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La Veta awards dam rehab bid

by Carol Dunn
LA VETA — After a bit of discussion at its September 18 meeting, the La Veta Town Board awarded the bid for its reservoir rehabilitation to Glacier Construction Company of Greenwood Village.
The town’s engineer, Colorado Water Engineering, had narrowed the qualified bidders down to the two lowest, and both indicated they could begin construction immediately. Of those two, the engineer recommended Gardner Excavating of Alamosa. However, the board was leery of wording in the engineer’s report that said, “…mitigation will likely involve item 27(a).” Option 27(a) would be abandonment of an existing pipe by filling it with grout. Item 27(b) would be to excavate and remove the existing pipe and backfill with structural fill soils. Trustee Dale Davis and Trustee Dave Molyneaux both expressed their opinions that the work may be more complicated, and under that scenario, Glacier Construction was the low bidder. “We still have an unknown. We still don’t know what’s in the vault. That’s a lot of pipe out there,” Molyneaux said. The vault was recently located as the level of the North Lake was drawn down in preparation for the rehab work. Mayor Jerry Fitzgerald stressed, “Only option 27(a) will need to be done. There is not a pipe running along the base of the dam, so 27(b) is not part of the work.” He added, “I’m certainly not in a position to question what the town engineer says. He believes this will save us $33,000.” On the base bid, not counting the two options, Gardner Excavating was $33,157.50 lower than Glacier.
After all the discussion, Davis moved that the bid of Glacier Excavating be accepted, in the amount of $296,735 including options 27(a) and 27(b) if all 30 items of work are completed as stated in their bid proposal; but no payment will be made for any work on the list which is not completed. The motion passed on a vote of 3-2 with Trustee Bill Stark and the mayor voting no.
Trustee Davis brought up the property that Tom and Sandy Johnson have been using adjacent to the railroad station for their restaurant. Although Davis said he and Molyneaux were informed by the Johnsons in June that they were paying taxes on the property, a letter from the Huerfano County Assessor indicates that they were never charged any taxes. Davis said, “That is a temporary building, not hooked to water or sewer, so I’d like to see a letter sent to Tom and Sandy doing business as the Whistle Stop.” He requested a meeting of the building committee to authorize the town’s building inspector to notify the Johnsons that they need to remove their building by October 31.
The board renewed a special use permit for the Olive Tree B&B at 902 S. Oak St.
Doreen Baumann was reappointed to the Historic Preservation Committee for another two year term. The committees for Police & Code Enforcement, Finance, and Streets & Alleys/Building/Zoning will conduct staff evaluations prior to work on the budget.
Trustee Molyneaux was added to the finance committee.