La Veta dispatch issues

by Carol Dunn

LA VETA- The Town of La Veta has received a letter from the Mayor of Walsenburg asking the Town for money by October or risk having dispatch services discontinued.  Advance news of the letter has had residents worried that ambulance and fire services might be curtailed.  At Tuesday’s Town Board meeting, Mayor Mickey Schmidt explained that the issues only involve dispatch calls to and from the La Veta Town Marshal’s office.  This was confirmed by Mark Brunner, Chairman of the La Veta Fire Protection District, who explained that La Veta’s ambulance and EMT services are covered under a separate agreement, not under debate.  “There will continue to be ambulance service in La Veta and the Cuchara valley,” Schmidt assured.  Reportedly, over 700 dispatch calls were logged in 2006 for La Veta, about seven percent of all the dispatch calls going through the Walsenburg center.  Mayor Schmidt has regularly met with Huerfano County’s elected officials and said the group has had an ongoing discussion about dispatch services and how each participating municipality might share the costs.  “La Veta has never had an agreement with the City of Walsenburg regarding dispatch services,” he said, dispelling the allusion that the Town had somehow defaulted on an agreement.  Despite several issues with the quality of dispatch services, the Board voted to contribute $5,000 to dispatch operations through the end of 2008.

    In a letter, Roger Mullarkey asked the Board to sell him 22,000 gallons of water to fill a new private swimming pool at 1759 County Road 450.  Mullarkey contended that he will bring numerous tourists to the La Veta area and will make a “positive and lasting impact with the use of the water.”  Several trustees expressed their concern about similar requests in the future.  At this time there is nothing on the books about selling water outside Town limits.  Trustee Dawn Blanken said, “Maybe it’s time to revisit this territorial issue and get something on the books.”  With one dissenting vote, the Board agreed to provide the water one time only for $400.

    Dan Wachob was back with a revised preliminary plan application from Grandote Golf & Country Club.  Wachob said this plan will make the project water neutral.  The Board voted to give the plan conditional approval with additional time required for review, including settlement of the lawsuit Grandote has filed against the Town. 

    The Board approved street closures and a special event liquor license for Oktoberfest on October 4, 2008.