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Marshal’s office receives clean bill and new cuffs

LA VETA — Readers may recall that the La Veta Town Marshal recently received a call from dispatch regarding a rogue rooster in La Veta, resulting in Marshal Willburn “arresting the rooster” and jailing him in Willburn’s chicken coop. In a moment of levity, Mayor Doug Brgoch presented Willburn with a pair of rooster sized handcuffs. The town received a letter from Advantage Environmental/Safety Resources that they had inspected and tested the old Marshal’s office for any residual signs of asbestos contamination, after another contractor had removed said asbestos. Both a visual inspection and a final air clearance test were conducted revealing the abatement work was successful with asbestos readings well below the allowable limit. “We now move on to Part B,” said Mayor Brgoch. This final phase focuses on interior finish work such as installing sheetrock. There are no immediate plans for the building. It may, once again, house the Marshal’s office, but Brgoch noted many benefits to having the Marshal’s office located within the town hall, saying it fosters communication and continuity amongst staff. The facility could be rented, or even sold. Selling requires a vote of the citizens, noted Brgoch. Continuing with police matters, Brgoch said that Wilburn had successfully completed his six month probation, meaning he

could receive a $1000 per year pay increase. The board commended Willburn and voted in favor of his raise. Brgoch also explained that the town is updating and redesigning its hiring application to meet new state and federal guidelines for hiring a deputy marshal. Over the next four to six weeks, the town plans to start the process for hiring a deputy. Local business owner Sandy Dolak provided the board with an update on the revitalized La Veta/Cuchara Chamber of Commerce. Dolak stated she and other “new blood” chamber members were excited about planned positive events including: a fiber festival in the town park, the development of ‘Heritage Tourism’, improving the local trails, concerts in the park, Buzzard Bingo nights, a flea market/yard sale over Memorial Day weekend, and more. Brgoch asked if the chamber could provide quarterly updates to the town board. Dolak responded they would and thanked the board for being supportive. La Veta School Board member Ed Donovan gave the board a report on the La Veta RE-2 School district. Like the chamber report, Donovan shared a mostly positive outlook for RE-2, noting that in spite of state funding cuts resulting in RE-2 losing $1.45 million over the past 5-6 years, the district is doing well. Programs have been cut, facility maintenance postponed, yet the school “… has sustained a high level of quality instruction as evidenced by our recent Accreditation with Distinction,” said Donovan. Only 27 of Colorado’s 178 school districts received this level of accreditation. Community feedback is crucial stated Donovan, adding, “We want the community to tell us what it wants from our school.” The district has seen an increase in parents calling with questions about RE-2 because of the district’s reputation for providing quality education. “We are expecting an increase in enrollment next year,” said Donovan. In other business, the town: appointed trustees Al Coffee and Dale Davis to serve on the Regional Building Authority Board; approved Michael Scott to serve on the La Veta Library board, renewed the Brgoch family’s grazing lease at the town lakes with the mayor abstaining; approved the purchase of new American and State of Colorado flags with stands for the town hall at a cost of $273. They also approved a request from Francisco Fort Museum Director Kim McKee, to work part-time with Trinidad State Junior College as director of the junior college’s Southern Rockies Heritage School program; and voted to purchase a series of updated International Building Code books (costing approximately $450) for the town’s building inspector. Mayor Brgoch pointed out that the town needs to find a local resource to develop a gravel pit providing gravel for maintaining the town’s roads. Paying retail for gravel is prohibitive, but the town, as it has done in the past, could own and operate its own crusher and gravel pit at a much lower rate.