Friday, March 12, 2010

February Minutes 2010

February 11, 2010 The regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Town of La Jara was called to order by Mayor Austin Valdez at 7:03 pm. The roll was called. Present: Earl Haslett, Paula Medina, Patrick Montoya, Tiffanie Polkowske, Larry Zaragoza and Mayor Austin Valdez. Absent: Henry Schimpf. Also present: Chief of Police Dan Martinez-Arrived at 7:30pm, Maintenance Supervisor Keith Martinez, Town Clerk Priscilla Schimpf, Town Attorney Ray Valdez and Town Manager Bill Yohey. Guests: Josh McGibbon, Tawney Becker, Rodney King, Lisa Werts and Larry Sisneros. Those present recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Guests: Josh McGibbon – Senior Project Manager for JVA. He explained what the firm is and does. They focus on helping small communities come up with money for water and sewer infrastructure. He presented what he would be doing to help our town. He also presented what funding is out there that we would be able to get to repair our water system. His goals are to set priorities, get cost estimates and help get funding to improve our water system. JVA has been in business for 54 years. Keith mentioned that we could use this grant to put in all the electrical at the pump houses. We could also include the generator in this grant. All this will help with the Town’s water pressure. This grant will help save the Town a lot of money. Ray reviewed Josh’s contract very carefully and found nothing wrong with it, he recommends it. A motion to hire Josh McGibbon who is employed by JVA to do the Planning Engineering report for the water system was made by Tiffanie and a second by Paula. Motion Carried. Mr. McGibbon left at 7:23 pm.

Tawney Becker – Historical Society Fund. She introduced herself and stated she has been working with the Historical Society Fund with the previous grants. She explained the extent of the 2nd Phase of the Historical Society Fund. She passed around her resume for the Board to review. She proposed to the Board to hire her to write the new grant for the preservation of the exterior portion of the Town Hall. The planning grant is already complete for this new grant. The last grant for the Town Hall roof replacement came in at $10,000 less than original grant amount. Austin complimented her on the roof replacement grant, the roof looks great. A motion to hire Tawney Becker to write the new Historical Society Grant was made by Paula and a second by Larry. Motion Carried. Ms. Becker left at 7:40 pm.

Rodney King – Emergency Disaster Plan/Resolution. He is the Manager to the Conejos County Litigation Plan (Emergency Disaster Plan). He explained what the plan could do for us – will help with funding as far as making us eligible for grants. It would consist of adopting a resolution stating to combine with the counties plan. Adopting the resolution will not make the county overrule the Town’s doings. They will come in to help if the Town would want help but they will not take over the situation. A motion to adopt the resolution to enter into the Emergency Disaster Plan with the county was made by Patrick and a second by Tiffanie. Motion Carried. Mr. King left at 8:10 pm.

Lisa Werts – American Red Cross. She was here to inform on the status of the Haiti Disaster. She explained how they help out with disasters. She stated that the best help that people can give Haiti at this point is money. She mentioned that Red Cross had already been in Haiti for two years, they were there trying to help the Haitian Red Cross. Ms. Werts left at 8:17 pm.


Town Manager: Bill mentioned that he had talked to Rick Ivers about mounting the Emergency Fire Siren on the top of the Elementary School. They are putting a new roof so that would not be able to do be done. Rick suggested to Bill to contact the Blanca Telephone Company to see if it can be mounted to their tower. Bill called the telephone company - was unsuccessful but will try again. There was an issue with the cutting of trees. The maintenance department had some trees cut down that were diseased and needed attention – there were some unhappy residents. In the future a courtesy letter will be sent out to the resident where the tree is located. Bill informed the Board that Paul took a CIRSA Engineer around Wednesday, February 10th who was doing an appraisal audit. Everything went well and Paul did a good job. CIRSA did this because a lot of Towns are not reporting all their building and such. The Hensley property – the county built a burm on the west side to help with the flooding issue. Hopefully her property will no longer flood. Bill explained what COG (Council of Government) is. It is a combination of Towns that get together to help on certain projects. Ronny Wisdom was supposed to be at this Board Meeting to explain more on it, she was unable to attend. Bill is to setup a meeting with her and Austin next week. It was discussed for Cort Nickel to no longer work for the Town after the Lagoon Treatment Engineering Study is complete. Priscilla will give Ray a copy of contract for him to review to see if anything can de done with Cort in the meantime. The report was accepted upon a motion by Larry and a second by Earl. Motion Carried.

Building Inspector: The Board reviewed his report. It was stated that he did talk to 1st Stop and Tim will need to pay the extra money. Patrick was concerned about the inspection part of the building permit process. He does not feel that Joe is doing the job. It was discussed to have a talk to with Joe and explain what is expected of him and go from there. The report was accepted upon a motion by Tiffanie and a second by Earl. Motion Carried.

Court: The Board reviewed the Municipal Judge report. Ray has not had time to meet with Raymond Miller but he will set it up. A few recommendations for replacement were made. The court time change was brought up and Ray Miller did not follow the correct procedure to get it done. He changed it on his own instead of coming to the Board for approval. The report was accepted as presented upon a motion by Patrick and a second by Paula. Motion Carried.

Police: Dan informed the Board that they have been busy with an overdose – lots of hassles from the family; they are blaming the police department. He stated that the snow plowing with ATV’s was breaking the state law. Ray mentioned to Dan that we have an ordinance that states we can operate ATV’s for snow plowing purposes only. Dan suggested placing a law that requires them to wear reflective clothing, etc. CIRSA recommendations to the police department are as follows: Adopting a Born Policy and use spit masks for infectious disease prevention – the spit masks run around $240 for a box, Adopting a Body Armor Policy and going to take a Supervisors course which will be 50% bonus points on the audit. The police report was accepted upon a motion by Patrick and a second by Tiffanie. Motion Carried.

Maintenance: Keith informed the Board that meters were unable to be read for the month of January due to snow and ice and customers were billed the minimum fee. He said it doesn’t look good for February either. Priscilla will put a message in the February W/S billings mentioning the minimum fee charge and for what months. She will also explain that when they are able to read meters the usage will be caught up. Keith mentioned that the few snow storms kept them busy and the red tractor was acting up, Schall picked up and was barely fixing it today, Thursday, February 11th. Earl suggested for Keith to get an estimate. Keith will be gone all next week – February 15th – 19th for the Annual Colorado Rural Water Conference. Gary Halbersleben from Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment called and stated that an I&I (Infiltration & In-Flow) Study needs to be done. It should have been done five years ago. The maintenance report was accepted upon a motion by Paula and a second by Patrick. Motion Carried.


Paula – Asked about the flagpole. Keith stated that we did receive but have not put up yet. Patrick – Had nothing to report.

Tiffanie – 2nd Phase of GOCO Grant scored 88 points and the score is based on a master plan or mission statement. She spoke with Janice and Priscilla in regards to a master plan or mission statement and they both stated the Town does not have one. She was asking the rest of the Board if one can be implemented. It will bring up the score and help out with other grants the town will apply for. She brought up the position of the Town Manager. It was discussed. Larry Sisneros gave the Board his opinion and agreed with Dan that you can’t fire an employee from hear say has to be done by procedure. (Clarification: Town Manager position would not be firing of an employee it would be ending of a contract).

The Board moved the March Regular Meeting up to March 9th at 7:00 pm so that all Trustees can be present to vote on the Town Manager position.

Earl – Asked Bill if he has cleaned up his office yet. Bill said relatively yes.

Larry – Had nothing to report.

Austin – Had nothing to report.

Attorney: He reviewed the IGA from GOCO and it asks for Garth Crowther’s signature and Austin’s signature as Mayor. It will all stay the same just the letter needs to be signed. Ray has no objection to Austin signing off on it.

Clerk: Priscilla reviewed her report with the Board. She asked if she could close out the Town Manager bank account. The balance is only $55.55 and they are charging a monthly $6 service charge due to the low balance. Ray asked about finding out the term limits for elections. We have not yet found that out. A motion to close out the Town Manager bank account with a $55.55 balance was made by Paula and seconded by Patrick. Motion Carried. The report was accepted as presented upon a motion by Paula and a second by Tiffanie. Motion Carried.

Approval of Minutes:

Regular Meeting January 14, 2010 – Motion by Paula, 2nd by Patrick. Motion Carried.

Follow-Up of Minutes: None.

Approval of Bills:The bills were approved for payment upon a motion by Earl and a second by Paula. Motion Carried.

Other Business: Donation for 2nd Phase La Jara School Playground – Priscilla passed around the request from Jill Lucero. Priscilla called Cas (Martinez & Associates) to see if we can possibly get out of W/S for a donation, still waiting on her response.

Applications for Police Officer Position – Dan has 4 applications. Dan wants to setup a date for interviewing. It was setup for Friday, February 26, 2010 at 6:00 pm. The Board decided to mention in the interviews that the starting salary will be within a range.

Credit Cards – Bill explained why getting a credit card is important for the Town, for when making Hotel Reservations for trainings and other expenses that arise that require a credit card. A motion to get a credit card for Town expenses was made by Paula and seconded by Tiffanie. Motion Carried.

Discuss Increasing Water Rates – Priscilla proposed raising the water basic minimum fee by $1.00. She explained the total amounts. A motion to raise minimum rate by $1.00 to be effective March 2010 was made by Paula and seconded by Patrick. A roll call vote was taken: Earl-yes, Paula-yes, Patrick-yes, Tiffanie-yes, Larry-yes and Austin-yes. Motion Carried. The issue of decreasing water bill for leaving water faucets dripping for winter months was discussed. Keith will inform clerk of meters freezing and we will see about decreasing their bill.

Employee/Board Retreat – Date was setup for Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm at the Senior Center. It will be a potluck. We will send out reminders to everyone.

There being no further business a motion to adjourn was made by Paula. Meeting adjourned at 11:02 pm.