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The La Veta Town Board hears concerns

by Shane Clouse
LA VETA- At the August 16 town board meeting, the board heard from G.W. Flanders, a voting resident of La Veta who had concerns over the language of the proposed Ordinance No. 262, which deals with rezoning issues around railroad property in the town limits. “The wording is unconstitutionally vague,” Flanders stated.
Flanders passed out maps of the areas affected in the town of La Veta by Ordinance 262. He pointed out several businesses that would be affected. Flanders pointed out that the ordinance would limit the use of the town’s own property. He predicted that the wording would create confusion and litigation that would cost the town.
Trustee Tracy Webb assured Flanders that the ordinance is to only cover the triangle shaped area created by the tracks where the Whistle Stop is located and that the town board is working with the railroad on the zoning issues. Trustee Dale Davis added, “This is only a draft and there will be a legal description of the property included in the final draft.” Upon hearing the comments from the board, Flanders said, “I’m so happy to hear that you are not hindering the railroad and not changing any other zoning.”
Gopa Ross addressed the town board regarding plans for a Water Protection Plan. Ross would like to see the town engage in talks with Colleen Williams from the World Water Association. Ross stated that she would like to see more parameters and a higher baseline for testing before Shell begins drilling.
Ross went on to explain that a Water Protection Plan includes a five mile radius protection, coordinated efforts with the drilling companies, and wider testing to include tests for petroleum and gas. She also stressed that this should be done throughout the area to include Walsenburg and the rest of the county. Trustee Webb commented that the City, County, Town (CCT) meeting would be the best venue to research this further and she would be willing to help. Mayor Keairns agreed to do the necessary applications.
Ross also suggested that the town look into hiring a hydrogeologist consultant. Mayor Keairns said that he would check with Rob St. Peter. Mayor Keairns administered the oath of office to Christal Copley as the new town clerk. Also sworn in was the new La Veta deputy Patrick Lira, who has now been on the job for two weeks. The board voted to keep Angie Geiser as interim deputy town clerk for the next two months.
The board then voted on resolution 3-11 regarding signatures on all financial documents. The motion by trustee Fitzgerald to designate Mayor Keairns, trustee Davis, and town clerk Copley. In a roll call vote the resolution was unanimously passed
Fitzgerald recommended the town purchase an external hard drive surge protector and Acronis backup and recovery software totaling $600. “The current system is limited and just not enough,” he said. There was some discussion on combining law enforcement backups with the town’s. The board was all in favor to purchase the equipment.
The La Veta Oktoberfest committee, represented by Wendy Lockamy, asked permission for a special events permit, the closing of Main Street from Ryus to Garland, and hanging a welcoming sign across the highway on the north end of town.
In the committee reports, the Street and Alleys reported that the asphalt machine is now fixed and will be doing the school this next week. The Water and Sewer reported that a headgate built by GMS Engineering doesn’t work and will send a letter to the company.
Trustee Webb called for a meeting regarding the yet unresolved matter of the overtime pay for Marshal Bumgarner at 7 pm August 22. Trustee Erwin had found some information from the Colorado Department of Labor. Mayor Pro Tem Klinke said,” I think we’re in violation of the Labor laws.” The matter will go to the town’s attorney for clarification.
Marshall Bumgarnner asked for one more week to work with Deputy Lira. He explained that since Lira will be working with separate courts and codes, it would be helpful. Klinke moved to extend the training for one more week, but died to lack of a second. Klinke added, “I think we’re being short sighted here.” Bumgarner then asked if he would be released of all liability and was granted so.