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La Veta will increase water storage

by Carol Dunn
LA VETA— At the La Veta Town Board meeting Tuesday night, Greg Wilson explained his plan to open a recycling center at the site of the county’s waste transfer station in Walsenburg.
Wilson described the proposed station as a sorting center, with the recyclables being shipped out to other areas for final processing. “It will take everything – tires, probably car batteries and paint…electronic waste,” he said, adding that later this year, electronic (computer) components will no longer be allowed in Colorado landfills. Wilson operates Recycle Exchange, a residential recycling curbside service.
The project will involve students from Huerfano and adjacent counties in a work-study scenario. Lathrop Youth Camp would be a partner, with the students participating in an on-line high school program plus job training. The students will be educated in framing, HVAC, plumbing and electrical trades. “These students get hired immediately after graduation,” Wilson said. The town board voted to submit a letter of recommendation for the project.
The town received letters of interest for the park & tree board from David Moore, 4 miles south of La Veta; and Deborah Nott and Mark Loveall, both of La Veta.
Trustee Ken Sajdak said he wished all applications had been collected before making any appointments. “Unfortunately the board has painted itself into a corner on this. We have three eminently qualified applicants here. I think it’s a shame we have to forego one of them to address a hastily taken vote at the last meeting.” He added, “I know we had the intention… for there to be continuity, but I think we’ve defeated that purpose.” After the board appointed Loveall and Nott, Mayor Jerry Fitzgerald expressed his hope that the previous members would continue to work together with the new members and help them out.
The board voted to eliminate the dam crest renovation portion of the north lake project, at a savings of $10,800. The State Dam Inspector originally recommended a gravel top but decided it is not needed. The face of the dam will still be reseeded, per State regulations.
Trustee Dave Molyneaux told the board that, since the dam is empty right now, the town could remove 12,000 cubic yards of material from the bottom of the lake, thus increasing its storage capacity by 7.4 acre-feet of water.
Because the work is time sensitive, while the lake is empty, Molyneaux made inquiries and found that Heath Andreatta Restoration could do the 10-12 days of work most economically at $20,184. Molyneaux said Wagner Equipment Rental will donate a haul truck to remove the material northwest across the road and dump it at a location that is lower than the dam, so it will not wash back in. Trustee Dale Davis said the dam project added 7 acre-feet, and this work will add another 7.4 acre-feet. So the town is gaining over 14 acre-feet of additional storage in the north lake, an improvement that is critical to the town’s storage of its new Mexican Ditch water right. “I think it’s going to be a big benefit to the Town,” Davis said.
The board voted to add back the Personnel Committee, and Trustees Sajdak and Shane Clouse will serve on it. The mayor said, “I hope to have a good system so the employee feels comfortable in appealing any decision. If an employee wants to appeal a disciplinary action, they can go to the personnel committee.” The function of the committee will be discussed at the next meeting.
The mayor appointed Trustees Molyneaux and Bill Stark to a task force to work with the county tourism board to get more signage on Highway 160 and improve tourism for La Veta.
The board voted to allow Huerfano County to install an Internet transponder on the east side of town hall, pending approval from the Historic Preservation Committee. It will provide free Internet wi-fi access in the area between the ballpark and La Veta Inn.

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