by Carol Dunn
LA VETA- The La Veta Town Board voted at its May 19 meeting to rent space in the Town Hall building to the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad for ticket sales. After some loose bargaining with Ed Ellis, the Board decided to charge $400 per month to have the railroad use the counter just inside the front door from June 1 through December 31, 2009. Ellis said the railroad came up with the idea to rent the space because last summer, the first year the train originated in La Veta, people didn’t know how or where to buy tickets. He said people see the old station (Town Hall) and assume tickets are sold there, so they might as well be sold there. The railroad will hire a La Veta resident to man the ticket counter daily from 8 am to 5 pm. The railroad has built a picnic pavilion for passengers to have lunch. And Ellis told the Board that Tom Johnston, a local resident, is interested in hosting a chuck wagon for passengers on certain days. “We want the stores in La Veta to be successful,” Ellis said, adding that if passengers visiting La Veta don’t find thriving businesses and restaurants, they can be dissatisfied with their trip. The train will run every weekend until July 10, and every day after that until the end of summer. Ellis also mentioned that the President’s economic recovery plan allocates billions for passenger train lines and suggested that some funding could flow to the Front Range for passenger trains running from Denver as far south as Albuquerque.
The Board approved a liquor license renewal for La Veta Liquors at 105 W. Francisco. A commercial re-development permit application was approved for a restaurant/retail business/bakery/grocery store called So La Ti Do at 203 S. Main Street. Randy and Angela Collins were granted a setback variance for their property at 221 S. Oak Street so a deck can be added to their house.
Town Building Inspector Tom Lessar has been named an ad-hoc member of the County Building Authority, leaving a vacancy on the Authority. Trustee Tracy Webb was appointed to fill the vacancy.
Although there was discussion about dissatisfaction with the asphalt patching on two streets in town, the Board approved a draw request for the water project. Pate Construction will receive $50,495.72 and $18,326.14 will be paid to GMS Consulting Engineers. The town still holds a retainage to ensure it is satisfied with the project upon completion.
A request to build a community garden near the northwest corner of the Community Center was not represented by anyone at the meeting, so the request was tabled.