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Gardner group seeks answers from Commissioners

by Larry Patrick
WALSENBURG — A civil meeting was held Wednesday between the Huerfano County Commissioners and the Committee for Gardner Citizens. Discussion centered on the recent dismantling of the Gardner Community Center’s sound baffle system, and the disappearance of the center’s books and bookcases.
Margaret Hecht and Danielle Seawell expressed disappointment that no one in Gardner was informed the sound baffles were going to be taken down, and the library collection and shelving removed. They asked the commissioners directly about the current whereabouts of the missing books and bookcases, and the commissioners replied they didn’t know.
County Administrator John Galusha said they are putting in sawtooth acoustic foam panels to replace the sound baffles that were removed. Hecht and Seawell requested permission for sound experts to evaluate the new foam panels to see if they will work as well as the previous baffles system. The commissioners said ok, as long as there will be no cost involved.
The entire collection of approximately 500 books and tapes is still missing and the commissioners and Galusha are not admitting they know where they were taken. Galusha said the books couldn’t stay in the community center because the floor wasn’t able to support them. He suggested a metal building with a concrete floor would be an idea for a new Gardner Library in the future. No plans for such a facility were put in motion.
The group said they would like to work with the commissioners, not against them, on improving the facility, but they would like to have a voice. Commissioner King said he had no problem with that, but noted the county makes improvements or repairs all of the time on the community center in Walsenburg without asking the people, because the work needs to be done. That’s what they were trying to do in Gardner. King was concerned about “ugly stuff” being said to Galusha by some people in Gardner. King said he stands behind his administrator.
In other news, the annual Battlemoor event held in the county will be moved from the July 4th weekend to the Labor Day weekend because wind and rain should be less at that time. Also, several events around July 4th were creating problems with not enough motel rooms for all visitors county wide.
The elevator inside the courthouse is out of service for two weeks and the chair lift in front of the courthouse is still broken. Those with handicaps will need to come in the side entrance for assistance.
Commissioners agreed to donate $500 for the annual July 4th fireworks display put on by the Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center.
Huerfano County is in better shape than many other counties in the state as far as fire danger. No fire bans are anticipated for this area any time soon but residents are asked to use caution.
The request for a 10 day notice by the Citizens for Huerfano County on Shell Energy applications for drilling had no action taken because the deadline had passed, according to John Galusha.