Gregory Street Relocation Project to complete in September

Black Hawk Acquires Open Space Property; Awards Parking Structure Contract

By Jaclyn Morrow

Once past the construction zone with frequent single lane traffic this summer on Gregory Street, we continued uphill to 211 Church Street, where Black Hawk City Council gathered for their regular meeting, Wednesday, June 28, 2017. Proud City Manager and “Grandpa” Jack Lewis introduced his Army family from NC: Captain Major Nate White, daughter Gracie, Warien, Jeremiah, and infant to the Council members. At 2:58 pm Mayor Spellman asked Jeremiah and Warien White to pull on the rope to ring the old bell. With much excitement the two preschool grandsons of City Manager Jack Lewis, attempted to ring the bell to begin the meeting. Younger Jerimiah tried first, then Warien pulled on the rope enough to move the bell but not ring it. Once Warien reached higher on the rope and took his feet off the ground, the bell rang, they each tried to ring it again together and succeeded to ring the old bell, resounding through the chambers and over the city.

Appreciation is applauded to the dedicated public servants of the 118 Black Hawk official residents counted in 2016-17 living in 51 homes. Many homes originated with their great-grandparents or their generation qualified as Historic Sites preserving the quaint, oldest homes. The Black Hawk City staff perpetually seeks to maintain the integrity of their historic homes while managing revenues with major developments in 1991, when casino gambling was legalized in three previously prosperous mining communities in Colorado. This tiny town in population has planned and continues to prepare amenities to respectfully appreciate this unique location in the mountains with prosperity and safety, not only for the local residents but also approximately 10,000 workers and guests daily to the three square miles of Black Hawk City Limits.

Completing the first two items on the agenda, Mayor Spellman called the meeting to order promptly at 3:00 pm, beginning with a roll call. Present were: Mayor Spellman, Aldermen Armbright, Bennett, Johnson, Midcap, Moates, and Torres. Other staff present were also City Attorney Hoffmann, City Manager Lewis, Police Chief Cole, City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Greiner, Finance Director Hillis, Public Works Director Isbester, Community Planning and Development Administrator Linker, Baseline Consultant Harris, Fire Chief Taylor, and Deputy City Clerk Martin. With everyone standing we said the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda changes requested that Executive Session occur to receive legal counsel from City Attorney Hoffmann.

No conflict of interest was stated, so all Aldermen were voting on each resolution.

No public comments were requested.

June 14, 2017 minutes were approved with no discussion.

No public hearings had been requested.

Resolution 42-2017, A Resolution Accepting City of Black Hawk 2016 Audit

When Lance Hillis, Finance Director, took the microphone to present the Audit, Alderman Linda Armbright commented that he always does a good job. He had all his paperwork in order despite some rearrangements by junior bell ringer Jeremiah White.

Colorado State law requires that the financial statements of the City of Black Hawk be audited by an independent Certified Public Accountant. The City’s auditor, John Cutler & Associates, LLC has issued a clean or unqualified opinion. This means the Financial Statements present fairly, the financial position of the City. This is the best type of opinion an auditee may receive from an external auditor.

Below are found some information from pages in John Cutler & Associates, LLC’s audit report.

MAJOR INITIATIVES

The City of Black Hawk has plans to make significant investments in facilities and infrastructure over the next 12-24 months. The City is currently in the design phase of the realignment of Gregory Street, including upgrades to infrastructure in preparation for new amenities. Recently, the City has received multiple inquiries from the private sector related to the expansion of existing casino properties.

AWARDS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the City of Black Hawk for its comprehensive annual financial report for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015. This was the 9th consecutive year that the City has achieved this prestigious award. In order to be awarded a Certificate of Achievement, a government must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized comprehensive annual financial report. This report must satisfy both generally accepted accounting principles and applicable legal requirements.

PROFILE OF THE CITY

The City is a political subdivision of the State of Colorado which was incorporated on March11, 1864, under a territorial charter, prior to the time Colorado became a state in 1876. The City is located in central Colorado in Gilpin County, approximately 35 miles west of Denver at the intersection of state highways 119 and Black Hawk Street. The City is located at an altitude of 8,042 feet and covers an area of approximately three square miles. Since 2001, upon the approval by the City’s residents of a home rule charter, the City has operated under Colorado law as a home rule municipality. The City charter establishes the powers of the City and describes its system of government. Although the City had several thousand residents at its peak as a mining town in the late 1800’s, the population decreased as the mines were depleted. Prior to the legalization of limited gaming in 1991, the City was generally a seasonal residential area and tourist attraction. Since limited gaming began in 1991, the population has decreased from approximately 227 in 1990 to around 100 residents today. The City charter creates a Council-Manager form of government and establishes the City Council as the policy-making legislative body of the City. The City Council consists of six Aldermen and a Mayor. The members of the City council are elected at large for staggered four-year terms, and the Mayor is elected from the City at large for a four-year term. The Mayor presides at all City council meetings and has the same power, rights and privileges as an Alderman, except the Mayor shall not vote except in the case of a tie vote. The City Council currently meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Special meetings are held at the request of the Mayor or any two aldermen. The City provides a wide range of services to its residents and guests including police protection, fire protection, public works, parks, public improvements, planning and zoning, water and general administration. Sanitation services are provided by the Black Hawk/ Central City Sanitation District, gas and electric service is provided by Xcel Energy, and telephone service is provided by CenturyLink. Although the City has a small population, the daily population ranges from 10,000 – 15,000 per day, primarily due to availability of gaming. Therefore, City staffing is much larger than that normally found in a small City.

LOCAL ECONOMY

The City’s economy relies almost 100% on gaming for its revenue streams. The level of gaming activity within the City may be affected by, among other things, the amount of disposable income and entertainment expenditures of individuals participating in gaming activities. The number of gaming devices operated within the City is subject to, among other things:

  • The availability of space within a constitutionally defined area in which gaming is legal.
  • The continued availability of money to finance the capital investment necessary to acquire, improve, construct or equip gaming establishments.
  • The continued profitability of operating gaming establishments after the payment of winnings to players, all applicable licenses, taxes and fees and capital and operation expenses. Currently, the City has 17 operating casinos with the largest ten accounting for 84.7% of device fee revenues for the City. The five largest casinos generate about 58.2% of device fee revenues. The casinos are continuing to expand; currently they make up over 1.5 million square feet, with the gaming area totaling over 232,000 square feet. There is competition for gaming revenues. Currently, limited gaming is authorized in only three cities in the State – Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek. Increases in the relative levels of gaming activity in the other two existing gaming cities in the state, the introduction of gaming to any additional Colorado local governments, or the limiting of any fees imposed by the City on limited gaming may have a negative impact upon the economy and property values of the City and fees and taxes generated by the City.

The 122 page financial report ending December 31, 2016 is available at www. Cityofblackhawk.org at the Agenda, City Council Packets & Minutes link. The motion to accept the audit report passed with no further discussion once Mr. Hillis explained the report which the Council had already reviewed.

Resolution 43-2017, A Resolution Authorizing the Donation of 30 Kenwood Portable Radios and Associated Equipment to the Timberline Fire Protection District.

Don Taylor, Fire Chief of the Black Hawk Fire Department says they have maintained these older model radios as an emergency cache for many years. While able to be programmed and utilized, they do not meet the department’s requirements for emergency notification and personnel identification. In addition the Fire Department has in its capital budget to purchase new portable radios for staff and transfer the currently used radios to the emergency cache. Donation of the radios currently in the emergency cache to Timberline FPD will provide radios for new members who do not have radios. Their radio technician has looked at the radios and determined he can program these radios to meet the immediate needs of the Timberline Fire Department.

Motion passed.

Resolution 44-2017, A Resolution Revising a Job Description for Fleet Technician Aide to Fleet Custodian

Tom Isbester, Public Works Director, explained the reasons for changing the job description.

The Fleet Department seeks to refine the job description of Fleet Technician Aide to additionally focus on specific responsibilities for custodial duties cleaning the Fleet Shop and cleaning/detailing city vehicles, bus fleet, and equipment. The Fleet Technician Aide position was approved under the 2017 budget. Isbester explained that with this job description change they hope to find the right person for the job.

The City Council approved the motion for Resolution 44-2017.

Resolution 45-2017, A Resolution Approving a Purchase and Sale Agreement Between the City of Black Hawk and Daen Manriquez for Property Generally Known as 531 Chase Street, Consisting of the Somes Lode and Millsite Claims, and a Portion of Millsite 53.

Tom Isbester said that the City is in the process of acquiring parcels on Maryland Mountain that are along or adjacent to the alignment of the Main Tramway line. This main line will be the base trail for the Maryland Mountain open space. The City has retained Western State Land Services, Inc. to make contact and provide third party negotiation services for these acquisitions. The City obtained appraisals for these parcels. The City has reached an agreement with the property owners of the properties at 531 Chase Street including the Somes Lode and Millsite parcels for $110,000.

The City Council chose to approve Resolution 45-2017.

Resolution 46-2017, A Resolution Approving a Revised Purchase and Sale Agreement Between the City of Black Hawk and Dorothy Lamb for the Surprise Lode.

Tom Isbester said that the City is in the process of acquiring eleven separate parcels on Maryland Mountain that are along or adjacent to the alignment of the Main Tramway line, which will be the base trail for the Maryland Mountain open space. The City has retained Western State Land Services, Inc. to make contact and provide third party negotiation services for these acquisitions. The City obtained appraisals for these parcels. The City has received the executed purchase and sale agreement for the Surprise Lode parcel for $30,000. This resolution was previously brought to the Council in January with what had been agreed on. The owner had since changed her mind and retained legal counsel to help her understand the opportunity better. She is now accepting the offer.

The City Council approved Resolution 46-2017.

Resolution 47-2017, A Resolution Approving the Temporary Construction Easement From Ron Servis as the Personal Representative of the Property Owner of 191 Clear Creek to the City of Black Hawk Granting Temporary Construction Access for the Exterior Painting of 185 Clear Creek Street.

Cynthia Linker, Community Planning and Development presented the resolution stating that Ron Servis, Personal Representative of 191 Clear Creek Street, does hereby grant, bargain, sell and convey to the City of Black Hawk a Temporary Construction Easement for temporary construction access for the exterior painting of 185 Clear Creek.

The City Council approved Resolution 47-2017.

CITY MANAGER REPORTS

Jack Lewis announced that the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency (CIRSA) had commended the City of Black Hawk for achieving exemplary standards through their loss control audit. City Clerk, Melissa Greiner added that about a dozen other municipalities had managed to also reach that status.

City Attorney, Cory Hoffmann, generally announced what would be covered in Executive Session, with no other concerns.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

The executive took approximately 35 minutes before returning to continue with agenda items.

Resolution 48-2017, A Resolution Awarding the Bid and Approving the Contract Between the City of Black Hawk and MW Golden Constructors in an Amount Not to Exceed $5,427,864, Plus a Materials Testing Allowance of $200,000 for Construction of the St. Charles Carriage House Public Parking Structure.

Tom Isbester and Matt Reed said that the Gregory Street Relocation project is scheduled to be completed in late September of this year. The next phase of the Gregory Street Redevelopment process is to construct the St. Charles Carriage House, which will be a 126-stall public parking structure located at the corner of Gregory Street and Bobtail Road. DESMAN, Inc. and their sub-consultants prepared construction plans for this work. This project was publicly advertised in the Weekly Register-Call and on the BidNet Direct website. Representatives from 14 companies attended the mandatory pre-bid meeting, although several of these were subcontractors or suppliers. Six general contractors submitted bids, as shown on the attached Bid Recording Sheet.

Matt Reed did not present his prepared images of the St Charles Carriage House plans, which is the next phase of the Maryland Mountain open space project. He did explain the plans completed in 2016 included 3 levels of parking. The engineering estimates had been $2.6 million. The bids came in higher than hoped, so the City focused on the ones within 10% of each other to recommend accepting the bid from Adam Alexander of MW Golden Constructors. This company has completed other jobs in Black Hawk and the City looks forward to having another great project completed by MW Golden.

The City Council unanimously approved Resolution 48-2017, a Resolution awarding the bid and approving the contract between the City of Black Hawk and MW Golden Constructors in the amount not to exceed $5,427,864.00, plus a materials testing allowance of $200,000.00 for construction of the St. Charles Carriage House Public Parking Structure. A construction management allowance of $100,000 is also requested, to be used on an as-needed basis when City Staff requires additional technical support. The total construction budget would therefore be $5,727,864.

Black Hawk City Council adjourned at 3:50 pm.

Next Meeting

The next regular meeting will be July 12, at 3 pm in the Council Chambers of 211 Church Street Black Hawk, CO 80422.

About Aaron Storms

Publisher & Managing Editor Weekly Register-Call
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