by Bill Knowles
TRINIDAD — During their regular meeting on Nov. 7, the Las Animas County Commissioners voted 3-0 to table four items on the agenda with the more important one being the issue of Fort Wooton memorial for veterans built by the WPA in 1937.
Dave Walker from the Las Animas County Veterans Council spoke with the county commissioners about quitclaim deeding the building to the veterans council, saying that Fort Wooton again could be a center for all veterans’ activities in the county.
“The economic impact will be significant and it will be great for the county and the city,” Walker said. “Our veterans need to have Fort Wooton as a center of activity and support, a gathering spot for social activities, health services, and other veteran’s services.”
The veterans council also asked for a quitclaim deed so they might be able to begin their search for grant funding to help pay for the necessary work the memorial needs such as new electric service, water and sewer.
The department of human services currently occupies the building and is awaiting final inspections of the old county jail, which has been remodeled for use by the DHS. The veterans council hopes to move into Fort Wooton after DHS moves into their offices.
A memorandum of understanding has existed between the county commission and the veterans council since last year.
The commission voted 3-0 to table the discussion until their next meeting in two weeks in order to look over the MOU and consult with the county attorney.
The commission also voted 3-0 to table a consideration of Jet “A” filtration and piping upgrade for the airport. The current system has been rigged to extend the length of the nozzle by cobbling it together with a series of nuts and washers, making the assembly dangerous and a fire hazard. The problem was noted during an FAA audit of the airport’s fuel system.
The cost of the upgrades to bring the airport into compliance is $13,542. The FAA recommendation is for the suspension of fuel sales until the issue is resolved. The document being considered was a proposal arising from an internal bid. The commission wants to see the bids coming in from the outside. Fuel sales at the airport is a revenue generator for the county.
The county also heard from the Pecos River Ranch and Resort and Patricia Jung, who are residents and ranchers living on County Road 85.5. They are petitioning the county to vacate about 8 miles of County Road 85.5. Both petitioners are voicing safety as the reason for the request. The road is in rough condition and the residents take care of it, plowing it when it snows. The commissioners voted 3-0 to table action on the applications until they have had time to see the road.
Due to the length of the meeting, the commission voted 3-0 to recess from noon until 1:05 pm before going into executive session.