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No, Clear Creek County is not shutting down Charlie’s Place Animal Shelter, but it is facing budgetary problems heading into 2023.
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No, Clear Creek County is not shutting down Charlie’s Place Animal Shelter, but the county is facing budgetary problems heading into 2023.
Social media has been buzzing with rumors about the county’s animal shelter losing staff, funding and even its building, but county officials want to stop the gossip.
“Clear Creek County is NOT planning to close Clear Creek/Gilpin Co. Animal Shelter (Charlie's Place). However, the County is facing serious budget challenges this year and into the foreseeable future,” Clear Creek County stated in a Facebook post.
The budget problems stem from the slated closure of Henderson Mine, the county’s largest revenue source. The mine has been slowing operations since 2016, and this is the first year the county is seeing a large financial repercussion.
“Our revenues are tied to how much they produce, and they’re producing a lot less,” County Commissioner George Marlin explained.
Marlin said the county cut $214,000 from the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s budget this year, with the county budget being $2.9 million upside down from the reduced operations.
“This is the first year we were presented with a budget that was underwater,” he said.
As a member and representative of the Clear Creek community, Marlin sees how much the animal shelter means to residents.
“We’re clearly a community that has chosen that we want to have an A+ animal shelter,” he said.
Marlin went on to explain that the property will remain an animal shelter.
“That property was donated to us to be an animal shelter; that was the commitment we made, and it was a legally binding one,” he said.
At the Dec. 14 Board of County Commissioners meeting, Undersheriff John Stein discussed the shelter and the Sheriff’s Office’s role in managing it.
“The animal shelter is a necessity,” he stated.
However, he explained that there are costly repairs needed at the shelter and not much room in the budget.
There have been early discussions of Foothills Animal Shelter stepping in to help with operations of Charlie’s Place, but Marlin wanted to assure residents they will be informed every step of the way.
“If foothills animal shelter does deliver us a formal proposal, that proposal will be discussed publicly,” he said.
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