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Walsenburg working to limit heavy trucks on municipal streets

by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG —  Walsenburg City Council Tuesday night took steps to eliminate heavy commercial truck traffic on city surface streets by passing Ordinance 1113 on first reading.
The ordinance says no one can move or operate a vehicle or combination of vehicles on any city street, alley, or right-of-way that is not a designated state highway when the maximum gross weight of the vehicle (or vehicle combination) exceeds 20,000 pounds.  The ordinance does not apply to emergency response vehicles and calls for signage to be placed at each of the four major entrances to the city saying “Thru Trucks Must Follow Route Signs.”  The Colorado Department of Transportation will be putting up those signs in the near future.
The ordinance was introduced by councilman Greg Daniels, councilman Dennis Hoyt introduced the item and the second was made by councilman Clint Boehler.  The full seven-member council was present for the Feb. 20 meeting.
In other business concerning streets; the city council acted early this year on the 2018 street improvement plan, authorizing staff to prepare bid requests for the overlay project.  While there will be a proof rolling test conducted on Ysidro between Sixth and Seventh streets  to determine what kind of improvement would be best with anticipated truck traffic for the new auto parts business coming to W. Seventh Street, a number of other streets and projects were approved.  They include, Eighth Street, Main to Russell; Welton (four blocks) from Spruce to Utah; Utah (one block) from Welton to Maple; Leon (one block) from Sixth to Seventh, and Hendren (three blocks) from Seventh to Tenth.
Also included in the improvement plan for 2018 is irrigation pipe replacement at the Holita Ditch, which will involve street, culvert and storm sewer connections from the old firehouse at the intersection of Colorado and Main to the intersection crossing Russell and Colorado.  Staff has only prepared general estimate costs of the projects and the finance department indicated there are funds to cover the work in the streets budget.
Walsenburg City Administrator James Toth told council members he and Huerfano County Administrator John Galusha are working on a state Energy Impact grant which, if approved, would allow water line infrastructure improvement at Seventh and Main before CDOT plans to resurface that area in 2019.
Another city project residents may have noticed is the construction associated with the new city water haul dispensing station.  Street and utility work is ongoing on West Sixth on the south side of city hall preparing for the installation of the AquaFlow system.
The city council also approved the 2018 leaf and limb program which will be accomplished by Wards.  The no-cost leaf/ limb/ yard debris pick ups will be June 4 – June 15 Ward One; June 11 – June 22 Ward Two, and June 25 – July 6 in Ward Three.  Only leaf/ limb/ yard debris will be allowed in the program, city administration made clear this is not a trash service.  Outside of those dates, and dates announced for Fall 2018, the resident will have to pay the usual fee.
Council approved demolition of a small home the city purchased in 2011 located behind the city shops.  A 30 X 32 metal storage building for city parks maintenance equipment will be installed for storage.  Currently city crews have to drive to a location on the city ranch off of Hwy 10 to pick up some stored equipment.
City council postponed action on the proposed Personnel Management Manual for the city until all members have time to read and review the documents.
A public hearing for Wahatoya Farms Retail Marijuana Cultivation License was postponed at the applicant’s request.
Council voted to take no action at this time on a proposed demolition project at 512 W. Cedar.
Council voted to accept their water attorney’s advice on a pending water court case (opposition to 17CW3075).  Council also approved continued negotiations with a storage rights holder for Martin Lake associated with the on-going negotiations with other entities interested in collaborated storage rights at City Lake Dam.