by Carol Dunn
LA VETA- At its December 18 meeting, the La Veta Town Board learned there is currently a Fresh Start senior citizen exercise group in La Veta sponsored by Two Peaks Fitness. In a letter to the town, TPF refers to the “graying of La Veta” as an indication the class is valuable to the town’s residents.
The latest census shows an approximate 20% increase between 2000 and 2010 of residents age 65 and older. The goal of the Fresh Start class is to improve and maintain balance, deal with arthritis and lessen fatigue. The class has grown larger than the fitness center can accommodate so TPF has asked the town make the La Veta Community Center available at no charge every Monday and Wednesday from 11 am to 12:15 pm for the class. TPF is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit with a goal to “increase people’s fitness and improve the holistic, physical and emotional qualities of life.”
Trustees Nancy Dick and Dale Davis have worked on behalf of the town board with Kerrie Meyler, president of Two Peaks Fitness, to strengthen the town’s support for the class. Fresh Start is organized and run by Diane Keeling and uses large stability balls for exercise routines. Davis said, besides the class, the group will also need a place to put their balls. He said there is space in the storage room to do so.
In other senior news, the La Veta seniors luncheons will now be held on Tuesdays and Fridays. Town Clerk Laurie Erwin said the Colorado State Veterans Home will prepare the lunches for both days.
The board voted to reappoint Edna Schmidt for another two-year term on the Francisco Fort Museum Board. It also ratified the appointment of Nancy Christofferson to the FFMB for a term of four years. In her letter of interest, Christofferson stated, “I have a long history with Francisco Fort, dating back to 1958.” Longtime museum board member, Eileen Bankson, who has been involved with the Fort since the 1980s, submitted a letter of retirement from the board. She did offer to remain available as a consultant to the board in the area of history. She wrote, “It has been a privilege and an honor to have served on the board.” Mayor Fitzgerald said, “I think it would be appropriate for this board to recognize Eileen Bankson for her years of service.” The board agreed and the vote was unanimous.
On behalf of the Historic Preservation Committee, JoVonne Fitzgerald spoke with the board about adding a structure to the town’s historic designation ordinance. She explained the original survey of the town recommended 66 contributing structures, but only 45 were listed because those were the structures that had the support of owners. HPC wants to add 300 South Main St. (aka. the old hardware store/former fitness center) to the list because the owner now supports the designation. Mrs. Fitzgerald said the committee now has certified local government status as a Recognized Historic Preservation Commission, which means potential income tax benefits for the building owners. Designating the structure will involve adding its legal description to Exhibit B of Ordinance 257. Davis asked, “Do they have to keep it in a certain condition to be a contributing structure?” Mrs. Fitzgerald replied it is not required unless the owner would obtain a grant from the State Historical Fund. In that case, they would be required to maintain the structure for a certain number of years.
HPC is planning a public meeting in February to educate town residents about grants and other funding avenues for maintaining their historical structures. She has personal knowledge of obtaining such grants and said, “Having done this, the process was a little frustrating, but now that I’ve gone through it, I think I could be helpful to people.”
There was some discussion about who owns the entire building and also the finer points of designating historical structures. According to the La Veta ordinance, anyone, not only the owner, can apply to have a structure designated as historical.
Davis mentioned that some manholes in town have been uncovered for maintenance work and were not covered again. He suggested that the staff be reminded to recover the manholes after working on them.
The board’s first meeting of 2013 was rescheduled to January 15, and will be the only meeting for the board that month.
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