Walsenburg joins HCED housing project

Passes emergency declaration resolution on COVID-19 Pandemic

 

by E.E.Mullens

WALSENBURG — After a split vote on one issue and two motions dying for a lack of a second, followed by a motion passed unanimously on another portion of the same issue, the Walsenburg City Council Tuesday night voted to participate in a local housing project.

In a 5-2 vote, council passed a Letter of Understanding, a precursor to the more formal Memorandum of Understanding, with Huerfano County Economic Development Inc., promising to contribute $5,000 towards development of affordable housing construction in the Huajatolla Hills neighborhood. The LOU is somewhat of a placeholder until an MOU encompassing all three local government entities, Huerfano County, Town of La Veta, and City of Walsenburg, has been completed.

The city council will designate one of its members to represent municipal interests on the non-profit HCED board of directors. Council member James Hudgens volunteered to take the position, but no action was taken on his offer.

Councilmen Nick Vigil and Charles Montoya voted against the city making any financial obligation to the project. Mayor Brian Lalander and council members Don Martinez, James Hudgens, Clint Boehler and Mayor Pro Tem Greg Daniels voted in favor.

The city council also voted unanimously to waive building permit fees for the new homes to be built in Huajatolla Hills. Council took no action on HCED’s infill housing project that will take place in mainly the northwest section of Walsenburg, where Huerfano County has donated a number of lots the county owns to the effort to alleviate the local housing shortage.

 

Emergency Declaration:

Council voted unanimously to approve Resolution 2020-R-6,which declares an emergency regarding the city’s response to COVID-19. Citing the fact the virus can result in respiratory illness that is spread person to person, noting both the federal and state responses to the issue and saying, in part, “…although to local knowledge COVID-19 has not reached Huerfano County at this time, it is expected we will see cases in the near future that may result in the city of Walsenburg incurring costs regarding public notice, advisement, and possible response.” The resolution says the city’s response may include, along with other activities, participation in standing up (sic) and operating an emergency operations center. The resolution will remain in effect until a future resolution is passed cancelling it.

 

Social distancing Walsenburg City Council style. Council members, staff and citizens practiced social distancing during Tuesday night’s regular session. In an effort to keep the COVID-19 illness from spreading, Mayor Brian Lalander said a city-sponsored public meeting regarding the city’s flood mitigation efforts set for March 31 at the Fox Theatre has been canceled.
Photo by E.E.Mullens

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