Clear Creek County News Briefs

Andrew Fraieli
afraieli@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 6/29/22

Lodging Tax and IHOP, ARPA Funds , Fire Ban

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Clear Creek County News Briefs

Posted

Lodging Tax and IHOP

Clear Creek County Manager Brian Bosshardt said in the June 21 County Commissioners meeting that the county received a grant from the Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs’ Innovative Housing Planning Grant Program, or IHOP.

According to the DOLA’s website, the grants are available to local governments to help understand what their housing issues are, and to figure out ways to solve it.It also qualifies local government for the Incentives Grant Program, which gives grants to actually develop affordable housing developments “that are livable, vibrant, and driven by community benefits.”

Calling it “good news,” Bosshardt said the county would be matching the grant up to $50,000, but isn't yet sure of the exact final amount of the grant.

ARPA Funds 

County commissioners started discussing how to spend the almost $1.9M in American Rescue Plan funds that Clear Creek is set to receive. As of now, the county has received about half according to Bosshardt, with the other half coming by the end of the fiscal year. 

He explained that the funds are partially meant to cover lost county revenue due to the pandemic, and the remaining to be spent on economic aid, or public health programs. According to a revenue analysis for the county by an outside accountant, the amount lost — about $4M — far outweighs the ARPA funds, so the funds can be used for any governmental purpose.

Some of those funds have already been allocated previous to the meeting, one being the IHOP grant, as well as $80,000 for a Roundabout bus purchase, and $55,000 to hire a grant administrator for a year to help find grants to match funds with.

Beyond those, the commissioners discussed various other projects that were considered one-time money use priorities for the county.

George Marlin, the District I Commissioner, immediately brought up the need to fund the behavioral health community outreach campaign item — estimated at $25,000. Ultimately, the commissioners decided to do further research on the deadline for grant applications for it, with District II Commissioner Sean Wood saying he did not believe in the possible effectiveness of the program.

They also discussed funding for a Housing Authority startup, estimated at $150,000, but decided that lodging tax revenue might fill that need instead. District III Commissioner Randy Wheelock highlighted two fiber loop items — one for Idaho Springs, and another for Georgetown. County staff will be immediately developing grant proposals for both.

Staff will also be finding more grant information for creating a subarea plan for the Dumont-Lawson-Downiville area, a priority brought up by both Marlin and Wheelock. Wheelock elaborated that it’s a “small ticket item holding up some big ticket items.”

Also on the ARPA funds project list was employer-based early childcare. Marlin called it a “massive project,” saying there were multiple grant opportunities for it, referenced a letter of support from the Board of Commissioners saying they promised startup capital for $100,000, and that he saw it as an assumed expenditure. Wood responded that it was a “non-binding comment, it wasn’t a promise in my mind.” The project was not elaborated on any further.

Fire Ban

The Commissioners also ratified the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s fire ban enacted on June 15. It consists of Stage 1 fire restrictions, including any outdoor sparks or flames and shooting. 

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