by Bill Knowles
TRINIDAD — During the first Trinidad City Council meeting of 2018, the council saw two council members step down at the end of their terms and two new members step up after being sworn in by Judge Bruce Billings. Karen Griego and Rusty Goodall were elected to replace Pat Fletcher and Liz Torres, who both decided to not to run for reelection at the end of their terms.
Michelle Miles, who was absent from the meeting, was elected by the city council as the new Mayor Pro Tem, and Pam Nelson was sworn as the municipal judge .
The old council held a short meeting of about ten minutes prior to the swearing in of the two new members. During that meeting, the council approved the regular meeting minutes for Dec. 19, 2017, approved the bills for the end of December, and voted 6-0 to amend the Colorado Interstate gas agreement.
The amendment would allow the abandonment of one pipeline and authorize its replacement with another segment downstream from Trinidad. The move wouldn’t effect the delivery of natural gas to Trinidad.
The second meeting was called to order before the swearing in of the two new council members and was followed by a discussion looking at the 5% marijuana sales tax proposed allocations.
Trinidad City Manager Greg Sund wanted the council to begin looking at how they wanted to disperse the sales tax funds and suggested they take a couple of more meetings to decide the issue. Some of the proposals on how to spend the funds listed by Sund included repairing structural damage in the old Water Works building on Cedar Street, and authorization to grant the DA’s office $50,000. Even though voters approved a half cent sales tax for the DA, it will be about three months before his office will begin to receive the revenue from the state.
Other projects listed are: the lease/purchase of a new fire truck, help in funding and endowment for the Southern Colorado Repertory Theater (SCRT), the purchase of new golf carts for the Trinidad Golf Course, and doing work on the Monument Lake Bath House.
Sund suggested the council view the cost of repairing the bath house as an investment.
In 2017, the city received around $2.04 million in marijuana sales tax revenue and dispersed it to several nonprofits through out the city. The estimated revenues for 2018 will total around $2.7 million.
After last year’s disbursement, Sund created a sub fund in the general fund so it would be easier to track the sales tax revenue in the future, allowing for more transparency.
Council member Anthony Mattie was appointed to the Board of the South Central Council of Governments (COG). Several other appointments were made. Michelle Goodall was appointed to the Arts and Culture Advisory Commission, and Pat Fletcher was appointed to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and to the Library Advisory Board. Alice Fitzgerald was also on the list for appointment to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, but was absent from the meeting. Her appointment will be finalized at the next city council meeting. Jean DiLisio was appointed to the Historic Preservation Commission.
The city council went into executive session at 7:10 pm.