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Terms for La Veta volunteer boards will be reviewed

by Carol Dunn
LA VETA — At the November 20 La Veta Town Board meeting, Trustee Ken Sajdak offered a new ordinance relating to the Park & Tree Board which would limit a board member to three 4-year terms – 12 consecutive years.
Trustee Nancy Dick voiced her support for changes, saying, “It appears that not much thought was given to staggering the terms.” She said this seems to be the case for the Historical Preservation Committee, Francisco Fort Museum Board and the Park & Tree Board. Dick said, “Everybody comes up at the same time, and there is no legislative history on these boards.” Dick suggested the terms be staggered by two years. Town Clerk Erwin reminded the board members, “It’s hard to get people to serve on these boards, that’s why some of them have been on so long.”
Trustee Dale Davis suggested a revised ordinance affect broad changes. “I think we should go with all three boards at the same time,” he said.
The overarching concern in the case of the Park & Tree Board is the terms of several members expire on 1/1/13. There was a suggestion that input should be collected from the boards, but Trustee Dave Molyneaux commented, “We’re coming up on the holidays. There’s going to be several of these board members taking off to do the family thing.” To complicate matters, a person who previously applied to be on the Park & Tree Board has withdrawn her letter of interest. Erwin explained, “She just wanted to water trees,” and there was more work involved in serving on the board than she was interested in. In explaining his proposed ordinance, Sajdak did question the required number of board members. “What if there aren’t five people interested in being on the board?” he asked. The ordinance for the Park & Tree Board will be discussed at the board’s first December meeting.
The board approved a request by DeEtta Lessar to serve on Francisco Fort Museum Board for a two-year term. Trustee Shane Clouse told the board, “I do want to note the number of volunteer hours she has worked. She’ll be a good addition.”
The board authorized the town clerk to submit an application for a Department of Local Affairs Energy and Mineral Impact Grant to work on the Mexican Ditch project. Erwin explained that formal board approval is required in the application process. The total Mexican Ditch project will cost $80,000, with $50,000 from the grant and the $30,000 match included in the town’s 2013 budget. Mayor Jerry Fitzgerald told the audience, “We believe we have a good chance of getting the grant.” The town has also been approved to get a grant for its planned sewer and sanitation study.
Erwin read a letter from Jeanine Anderson, who donated Christmas lights for the Christmas tree mounted on the south side of the town shop in memory of her sister, Coleen Morris.
Molyneaux reported the museum will be moving into the new firehouse right after the first of month, when the director returns.
The remodeling project, which included two handicapped restrooms, an office and revamped exhibit space, is complete.
Davis reported the dam renovation project is running on schedule. The first concrete has been poured. The project is scheduled to be finished in mid-December. North Lake will start to be refilled after the state dam inspector gives his approval. Davis said that no more than one inch of water can be added per day. Further, there is not that much water available at this time, so it will not get filled this year. Davis said it could be a one to two year process at that fill rate.
On the topic of the two large cottonwood trees slated to be removed on Poplar Street, Davis mentioned the town just paid RAI Enterprises $900 to cut down a large willow tree on Main Street, south of the kindergarten building. The town has received bids of $6,880 from Lonnie Bolin and $4,500 from RAI Enterprises to remove the cottonwoods. Davis said he thinks the prices are too high. The board put the matter on the agenda for the first December meeting.
The board voted to renew the lease with Jill Andreatta for town land referred to as Tract #1, south of First Street. The 5.5 acres of leased land are used for grazing purposes at $175 per year, the same terms as the previous lease.
The La Veta Community Center looked resplendent with its new carpeting. Trustee Dick thanked Erwin and said, “It’s a wonderful improvement!”

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