WALSENBURG — There was a gathering last week of about 50 local business people, service providers and Walsenburg citizens, all of whom are interested in developing a plan for the revitalization of downtown Walsenburg. The meeting, held at La Plaza Inn, was organized by businesswoman Karen Wilson and facilitated by Lee Merkel of the Department of Local Affairs, (DOLA) a state agency that works with local governments in partnership with businesses and the State of Colorado. Merkel noted that DOLA, fondly known as “Dough-La” for the funding the agency provides to projects state wide, is experiencing greatly increased competition for projects. Accordingly, DOLA now uses a new evaluation system which includes community participation as an important part of the granting process.
Therefore, it is vital to have as many people as possible participating in upcoming focus group sessions which will recommend steps for Walsenburg to accomplish the goal of a healthy and vibrant downtown area. Focus group sessions are being held Monday October 22, at the community center in Walsenburg as follows:
• 1:30 pm. Governmental. P&Z, water boards, tourism board, COG, Parks & Rec.
• 2:45 pm. Service Providers. RE-1, library board, hospital board, outreach clinic, museums, Spanish Peaks Community Foundation, community task force, LiveWell, chamber, 7th street beautification, Fox Theatre, real estate companies, veterans, American Legion, Woman’s Club, Cowbelles, 4-H, Stockgrowers, health department.
• 6 pm. Downtown businesses. • 7 pm. General public- all interested Huerfano County citizens with ideas for downtown.
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