TRINIDAD — The Las Animas County Board of Commissioners elected a new chairman and chair pro tem during their first regular meeting of 2016. They also selected, by resolution, two newspapers of record for the county. The county commissioners chose, on a 3-0 vote, Commissioner Mack Louden as the new chair. Commissioner Louden represents District Three, a part of the eastern area of the county and is currently halfway through his second term as a commissioner. He is replacing Commissioner Gary Hill as chairman. Commissioner Anthony Abeyta, representing District One, was chosen to be the Chair Pro Tem. District One covers Trinidad and out to Stonewall. Commissioner Hill is currently serving the last year of his final term as a commissioner. “I knew this was going to be my last year as chair. I’ve served as chair the past five years.” With that said, Hill passed the torch. The commission also chose, by resolution, both newspapers, the World Journal and the Chronicle as the official newspapers for publication of legal notices by Las Animas County during 2016. Both papers are historical publications in the southern Colorado area
and each has been in continuous publication for about 130 years. The World Journal, a regional newspaper, has been in publication in Las Animas County for over a year, maintains an office on West Main Street in downtown Trinidad, and is staffed with a full time reporter. The resolution passed with a 3-0 vote. Request for bids for publication of legal notices will go out to the papers within a week. Banks in which the county will deposit public funds were chosen by resolution. The banks are Century Savings and Loan, Bank of the West, International Bank, and the First National Bank of Trinidad. They were chosen on a 2-0-1 vote with Commissioner Louden abstaining. He cited ties to the International Bank as the reason for his abstention. Designation of the official radio station within Las Animas County for 2016 went to KCRT FM. However Commissioner Louden said that the broadcaster’s signal didn’t reach all the way to the eastern areas of the county. The commission and county administration discussed the possibility of using KLMR, which broadcasts out of Lamar and whose signal reaches eastern Las Animas County, as a second radio station. Meeting times for the board of county commissioners were set for the first and third Tuesdays of the calendar month with the meetings to begin at 9 am. Agenda postings for the meetings will be at both entrances to the courthouse and at the entrance to the county commission chambers on the second floor of the courthouse. Las Animas County offices will be open to “conduct the public’s business” Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 pm. The road and bridge department will be open Monday though Friday from 7 a.m. until 3:30 pm. All offices and departments will be open during these hours except on designated holidays and furlough days according to the resolution passed by the commissioners with a 3-0 vote. The county designated 13 days as holidays. With Christmas and New Year falling on a Sunday in 2016 and 2017, the county will close its offices on the following Monday as part of the break. With a 3-0 vote the county is keeping Dixon-Waller and Company as the fiscal auditor for 2016. County administrator Leeann Fabec noted that the firm hasn’t increased its fees in several years. “They have been auditing the county since the 90s. We’ve had no bad audits for quite a while,” Fabec said. “However the DA’s office hasn’t finished its 2014 audit.” On a 3-0 vote the commission approved the renewal application for 3.2 percent beer for Walt’s Corner in Branson. The commission went into executive session at 10:05 and adjourned at the end of the session.