by Clint Boehler
WALSENBURG- Mayor Edi Sheldon brought the Aug. 19 meeting to order with a very full agenda that included taxes, liquor, detours, planning, water taps, board appointments, a bid announcement, and the acceptance of the resignations of Councilman Paul Alhadef, and of long time employee Cathy Pineda.
Councilman Paul Alhadef has decided to plow new ground on a recently purchased farm near Pueblo. An advertisement for letters of intent from interested citizens to fill the vacancy will be forthcoming. Sept. 12 has been set as the closing date for applicants.
Cathy Pineda has resigned after 29 years of service to the city, having filled many different positions. City Administrator Eric Pearson said she will be missed and her shoes will be hard to fill.
The council discussed supporting the county proposed one cent tax to be used to upgrade the 911 emergency services system. The proposed increase would generate about $240,000, which would help offset the current cost per call. The council supported the recommendation and voted to recommend that the county take over the administration and operation of dispatch services contingent upon the passage of the tax issue.
Joe Garcia, Project Manager for CDOT, advised the council that maintenance to the I-25 bridge over Highway 10 will require a temporary detour on one side leading to town for up to 30 days. The road will not be totally closed. Work should begin in early October.
In other council news, the final city Comprehensive Plan workshop will be on Aug. 27, the waste water treatment plant is on schedule. Auditor Ronny Farmer reported a substantial improvement in the city’s financial condition. The areas still in need of improvement are utility items and bond retirement.
The bids to publicize legal notices in a newspaper were reviewed. The La Veta Signature newspaper was the sole bidder, submitting a bid of 42 cents for the first insertion and 29 cents for subsequent insertions. The council approved to use the Signature as the paper of record. Previously, city legals were published by the Huerfano County World, which declined to submit a bid. Currently, only two of the three were eligible. The Huerfano Journal will become eligible for bidding in November.
The council approved combining the Water Park Committee and the Parks and Recreation Committee.
John Carlson was appointed unanimously to the Planning and Zoning Board of Adjustment.
An agreement to lease the Wahatoya and Daigre Lakes to the Department of Wildlife for 25 years was approved. The lease was for recreational purposes.
The council agreed to cancel well agreements with the Highway 10 ranch well users as the well being used now has to be supplemented to maintain flow. Abandoned irrigation taps may now be included in the program allowing abandoned water taps to be renewed inexpensively.
Finally, the Council approved a motion to adjust the mileage reimbursement for use of personal vehicles on city business.