Building a Sustainable
21st Century Gilpin County
With a decade of experience in municipal governance with Central City, Commissioner Engels was ready to hit the ground running as soon as he was sworn into office. Along with the other County Commissioners, the County Manager, Senior Leadership Team and all the great County employees, the Commissioner has driven positive change for county residents. The Commissioner:
Exercised decisive leadership in re-opening casinos in the county as soon as the state would allow, re-starting the economy and restoring revenue to county coffers.
Took strong, immediate action to ensure county finances could weather the financial crisis triggered by the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Implemented a three-pillared Strategic Plan that focuses County resources on building an organization focused on fiscal sustainability, long range planning and employee engagement.
Executed a community Quality of Life survey to gauge County residents’ views of the high- and low-lights of living in Gilpin County. We found out they were nearly all high-lights.
Began the transition of the County to more environmentally responsible policies. All County electricity is now wind generated. The County vehicle fleet, where possible, is being replaced with hybrid vehicles. County meetings are as waste free as possible. The County joined CC4CA, a Colorado-wide group of counties and cities working for sustainable policies at the state level.
Commissioned and evaluated a plan for jail expansion. Determined several less costly options would save the County $12,000,000. One part of the alternative plan was the purchase of a new building for Human Services and Public Health, freeing up space at the Justice Center for current and future growth needs. Secured a one million dollar grant to customize the new building to meet County needs.
Preserved parts of Gilpin history with the purchase of the Red Tail Cabins and the listing of the East Portal Work Cabins on Colorado's Most Endangered Places. Undertook a comprehensive rewrite of the County's Historic Preservation Guidelines.
Secured a $125,000.00 grant to develop a County Comprehensive Plan, including a re-write of the County’s Building and Zoning regulations to make them more consistent, in line with today's needs and enforceable.
Upgraded or implemented modern software solutions for the Treasurer’s Office, County-wide timekeeping and internal work order tracking, resident building permit requests, and internal and resident-facing data analytics and reporting.
Advocated for Dory Hill Road residents during the Excel Pipeline project.
Worked with community activists to find a solution to jet overflight noise caused by the FAA's NextGen and Metroplex projects by engaging other local activists and Gilpin's representatives at the State House and in Washington.
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