LA VETA — An otherwise short town board meeting was increased by an extra 35 minutes due to an executive session proposed by Mayor Doug Brgoch. Brgoch explained the executive session was needed, because there is litigation related to technicalities in a case regarding a La Veta resident investigated one year ago by then Town Marshal Loren Youngers. After coming out of executive session, the board unanimously voted to give the town’s attorney the authority to seek a resolution to this case. Much of the regular meeting was spent making appointments to various boards and committees. DeEtta Lessar was approved to serve another two year term on the Ft. Francisco Board. La Veta resident, Jim Taft, submitted a letter to the board asking to serve an additional two year term on the La Veta Tree Board, which was approved unanimously. Current area State Forester Mark Loveall submitted a letter resigning as a member of the La Veta Park and Tree Board, noting his two year term had ended. Additionally, with State District Forester C.K. Morey, who had served as the tree board’s advisor, retiring – Loveall will similarly now serve as an
advisor to the tree board. Loveall stated in his non-voting advisory capacity he will “… fulfill the Colorado State Forest Service mission to promote and enhance community forestry in Colorado.” This will include supporting school programs, Arbor Day plantings, pruning and more. The town board discussed a letter from Carlos Contreras, who serves as the Operations Manager-Central Region for Big R Stores. Big R is requesting a variance to approve their new store front signage, stating the new signs take up approximately the same square footage as the previous True Value Hardware signs. Mayor Brgoch said the signage would need to be measured by the town’s code enforcement officer. Formal ownership of the property by Big R is required and a formal variance application would need to be filled out and submitted before any variance would be permitted. Town trustee Shane Clouse provided the board with an overview of the three day historical preservation workshop he recently attended in Denver. Clouse said he took workshops in grant writing, historical research methods, ways to insulate and protect stone buildings and more. Noting the town has several empty buildings; Clouse shared information of an idea called “pop-up businesses.” For example, an empty building might be utilized for a two month period around Christmas where a temporary business could move into an empty structure for a short while and then leave. Additional information on tax credits related to improving buildings located in historical districts was provided by La Veta resident JoVonne Fitzgerald, who also attended the workshop. Mayor Brgoch suggested the tax credit information should be made available to residential and commercial property owners within the town’s historic district via various websites and presentations. Brgoch informed the board he and town clerk Laurie Erwin recently had a four hour meeting with Gary Petree with SlaterPaull, an architectural firm specializing in historic preservation, to discuss grants for preserving Francisco Fort and the Ft. Francisco Center for the Performing Arts building. Brgoch said Petree was impressed with the good condition of both structures and felt his form could help the town with obtaining grants. Trustee David Molyneux reported a firm working with the Colorado Department of Transportation inspected the Ryus Avenue Bridge and suggested six measures that needed to be taken to maintain the structure. These six steps, said Molyneux, total more than $30,000. Mayor Brgoch, supporting Molyneux’s concerns, stated this only reinforces the need to pursue replacing the bridge as opposed to ongoing and consistent costly repairs. The board was informed that a contract had been signed for asbestos abatement on the Marshal’s office and work will begin by February 27.