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Council approves administrator contract

by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG — The Walsenburg City Council in an 8-0 vote Tuesday night approved a three-year contract renewal with City Administrator David Johnston.
The contract runs from September to September and includes a three month salary severance clause and an annual salary of $55,105.
In other business, the council voted 6-2 to approve the purchase of a 2009 John Deere Tractor for the city at a price not to exceed $18,500. The tractor will be bought from a private individual and comes with a front loader bucket, a wood chipper and has only 47-hours of use. The city’s fleet mechanic, James Ecke, has gone over the tractor thoroughly and said in a memo to Johnston, “In my opinion this tractor is well worth the price considering the add ons”. Some of the reasons cited for the purchase included the fact the city has two mower decks, but only one tractor and the bucket loader feature will allow the smaller tractor to work in city alleyways. The money for the purchase will come from the Capital Improvement Fund.
Council passed Ordinance 1037 decreasing membership of the planning commission to seven members.
In a 7-1 vote, council passed Ordinance 1038, which establishes a $200 dormant water service fee. Council member Cathy Pineda voted against the measure.
All council members except Erin Jerant were present for the meeting.
Council also unanimously approved a liquor license renewal for Corine’s Mexican Food, approved sending a letter of support, but not a monetary donation to, Sangre de Cristo Reflections 2013 Sponsorship. The 10th Annual Reflections Celebration and Tree Lighting is one of Sangre de Cristo Hospice’s largest community events of the year and commemorative holiday ornaments are sold. Celebration events will be held in Walsenburg, Trinidad, Fowler, Cañon City, Pueblo and Raton, NM. For information about the program call Ellyn Koury at 719-542-0032 extention 1512.
Council will advertise for the position of municipal judge and legal newspaper of record in the near future, but decisions regarding appointment will be left to the new city council following the November elections. Judge candidates will be asked their opinion on whether or not they think the city council should become a court-of-record.
In a 7-1 vote the council approved Resolution 2013 R-12, which deals with authorization to execute and sign documents regarding the CDBG grant for Huajatolla Hills sanitary sewer collection system.
Mayor Pro Tem Craig Lessar voted against the resolution, described by administration as a ‘housekeeping’ item recommended by GMS Engineering to keep the Northlands project on track.
In discussion prior to the meeting Johnston said of GMS, “We’ve hired an experienced leader and we should let them lead.”