by Carol Dunn
LA VETA – The La Veta town board opened bids at its meeting on Tuesday. The Board accepted a bid of $1,675 from Harold Andreatta for the town’s Mack dump truck. No bids were received for the Ford tractor or the Ford Crown Victoria. Three bids were received for cleaning of the Marshal’s office, town hall and the community center. The current contractor, Mr. & Mrs. Manzanares, submitted a bid of $340 per week. Alma Gandora bid $240 per month. Katie the Cleaning Lady bid $125, but did not specify if that amount was monthly or twice a month. The Manzanares bid opined that the cleaning should be done weekly, because a bi-weekly cleaning would take longer since the areas would be dirtier and have more mouse droppings and urine smells.
Although Trustee Jerry Fitzgerald suggested the Town Clerk should determine the true low bidder and award the contract, Trustee Tracy Webb told the board she would like to see letters of reference or call the references that were provided in the bids. The matter was tabled until the next meeting.
The board considered Resolution 4-11 to revise the Town’s Employee Handbook. Mayor Don Keairns read a letter from Mayor Pro-Tem Larry Klinke, who was out of town. Klinke requested that the decision be postponed until December 20, since the board has been working on the handbook revisions for a year anyway. Klinke’s letter pointed out that a seminar on December 9 would educate the board on determining who is considered “exempt” from overtime pay for payroll purposes. This has been an issue for the marshal’s office, and Marshal Jerry Bumgarner came forward to address the board, asking how the marshals’ overtime will be handled. Fitzgerald said “A small police department of five people or less can be considered exempt,” a finding that the town’s attorney has agreed with. In the end, the board passed the resolution, with the mayor abstaining.
Regarding the budget, Mayor Keairns said, “We’re not ready to pass the budget tonight. We’re real close.” Town Clerk Erwin told the board, “We only have to have our mill levy certified by the 15th.” A budget workshop will be held on December 12 at 3:00 pm at town hall. The mill levy will be set during a meeting on December 14 at 4:00 pm at Town Hall. The budget hearing will be held at 6:30 pm on December 20, before the regular Board meeting.
The La Veta Country Store liquor license for 3.2 beer expired on October 19. Erwin noticed the expiration a month later and had the store pull all alcohol from its shelves. By state rules, the lapsed license remained in a grace period and only needed to be renewed, which the board voted to do.
By letter, Jerry Nickell asked the board for an adjustment on his water bill because he alleged that the meter was faulty. Nickell had a water line replaced between the meter and the house, bypassing a suspect frost-free hydrant behind his house. The town then replaced the meter because a tree root was infringing on the meter pit. The staff had not tested the meter to determine if it was faulty, but Trustee Dale Davis commented, “A leak is a leak on your property.” The board did not adjust the water bill.
Library Director Sandy Hackbarth sent a memo to the board thanking them for the way they handled the Occupy La Veta participant who had camped out on the lawn of the library. She wrote, “I believe the board’s tolerance of this occupation is a wonderful tribute to your commitment to the principle of free speech…”