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What flows downhill?

LA VETA — At their regular meeting the La Veta Town Board unanimously approved the award of a $547,036.50 contract to improve the town’s aging sewer system. Prior to the town board meeting a public hearing was held to review the eight bids received on this project. RMS Utilities, Inc. from Alamosa not only had the lowest bid, but had been thoroughly checked out by the town’s engineer, Ken White. No public comment was received. White, who works for GMS Consulting Engineers in Colorado Springs, said he had never before worked with RMS so he called several other towns to check on RMS. All of the reviews were positive. When the board reconvened in their regular session, upon White’s advice, they awarded the contract to RMS. Of the other firms submitting bids the highest was $1,469,653 from Pate Construction. GMS’ estimates put the project at $744,242.50. White noted that GMS will have inspectors on site throughout the project so that if an issue comes up a GMS staffer can say, “Hold up, we’ve got to talk about this.” Mayor Doug

Brgoch explained the low bid brings other advantages, “We have 12 additional alternatives of work costing $155K that need to be done and we have funds budgeted for some of that work.” Conceivably, some of that additional work could be added to the RMS contract to complete while they are on site. Brgoch added, “In reality, we have more than $5 million needed for sewer repairs.” Previously the town spent $207K (in part) to video tape the entire sewer systems and to clean it out. That effort revealed how severe the situation was, which then lead to the current Wastewater Sewage Collection Improvements project. Work is projected to begin in April, with the primary staging area being just north of the town’s recycle center. In other business, the board approved the use of the town park for the annual Art in the Park event slated for July 4th and 5th. It was revealed on a site map that an additional five spaces will be set up for a Farmer’s Market to sell local produce and products. Trustee Shane Clouse reported the Historic Preservation Committee had received an excellent and professional proposal from local architect Clyde Schroeder pertaining to structural designs within the historic district. However the proposal went beyond design the guidelines requested by the district and was well over the proposed dollar figure. HPC board members will meet Schroeder about paring down the proposal. The HPC policy is that they follow state standards when it comes to renovations and building within the town’s historic district. The tree board report stressed that in spite the recent large snowfall amounts, residents need to water their town trees during extended periods of drought. Trees need water at least once every two weeks during winter drought periods. There is a need to trim trees in a few locations around town to improve visibility at intersections and to make sidewalks more passible. Asbestos removal work on the Marshal’s office has been delayed due to recent snowfall, but is expected to begin next week with the prediction of warmer drier weather.