La Veta holds mill levy at same level

 LA VETA— At its December 3 meeting, the La Veta Town Board passed a resolution maintaining the property tax at its current level of 4.99 mills. Trustee Shane Clouse asked town clerk Laurie Erwin the last time the mill levy changed, but she couldn’t recall. Clouse said, “It’s been 4.99 mills long enough to not remember.” The town’s assessed property value is $9,334,702. The board has begun to consider a possible ballot question that would put a one-half percent sales tax increase into effect in 2015 to finance the Francisco Fort Museum. Mayor Jerry Fitzgerald said, “This is trying to smooth the way” to getting the question on the ballot next spring. Two versions of the question were presented to the board, one for a permanent increase and one that would allow it to expire in 2020. Not all the trustees are in favor of the increase but seemed to be willing to discuss it at this and future meetings. The proposed increase in revenues would be for the operation, maintenance, construction, repair, restoration, salaries and other costs of the museum. Trustee Dale Davis said he had an issue with the proposal because part of the museum’s collection belongs to Walsenburg and should be financed by that entity. The board agreed to set cap of $50,000 on the revenues that would go to the museum if the tax increase should pass. If more than that would be collected, the balance would go to street and alley improvements. During Town Talk, local business owner Sandy Dolak presented a request from downtown business owners to have the town remove the snow piles that accumulate after CDOT plows Main Street. The letter Dolak handed out said, “The berms of snow that are created prohibit any normal flow of customers and clients to retail or service establishments.” Dolak said she counted storefronts and establishments up and down Main Street. “There are 34 businesses that are affected. I was astounded,” she said. Dolak said she contacted CDOT about the situation and was told, “It’s not our problem.” Trustee Dave Molyneaux reported that the brush piles at town lakes have been locked off and access keys have been changed. “We’ve got a bunch of trash up there,” he said. “We’re working on a way to control what kind of stuff gets put up there.” Molyneaux said the piles are intended to be a place town residents can deposit tree trimmings and other burnable debris. However, in his words, “All kinds of gobbledy-gook” has ended up there, including things like baby strollers and styrofoam coolers.