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Commissioners finalize several issues

by Larry Patrick
WALSENBURG — The State of Colorado approved Huerfano County’s agreement with Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) on property tax relief for the empty prison in Walsenburg. The Board of Equalization said ok to CCA paying the county on a 19 million dollar assessment for the first year and 15 million dollar assessment thereafter. The county had been receiving property tax on an assessment of over 30 million but CCA took the matter to the state. CCA and the County were able to come to an agreement before the state considered an even lower assessment request from CCA. The State Board of Equalization had to examine the agreement before final approval was granted.
The Spanish Peaks Community Foundation has listed the former Walsenburg Care Center building at W. 7th and Albert Street with Fuller Western Real Estate of La Veta. The asking price is $30,000. Efforts continue to build a new nursing home west of Walsenburg.
The commissioners signed the agreement with Las Animas County on the revolving loan fund for $50,000 through the Spanish Peaks Community Foundation to assist current or new businesses seeking funding to operate. After those dollars are loaned out, additional dollars can be sought.
An informational signage matching grant was approved by the commissioners for three panel kiosks in the county. The matching dollar commitment will come out of the 2013 budget. The tourism board will work with the county on the placement of the signage kiosks.
The Cuchara River Trail project is making progress. The City, County and Parks & Recreation district are discussing further development on the stretch from Fiesta Park to the area behind Walsenburg Wild Waters. Preliminary engineering reports will be done, and the river walk project will eventually feature walking, hiking and biking trails from Walsenburg to La Veta.
CCT (City, County and Town) will meet next Tuesday at 5:30 pm at the community center in Walsenburg.