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La Veta sets new fines and fees

by Carol Dunn
LA VETA – At its November 5 meeting, the La Veta Town Board adopted a new schedule for traffic fines and court costs. The fines range from $40 for infractions such as mufflers and mirrors to $500 for violations involving a spilled load on the highway with bodily injury. Court costs range from $20 to $50, depending on the violation. Trustee Bill Stark said the schedule is more in line with the current Colorado model traffic code.
Jill Whitmore asked the board for a variance for a fence she built which is partially on Town property. Her residence is at the corner of Grand and Poplar Streets. Whitmore took down an old fence and built a new fence in its place, and she pointed out to the board that the old existing fence had been there over 20 years. “I innocently thought I wasn’t in violation of anything,” Whitmore said. She admitted that, although she was told by the building inspector that she needed to get a permit, she did not do so. After she received a citation, she did apply for the permit, and at that time was told that she needed a full survey. Whitmore said the survey shows the fence is about 6” onto the Town property.
She implored the board not to make her move the fence. Stark told Whitmore, “We’ve been through the courts once before” for another fence under similar circumstances, which had to be moved. “To contradict that decision, it would open us up to a vulnerability, and we would be asking for trouble.”
Trustee Dale Davis pointed out that Whitmore’s porch is also on town property. By a unanimous vote, the request for the variance was denied by the board, but the board offered to help Whitmore get a variance on the encroachment of her home so she might make future improvements if she wants.
On a vote of 4-0, the board approved a new five-year lease for the Francisco Center for the Performing Arts and agreed to include the theater on its insurance policy. Trustee Dave Molyneaux and Trustee Shane Clouse abstained from voting.
Town Clerk Laurie Erwin presented a late request for a liquor license renewal from Felix Martinez, Jacourt Inc., Towson, MD. The 3.2 beer license for the Country Store expired on October 19, and the renewal was sent in after the expiration date. Erwin said, “I sent him a reminder in August, plus it is posted in the store.” Erwin said all the beer was pulled from the shelves by employees on the expiration date, and that was confirmed by the Marshal at midnight on the 19th. Erwin told the board that the renewal has been late four of the last six years, and she confirmed that the cost of the renewal is only $3.75. The Board voted unanimously to renew the license with a $250 fine. Molyneaux abstained from the vote.
The town committed $100,000 in materials and decided to accept a CDOT grant project to improve the US Highway 160 turnouts. Referred to as a RAMP grant, the total amount will be $1,015,000. Davis clarified that the donated material was dug out of the North Lake and will be used to bring the shoulders up to the correct level. Gravel will be applied by Huerfano County. “Things on this should start happening around January, with the State’s paperwork,” Davis said.
The local fishing club was given the go ahead to stock the North Lake with fish and assured the board that strictly dry fly fishing will be permitted. Davis suggested the club coordinate with Shannon Shrout and Rob Saint Peter.