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Sales tax ballot issue approved with one dissenting vote

WALSENBURG — Ward III city councilman James Baca cast the single ‘no’ vote for the one cent sales tax ordinance before the Walsenburg City Council on second reading Tuesday night. The measure passed 6-to-1 with councilmembers Rick Jennings, Silvana Lind, Nick Vigil, Charles Montoya, Mayor James Eccher and Clint Boehler voting for the ordinance. Ordinance 1044, if approved by voters in November, would raise the city sales tax by one cent to bring in approximately $352,000 per year for the overburdened General Fund. The ordinance includes a sunset, or ending date, for the tax that would go into effect automatically at midnight, December 31, 2019. Councilmembers Cathy Pineda and Craig Lessar did not attend the meeting that was preceded by a severe thunderstorm that flooded some city streets and caused the ditch located beside Colorado Avenue to overflow its banks. Council will meet in an upcoming work session to discuss how to educate the public on the need for the sales tax increase. Prior to the regular city council session,

members met briefly as the Northlands General Improvement District Board of Directors and unanimously passed Resolution 2014-NGID-R-3, that appoints and approves signatories for GID bank and investment accounts. In other business; council unanimously approved a $3,381 expenditure from the Internal Services Fund to purchase special limb cutting nozzles and other related accessories for the Vac-Truck. The items will be used to go inside of pipelines and cut intrusive limbs without damaging the pipe. The heavy rain producing storm Tuesday night was an example of how easily the city’s storm sewer system can be overwhelmed. Council approved a special events liquor license and street closure request by Walsenburg Downtown Revitalization for the August 2, ‘Taste of Downtown’ event to be held in the 100 to 200 block of West Sixth Street. The special events permit was approved with a provision the group will provide security for its beer garden. The street will be closed from 7 am to 11 pm, with the event slated from 11 am until 7 pm. Council unanimously approved a one million gallon sale of water through December 31, 2014 to Purgatoire Valley Construction on behalf of Occidental Petroleum for use at the energy company’s Sheep Mountain facility. The city will augment the leased water with Walsenburg’s Coler Ditch water reserves at a 2:1 ratio. The city will charge $20 per 1,000 gallons. City council also unanimously passed a resolution appointing and approving signatories for city bank and investment accounts due to the recent appointment of Jim Moore as City Treasurer. There will be a work session at city hall Tuesday, July 29, concerning the naming of the pocket park at Sixth and Main. The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, August 5th.