Property owner disconnects from City

John Scarffe, Black Hawk.  A Black Hawk property owner requested disconnection from the City during a regular meeting of the Black Hawk City Council on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 3 p.m., at 211 Church Street. The Council opened the meeting with an executive session at 2:30 p.m. following a work session with the Gilpin County Board of Commissioners, and started the regular meeting close to its regular time.


On April 25, 2017, the City received a petition requesting the disconnection of the Arends’ property from the City of Black Hawk, according to the request for Council action. The request involves the removal of the property from the City’s corporate boundaries.


The property is not located within a platted subdivision of Black Hawk and is not serviced by any City streets or public utilities. Once disconnected, the property will be subject to Gilpin County’s regulations and requirements, according to the request.


At the April 19 meeting, the Council approved an ordinance creating a process for disconnecting territory from the City. The ordinance allows disconnection following a property owner petition and disconnection following City initiated application.


The ordinance was passed in anticipation of the Arends requesting disconnecting their property from the City. Following review of the petition for the Arends property disconnection at this meeting, a hearing date must be set not less than thirty days after preliminary approval.


Aldermen Hal Midcap and Benito Torrez questioned the property line. Micap said the property line goes right through the middle, and Torrez said the way the property line goes is crazy and hard to determine. “Is there a way of reconstructing that by measurement?”


City Attorney Corey Hoffmann said that is the idea behind the disconnection. When you have a subdivision, it should be all in a county or a city, and it follows the property line. “It’s very common to have municipal boundaries that are jagged because they follow property lines. Based on what we have today, it is eligible, but we want to give the public an opportunity to comment.”


Staff recommended that the Council set June 14, 2017, for the hearing concerning the disconnection ordinance, and the Council approved the resolution.


Black Hawk Chief of Police Stephen Cole requested the approval of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and the State of Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) Public Safety Communications Network for a shared communications site. The State of Colorado has state-owned radio equipment located at the Silver Gulch Radio Tower site, which is owned by Black Hawk, according to the request for Council action.


Two microwaves, one located on the Silver Gulch tower site, and the second located on the Miner’s Mesa Tower site, were originally paid for by Homeland Security funds as part of the new regional VHF radio system, according to the request. Black Hawk and the State share the microwave system, which supports local, regional and state-wide emergency radio communications.


The State is upgrading the entire state-owned microwave system as part of their state-wide initiative to improve the reliability and redundancy of the system, according to the request. State OIT will replace the existing microwaves at the Silver Gulch and Miner’s Mesa site with state-owned microwaves and assume responsibility for maintaining them in the future.


“The State cannot upgrade the microwaves unless they have ownership of the microwaves,” states the request. Black Hawk will continue to use the microwave system for its local and regional VHF radio system as originally designed, but would no longer own the microwaves or be responsible for their maintenance.


The City will be responsible for maintaining the two smaller microwaves, one located at the Police Department and the other at the Silver Gulch tower site. The MOU between the City and the State outlines the conditions for replacing and maintaining the microwaves.


The MOU will shift the entire burden of maintaining the microwaves to the State. “We think it’s a win/win, so we don’t have to manage it,” Cole said. “Now they’ll take care of the labor and we take care of the equipment. We could take them off the tower with 180 days’ notice.” The Council approved the MOU.


Community Planning and Development Administrator Cynthia Linker requested the approval of the total base construction bid and project budget for the limited rehabilitation of the historic home and property at 241 Dubois Street. Based on the bids received and the bid analysis summary, Big Valley Construction, LLC, is a qualified contractor while also being the lowest bidder.


The request for bids went out to about 370 registered contractors. Four general contractors attended the mandatory pre-bid meeting. Two general contractors subsequently submitted complete bid packages.


Because Big Valley Construction has a strong track record with previous projects in the Historic Preservation Program and because its bid was the lowest received, staff recommended that Big Valley Construction be awarded the 241 Dubois Street contract. The total project cost bid was $1,372,701.78.


The project will commence on May 12, 2017 with a February 6, 2018 completion date, Linker said. The Council approved the bid and project budget.


The Council also approved the request for a new tavern liquor license for JE Tavern, Inc., dba JE Tavern, at the Gilpin at 111 Main Street, Unit A, and for the Certification of a Promotional Association and Common Consumption Area for the Gilpin Association, Inc. The Gilpin Casino and the Canyon Casino were the two licensees that made up the Horseshoe Gilpin, Inc., Promotional Association, according to the request.


With the closing of the Canyon Casino, the Gilpin is proposing this new tavern become the second licensee it needs to create the Gilpin Association, Inc., Promotional Association, according to the request. The Gilpin Association, Inc., has met all the requirements for a Promotional Association, and staff has reviewed this application and recommended approval.


(Originally published in the May 18, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)