La Veta Town board approves two liquor licenses

One establishment’s bar is has been closed for almost a year, the other has yet to open

by Bob Kennemer
LA VETA — As the local liquor licensing authority, the La Veta Town Board has the right to grant or deny any liquor license.  At their meeting on February 6, the board renewed one and granted a new one.
The La Veta Inn has a restaurant and bar called Agatha’s, which has been closed since last April, but the owners still have the right to renew the license, as that is easier and cheaper than letting one expire and reapplying for a new one.  Trustee Mickey Schmidt cast the lone vote against the renewal saying it isn’t fair to other businesses that might be considering applying for one, as they can’t really get an accurate feel of the local market with one license being tied up. “I’ve always said that this town can only support so may liquor stores and bars.  A liquor license is a privilege, not a right,” stated Schmidt noting that a business should not get a license and just sit on it.
Emilé Dubia, the new owner of Francisco Crossing applied for a beer and wine license.  The business will now be called the La Veta Mercantile and will have a retail space in the front.  She will keep the performance hall in the back of the building.  Dubia plans to sell beer and wine in both the retail section and at performances.  “The retail section is my money maker.  I’ll need that to pay my mortgage.  The music has yet to make money,” said Dubia.  A public hearing on the license request is set for March 20, at 6:45 p.m. in the La Veta municipal building.
The board had a lengthy discussion with Kerrie Meyler, who is president and chair of Two Peaks Fitness, a local nonprofit that runs a gym.  Although the Two Peaks gym has a location on La Veta’s Main Street, they also hold classes free of charge to gym members at the town’s community center four days a week.  Meyler, joined by one of her yoga instructors, asked the board to use the center one more day a week to meet demand for a second chair yoga class.
Several board members expressed concern that Two Peaks was monopolizing the center as an offsite business location, preventing other entities from utilizing the facility.  Although Meyler noted Two Peaks was nonprofit, the board felt that was not the primary issue.  Rather, broader access was their concern.  The board invited Meyler to come to the board’s all committees meeting on February 6, to discuss the issue further.
Marilyn Russell, representing La Veta Trails, provided an update on the newly improved La Veta Nature Trail, located just east of La Veta school.  She reported that the trail is basically complete with only a couple more interpretive signs to be installed.  The trail has been widened and graveled, a new information kiosk was installed, new bridges, and updated interpretive signs have been installed.  The project took two and a half years to complete and involved 37 volunteers working 735 hours.
In other business the board:
•Passed Ordinance No. 303, which updates the town’s historical preservation code.
•Approved Tony Masinton and Jay Davis to remain on the historical preservation committee for another term.
•Approved the use of La Veta Town Park for the annual Art in the Park event on July 7 and 8.
•Agreed to participate in a Water System Improvement Pilot Program sponsored by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.  The program’s goal is to ensure the production of safe drinking water for La Veta and other communities involved in the effort.
•Passed Emergency Ordinance No. 304 to extend the current franchise with San Isabel Electric Association, which expired on February 5.  The two entities need more time to negotiate.  They now have until August 31.
•After a brief executive session the board agreed to invite the town’s water attorney to review an inter governmental agreement pertaining to the county wide water collaboration program.