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The La Veta Town Board hosts Grandote Peaks workshop

Staff reports

LA VETA- La Veta’s Town Board of Trustees and Dr. Randy Briggs, owner of Grandote Golf and Country Club, met for three hours on Tuesday morning to discuss unresolved issues between the two entities.  This was an open forum in the Community Center which was well attended by both La Veta residents and those from the adjacent communities.

    At the outset, two facilitators from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) were introduced,  Lee Merkel and Bill Gray.  Merkel assumed the lead role in spelling out options for a settlement between La Veta and Grandote.  One option might be a petition for annexation.  Another option would be a settlement of the two pending lawsuits, which would involve the Town agreeing to recognize that the 1984 annexation was valid.

    There was no agenda.  Dr. Briggs offered to speak first.  Dr. Briggs provided maps for all to review.  He assured the group that he planned to be responsible for any expenses associated with  further development of the property and that any further development must comply with Town regulations and the Town master plan. 

    The Mexican Water Ditch was discussed at some length and Dr. Briggs brought to light problems La Veta might face in meeting a return flow requirement, an issue that will be addressed in court on June 22.  Dr. Briggs stated that he owns water rights with Walsenburg, and he has the ability to directly manage any upcoming water needs that might arise on La Veta’s behalf.

    It was concluded that the next step in this process would be an event which Merkel called Planning 101.  That meeting will take place on June 28 and Merkel advised the Town Board to focus on La Veta’s plans and needs for the future.  Basically, the Town Board has been challenged to determine their vision for the future if and when the annexation of Grandote begins to move forward. 

    At one point, at the urging of Merkel, each member of the Town Board was asked to state their overall position on the subject of a Grandote application for annexation.  All but one member supported annexation.  One member wanted more information before giving a vote.

     Tuesday’s dialogue was frank, and the door appears to be open for productive negotiations at the end of June when everyone reconvenes for Planning 101.