by Carol Dunn
LA VETA– Permian Basin Railroads, owner of the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, has offered to buy the old train depot, which now serves as La Veta Town Hall. Todd Cecil, Permian’s VP of Real Estate, put the question before the Town Board at its October 6 meeting, in effect asking if the Town would be open to an offer. “It’s the Town Board of Trustees’ job to entertain offers,” Mayor Mickey Schmidt said. But he also pointed out, “It would have to go through an election.” Schmidt added, “It would have to be a really really good offer,” a sentiment echoed by other trustees.
Saying the company would use the depot “for passenger service, which is gaining steam,” Cecil told the Board the railway company has an opportunity financially to pursue such purchases now. “Business has been good. We’re very optimistic about the future,” he said. “We are interested. We are going up and down our rail lines across the country to find opportunities like this,” he said. Although the company could build a new depot, Cecil said, “Using a historical structure is a big part of our business.” Schmidt suggested that Permian put together an offer that would benefit the Town and bring it to the Board.
Student-led Get R!EAL Colorado submitted two more designs to the Board for signs to discourage tobacco use in the park and at the ball field. The Board approved the design with the wording, “For the Health and Safety of Everyone, Tobacco Use is Discouraged in La Veta Town Parks. Thank you for your cooperation.”
After a detailed explanation of how the roof of the pole barn at the Fort Francisco Museum might be raised and repaired to maintain its historic look, George French told the Board that the work would cost about $16,340. This prompted a request for an estimate of what it would cost to just tear off the old roof and replace it.
The Board empowered the Mayor to hire a contractor for up to 24 hours to grade the streets as soon as the Town gets some moisture. To be considered, contractors need to be available, licensed for doing dirt work in the Town, and have the lowest hourly rate.