by Brian Orr
WALSENBURG- The Walsenburg City Council on Tuesday evening filled the vacancy left by Lou Taylor’s departure by accepting Jim Moore’s application for Ward 1. He will be sworn in at the next council meeting.
Councilwoman Erin Jerant, chairing the safety committee, reiterated that Walsenburg traffic is going to take a drastic turn for the worse when I-25 traffic is diverted down Main St for much of the summer. A plan is in place to try and help ease the congestion, but the big snag will be at the railroad crossings, which gum up cross-town traffic even on good days. Jerant emphasized that stringent speed zones will be heavily enforced, with fines doubled. Mayor Edie Sheldon commented, “It looks like li’l ol’ Walsenburg will get to experience Colorado Springs traffic.”
As the council recommended that citizens use side and back roads to avoid Main St., Nancy Lave of the Chamber of Commerce requested that part of Russell St. be closed for three days to allow a carnival to take place there during the Black Diamond Jubilee. The idea never even got off the ground, and council members tactfully suggested the Chamber come up with a Plan B.
Barbara Yule, director of the Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival, told the council about a new push to renovate the Fox Theatre, to bring it up to professional standards. “It’s a gem of a place,” Yule said. “It has so much potential.” She is requesting that everyone fill out surveys stating what they would like to see happen with the Fox. Survey forms can be picked up and dropped off at the Journal office.
In other business, Walsenburg Wild Waters is a go for opening this Saturday. The council voted to spend $7,650 to purchase a used 2002 GMC Sierra for the gas department. A letter of support for a grant request for a countywide trails system was approved, though an easement for the trail was postponed to find out exactly where the property involved went.
Finally, the City’s application for historic status on the railroad depot was denied.