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La Veta Town Board looking for new municipal bank

by Bill Knowles
LA VETA- In the wrap up to the regular Town Board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 20, Mayor Don Keairns read a letter from the Community Banks of Colorado which said that it would no longer accept municipal accounts that earned interest. The bank explained that it was required to hold cash equity at 120 percent of the deposit and it would no longer do that.
The Town of La Veta has several accounts in the form of certificates of deposit (CD) at the bank. Some of the accounts, such as meter deposits, are restricted, meaning the town can’t use them. Board trustees briefly discussed waiting for each account to mature and then putting the funds into an account at the First National if Trinidad in Walsenburg under the same account name.
At a later point the board will ask a representative from a California firm to speak to them about their services. The firm specializes in placing municipal funds into money market funds that will yield a higher return than CDs.
The railroad is getting serious about buying Town Hall to use as a depot building. They propose to buy the building and then lease it back to the Town until they could build or purchase another building.
The suggestion ran aground when some board trustees suggested that original grant funding for the purchase and renovation of the building might prohibit the building from being sold. Others in the audience protested the idea saying that in the beginning town residents voted to purchase and renovate the depot building, making it municipal property. The question of selling it might have to come before the voters for approval first.
The town board approved a street closure for the homecoming parade for La Veta High School on a 6-0 vote. The parade will start Friday, Sept. 23, at 2:45 and end at 3:30. The parade route is north on Main from Garland to the football field. The proposed traffic detour will be west on Ryus to Oak and back out to highway 12. The routes have already been approved by the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The town board also approved the homecoming bonfire on Thursday, Sept. 22 in the parking lot of the football field. The La Veta fire department has okayed the event and will be on hand with a truck just in case. Huerfano County has mandated a fire ban most of the summer until recent rains and cooling temperatures. The fire ban has been lifted.
Trustee Jim Fowler has been looking into the cost of repairing the airport runway. Cracks in the tarmac were filled several years ago but are reappearing again. Some are close to six inches wide and nearly stretch across the width of the runway.
Fowler says that a rough estimate on repair costs runs from $17,000 to $22,000. Grant funding may be available for the repair work with grants covering 80 percent of the costs. The town would pick up the remaining 20 percent.
A larger drop box at Town Hall for water bill payments was discussed. The old box has been deemed too small and overnight payment envelopes can fill the box quickly. Wayne Smith submitted the proposal.
The new box would be located on the guard rail of the handicap ramp closer to the entrance of Town Hall. The box would also be larger, measuring 14 inches high, 12 inches wide, and six inches deep, with an 11-inch drop slot. Cost for manufacturing the box is estimated at $85 with installation costs estimated at $40.
Town trustees agreed to table the proposal until they could determine how many deposits are made at the current box.