Posted on: January 25th, 2017


       Minutes of the December 12, 2016 Town Meeting

 Next Town Meeting is Monday, February 13, 2017, 7:30 p.m. at the Community Center

 The Meeting was called to order by Chair Tony Vrba. Eighteen people attended: Vice-Chair Bear Carlson, Jessica Brookhart, Rick Sinner, Mary Ryan, Debra Yeager, Jenny Thrush, Ron Lingemann, Mark and Dina Elder, Poppy Copeland, Marie Brookhart, John DiMatteo, Pam Sherman, Bobby Vrba, Christine Maedke, Virginia Schultz, Member-at-Large Dan Maedke, and Secretary Gretchen Diefenderfer.

Minutes – Bobby moved that the minutes be approved as published, Bear seconded and the motion was approved.

Treasurer’s Report – In Martha’s absence, Tony read the report:

At the previous Town Meeting in OCTOBER our bank balance was $16,577.51. Revenue of $364.00 since the October meeting includes funds from pint glass sales and a $250 donation to Airlink for maintenance. Total expenses of $2101.63 include town clean-up dumpsters ($730), cemetery maintenance ($670.31), a pint glass order and community planning survey ($701.32.)

Our current bank balance (total cash assets) is $14,839.88. Current individual sub- account fund totals are as follows:

General Fund $2,190.10; 
Cemetery $5,007.78; 
Community Relief $3,576.95; 
Forest Management $94.12; 
Safe Link (funds for SafeSite, AirLink, NeighborLink projects) $3,797.25; 
Community Planning $173.68.

Respectfully submitted, Martha Knapp, Treasurer


Community Planning – Dan reported that the Gold Rush went well and, as always, we learned some things. It’s growing every year.

Historic Zoning – Bear reported that Marcus and Elisabeth, who own the old Weaver place at 601 Gold Run Street, got a permit to demolish and rebuild the old metal shed, but have now decided to do an addition to the house. They are proceeding with that with the County.

Forest Management/CWPP – The forest is still very dense on the North Slope and a number of people would love to see a revival of the mitigation effort. It first became really active after the Sugarloaf fire, but has died down due to lack someone willing to lead it.

Fire Department – Bobby reported that they had one call. They have bought an amazing new (used) truck, which just barely fits in the firebarn. They will be getting a second one, which will replace the medical truck – newer and it holds more water. They have also decided to buy two 20,000 gal. fracking tanks for water supply. These are on wheels/portable and will be filled after the freezing concern is over. Gretchen added that, at the last board meeting, the 2017 budget was approved and they voted to begin a retirement fund. This will take awhile to get going, but the State matches our funds, and although it will never be a lot of money, it will be a good thing for our volunteers.

Weed Management – no report.

Historic Gold Hill (museum) – Deb reports that the Museum is closed until Memorial Day, but there are lots of things for sale: there are still 2017 calendars, pint glasses, bluebird tea towels – contact Deb at or (303) 449-0454. They are planning projects for next year including fence repair. The Calendar Committee will begin meeting early next year to start on the 2018 calendar. ADDENDUM: The first meeting has been scheduled for Monday, February 6, 10 a.m. at Soby’s house. We are always looking for new people, ideas, photos, poems, drawings. Please come if you are interested and would like to contribute.

Mining – Gretchen reports that there is some activity, one or two vehicles at the mill regularly, but rarely is anyone seen, and they don’t seem approachable.

Gold Hill School – Chrissy reports that the school is great, as always! Mishie had her baby – Charlie Grace, 7# – and they are doing great. She will be off for the rest of the year. Chelsea Rubin has been helping out and is a wonderful addition. They raised almost $14,000 at the Fall Fiesta! Thank you to everyone. They still have honey for sale – just stop by the school. They got a $1200 grant for the pollinator project. The fundraising has been partly to fund Jojo Morrison’s position as full-time, so they will be looking at a Spring Fundraiser, too. They really want three people at all times. There will be a musical program Thursday (12/15 at 6:30). They are skiing on Fridays at Eldora, working hard, and all is well!

Safelink – Deb reports that, because we have a mixture of old and young, we’re looking at how best to be supportive of anyone with any special needs either temporary or on a more continual basis. No one wants to ask for help, but we’re all here when needed. We’re unsure how structured we need to get, but at this point we need to keep our eyes and ears open for each other.

Airlink – Dina reports that they have received their Foothills United Way resiliency grant and will be busy putting that money to work. They’ve tested how far their repeater reaches and will be putting a transmitter on a ridge near Jamestown. They will also buy a backup repeater so the system will be more robust. They’re looking at $130 walkie-talkies for us and for Jamestown that we can use when someone is home bound.   They only work for 1-2 miles, but don’t need a license.

IMA (Intermountain Alliance) – Next meeting will be in January – regularly the third Thursday of the month.

Community Center – What are our needs? Space for this meeting, a resiliency Center, IMA Meetings, BoCo Strongmeetings, classes. Peter had suggested possibly living space – Deb added that she and Max think it would get really muddy if we tried to include housing. We need a mission statement. Rick asked, “What about this space?” Number one, it’s not ADA accessible, also we now use this space at the pleasure of the Fire Department, it’s a lot smaller since the FD walled off the changing room, no running water – many problems – we have to look at potential properties. Dina added that they are happy about the info they acquired through BoCo Strong – they encourage our outreach efforts and needs assessment. We are also thinking about a smaller space – maybe a gazebo and picnic table in People’s Park or the little triangle on Lickskillet. Virginia suggested a co-working space, a greenhouse and permaculture – a big wholistic system. More to come.

OLD BUSINESS – Sales – There are still pint glasses and a few t-shirts – Dan will place a new order soon.

The museum has calendars, tea towels and glasses

The School has honey.


Community Conversations – Dina, Virginia, and Jessica spent a year in resiliency training through BoCo Strong – they’ve talked about concepts like Aging in Community, which seems to be important to Gold Hill, Jessica set up NextDoor to share information (contact Jessica at or me at if you want to join), they sent out the survey and are working on communications. The next meeting will be about Aging in Community – EFAA and AAA will be there. Both groups have mountain representatives and can help us find resources and funding for services like Meals on Wheels, if we can provide locals to provide them. There will be a task force meeting after the holidays.

    Virginia brought up the Food Forest concept. One result of the survey that stuck out is that many people don’t feel prepared for a disruption of any duration. Also – how do we socialize – some bigger, organized gatherings, and some casual encounters. Food Forest is about gardening like a forest – using nature’s way of growing food – self-sustaining. They’ve been talking to experts about Permaculture, which is a whole integrated system involving the social, economic, governing culture of a community – and want to invite a Professor up for a community workshop. We would need to guarantee him maybe $300, plus it costs $150 to rent the school, which seems like the best space. We need to figure out how and if it could be scalable for us.

    Pam reported that she and Steve have been doing this for 9 years. It takes a long time to get it going up here, plus a lot of work. It’s a big investment.

Virginia moved that we earmark $450 for a one day workshop, that we move funds into the Community Planning Fund for this. Gretchen seconded and the motion passed.

Book Exchange Mailbox – The idea of a public library/mailbox/book exchange was proposed and Dan will look into a design for the next meeting.

Snow shoveling/clearing – One of the concerns that surfaced in the resiliency survey was the need for snow shoveling for people who have difficulty. Other needs are for handy people who can do repairs and small projects, babysitting, house sitting, dog sitting. The question seems to be how and where to compile a list of potential helpers. NextDoor was mentioned again, and is often used to ask for information and for people to offer services.   So, again, to join NextDoor, contact Jessica Brookhart at or me at and we, or anyone else who is a member, can add your name.

Respectfully submitted, Gretchen Diefenderfer, Secretary

Announcement – The first meeting of the Calendar Committee has been scheduled for Monday, February 6, 10 a.m. at Soby’s house. We are always looking for new people, ideas, photos, poems, drawings. Please come if you are interested and would like to contribute.