by Kate Boehler
WALSENBURG- On the agenda of the Walsenburg City Council on Tues. Dec. 16 were year end reports.
The water department will be considering a new raw water line in the next three years to replace aging plumbing. Inspection of Walsenburg water quality was very favorable. The bridges department will be soliciting bids for sand and silt removal. Mayor Edi Sheldon and Ranch Manager Butch Corsentino expressed concern over the possibility of heavy snowfalls causing a spring runoff that could result in flooding. The City will consult with the Corps of Engineers on this issue.
Police Chief Larry Baldonado reported that his department has interviewed persons of interest in the recent vacant home arsons, however no arrests have been made.
The second reading of Ordinance 981 regarding the application fees for liquor licenses was passed unanimously. The fees range from $25 to $500 for renewals and from $750 to $1000 for new licenses.
The renewal of a liquor license for Rosa′s Cantina was discussed. Due to several recent police reports concerning disorderly conduct and underage drinking, the Council set a hearing date of Jan. 6, 2009 at 5 pm.
Ordinance 982 for new business license fees was brought before the Council. This ordinance establishes an annual license fee for Walsenburg businesses. The Council will review the ordinance in both the finance meeting and a public hearing to be held at 5 pm on Jan. 5, 2009. Traditionally, business licenses have been a one-time purchase. Ordinance 982 will provide for an annual renewal. Possible cost of a timely renewal will be $35. Late fees could push the fee to $50. Ordinance 982 will be published in full at the first regular meeting of the City Council on Jan. 6, 2009. Applications will be made to City Clerk John Zgut.
Erin Jerant pointed out that the number of meetings attended by council in an average month is excessive. She suggested a consolidation of special meetings.
Finally, since holidays fall on Thursdays this year, Council voted to declare Jan. 2 as a one-time Mayor′s day for city employees. Council was divided on approval with a 3 to 3 tie vote. Mayor Sheldon held the tiebreaking vote. She wondered out loud how she should vote, and a voice from the gallery said, "Do you want happy employees?" Mayor Sheldon said, "Yes,” and broke the tie. City offices will be closed Jan.1 through Jan. 4, 2009.