Walsenburg gets tough with La Veta

by Clint Boehler

WALSENBURG- The Walsenburg City Council on Tuesday approved a letter to be sent to the town of La Veta, via La Veta Mayor Mickey Schmidt, informing them that Walsenburg is giving La Veta 60 days to essentially come up with some money for their share of running the local 911 system.  If at that time La Veta has not come up with some portion of the funding for the service, Walsenburg will dissolve the InterGovernmental Agreement between the two towns to provide emergency dispatch service.

    The Council voted to send the letter now despite the potential that the county will try and pass a one and half cent tax to cover the dispatch system for the whole county (see related story.)  “I think we need to keep the pressure on them,” said Councilman James England, as he urged the council to vote for sending the letter.  It passed unanimously. 

    Council member Edi Flanagin reported on cemetery water usage. Currently the three Walsenburg cemeteries are provided with an estimated 300,000 to 600,000 gallons of water at no charge during peak summer periods, at a cost to the city of up to $5,000 per month.  This agreement has been in place for many years, but with the rising costs of water production and treatment, it may have to be revised.   Hank Corsentino, representing the cemetery association,  pointed out that Trinidad cemeteries pay a prescribed annual fee, and the Walsenburg association would be open to such an arrangement.  Council  elected to keep things as is for now, and tabled further discussion until October. 

    Council approved the adoption of Ordinance #974 which provides authority to extend city water and sewer services outside of the city limits.

    A proposal by Wachob and Wachob to survey City and Horseshoe lakes was accepted.  To date, the city has not been able to determine volume by depth and considers the survey data essential to meeting legal requirements.  The survey cost will be $8,900.

    Margaret Bobian, Director of the Las Animas Rehabilitation Center and Sheltered Work Shop Daycare Center, addressed the council, asking for financial assistance.  After discussion, Councilman Larry Patrick moved to decline the request,  and the vote to decline was passed with one abstention.  The council felt there were conflicts with the day care center being an IRS 501C non profit organization and with other issues pertaining to assisting one day care center, but not another.  The council expressed its deep appreciation for the need of the day care center and told Bobian the council would seek other ways to assist.

    Under new business, Wilma Martinez, representing the Plaza de los Leones festival, asked for a special events liquor license.  The council asked for maps and diagrams of the premises before approval.  They also asked Martinez for more data before approving city sponsorship of the CIRSA insurance for the event.  Planned dates for the event are September 12, 13 and 14 so Martinez will have ample time to provide the council with all data required for approval.

    Huerfano/Las Animas Housing Resources received a letter of support from Council to help the group obtain critical grant funding. 

    The council approved a 7 day fireworks/peddler license for Judy Reiners, and renewed the Silver Dollar Inn’s liquor license.

    Council approved a resolution providing for a one time, six month window from July 1 2008 through December 31, 2008,  to allow abandoned water taps to be reinstated for lesser fee.  It is hoped this action will give incentives to re-establish water taps, which in turn, should spur economic development.  An abandoned tap is one that has shown no use for a period of three years.