LA VETA– On December 16, the La Veta Town Board decided to advertise for letters of interest from local La Veta citizens who want to serve on the town board in the vacancy created by the recent resignation of Catherine Manzanares. Mayor Doug Brgoch said the appointment of a replacement will need to be made at the January 20 meeting because it needs to be done within 60 days of the resignation. Trustee Chip Kraynyk said, “If somebody’s interested, I think they would know that within a month.” Letters of interest are due at town hall by the end of business on January 12, 2015. On behalf of Two Peaks Fitness, Kerrie Meyler requested permission to install and pay for wi-fi Internet access at the La Veta Community Center. Two Peaks uses the community center seven hours per week for classes that require more space than the Two Peaks facility can comfortably accommodate. The wi-fi capability would make possible the participation of Two Peaks in the SilverSneakers program. SilverSneakers pays a host gym, in this case Two Peaks, through Medicare Advantage health plans, and the participating seniors need to sign in
before each class by accessing the Internet and swiping their Medicare card. Meyler’s letter said, “If we can help the elderly become healthier, we can help lessen the cost of medical expenses to county, state, and federal government, while increasing their quality of life.” Meyler said the Internet access would be password protected. The board approved the request. Renee Rinehart announced that The Signature Newspaper will relinquish its status as a legal publication as of December 25, 2014. Rinehart explained that new legislation requires as of January 1 that public notices need to be posted to a statewide web site two days after print publication. She said the mandate is unfunded, and considering their limited staff, limited resources and the competitive bid environment, legal publishing has become unaffordable for The Signature. “We’re at break-even” on legal ads, she said. Although there was some feeling among board members that run-of-mill public announcements and notices shouldn’t be considered “legal notices,” Brgoch looked it up in the Colorado Revised Statutes. Reading from CRS, Brgoch said, “Any notice the town publishes is a legal notice.” The board voted to seek a legal opinion on whether the town can continue to use The Signature for certain local notices, with Trustee Al Coffey voting no. The town was advised by legal counsel that certain portions of Title 9 of the La Veta municipal code were unenforceable, so it drafted an emergency resolution to amend the code. Affected were the sections on theft and harassment. The town’s attorney reworded the sections to be compliant with legislative requirements under the Colorado criminal code and to enable, as the mayor explained, “the most current and broad pronouncements of the law.” The theft section changed the property threshold from $200 to $1,000. As read by Brgoch, the new harassment code is broadly inclusive and surprisingly explicit in its description of what is considered harassment, including delineations of physical, sexual, telephone communications, offensive or threatening language and electronic media. The emergency resolution became Ordinance 281. As required by La Veta municipal code, the Board approved a resolution to set 2015 base salaries for full-time and part-time employees. Examples of the salaries include: $40,000 for marshal; $28,600 for deputy clerk; $42,094 for water/wastewater assistant; $27,040 for meter reader/maintenance assistant; $19,500 for museum director. The board approved a resolution to amend the personnel manual, changing the pay dates to the 15th and last day of every month. There will now be 24 pay dates per year instead of 26, allowing the town to close out its payroll account on December 31 each year. Time sheets must be signed off by the employee’s immediate supervisor. A resolution was approved setting the town’s contribution toward employees’ health, vision and life insurances at $425 per month ($5,100 annually). Any expense over $5,100 will be deducted from an employee’s payroll check(s). The board approved a resolution enabling the Francisco Fort Museum board to open an imprest checking account, funded at $3,000 per month and used to pay expenses that arise during the daily course of operation. The town voted to refund a $1,000 donation from San Isabel Electric, which was originally made for an educational program at the Francisco Fort Museum. When the event was cancelled, the museum gave San Isabel the option of receiving a refund or leaving the donation in place for next year’s event. San Isabel chose the refund and offered to consider the event in next year’s round of funding. The board renewed the agricultural/grazing lease of Jill Andreatta on 5.5 acres of land lying south of First Street for $175 per year, ending 12/31/15. The lease specifies that adequate ground cover will be maintained and overgrazing is not permitted.