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Town Board ready for sewer project

by Carol Dunn

LA VETA- At the La Veta Town Board meeting on November 1, Trustee Jim Fowler reported that the sewer project on West Oak Street is ready to be bid.  Ads were sent to the newspapers this week and are expected to run for three weeks.  He said, “We wanted to get that done before winter.”  Bids will be due November 19, and the Board may arrange a special meeting to award the bid.  Trustee Dale Davis suggested a walk-through of the project for interested companies.  He also asked Fowler if there might still be some “Tier 1” money, perhaps $10,000-$15,000, available through the Division of Local Affairs.

    Fowler and Mayor Don Keairns both listed a number of projects that are underway.  Keairns said, “I’m trying to focus on the water things before it gets too cold.”  One fire hydrant needs to be fixed or replaced.  The sewage lagoon needs one aerator.  And there is a water meter leak at Circle the Wagons.  There is a damaged culvert on Birch Street that needs to be replaced, and Davis said it is the Town’s responsibility to replace it.  The work will be coordinated with the Andreattas, since it impacts their irrigation ditch.

    The Board approved a request by Mickey Villella to reduce the number of EQRs (equivalent residential usage) from 1 ½ to 1 at 604 South Oak Street.  The Villellas own an apartment at that location, and the approval was contingent on the apartment not being rented.  The Board declined to reduce the number of EQRs that Maurice and Irene Heikes have at 231 West Ryus Street.  There are currently three trailer houses on the property, and the water and sewer taps were installed in the early 1970s.  They are currently being billed for three EQRs and two sewer taps.  Davis commented, “It’s not a mobile home park, so I don’t think we can drop the EQRs.  The Town could require they add another sewer tap.”

    There was also a comment that the sewage treatment plant is running below average on volume, which drew a round of laughter from the audience and at least one comment about Ex-Lax.  Clarifying that the crew suspects a blockage is responsible for the lower sewage volume, Trustee Tracy Webb cautioned, “Even though they say those wipes are flushable, they are not flushable.”

    Trustee Dawn Blanken reported that the Fort Francisco Museum Board has forwarded a draft of its standard operating procedures and a Director job description.  Blanken said that the Historical Society has an attorney working on the lease with the Town, and she suggested the two attorneys just work directly on that, rather than passing information back and forth through the committee members.

    The Town has purchased the legal description of the railroad property from Wachob and Wachob, so it can continue with zoning work that has been on hold.  Blanken reported that the Town’s attorney will prepare an outline with which the Town can proceed.  Blanken did note that the railroad is again four months behind in their rent payments for the ticket counter space at Town Hall.

    It was reported that Trustee Laurie Erwin is working on typing up personnel reviews.  The Board set another budget meeting for November 5.  A member of the audience asked what the meeting etiquette is regarding the Board staying seated during the paying of bills.  Mayor Keairns said the meeting is not officially adjourned until after the bills have been approved for payment.  Subsequently, within a matter of a few minutes, the bills were approved and a motion for adjournment was made.