by Carol Dunn
LA VETA– At its October 1 meeting, the La Veta Town Board was asked by three organizations for support in their endeavors. The first was Huerfano County Water Conservancy District, represented by Scott King.
King, former county commissioner and now an HCWCD board member, told the mayor and trustees that HCWCD is applying for a pre-fire watershed assessment grant for the Cuchara valley and is inviting the town to be a co-sponsor.
He said the La Veta Fire Protection District and the Huerfano County Board of County Commissioners have each agreed to participate and made commitments of $5,000 and $350 of in-kind services. Cucharas Sanitation & Water District, Huerfano County Fire Protection District and the City of Walsenburg have also been invited to be co-sponsors.
Mayor Jerry Fitzgerald said, “In general, my bet is that we support this. I think we want to commit.”
Trustee Dave Molyneaux added, “We’ll figure a way to get it into the budget.” Regarding the potential for fire, King told the board, “In the state’s opinion, in the Cuchara valley, it’s not a case of ‘if’ it’s going to happen but ‘when’.”
Trustee Bill Stark said, “I think this is a really important project that needs to be done.” The board voted unanimously to participate, write a letter of support, commit $5,000 and even offered to have water plant operator Rob Saint-Peter provide more in-kind assistance to the project than was requested.
One of the final products of the project will be a plan for protecting public drinking water supplies in case of catastrophic wildfire. King told the board, “Let’s hope we don’t have to use that plan in any of our lifetimes.”
The board also voted to “support the fire department in their endeavor to be prepared and ready for the future.” Trustee Dale Davis said, “They are a very good fire department. We support them in all ways we can.”
LVFPD has two questions on the November ballot. One would increase its mill levy by 2.0 mills. The other question would allow LVFPD to borrow funds over multiple years. Davis said, “With all the tax-based entities in this community, the more we work together and support each other, the better things will be.”
On behalf of Two Peaks Fitness, Kerrie Meyler asked for a letter of support to accompany its application for a USDA Rural Development grant. The grant would help the 501(c)(3) replace cardiovascular workout equipment with heavier-duty commercial grade equipment. The board voted unanimously to provide the letter supporting Two Peaks. Trustee Davis acknowledged that the facility is being used by the public: “You can go over there in the middle of the day and there’s no one there. But there are a lot of people in early morning and evening using it.”
Trustee Shane Clouse reported that work will begin on October 2 pouring the drainage pans on Poplar Street. Trustee Stark reported there have been some things removed from along Locust Street and “there has been marked improvement.”
Ordinance number 273, establishing a sewer enterprise fund, was passed. This was a re-do of an ordinance passed earlier this year, under advice from the town’s attorney. The mayor read the changes, which were largely corrections to statute and article references.
Stark reported that the town has received applications for the municipal judge position. The personnel committee will review them and recommend which ones should be interviewed.
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