by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG — After hearing a presentation by Brian Rosino and Cindy Campbell, representing District ONE, the Huerfano County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a $900 pilot program that will make passes to the Washington Underground recreation facility available to county employees through December. While Rosino and Campbell were looking for a corporate sponsorship from the county, they were pleased with the decision the commissioners made. The passes will be printed to reflect usage by county employees so their participation may be followed to see how many county staffers use the facility. Campbell told the commissioners both the local probation department and Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center staffers are using the facility.
Campbell and Rosino said between 10 and 15 people per week were using the recreation facility, not counting those participating in yoga classes. The old school building has also been used successfully for youth basketball. Discussions also ranged into grant applications District ONE currently has made, and others planned for the future. The commissioners and District ONE both have concerns that large amounts of money cannot be invested in the programs with the Washington School building’s leaky roof remaining an important infrastructure issue.
It is estimated roof replacement could cost as much as $300,000 and without ownership, or a long term lease, District ONE likely wouldn’t have success writing a grant that improved a building they did not have a long term commitment to. “Somehow the roof (issue) will have to be resolved,” said Commissioner Max Vezzani.
In other business, the commissioners honored USAF veteran Rick Dunn with Resolution 16-32, proclaiming April 3, 2016 as Rick Dunn Day in Huerfano County. Dunn served in the air force from 1971 until 1975.
• Passed Resolution 16-33 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War on March 29th. The resolution notes Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center and Spanish Peaks Veterans Community Living Center are constructing a pergola for visitors on behalf of Vietnam veterans and the county will be paying for the cost of construction on behalf of county citizens. The commissioners approved $3,650 towards the project. A pergola is a garden feature forming a shaded walkway, passageway, or sitting area of vertical posts or pillars that usually support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice, often upon which woody vines are trained.
• Ratified the Las Animas County Commissioners appointment of Sherri Bacharach on the bi-county District Board of Health. Her term runs through February 2018.
• Granted a conditional use application for Steve and Donna Mullen for use of a guest house as living quarters while their primary residence is under construction.
• Approved a right-of-way application and fee waiver for Peak View Wind Energy, LLC for construction of an overhead transmission line located about 15 miles east of Walsenburg. The transmission line begins at Peak View Wind Farm in Las Animas County and will connect to a Black Hills Energy switching station.
• Voted unanimously to write a letter of support to the El Pomar Foundation on behalf of the Huerfano Ambulance Service’s grant application for $15,000 to purchase computers and high visibility jackets.