by Carol Dunn
LA VETA-In a letter to the La Veta Town Board, Chicago resident Clark Bell has offered to make “a significant donation to help restore your town’s baseball field near the rail tracks.” The donation would be in honor of Bell’s father, Homer James Bell, who was a “highly regarded athlete at La Veta High School in the late 1930s and early 1940s.” The Board will inquire about what Mr. Bell has in mind for improvements.
At the May 3 meeting, the Board discussed water EQRs with Doug and Patricia Burns, who own 2 Foxes cabins and RV park at 404 Oak St. Mr. and Mrs. Burns were interested in reducing their EQR status because some cabins and other facilities are not being used. Referring to historic water use at the property, Trustee Dawn Blanken warned the couple that if their EQRs are revised and set too low, any usage over their allotment would be charged at a higher tier rate. The Board approved the Burns commercial redevelopment permit and will discuss their EQR situation at the next Board meeting. Mayor Don Keairns said Water Commissioner Doug Brgoch told him the area snow pack is only about 30% of normal this year, reminiscent of the drought year 2002. Although there are no water restrictions at this point, Keairns suggested the community use normal common sense when using water outdoors. Trustee Dale Davis suggested making plans for water restrictions soon, before the situation gets serious.
Barb Kowalik reported that the Tree Board will be “replacing the tree that mysteriously disappeared from Charlie’s Park” and will be planting eight trees around Town that were donated by an anonymous donor.
The Board approved of work Shane Clouse is planning on the Francisco Center for the Performing Arts, which includes expansion of the deck and adding a roof between the theater building and the detached restroom facility.
Regarding a request from A.R. Miller to adjust water/sewer rates for his RV Park, Trustee Jim Fowler said, “The code is clear.” The Town’s code book states that service fees are billed year-round, even if water lines are turned off.
Keairns pointed out that expenses for Town clean-up days were not budgeted this year and suggested the event not be held. No large dumpsters have been donated, and the cost estimate for renting dumpsters is $900.
The Board accepted an application for a retail liquor license from Steven Brent Nettere. He is leasing 1010 S Oak St. and will be opening La La’s American Bistro. A public hearing on the application was set for June 7 at 6:45 pm. The Board approved a request by Carrie Andreatta to reserve Town Park for a Relay for Life fundraiser on June 12, from 2:30-6:30. The Board waived the $25 rental fee because this will be a non-profit activity. The Board approved closing Main Street on July 23 for a parade from 10-11 am.
Mary Jean Fowler announced that May is Colorado Archaeology and Historic Preservation month. She invited the Board to join other community representatives at a meeting on historic preservation on May 7 at the La Veta Library.
Trustee Fowler said he has measured the area where the Friends of the Francisco Fort History Museum want to put the commemorative brick garden, and he feels the planned project is larger than the area available. On behalf of the Friends, Mitzi Keairns said they would appreciate approval of the general plan this evening, even if the size of the brick garden eventually changes, so they can start publicizing it.
Vein Skate Park will remain open for now on a request from Marshal Gerald Baumgarner, because of a shortage of enforcement personnel. The Town has received three applications for deputy marshal, and the deadline is May 13. Citing the April 15 meeting when two Town marshals were let go, Carl Shunk presented the Board with a book entitled “The-Set-Up-to-Fail Syndrome” about employer-employee relationships.
Mayor Keairns said attorney Larry Berkowitz has been contacted by the Grandote attorney regarding the 16 EQR court case. Davis said, “Unless the Board needs to change its position, there’s no reason to go into executive session.” However, the Board did go into executive session, returning without any decisions.
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward