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New town clerk hired for La Veta

by Carol Dunn
LA VETA— Trustee Tracy Webb reported to the La Veta Town Board at its regular meeting Tuesday night that the personnel committee had received four applications for the town clerk position. Webb said Trustee Laurie Erwin was the most qualified applicant, given her previous experience as Town Clerk, and was the only one with municipal experience. The board voted to hire Erwin at a salary of $33,000 with an exempt status. Her start date was set for November 15, 2011. In the interim period, Erwin will be paid $16 per hour for her part-time work until the 15th. Erwin told the board, “I will accept the position. I think I can help the Town, and I’m excited about it.” The vote to hire Erwin was: 4 Yes, 1 No, and 1 Abstain. Trustee Dale Davis, who voted no, said, “I think she needs to resign because she can’t be town clerk if she’s a board member.” Erwin announced that she was resigning as Trustee “effective with tonight’s meeting.” The board unanimously accepted the resignation “with regret,” and Erwin received an ovation from the audience. Her quickly penned resignation letter added, “I’m looking forward to continuing to work with the board.”
The board rescinded resolution #3-11, passed 8/17/11, approving Christal Copley as signatory on the town’s bank accounts.
The agreement with the Blanca Telephone Company has not yet been approved. Mickey Villella, who has been offering his expertise in finessing the agreement, said, “There were a few versions going back and forth.” Between the redlined version and the formal version, there was not one that the board could vote upon at the meeting. Mayor Don Keairns told the board he had spoken to BTC’s president Alan Wehe and, “his crews are five miles from town. He would like to get this process nailed down.” The board authorized the mayor to execute the agreement after it is reviewed one more time by the town’s attorney and BTC pays the town’s legal fees of approximately $2,000 related to the agreement.
The town received a proposal from Lynn Barnes, Huerfano Weed Control, for $1550 to spray weeds at the airport runway and $565 for spraying six streets in the Grandote subdivision. The bid is budgetary at this point, and Barnes recommended the spraying be done in the spring.
A couple other budgetary items the board discussed were a generator and a sewer camera. The camera, which would be used by the wastewater department to diagnose sewer problems, was estimated to cost $6,000 to $7,000. The town has been borrowing the camera belonging to the Cucharas Sanitation & Water District. The maintenance staff has also asked the town board to consider buying a generator for about $2,000 to $3,000.
The board approved paying Pat Hutches time-and-a-half to work Saturday November 5 for Quickbooks training by Lynn McCreight.
The Board approved a 3’9” variance of the fence height restriction for a garden door/trellis structure attached to the fence at the property of Janey Waldrep, 113 West Virginia Street.
According to Mary Jean Fowler, the Historic Preservation Committee has not received any applications yet for a replacement board member. The committee expressed the need for code enforcement and noted there are inoperable vehicles parked along the street.
Trustee Jerry Fitzgerald reported that he had investigated ColoTrust as an alternative repository for Town funds. However, Fitzgerald noted that it seemed the security would be higher with the 1st National Bank in Trinidad. He recommended that the Town move some of its funds to the First National Bank in Trinidad after January 1, 2012.
The Water & Sewer Committee report included information about two upcoming seminars that may benefit the Town. Water plant manager Rob Saint-Peter told the Mayor that it would be beneficial if a board member could attend a Water Meters and Leak Detection Seminar in Lamar. Topics will include auto readers, wi-fi, cellular reading, field testing, leak detection equipment and other meter issues. The Colorado Municipal League is also sponsoring a seminar in Denver on November 8 about funding water projects. The board approved the expenditures for registration.
Davis asked the Historic Preservation Committee to work with the building inspector to determine if there is something that can be put on the roof above the entrance to town hall temporarily during the winter to keep the water from dripping off the roof and causing ice at the doorway. The board also decided to buy water guard mats to place at the town hall entrance.