by Carol Dunn
LA VETA – Mayor Don Keairns opened the La Veta town board meeting on January 3 by wishing everyone a happy new year.
The board was approached by Doreen Baumann about forming a Creative District in La Veta. Citing a statistic that the creative sector is the fifth largest industry in Colorado, Baumann told the board that state legislation is encouraging the creative sector to drive economic growth. The Office of Economic Development is asking communities to establish CDs to encourage and attract more creative entrepreneurs and artists. The hubs of economic activity would attract visitors and showcase arts and cultural assets. Baumann said La Veta is “perfect for qualifying as an ‘emerging district’,” one of the categories of the competition for small grants. The town board would need to develop an ordinance to formalize its endorsement of the CD. A meeting to determine public interest in forming the Creative District will be held January 9 at the La Veta Community Center. If you cannot attend but wish to express your interest, you may email Mary Jean Fowler at email@example.com or Baumann at firstname.lastname@example.org . Trustee Jerry Fitzgerald said, “It would be good for the arts community to do more with the business community.” He volunteered to be on the steering committee, and Keairns told Baumann regarding the committee, “Why don’t we turn Jerry loose on you and see what happens.” There were no objections from board members about providing a letter of endorsement, pending the outcome of Monday’s meeting. If La Veta is chosen, part of the award is $2,000.
Gary W. Flanders spoke to the board about the lease on its West First Street property, which was entered into in January 2010 with Jill Andreatta for consideration of $175. Thinking the lease was for one year, Flanders submitted a bid of $250 to the town in December 2010 to assume the lease on the same property. The confusion was brought about because the wording of the actual lease states that it is for a period of three years. However, the minutes of the board meeting where the lease was approved describe it as a one-year lease. Davis questioned Flanders about the portion of his letter that states, “When it became obvious to the town clerk that I was the high bid, Ms. Culbreath altered the original lease by extending the existing lease term to December 31, 2012 without board approval…” The reference is to the office copy of the lease, on which the expiration date was changed from 2010 to 2012. Flanders referred to the lease document as “altered” and added, “It’s a forgery; it’s corruption.” This prompted Trustee Tracy Webb to respond, “That’s a strong accusation.” It was finally decided that Trustee Webb and Town Clerk Laurie Erwin will review the audio recording of the meeting and see what the board’s actual intent was regarding the term of the lease.
The board revisited a request by A.R. Miller to change the town’s sewer ordinance. Miller owns an RV park on Highway 12 in La Veta, where the water is turned off six months of the year. His letter to the town stated: “With no water usage there is no sewage either. Yet we are still charged $80 a month for sewage. That comes to $480 charged for the 6 months we aren’t even open.” Mayor Keairns suggested referring the issue to the water & sewer committee.
The fire department requested that the maintenance staff keep the snow cleared out of the driveway of the fire house after snows. Because the roof slopes over the driveway, it dumps snow in front of the garage doors and can block the ambulance and fire trucks.
Mayor Keairns suggested that the town continue to retain the legal services of Hank Worley, La Veta’s water attorney since 1985 with MacDougall, Woldridge & Worley, PC. As of January 1, Worley has his own firm. Fitzgerald said he would like to meet Worley and suggested he come to meet with the board without billing the town for his time. Contingent upon that meeting, the board agreed that they should retain him at his new rate, $230 per hour, which is 7% higher than the town was previously paying.
The board passed a resolution designating posting places for public meeting notices: the lobby and windows of the town’s administrative offices at 111 W. Moore Ave; and the window at the La Veta Town Marshal’s office at 204 S. Main Street.
The insurance adjuster has determined that the wind damage to the roof of the maintenance building amounts to $1605 in repair costs. The town has a $1,000 deductible on the insurance policy.
The board approved the liquor license renewal for Sammie’s at 124 N. Main St.
Payments for 2012 business licenses will be due at the end of January.