Contact Us

La Veta enacts fireworks ban, cracks down on liquor license violation

LA VETA— At its July 1 meeting, the La Veta town board passed Resolution 10-14 banning fireworks and open fires in the town of La Veta. The resolution stated: “Drought and hazardous conditions exist at this time.” The restrictions are set to begin immediately. Not included in the ban are liquid or gas fueled stoves; fireplaces inside buildings; or charcoal grills at private residences. The ban includes all pyrotechnic devices, from fused explosives to sparklers, and “any other activity that poses a significant risk of starting a fire.” Mayor Doug Brgoch spoke briefly about water conservation. “We’re approaching the driest portion of the season,” he said. “The town has a full water supply at this time, but we’d still like to have everyone practice some decorum in water use.” He encouraged residents to watch their watering manner, techniques, as well as when they water, so the town doesn’t have to enter into a rationing program. As part of the water & sewer committee report, Trustee Dave Molyneux said, “It’s still hot, and it’s still dry. Please try to conserve water any

way you can.” On the subject of drought, Barb Kowalik asked if people would please water the new trees that the tree board has planted around town. “It doesn’t take much,” she said. Brgoch explained that the guideline for watering trees during times of drought is 10 gallons, three times a week for every inch diameter of the tree’s trunk. Reportedly the La Veta Inn, located at 103 W. Ryus, is in violation of the Colorado Liquor Code. By state statute, the town is the local liquor authority, and, as such, is supposed to be notified of any change in management of establishments which have a liquor license. The former manager of the Inn has departed, and the town was not notified, so the Inn has been out of compliance since the middle of May, according to Town Clerk and Liquor Administrator Laurie Erwin. The mayor explained that the board has authority to suspend the license, revoke it, and/or impose a fine of its choosing. Before any action can be taken, however, a public hearing must be held on the infractions. The board set the public hearing for Tuesday, July 8 at 6:00 pm at the La Veta Community Center, with the caveat that, if the discrepancies are corrected by 11:00 am on July 2, the hearing would be cancelled. Erwin said a new manager must pass a basic background check, which she can perform in about ten minutes. Meanwhile the establishment can operate with the proviso that an indepth background check on the manager also comes back okay. Erwin said a new manager did come to town hall and apply for the basic background check, but that person did not pass the check. Erwin explained that, since the owner of the La Veta Inn lives in Canada, there must be a registered manager on site per state statute. She assured everyone the owner has been notified of the situation. “I made three courtesy phone calls to him,” she said, then added that the liquor license itself is clear on the matter, saying, “They know the laws.” Brgoch admitted having the Inn open is a good opportunity for sales tax revenues, but he quipped, “Sometimes rules is rules.” Molyneux said, “That business is important to our community, we all know that. But we must deal with this in a timely fashion.” Brgoch announced the first cut has been made in the applications for the La Veta Marshal position. The remaining applicants will undergo background and financial checks, psychological testing and physicals. Interviews are planned for July 17, followed the next week by a three-member peer review. The town board will take a report from the peer review committee, try to reach a consensus, and hopes to hire the new marshal by August 5. Regarding the marshal’s office, Trustee Shane Clouse reported that he held a walk-through for four contractors, and bids for the repair work are due at 4:00 pm on July 11. Mark White reported on what he feels are dangerous traffic situations with trucks on the 100 block of West Field Street, and he is concerned for the safety of the six children who live on that street. “It’s a thoroughfare, and I don’t know why it is a thoroughfare,” White said. He suggested the town put rocks, boulders or at least speed bumps in the street to slow traffic down.