by Carol Dunn
LA VETA– At its June 2 meeting, the La Veta Town Board opened bids for erecting the steel building at the water treatment plant. Bids were submitted by Genova Construction for $54,975; Topar Steel Erectors for $50,835; and local Blakely Construction for $42,500, not including rebar. Trustee Dale Davis estimated the cost of rebar on the project would be $8,000, and with that factored in, the Blakely bid was still the lowest. The Board voted 5-2 to accept the Blakely bid.
The Trustees wordsmithed and approved the lease with the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad for 96 square feet of space within the Town Hall building to sell tickets. The Board and Arvin VanRy agreed: any improvements to the space would be temporary; utilities and lighting are “as is”; the lease will not automatically renew; and any signs would need to be approved by the Historic Preservation Committee. According to VanRy, the railroad is currently advertising for a ticket agent to staff the counter. “We do want to run trains from both sides if possible,” he said, referring to Alamosa and La Veta.
VanRy was accompanied by Ronaldo Lacayo and Timothy Good, safety agents, who have been working on the railroad operations safety plan requested by the La Veta Fire Protection District over a year ago. VanRy told the Board he expects the plan to be finished by June 5.
Mayor Mickey Schmidt told VanRy, an affable gentleman with a striking resemblance to a train conductor, that he is pleased with the work the railroad crews have accomplished around La Veta. “Everything you guys have done the last three weeks is very much appreciated by the whole town, and it looks really good,” Schmidt said.
Judy Heble was granted several approvals. A Fort Francisco Museum sign will be erected to overhang the sidewalk. Francisco Street will be closed for Francisco Fort Day on July 25, and Main Street closed during the parade on the same day. Heble told the Board the Koshare Indian Dancers will be performing on the Fort grounds that day. Heble presented an estimate for $3,629.20 from Jesse Garcia to make repairs to the Museum Firehouse. The Board approved the expenditure with one dissenting vote, and Schmidt said he could get the necessary rock from an anonymous donor to save money.
The Board approved a request by Judy Heble to reserve the Town Park on September 26-27 for the Celtic Music Festival.
In a surprise move, Mayor Schmidt announced the Board has a lease from Alltel, and said it is nearly identical to the CommNet lease signed in 2008. As it had already been reviewed by the Town’s attorney, the Board approved the lease. Schmidt said Alltel will compensate the town $750 per month and plans to use the other water tank with a panel setup just like the one CommNet used.