board that the County received a DOLA grants award letter, and it has been distributed to the award recipients.

“The state Local Limited Gaming Advisory Committee met recently in Central City to review applications for gaming impact funds,” according to the letter from Executive Director Irv Halter. “Competition was intense for the limited amount of funds available for award this year.”

Seven Gilpin County organizations received funding, with the largest award, $585,809, going to the First Judicial DA Gaming impacts. Sheriff’s Jail Operations received the second most at $491,503, while ambulance operations received $150,000.

The Eagle’s Nest Learning Center received $120,000, Sheriff’s Office operations received $67,402, School based counseling received $50,674 and Victim Services received $32,000.

The Board prioritized applications for the Gaming Impact Grants during a special meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at the Gilpin County Courthouse.

Board Chair Linda Isenhart said the County received seven applications for the impact funds. The Commissioners apply annually for grants through the program.

The Gaming Impact Program was created in statute in 1997 to provide financial assistance to local governments in addressing gaming impacts stemming from limited stakes gaming, according to the DOLA website. Communities eligible are Cripple Creek, Black Hawk and Central City.

The Program is financed by state taxes on limited gaming activities in these cities.

Grant funds are provided to eligible local governments through a competitive application process. Successful applicants must be able to quantify gaming impacts and identify the public service and facility needs associated with those impacts.

Isenhart said the County received applications from the Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office for detentions and for patrols, the First Judicial District, the Gilpin Ambulance Authority, Gilpin County Victim’s Services, Eagle’s Nest Early Learning Center and the Jefferson Center for Mental Health.

The Sheriff’s Office requested $1.3 million from the gaming impact funds. Sheriff Bruce Hartman said they have solid, accurate numbers, so why change them?

The Commissioners then ranked each of the applicants and asked County Manager Roger Baker to compile the rankings. They ultimately wound up with the Sheriff’s Office jail first and patrols second, Gilpin Ambulance Authority third, Eagle’s Nest fourth, Gilpin County Victim’s Services fifth, Jefferson Center for Mental Health sixth and First Judicial District seventh.

In awarding the funds, the Local Gaming Impact Advisory Committee established a different ranking than the Board’s.

Jill Howard and Kevin Ashcraft, Career Center supervisor, presented a Memorandum of Understanding for the Tri-County Workforce. The operational agreement is entered into by the Tri-County Workforce Development Board, Jefferson County, Clear Creek County and Gilpin County.

Howard said the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act establishes the Tri-County workforce area and the agreement for the area. The agreement does not address cost, which is in a separate agreement. The MOU provides for comprehensive workforce development services for job seekers and employers.

The workforce system has been designed to promote collaborative employment and training strategies for the area’s economies, according to the agreement.

Workforce services are provided through a network of partner organizations and human resources service providers.

Isenhart said that she is encouraged by more collaboration between the work force and Gilpin Schools. “Will that be something that will happen this year?” Isenhart asked. Howard said they have been able to connect with the school and have staff on site meeting with School staff.

Isenhart said that page 6 of the agreement mentions alternative secondary schools and asked if they have a collaboration with kids that must look at different school situations. Howard said the have been working with Teens Inc., in Nederland and Gilpin County Schools.

Isenhart asked if they have been working with Clear Creek and Gilpin County for people looking for employment. Ashcraft said his Career Center is all set, and he jumps in when someone is looking for employment.

The Board approved the MOU. The Board also approved three appointments to the Gilpin County Planning Commission. The Board reappointed Bob Haxel, Laura Jeney and Jane Billings to new terms on the Commission.

Both Jeney and Billings said they enjoyed serving on the Planning Commission. Jeney wrote: “Participating on the Planning Commission over the last 15 years has been both enjoyable and an opportunity to interact with many residents with different views on a broad range of issues. As a member of the Commission, it is rewarding to bring residents of different views to a common ground to achieve the goals and satisfy the needs of Gilpin County.”

(Published in the print edition of The Mountain-Ear on November 10, 2016)