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La Veta sets public hearing on prosed pot ordinance

LA VETA- Three proposed ordinances on medical and retail marijuana were considered by the La Veta Town Board at its February 4 meeting. One would prohibit the operation of any marijuana business in town. Another would only allow and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. And the one that found favor with the board would adopt regulations on medical and retail marijuana and control the licensing of cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing and/or sale of medical marijuana, retail marijuana and marijuana-infused products. The vote was 4-2, with Trustees Shane Clouse, Dave Molyneux, Dale Davis and Mayor Jerry Fitzgerald voting yes; and Trustees Bill Stark and Logan Taggart voting no. Stark expressed concern, “There won’t be enough revenue generated to offset the

administrative costs involved. I don’t want to put an additional burden to the taxpayers that cannot be recovered.” As examples, he cited additional work to handle permitting and law enforcement for infractions. Stark said, “There are a lot of people who are very concerned about this.” Ten of those people, residents of Huerfano County Against Marijuana, sent a letter to the town stating their opposition to any sales of marijuana in the La Veta area because, among other stated reasons, “children will suffer the consequences” and “secondary smoke will subject children to contact high.” This was in poignant contrast to the carrot dangled before the community during a recent public meeting – in essence a warning that La Veta schools will not receive any state funding arising from marijuana permitting if the town rejects all marijuana sales within its borders. The residents letter posed the question, “Do we really need another form of addiction to add to the problems of alcohol?” A public hearing will be held on the proposed ordinance on February 18 at 6 pm; copies for public review will be available at town hall beginning February 12. Bruce Cantrell asked the Board for a letter of support for reopening the Cuchara Mountain Resort. He said he is applying for a $100,000 grant and has “close to twelve” other letters of support. “We’ve passed the first and second steps for approval,” Cantrell said. Stark asked, “Will there be any financial obligation?” Cantrell replied, “No way.” Cantrell is looking to get the resort finished in 2014 and said the year-round facility would employ 81. “This is the same program we proposed three years ago,” he said. Four trustees were in favor of the letter, Davis was against, and the mayor abstained. Coral Anderson described her commercial development permit application for 139 W Grand. “We would like to open a business that would be primarily skin care, treating minor skin irregularities. I would be selling skin products also,” she said. A public hearing was set for 6:45 pm on February 18. On behalf of Deborah Case and Sandra Sturgeon, Dan Wachob described a proposed consolidation of lots 65 and 66 at Grandote Golf and Country Club. The new lot, 65A, would be 0.69 acre in size. A public hearing was set for 6:55 pm on February 18. The board passed a resolution for its sewer enterprise to obtain a 20-year, 0%, $270,000 loan from the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority to work on the town’s sanitary sewer facilities. JoVonne Fitzgerald announced that the historic preservation committee will receive a $16,000 grant from the US Park Service and State Historical Fund.