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Commissioners sign disaster declaration

by Larry Patrick
WALSENBURG — The Huerfano County Commissioners signed a disaster declaration because of the continuing drought conditions in Huerfano County and the state of Colorado.
The declaration says there is an imminent threat of Huerfano County suffering from widespread or severe damage, injury or loss of life or property resulting from severe drought conditions, causing possible loss of water supplies in Gardner, La Veta and the City of Walsenburg. The declaration says agriculture is a significant economic engine in Huerfano County and is suffering severe losses. The magnitude of responding to and recovery from the impact of the drought is far in excess of the county’s available resources. All three commissioners voted in favor of the disaster declaration.
In other news, the commissioners approved $4,000 for lighting and rewiring at the Gardner Community Center because of wind damage.
Karen Scott appeared at the meeting on a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) matter. She purchased a Tuff Shed and wants to turn it into an additional residence on her property. The commissioners tabled the request until the Planning & Zoning Commission can review it again to see if a shed can be brought up to residential standards. Scott already has one residence on the 35 acre plot and allowing another only for a guest house is allowed under county land use guidelines.
The commissioners conducted a Board of Equalization hearing for George Detlof. He complained because the county assessor’s office more than doubled the value of two lots he owns in Navajo Estates. Detlof says he can’t get anyone to buy the two lots for the former value let alone the value being placed on them now. The assessor’s office defended the comparables used in determining the increase. A decision will be made by August 5th on Delof’s concerns.