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Image Link 09-25-2019

Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting
September 25, 2019


CONSENT AGENDA:
-CDS mylars, vouchers, variance reports

ELECTED OFFICIALS/DEPARTMENT HEADS/STAFF REPORTS:

-Rhonda Braun, EC Elections Manager, announced a 10/2@7PM public meeting for any questions citizens might have about elections. On 10/3@1PM is Logic and Accuracy Testing where voting machines are tested.

-Eileen Krauth, Deputy County Manager, announced that a work session with consultant was held about condition of county facilities. Phase 1 results show that “over 2 1/2 million dollars are needed immediately....to maintain current buildings.” Result of years of deferred maintenance. Big ticket items: 100-year old windows in old courthouse and significant retrofits to conform with American for Disabilities Act (ADA). Phase 2 and final reports should be completed over the next few weeks. Can’t do all repairs in one year. Inspections were visual, not structural.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

-A citizen addressed 1295 Mountain View Drive violations: lots of junk cars, old boats, tractors; growing hemp commercially; using well water for irrigation. Asking Commissioner Richardson to have operation shut down. No house on property. Wants to know what these owners “have on the county” that is causing these citizens to be allowed to be out of compliance (after many requests for assistance from the county by citizens in the neighborhood). Has requested multiple meetings with Krauth, with no response.

-Two Sun Country citizens spoke about 5G technology (wireless cell towers) being installed in various locations. Presented informational notebooks to commissioners about 5G. Electromagnetic frequencies via 5G (per a document presented) produce daily radiation exposure (possible human carcinogen), cause property values to drop, present safety issues, negatively impact birds, etc.

-Linda Krausert from Sun Country asked commissioners to address storage containers. Richardson stated that they would be addressed by the end of the year.

DISCUSSION ITEMS:

-Proposed revisions to EC Finance Department Policies - Krauth spoke about recommended changes to county payroll practices: EC has “unusual pay practices that make payroll complex and inefficient.” Reviewed regulations/laws/statutes governing various types of compensated employees in the county. Recommended changes include: pay employees on the basis of an hourly rate, rather than on the basis of an annual salary (no change in employee pay, just a change in calculation); pay sheriff’s deputies and sergeants on the basis of 160 hours for overtime (lower threshold for overtime but is common practice in local law enforcement); eliminate the practice of “flexing” paid time off (sick and vacation) as outlined in employee handbook - currently county employees are accruing large amounts of sick/vacation time that they are unable to use, and they are unable to accrue additional time (this will also reduce county’s accrued leave liability). To consider: switch to 28-day pay period (13 paychecks per year) which is what sheriff’s office currently does; reviewed pros and cons of switch. Fiscal impact: adds $73,000 in overtime costs (but may be offset by reductions in accrued leave liabilities), no decreases in employee pay, and increased efficiency in county payroll practices. Ongoing evaluation: possible compensation study/comparison in 2020 or 2021; will review benefit packages among other aspects of employee pay.

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-EC Small Business (SBDC) Update - Craig Curl, local SBDC Business Consultant, introduced Lisa Hudson, Director for Eastern Colorado SBDC which was awarded an Excellence and Innovation Award by the federal government for this region. Vision: to be premier trusted choice of CO small businesses. Clients: small businesses (under 500 employees) both for profit and non-profits. Services: free consulting, educational seminars, and connections. Function in 13 counties with 30 offices in 22,000 square miles. Craig Curl was selected as “Consultant of the Year 2018.” Curl summarized many of the functions of his office. Elizabeth satellite office was added in 2011. $3-$5 million in impact comes into EC annually; will increase this year. Currently working on a major world export program, based in EC; will include Arapahoe and Adams counties and will have annual impact of over $20 million. Work with new and existing businesses as well as with business expansion: marketing, branding, financing, import/export programs. To the citizens of EC, this means: increased sales tax to the county and towns; is a major business asset to the county; provides valuable free business consulting. Current businesses being addressed: promoting cultivation of hemp, small manufacturing businesses, techsource for technology companies (tech commercialization, cyber security awareness/implementation, tech partnerships). Also presented information about promotion of tourism. Local resident Annie Lopez spoke about the agri-tourism she is involved with and shared her positive interactions/assistance utilizing SBDC services. Curl stated that there has been “a lot of interest” in the EDZ (economic development zone) along highway 86. Commissioner Thayer asked if the county could work more in tandem with the SBDC.

ACTION ITEMS:

-None

BOARD PLANNING:

-Draft budget to be presented on October 23, 2019.

Adjournment

LAND USE: (From the posted agenda - I did not attend the Land Use hearings)
- Don Morse variance to side yard setback for unpermitted pole barn.
- Deer Creek Water District setback variance of 9’3” from required 25’ rear setback.
- Extension for Delbert Hill plat filing.
- Request for Christian Construction plat filing.

-Jill Duvall