by Carol Dunn
LA VETA— At its August 21 meeting, the La Veta Town Board learned that La Veta’s long-standing senior citizen group plans to disband after its final weekly luncheon on August 24. It took a member of the audience who has attended the luncheons to explain why the group is planning to cease its activities after many years, including weekly low-cost luncheons for seniors. “A gentleman complained,” she said. “Someone questioned the cleanliness, and they decided they did not want to go through the scrutiny.” Trustee Dave Molyneaux said he will be attending the last luncheon on behalf of the board. The seniors group will be donating the equipment it has purchased over the years to the community center.
The board reviewed and approved the memorandum of understanding regarding the baseball field, extending it for another year.
The MOU is between the town, La Veta school district and Clark Bell, who has donated $5,000 so far for improvements to the baseball field. The town retains the property, and the school provides maintenance and uses the field. RE-2 Superintendent Bree Lessar told the board, “We are going to reseed this fall. We have a variety of projects planned, including moving in a functional scoreboard before the next season.” Grant writer Gaye Davis told the board, “The irrigation system has been fixed and is on a timer… It waters with non-potable water.”
When asked how Bell feels about the MOU, Lessar said, “Mr. Bell is in full support. He’d like to see some action.”
Lessar and Davis also spoke with the board about a grant for new playground equipment at the elementary school. Lessar said the “much-loved” slide has been removed, and one set of swings has been disabled. “It’s beyond cosmetic at this point,” Lessar said of the renovation.
Several pieces of equipment are not ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. Lessar said a renovation plan has been developed with the help of an architect.
The school district wants to apply for a GOCO (Great Outdoors Colorado) grant in the amount of $250,140. “We can’t file with GOCO on our own,” Gaye Davis said. “We’re required as a school district to approach another entity to apply on our behalf.” Davis said the playground is one of only two available in the community, so that should help position the application a little higher in priority.
Lessar added that the school district has applied for grants to fulfill the matching funds requirement, so the town would only be the fiscal agent. After the renovation is finished, Lessar said, “Our hope is the community would have use of it.”
The new playground would be open to the public. The school board has committed funds to the project, so no funding was requested from the town.
The board wordsmithed resolution #15-12, built upon a GOCO template, adding a paragraph authorizing the mayor to sign the grant agreement with GOCO. The resolution passed on a vote of 4-1 with Trustee Molyneaux voting no.
Richard Pinneau, who resides near Beulah, spoke with the board about a pilot website project involving La Veta. The LaVeta Serves website will be part of a larger project called America Serves, and a non-profit organization.
Pinneau said La Veta Serves would “bring together and make vividly apparent everything a community is doing,” from businesses and clubs to church services and special events. “I see La Veta as a high energy and forward-thinking community,” he said. “La Veta is small enough in population that we can fairly quickly capture everything that’s happening.”
Pinneau said business proprietors will be able to edit their own information on the website. “There is the potential for increased visibility (tourism) and a possibility for more open exchange,” he said. The public can see an example of the website format at the temporary home page: www.LaVetaServes.com Town Clerk Laurie Erwin said the bid packets for the dam rehab project are ready to be picked up by interested contractors. There will be a pre-bid walk-through meeting on August 31 at 1:30 pm.
The board voted to apply for a grant from the Division of Local Affairs for a sewer study in town. The study is budgeted at $29,000. If the grant comes through, the town’s input for the study will be $4,500.
The board was provided with a report from State Forester CK Morey, who studied a cottonwood tree the town has proposed removing in order to straighten Poplar Street.
The report summarized, “All evidence points to this as being a sound and healthy tree. It is a valuable tree from the standpoint of its size and age, as well as its effect in moderating wind and temperature extremes within this area of La Veta.”
Barb Kowalik complained that trees are being damaged or destroyed on the town’s right-of-way because of bad practices, and she asked what can be done to stop this. The mayor asked her to put in writing some suggestions for how to address the problem. She will work with Trustee Ken Sajdak on suggestions for code enforcement.
The board approved a month-long vacation absence for Judge Jytte Hale-Helps, from November 12 to December 10. There will be no court dates during that time period.
The board referred to committee a request for the purchase of a new Bobcat S160 skid-steer loader. The Bobcat quote was in the amount of $24,820, including a $5,000 trade-in of a Kubota.
Marshal Youngers requested a light be installed in the park, to light the area to the west of the boxcar restrooms. The request was referred committee.
The board also referred to committee a request by building inspector Rick Dunn for the town to adopt the 2012 Property Maintenance Code.
The board approved Ed Donovan’s request to hang a Celtic Festival banner across Main Street near Ryus. The Festival will be held September 27-30.
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward