WALSENBURG — After a delay of nearly one hour, the Walsenburg City Council got down to business Tuesday night when the fifth member of the group arrived making an official quorum available for the session. City council adopted three ordinances this week on first reading, including Ordinance 1067 that established a Certified Local Government to be known as The City of Walsenburg Historic Preservation Board. The ordinance says the city desires to protect and preserve the city’s historic and cultural heritage by designating historic landmarks and districts saying that will enhance property values and stabilize historic neighborhoods. Council and administration made it clear in discussions that no property owner would be forced into preservation activities. The decision to partake in building preservation or designation will be up to the individual property owner. The board will be made up of five members appointed by majority vote of the city council. The ordinance said no Walsenburg mayor, city council member or planning and zoning member may serve on the board. “It is the intent of this provision to avoid conflicts of interest where a board member also sits on a body that serves to review any board actions
or acts as an appellant body for any board action or decision.” Council adopted Ordinance 1068 which sets up procedures and fees associated with issuance of temporary alcohol beverage permits. This ordinance will allow a temporary alcohol beverage permit to be assigned to, for example, a person buying a business with an existing license. City administrator David Johnston noted the fee associated with the temporary permit will fully retained by the city. The ordinance was passed with an emergency clause that allows it to go into effect immediately after passage upon second reading. Johnston said the city had received an inquiry about temporary permits and this had prompted the drafting of the ordinance. Council also passed Ordinance 1069, which provided a year correction from 2016 to 2015 in Ordinance 1059 that was passed recently authorizing the change in the boundaries of municipal city council wards. All three of the ordinances passed in unanimous 5-0 votes. Council members present Tuesday including Nick Vigil, Rick Jennings, Mayor James Eccher, Mayor Pro Tem Craig Lessar and Clint Boehler. Council also heard disturbing news from city treasurer Jim Moore, who reported the sewer fund, for the first quarter of 2015, was $457,160 in the red. City administrator David Johnston said approximately $300,000 of that debt was due to the pay off of the sewer lagoon refurbishment project and he hoped the fund, “will come back as the year goes on.” In other business the council voted to have a lease contract drafted between the city and the Silva family concerning corral use on the city ranch. The lease will be effective for one year at $50 per month with a 30-day right to quit clause for either party. The council voted 5-0 to renew liquor licenses for the Alpine Rose Cafe and La Plaza Inn. Council heard a short presentation from business and property broker Larry Clark regarding establishment of regulations to accommodate marijuana smoking clubs within the city limits. Clark was advised to bring a full prospectus back to council for review. Clark said he was neither a marijuana smoker or a marijuana grower, but said he was interested in developing a 420 club in the city.