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La Veta says, power to the people!

by Bob Kennemer

WALSENBURG — Well, at least, power to the La Veta Fire Protection District. With no old business on the agenda, the La Veta Town Board tackled a lengthy list of new business. Apparently, it had never been finalized how and where electric power would be brought to the new LVFPD fire department complex. Enter Darryl Stewart, Chief Operating Officer with San Isabel Electric Association along with members of the LVFPD.

Stewart proposed to bring power in overhead from Main Street, east down Moore Street to the fire station, but Mayor Brgoch stated, “That would mean three sets of power lines along Moore.” Noting he felt that would diminish the property value of a key Main Street lotm Brgoch suggested the power be placed underground beginning at the town shops on Main Street, then head east on the south side of Moore Street, where it would enter the fire department on the north wall of the primary building.

The board then was provided with a presentation by Jay Davis and Clyde Schroeder, representing the La Veta Village Assisted Living Project at the old cheese factory located just east of Main Street on Francisco Street. The building had been relatively unused for many years said Davis. It needed a patron. Jeanne Schwarz became that patron, when she purchased the building and donated it to the non-profit that would be the assisted living project.

Local architect and artist Clyde Schroeder presented three conceptual drawings of what the facility would look like, adding, “The building is in good shape. It has an ‘L’ shape and will consist of 16 units. Schroeder explained all of the units are far larger than the required square footage for assisted living dwellings. An additional unit is reserved for onsite staff.

Schroeder said the facility will also include a reception area, a game room, a cafeteria, arts/craft room, game room, and an outside deck/patio. The basement will be used for storage. The parking area will be redone. More trees will be planted. Still to be done: acquire additional water taps, apply for a community redevelopment permit, and review sidewalks for easier access to downtown.

Meghann Marken with Black and Veatch, a subcontractor for AT&T, approached the board requesting permission to add three new cell antennas, and to relocate three antennas, on the cell towers located by the water tanks at the town lakes. Mayor Brgoch voiced concerns with how previous AT&T subcontractors had shirked their duties causing the board to be reluctant in trusting them to follow through with their actions. The board moved to wait two weeks allowing time to compare the previous contract with the new one before moving forward.

In other business the board:

• Set a public hearing for May 17, at 6:45 pm to review a request for a replatting of a property on Second Street owned by Khalid and Sheryl Seraj.

• Granted a special events permit to the Inner Idea Artists Gallery, now located in Francisco Crossing at 300 S. Main St., allowing them to serve wine at art openings in 2016.

• Passed Resolution #7-16 to move the Town Board meetings to the newly refurbished and former Marshal’s office located at 2014 S. Main Street effective May 3, 2016.

• Passed Resolution #9-16 allowing Trustee Dave Molyneux to be authorized to sign checks for the town.

• Approved the hiring of engineer Amanda Antencio on a contract to conduct a street drainage study and implementation plan.

• Heard a report from Marilyn Russell that she and Trustee Al Coffey had met with the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad tourist train General Manager Matthew Abbey, who informed them that the train would be returning to La Veta this summer on Tuesdays and Fridays. However, the passengers only have a 45 minute layover in town. Efforts are being made with local merchants as to how to advise and assist these visitors with how to spend their time. On Saturdays and Sundays, trains will leave from Alamosa with stops in Ft. Garland for concerts at Fir.

• Russell went on to report that on behalf of the town, she is applying for a Creative District Designation for La Veta. The board passed Resolution #10-16 in support of this effort. If approved, the designation could help local entities such as museums and other businesses/institutions obtain grants and funds.

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