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The greening of La Veta

Town wins Tree City USA award 30 years in a row

by Bob Kennemer

LA VETA — (Editor’s note: The La Veta Town Board held three sessions on April 6. The first was a liquor license hearing, followed by a meeting of the ‘current’ board. Then, Municipal Judge Rob St. Peter, swore in the new town board for a third session.)

The old (or current) board held a liquor license hearing for the Ryus Ave. Bakery and Café. Matthew and Kristina Heim (managers of the bakery) said their goal is to, in addition to serving breakfast and lunch, start serving dinner along with Sunday brunch, with beer and wine on the menu. Proposed hours of operation would be Thursday to Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 or 9 pm and Sundays from 9 am to 2 pm.

The town board also reviewed minutes from March 15 and 22 meetings and financial reports. They approved standard operating procedures for Francisco Fort Museum, paid bills, and adjourned.

Back into regular session, once background checks clear, the old board voted to grant the liquor license to the Heims.

The new La Veta town board received a lot of “green” news just ahead of Earth Day, as the town was awarded with a large banner and a glass trophy honoring the town for 30 straight years as a tree city. By having a Park and Tree Board, and planting, and maintaining town trees, the town has been able to keep this prestigious status.

In related news, the town board learned the town will now have two farmers’ markets. The original market began almost five years ago, and was started by Wahatoya Community Initiatives, along with numerous area vendors. The market was held Thursday afternoons on Main Street in the courtyard north of the La Veta Public Library in front of the entrance to the Francisco Fort Museum on town land, and was a huge success… too huge, as it caused traffic congestion, double parking, and increased pedestrian problems.

Additionally, the market was often sold out after it had run its hours of operation from 3 to 6 pm, leaving working folks empty handed as they arrived to buy organic produce, meats, and locally made crafts. WCI began to receive complaints that the market would better serve the public if it were open on Saturdays, when more people were off work. WCI responded, and will be working with the town on a memorandum of understanding to move the market to west end of the town park and be open on Saturdays starting May 21, from 10 am to 2 pm.

Some of the former Thursday Farmers’ Market vendors attend other markets on Saturdays, so they have petitioned the town board to continue the market at the old location and times. The board agreed to a similar MOU. Headed by Shii Koeii Community out of Gardner, the La Veta Farmers’ Market Vendor Association will be open Thursdays from 3 to 6 pm beginning May 19, again focusing on locally produced organic cheese, bread, eggs, produce, and more.

But wait, there’s more! Don’t forget the Milsberger’s Farm Stand on Saturdays in the Paradise Coffee parking lot. With a lengthy agenda still before them, the board plowed on and:

  • Accepted, with regret, a letter of resignation from Francisco Fort Museum board president Gary Bailey after 10 years of service.
  • Accepted letters from FFM board members Peggy Arnold-Hoobler and Ed Smith to continue on as board members for additional terms.
  • Accepted a letter from Tony Masinton to join the FFM board.
  • Passed Resolution #8-16 to renew the lease of the town lakes land to the Brgoch Ranch for cattle grazing, with Mayor Brgoch recusing himself from the process.
  • Approved a liquor license renewal for Alys’ Restaurant and Go Ask Alys Catering.
  • Approved a request from Tri-Con to purchase water from the town at a rate of .05 cents/gallon for 70,000 gallons to be used at the deceleration lane project on Highway 160 northwest of town.
  • Approved the town’s old mower to now be used by Francisco Fort Museum to maintain the museum grounds.
  • Stated the town has filed a permit for its gravel pit and should hear back within 18 days from the state.
  • Stated the Mexican Ditch construction project will take two more weeks.

They also noted painting has been completed in the new municipal building on Main Street, flooring is in, and tables and chairs are being assembled. The facility should be ready May 1. Special note: Letters of intent to serve for the vacant seat on the La Veta Town Board will be accepted until 5 pm on April 29. It is a two year term.