LA VETA — At their regular meeting on Tuesday night the La Veta town board unanimously hired Harold Willburn to be the new town marshal. Willburn, a former Colorado State Patrol officer, previously served as the town marshal from 11/16/1999 to 4/15/2011. He will begin his new position no later than August 18, and will be under a probation period for his first year of employment. The position pays $36,500 per year. On a related topic, the board voted to award a construction contract to Blakely Construction to begin repairs on the Marshal’s office at 204 South Main Street, which has been in disrepair for some time now. Blakely had previously submitted the low bid on the project. Trustee Shane Clouse works for Blakely, and abstained from the vote. Because it is uncertain if the Marshal’s office will remain at its current location, the board agreed that the repairs and modifications will be limited in nature with only the most basic repairs being done at this time. This may require the bid to be modified. The Marshal’s office will, at least temporarily, be located in the town
hall during the renovation. Mayor Doug Brgoch noted that the La Veta Fire District will be moving into their new quarters in the not too distant future and the Marshal’s office could possibly be located within that facility. In new business, the board voted to renew the license for La Veta Liquors. Town Clerk Laurie Erwin stated that the business had received no liquor code violations over the past year. Trustee Dave Molyneux, who holds a liquor license for his restaurant and bar, abstained from the vote. Two Peaks Fitness submitted a request to continue to hold seniors exercise classes in the La Veta Community Center for the next year, and the board unanimously approved. The classes are free and cover a range of seniors’ needs ranging from balance and coordination, to stretching and flexibility. The town applied for and was awarded a Dam Breach Inundation Map grant pertaining to the town lakes located just south of town. The grant is worth $11,500 and is a 50/50 grant. Colorado River Engineering will pay for half with the town being responsible for the remaining $5,750. The grant is part of the town’s Emergency Action Plan and will create maps that will show what areas would be inundated in the event of a dam breach. Based on those maps, a modified emergency plan will be developed. It was explained that recently someone (possibly a commercial hauler) had dumped improper waste in the town’s brush burn pile leaving non-burnable construction materials such as aluminum window frames. Additionally, a large pine tree was dumped that will be difficult to burn due to its extreme size. The burn pile is located adjacent to the town’s water treatment plant and near the town lakes. It is staffed and open on Fridays from 7:30 to 9:00 am. Apparently these items were dumped over the weekend during hours when the facility is closed. According to Trustee Molyneux this kind of midnight dumping has been an ongoing problem for the past year, even though the gate locks had been changed. Molyneux stressed that, “What is up there is our town water supply and we need to protect it.” He then moved to have the operation shut down and received a second from Trustee Chip Kraynyk, who asked, “Will stopping all access prevent these violations?” A lengthy discussion followed with Trustee Dale Davis claiming he knows where some of the improper materials came from and is working to find out where the rest came from. Davis said he was not yet ready to, “name names.” The board agreed that one solution was to go back to holding at least one town clean up per year in the spring and maybe a second one in the fall, to prevent branches and yard waste from building up on people’s property. Additional days could be designated should the town experience large amounts of tree damage due to storms. The motion to close the facility passed on a four to three vote. The board approved a $750 proposal from Wayne Smith to build a locking gate for the railcar bathrooms located in the town park. The current sliding door is heavy and difficult to close up on a daily basis. The new gate will allow the bathrooms to be more easily locked up at night preventing vandalism. The sliding door will be used to close the bathrooms up for the winter. Larry Moore was given approval to rent the town’s hangar at the airport for another year at the rate of $600 per year. Moore stores an ultralight plane in the building. An Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Walsenburg and the Huerfano County Commissioners was approved by the board. The IGA allows the three parties to coordinate and cooperate in developing and carrying out an Economic Development Administration strategic planning grant application. The county will have the lead and has received strong support and encouragement from Walsenburg businesses who spearheaded this effort. Trustee Molyneux explained that there has virtually no economic development activity in the county for more than a decade, adding this IGA will allow the area to pursue both state and federal economic development monies. The application will made to the EDA via the Southern Colorado Economic District. SCEDD will serve as the grantee for the funds should they be awarded. After being banned within the town limits for the past decade, fire pits and fireworks will once again be legal in La Veta. The no burning ban resolution was a response to severe drought conditions that have plagued the region, but the recent monsoon rains have lowered the fire danger. The anti-burning ban can be reinstated at any time should conditions warrant.