by Brian Orr
WALSENBURG– Tuesday night’s Walsenburg City Council started off with a demonstration from Atos, the Police Department’s K-9 member, and his handler John Salazar. Salazar planted an illicit substance in a room in City Hall, and Atos quickly sniffed it out. Salazar then answered questions from council members.
After the dog came cats. More accurately, Dr. Margaret Hecht and Carla Dolce of the non-profit Huerfano Cat Coalition came before City Council to ask for a donation to purchase more live traps so feral cats could be caught and neutered before being released. The council acknowledged there was indeed a feral cat problem and voted to donate $400 towards the purchase of new traps. Councilwoman Erin Jerant, owner of Hollowpoint Sporting Goods, offered to sell the coalition live traps at wholesale prices, which would increase the number of purchased traps.
City Administrator Alan Hein gave the Council an update on a variety of City projects, including the Martin Lake valve replacement project. “All the pieces of the puzzle are coming together,” Hein said. “Everything is on track to begin a water drawdown” by October 1.
Hein’s proposal to run a city water line back up along the raw water line to the extraterritorial water taps is coming together, with the Department of Local Affairs and the State both showing an active interest in the plan.
The I-25 bridge repair is right on track and scheduled to reopen fully on September 3.
Finally, Hein presented the pros and cons to the City of buying either a new or used backhoe, with the Council deciding to purchase a new one with a full warranty.
The Council voted to accept the Phase II proposal for the Gateway Project coming into Walsenburg from the north at $20,000, and also voted to accept Ordinance 988, creating staggered term limits for the Council. The Council passed Resolutions 2009 R-11 and 2009 R-12, which allows the Council to appoint a City Clerk and Treasurer, which will now go to the voters in November.