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La Veta opposes wind farm

by Carol Dunn

LA VETA- At its November 3 meeting, the La Veta Town Board went on record as opposed to the RES application for the Silver Mountain wind energy development near La Veta.  The Town’s letter to the County Commissioners cites the project’s proximity to Town, its impact on views, related noise, lights, and traffic.  The letter points out that the project is in conflict with the County’s 1999 land development guidelines, which specify an energy development corridor east of I-25.  The letter further suggests a moratorium on wind energy development applications until the County’s new land development guide is finished.  Schmidt said one risk of wind energy development is reducing the revenue stream from tourists who come to this area for the uncluttered landscape.  “This compromises the scenic integrity of our area,” Schmidt said.  “There may be a temporary gain – maybe – and I think that’s a big ‘if’.”  Because he sits on the Planning & Zoning Commission, Trustee Dale Davis abstained from voting.  The P&Z public hearing will be Nov. 17, 2009.

    After studying cost overruns, adds, upgrades and damages, GMS Engineering has recommended that the Town pay Pate Construction $72,482.36 of the approximate $100,000 it is expecting as final payment on the water/sewer project, thus closing the project.     

    Pat McMahon spoke with the Board about getting a water tap on land between Moore Street and the tracks.  She explained that the lease is expiring for Nanda Ghan’s Restaurant, a popular lunch spot for train passengers, and the Railroad is interested in helping keep the Restaurant in business.  However, the land would be “extraterritorial,” and there is a moratorium on providing water to such areas.  Part of the land would be on railroad right-of-way.  “Can they sell that?” asked Mayor Pro-tem Dawn Blanken.  The Board recommended McMahon check with the National Transportation and Safety Board to see if a building is allowed that close to railroad tracks.  Explaining her quest to find a place to house the restaurant, McMahon said, “Everything has issues.”