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Sale of Country Store in La Veta

by Carol Dunn

LA VETA- At its regular meeting Tuesday night, the La Veta Town Board accepted an application from Craig J. Walker for a 120-day temporary liquor license for the La Veta Country Store.  This will allow the store to continue to sell 3.2 beer while the sale of the store is imminent. Walker, of Walker Ag Group, Denver, is buying the Country Store and has an application pending for a liquor license through the Colorado Department of Revenue.  Walker already has ties to the area, as he owns several large ranches, one in the Pinon Canyon Military Expansion area. 

    Pat McMahon was also present to represent an application for a liquor license for the restaurant Nanda Ghan’s Mexican Cantina at 220 South Main St.  The Board accepted the application and scheduled a public hearing for Oct. 21 at 6:45 pm.  Chef Nanda Ranes, McMahon’s son, opened the restaurant July 5.  McMahon said she “bakes the pies and does the books.”

    General Contractor Shane Lester presented a request to have another new sewer tap installed at the new house he just set up on Moore Street.  According to Lester, the tap that was installed by the Town is two feet too high, so the drainage grade from the house is basically flat. “I want my sewer to run downhill,” he said.  After some discussion, which included a fair amount of hearsay evidence, the Board decided to install another sewer tap at a cost to Lester of not more than $500.  Later in the meeting, Mayor Mickey Schmidt mentioned that the Town maintenance employees recommend that part of the building inspector’s checklist include a contractor sign-off on water and sewer tap locations.

    The Board agreed to allow the Bonfils Bloodmobile to occupy a sixty-foot parking space next to the post office during Oktoberfest.

    The Board agreed to sell 10,000 gallons of potable water to Paul Morgan for $200 so Petroglyph can inject the water into wells as part of its trial process to force methane away from residential drinking wells.

    Lisa Malloy was present to ask for help with two large water bills from the past two months for two vacant lots on Field Street, near the old football field.  The bills indicate 159,000 gallons of water, which Malloy said she has not used.  She said the water lines have been tested, and no leaks were found.  She suggested the water meter is broken.  The Board voted to have the water meter tested and discuss the matter at the next meeting based on the test results.

    Trustee Dale Davis reported that curbs and gutters on East Field Street are finished and the sidewalk will be finished in the coming week.  An apron will be installed at East Field and Main to more efficiently handle storm water runoff.  Mayor Schmidt said the maintenance crew is trying to get the streets around town rehabilitated after the recent rain storms.  He said they are particularly working on improving the storm water drainage.

    The pre-construction conference for the Town’s water project is scheduled for September 17.  It is not anticipated that construction will commence in time to interfere with the Celtic Festival or Oktoberfest.

    The Town’s attorney notified the Board that the Mexican Ditch water case is scheduled for court in June 2010.  On the topic of attorneys, it was pointed out during the review of the financial report that expenses for attorney fees are already triple the amount that was budgeted for the year.

    The Board will hold a special meeting on Sept. 26 at the Huerfano County Courthouse as part of a court-ordered settlement conference in the lawsuit against the Town by the Grandote Homeowners Association.

    The Board went into executive session to discuss instructions to the attorney on the Alltell and Commnet leases.