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Bike lanes likely to be in place by spring 2015

WALSENBURG — The Walsenburg City Council will most likely wait until spring of next year to stripe bike lanes on various streets around the community. The item came before the council Tuesday night and was discussed with no formal action taken. Administration reported they had been offered an aluminum template to make the bicyclist symbol in the lanes when they are eventually painted. David Johnston said the symbols are necessary for liability reasons and he had learned from city attorney Dan Hyatt, the template could be obtained from a Rocky Ford resident for under $200. Various options were discussed including allowing the contractor who did the street improvement project in the city this year do the lane markings; to remove the bike lane part of that contract and rebid it in 2015; or possibly to obtain the paint and have volunteers do the task. There was discussion regarding San Isabel Electric Association’s Capital Credits program. The power coop has told the city they will extend its deadline for a decision concerning the payback until the

first council meeting in November. Like all coop customers, the city has the option of taking approximately one quarter of the credit up front or to choose to take the full credit amount over time. Administration said it was the difference of taking $50,000 now or approximately $225,000 later. The first city council meeting will be on election night, November 4th, and the city council’s decision may be influenced by the outcome of the sale tax vote. Council member Clint Boehler said it was time the micro-management of the police department comes to an end, centering mainly on the topic of police vehicles leaving the city on official business. Since some citizen concerns had been brought up in recent weeks on the issue, it had become an administrative practice McLallen notify Johnston when this would be happening, and in turn Johnston would notify the city council via emails. The concensus of the seven council members present was, it is time to end this additional layer of bureaucracy. Local business owner Barbara Johnson appeared before the city council with an idea to put a number of clipboards containing meeting minutes of various governmental bodies in local businesses to make that information more accessible to citizens. Council appeared to like the idea and asked Johnson to return to a council meeting in the near future with list of businesses that would be interested in having a clipboard at their location. In other business, the council unanimously approved a capped expenditure of $8,000 with GMS Consulting Engineers, to develop a design to repair erosion issues associated with the natural gas line south of Walsenburg. Council also passed on a 7-0 vote to support a joint effort with Huerfano County to restore some recycling options at the transfer station site. Huerfano County is applying for a $30,000 grant for this project. Finance committee chairperson Cathy Pineda, announced the first city budget meeting would be held at 5:30 pm Monday, November 10. Discussions about how to pay for a lift vehicle to install (and then take down) Christmas decorations in the downtown area continue. Mayor James Eccher said he may be stopping by downtown businesses seeking donations.