Publications

Contact Us

Walsenburg: Setting a Baseline

WALSENBURG — At a crossroad in its development and growth, the city of Walsenburg needs to look ahead and embrace its future According to City Administrator Dave Johnston, “Until we can get together and decide how we are to spend the money, we arenʼt going anywhere.” With the cityʼs general fund showing a $200,000 deficit just to keep the city operational, the city is looking for ways to increase its revenue. “There are two projects on the board right now. Loves is looking at building a truck stop at the south exit (exit 49 off of I-25). They are hoping to break ground in 2015 or 2016. The second project is the Northlands,” said Johnston. The site plan for the Northlands project has been approved through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). Currently the city has to take soil samples so it is understood what kind of ground they will be working in. When that is done, the CDPHE should give final approval to their part of the plan. Then the Water Quality Control Division will approve their part of the plan along with USDA. When all that is finished, the City of Walsenburg is set to follow an aggressive schedule and receive bids by September or October. The cityʼs inline schedule is to have

the pipe transmitting sewage by May 2016. In the Northlands, the Acorn Travel Plaza has been purchased by Transport America. The business was closed and inventory taken last week with hardly a loss in sales. “With these businesses and others coming in, we are hoping to see the deficit shrink, but it wonʼt be quickly. I hope we can get that taken care of in about three years,” said Johnston. One of the more controversial new businesses is the Martra marijuana business that will be located on soon to be annexed land east of the city on Highway 10. About 300 acres will be used to grow both commercial and medical grade marijuana. The city doesnʼt have a tax on the sales of marijuana, but they do have water the grow operation will purchase from the city. How much water the operation will use hasnʼt been estimated yet. However, according to Johnston, the income from the dispensary sales and the water sales to Martra should a be positive for the budget. The biggest resource Walsenburg has is water. Currently water treatment for both sewage and raw water is under-used. With agreements going back a couple of decades, Walsenburg has the opportunity to step up the use of its treatment facilities which could benefit the area regionally. La Veta is under mandate to build a sewage treatment facility which would cost it several million dollars the town doesnʼt have. Walsenburg will use less then half its capacity for treatment when the Northlands comes online. La Veta could send its sewage down to Walsenburg treatment and save money. The same situation exists with water treatment. Walsenburg is producing about 500,000 gallons of water per day but it can treat up to six million gallons of production a day. “Walsenburg has capacity on its water and sewage treatment and thereʼs land it can use to locate an industrial park on. Itʼs just finding the money to bring them to fruition,” Johnston said. “I think the one thing Iʼd like to see is the community coming together and attracting new businesses.”

Norman E. Wolak

Norman E. Wolak 11/11/1931 ~ 2/11/2024 Norman E. Wolak, 92, of Walsenburg, Colorado, passed away on February 11, 2024. He was born on November 11,

Read More »