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Huerfano Republicans get updates from community

Gallagher Amendment hurting agencies across the county

by Brian Manning
HUERFANO — The Huerfano County Republicans discussed their recent caucus and other topics at their regular meeting.  Chair Debi Sporleder opened the meeting with an Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. She called for reports from committee members.
Jim Littlefield reported that the La Veta Fire Protection District just had an audit by the Insurance Services Office (ISO) and that their rating has improved from a six to a five. This may lower fire insurance rates.  He also talked about how the Gallagher Amendment was hurting the district since they have already lost $30,000 due to less tax revenue.  Littlefield said that legislation is needed to fix this.
Ron Nielson, representing the Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center, also said the hospital was being hurt by the amendment, lower fees, the increase of the minimum wage, and loss of revenue from taxes.  He hopes that people understand that the hospital is in jeopardy and the quality that they provide is in jeopardy.  He hopes that people will support a mill increase to support the hospital and veteran’s home.
Sandy White reported the water district has a new website.  He also said that the dry winter is hurting and that more storage is needed so on years when we get more precipitation enough can be stored for the lean years.  We have lost 70% of our storage capacity since WWII.
David Tesitor reported for the RE-1 School Board, which voted to retain the superintendent, principals, and some employees for two years.  He said that the Gallagher Amendment was also hurting their district.
Huerfano County has lost $4.5 million because of state budget adjustments.  The board is developing an alignment with Charter Academy for the trade-curriculum and for at-risk students.
Mary White from economic development reported they are cautiously optimistic about the prison opening.  Lola Spradley is working with the state to get the local prison operational.
Representing the tourism board was Neecee Lane, who reported that the Vista Intern, Carl Young, has been working to update the present Spanish Peaks website.
The Lincoln Dinner was discussed and a tentative date of August 18 was set.  The meeting was adjourned. The next Central Committee meeting will be this Sat., at 10 am at La Plaza Inn in Walsenburg.  The next regular meeting will be on Tuesday, April 10 at La Plaza.