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La Veta’s recycling center may get canned

LA VETA — At the October 20, meeting of the La Veta Town Board, discussion came up pertaining to recent problems with the town’s recycling center. The center has had overflow problems at least twice in the past year, when the program’s only truck driver suffered two separate heart attacks, leaving no one to pick up the recyclables. Recently, the center closed for a week until the recyclables could be picked up. The recycle program is based in Lamar and covers all of southeastern Colorado. The town joined the program around 1990 and has consistently had one of the highest per capita recycling rates in the state. Mayor Doug Brgoch joked that apparently the town is too successful at recycling, but added that the real issue is the recycler. Additionally, the federal grant that paid to start the program has ended, leaving the program to pay its own way. The town pays 17 cents per person each month to the program plus the recyclables are sold. However, currently recycling profits around the world are at an all-time low, with many recyclers going out of

business. For now, the board has decided to keep the center open, but is urging citizens to strictly adhere to placing only the allotted recyclables in the bins. And if the bins are full, citizens should take their recyclables home and put them in their trash. The recycler will not pick up any items not placed in the bins. So much waste has been left outside the bins that town employees have had to scoop the items up with a backhoe, then place them in the town’s dumpster until it is at overflow. Other options are being looked into, such as obtaining additional bins or finding a new recycler. Under new business, the board heard an update on the sewer improvement project. Most of the additional change order work should be completed by mid-November. The project has approximately $15.000 left in funds for unexpected change order repairs and most of that is expected to be used for two remaining change orders. The board approved a payment of $121,089.04 to cover fees to RMS Utilities (the contractor) and to the town’s engineering firm GMS. The board heard from La Veta Fire Protection District’s Fire Chief Mark Brunner and the district’s engineer, Brian Risley, regarding confusion over water taps and sewer lines. Apparently there were some communication problems, but now both parties agree the issues are resolved. However, the town will double check the district’s application for two sewer taps making sure all is in order. The firm of Bohannan Houston has been hired by the town for the Ryus Avenue Bridge Project. The current bridge is in need of numerous costly repairs over the next several years, but ultimately needs to be replaced. The board felt it made sense to go ahead and replace the bridge. The town secured $500,000 in federal and state funds from the Colorado Department of Transportation, along with a grant of $160,000 from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to be combined with $155,000.00 from the town. The project will be done over the winter to be completed by May of 2016. At the same time, CDOT will put in a new deceleration lane on HWY 160 at the west entrance to town. The new bridge will be wider and have a bike and pedestrian lane. In other business the board: • Hired Dotter Abstract to research if the alley south of town bordering Grandote Peaks Golf Course has been vacated or not, as that affects a proposed water line project. • Approved a storage shed for the Ft. Francisco Theatre. • Called for bids on the Mexican Ditch Bypass Station project. • Heard from the La Veta Marshal’s office that complaints of speeding and running of stops signs have been received. Increased enforcement is underway. • Approved a payment of $40,6280 (less retained funds for final inspection) to J. Siegal Inc. for the sidewalk improvement project. • Set a public hearing for a liquor license for Valley Legends (formally La Veta Loco) on December 15, at 6:30 pm, just prior to the town board meeting.