by Carol Dunn
LA VETA- At its January 19 meeting, the La Veta Town Board discussed a ballot question which passed several years ago, allocating ½% of collected sales tax to Fort Francisco Museum repairs. According to Mayor Mickey Schmidt, the museum Board feels the museum needs handicap-accessible restrooms and a full-time director, and these expenses do not qualify as items which can be paid from the current sales tax allocation. The Board voted to develop a resolution on a ballot question which would extend the special allocation from 2014 to the year 2020 and change the distribution of the money allocated to include new construction and salaries. There would continue to be a cap of $50,000 per year of funds that would be allocated to the museum, with the rest reverting to the budget for streets and alleys. This is not a new tax.
Lowell Eddy presented an application to vacate his plat on Lots 35-41 and have the property replatted into two parcels. The Board accepted the application and scheduled a public hearing about it for February 2 at 6:50 pm. The Board also discussed issues with the alley that runs adjacent to the Eddy property – a fence needs to be removed and some equipment needs to be moved to make the alley usable again.
The Board reviewed the current agency agreement between the Town and Corona Air (Bill Hickey and Mike Mann). According to Mayor Schmidt the general liability insurance of the airport is covered under the Town’s insurance policy; however the activities conducted at the airport are not. An audience member suggested the Town be added to the fuel provider’s $50 million umbrella insurance policy as an additional “named insured.” The agreement will now be referred to the Town’s attorney for legal review. The existing agreement was extended under the same conditions until the new agreement is signed.
The Board accepted a bid of $3,200 from Matt LaGow, Cuchara Valley Electric, to provide the labor, materials and permits for lighting in the new building at the water treatment plant. The agricultural grazing lease with Jill Andreatta, Tract #1 south of First Street, was renewed for a period of one year at $175. Notices of Town Board meetings will be posted at the administrative offices of the Town at 111 W. Moore and in the lobby windows of the La Veta Town Marshal at 204 S. Main. The Board passed a resolution that the Town does not wish to be the reviewing agency for applications for tax credit for alterations to historic structures, so the default reviewer is the State Historical Preservation Officer. Trustee Dale Davis reported that 21 contractors to date have applied for 2010 licenses in the Town of La Veta.
A letter from Bruce Cantrell was read by Mayor Schmidt in which Cantrell offered to hold a workshop with the Board about the golf course closure. The Board suggested Cantrell get on the agenda for the next meeting and let the trustees know what his proposal is about. Dennis Ceremuga also offered his services to the Town pro bono as a mediator. “Mediation doesn’t force anyone to do anything,” he said. An audience member handed out thank-you letters to the trustees for holding the recent Q&A session about the golf course.
In response to audience curiosity about the sales tax the golf club was collecting on behalf of the Town, Trustee Jessie Yarbrough explained that the money was collected erroneously and paid directly to the Colorado Department of Revenue, which in turn remits a lump sum of collected funds to the Town without specifying which entity it came from. After checking into this, Mayor Pro-tem Dawn Blanken elaborated that the Department of Revenue rules say the golf club can file for a refund of the monies it erroneously collected and paid only after refunding the overcollected taxes back to its customers.
David Molyneux posed several questions to the Board about water rights and Grandote filings. Mayor Schmidt told the audience that the Mexican Ditch water case is seeking up to 170 acre feet of fully consumable water. There are objectors however, and the Town is hoping to settle with them out of Court in return for only seeking 122 acre feet of water. The Mayor also clarified that the original Grandote filing with Huerfano County was for 107 lots, then it was replatted to 83 lots. With another replat within the past year, the Filing #1 now has 93 lots. An application to annex an 8-acre parcel called “Stone Mountain” was withdrawn when it did not meet the criteria for annexation, including contiguous borders.