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Ryus Avenue Bridge project gets CDOT go ahead

La Veta Town Board shares proposed 2018 budget

by Bob Kennemer

LA VETA — At the town board meeting on November 21, La Veta Mayor Doug Brgoch read a letter of concurrence from the Colorado Department of Transportation, which arrived earlier that day. The letter noted CDOT had reviewed and approved the Ryus Avenue Bridge project. Brgoch announced, “Time is of the essence. All is in place to award a construction contract.”

With that, the board awarded the construction contract, in the amount of $875,100.30, to CLM of Swink, Colorado. The board also selected GMS as their construction engineering firm for the project. GMS will conduct materials testing and engineering tasks. The firm will be paid $83,000 for these services. GMS has served the town’s engineering firm for more than two decades and has been used on a variety of town projects.

The bridge project is set to be completed by April 15, with final reviews done by May 15, 2018. “The die is cast,” quipped Brgoch.

Prior to the regular board meeting, the town board held three public hearings. The first hearing was for the town’s 2018 budget, which Brgoch noted had been modified over the past few weeks. Brgoch provided an overview of the major budget items. The proposed general fund budget for 2018 is $1,922,420. The museum fund is $317,356. The water fund is $1,124,132 while the sewer fund is $1,030,478.

No comments on the budget were received in writing or in person. Comments will be accepted until December 5, and the budget will be adopted that night at the board meeting.

A second public hearing was held pertaining to the La Veta Village project, which was requesting a special use permit to operate a residential care facility in a residential zone. The facility will also need zero setbacks from their property lines and had asked for a setback variance. The current structures on site have no setbacks. With no comments being received, the board, in regular session, granted an SUP for 10 years for the residential facility and also granted the zero setback request.

The final public hearing was for Circle the Wagons RV Park. Current owners Jay and Denny Patterson are in the process of selling the facility, which is scheduled to close on December 7. In that process it was discovered the business had been operating without a SUP for several years. The primary concerns were related to the fact the facility is located in the floodplain. The Patterson’s submitted the needed paperwork and in regular session the LVTB passed the SUP. The new owners plan to add “Park Models,” which fall into the “Tiny Homes” category.

Under new business, the board learned the Park and Tree Board wanted to apply for a Colorado Tree Coalition grant in the amount of $2,000. The board agreed to support the application. The funds can be used for tree-related projects such as management/ maintenance grants, media grants and tree planting grants.

Board member Mickey Schmidt read a letter from the Huerfano County Hazard Mitigation Team asking if La Veta wanted to support their hazard mitigation plan. Schmidt noted La Veta had not been notified about the meetings related this plan, however he added, “I see no reason to not support and participate.”

The plan gives entities an advantage when applying for Federal Emergency Management Administration mitigation grants.

Schmidt suggested that such grants could be used to clean out deadfall wood along the Cuchara River through town, or funds could be used to dovetail with a drainage study for the town. “This is a no lose thing for us,” added Schmidt.

The board approved support and will send a letter stating so, while also asking for better notification of such proceedings.

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