by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG — In a pair of unanimous votes Tuesday night the Walsenburg City Council approved a pair of engineering contracts with GMS Inc. for construction of the Northlands sanitary sewer system.
On a motion by Erin Jerant and second from Jim Moore, the overall construction contract was approved. An assurance agreement for professional services; a contract protecting the company, and guaranteeing payment for work already accomplished, passed on another 9-0 vote on a motion by Jerant and a second by Silvana Lind. The shorter contract was requested by the engineering firm in light of recent discussions by some council members concerning the project.
The city council, sitting as the Northlands’ GID Board of Directors will be meeting once again with property owners to hear a presentation of the loan payment plan has been set for Tuesday, April 9.
In other business, a pair of ordinances addressing nuisances and establishing limits on truck idling, tonnage and parking passed unanimously on second reading.
The city council approved a proclamation noting the 100th anniversary of the 1914 Ludlow Massacre, and the upcoming Year of Ludlow, on a unanimous vote. The proclamation will be signed during a presentation on upcoming Ludlow events will be held at La Plaza Inn in Walsenburg April 15.
The city council also voted 9-0 to sign a letter of endorsement to Environment Colorado supporting solar power. The letter does not encumber the city in any way.
The council approved on a 8-to-1 vote, Resolution 2013 R-03 which adopts the city’s personnel handbook, dated April 2, 2013 and includes an amendment for a FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) provision city attorney Dan Hyatt said will instruct administration regarding formal notice and other procedures mandated by federal law.
Council member Rick Jennings voted against passage and members Nick Vigil, Cathy Pineda and Craig Lessar said they were only voting to approve due to the fact the procedures and notice provisions are required by federal statutes. They indicated a wish for a city employee to have an option regarding when FMLA takes effect. FMLA is federally mandated, unpaid leave an employee must be notified about after three consecutive days out of work due to injury, illness or absence in need to care for a family member.
Curtis Montoya Jr., of RE-1 School District spoke in the citizen’s forum portion of the meeting and reported on the wonderful trip to the state capitol a number of 8th and a few 7th graders from Walsenburg made recently. He also invited any or all of the city council to attend the next school board meeting where the youngsters will be recognized for their participation.
City administrator Dave Johnston reported to the council the water break on Walsen Avenue had been fixed.
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