The Haxtun-Fleming Herald - What can we reason but from what we know? -Alexander Pope

By Candie Fix
Managing Editor 

Martinez takes oath; Council hears grant possibilities

 


A new council member, liquor licenses, grant possibilities for the new town shop and an increase in contribution to Phillips County Economic Development Corporation all topped action items at a Haxtun Town Council meeting last week. In the absence of Mayor Brandon Biesemeier, Mayor Pro Tem Lori Lundgren presided over the May 3 meeting at the Haxtun Community Center.

The regular May meeting opened with an oath of office administered to newly appointed Council Member Rob Martinez. Martinez takes the place of Craig McCarty, who resigned earlier this year due to relocation. Martinez was appointed to fill the open position until the next regular municipal election at which time if he wishes to continue to serve, would need to run for an open council seat.

Martinez, who moved to Haxtun in 2019, took his oath of office as his wife, Arlene, watched on from the audience. The two have been married for 40 years, have three children and six grandchildren. The couple moved here from Westminster and built a new home on Haxtun’s southwestern edge.

Following Martinez’s oath of office, councilmembers held a public hearing for a liquor license request for Old-Fashioned Saturday from the Haxtun Chamber of Commerce. The annual event, slated for July 17, will feature a beer garden and corn hole tournament at the fire hall in conjunction with the fireman’s annual hog roast. The Council heard no objection to the request, which was later approved.

Council members also voted to approve a liquor license renewal for the Dutch Oven Smokehouse and Steak Co. All voted in favor.

Greg Etl, with the Department of Local Affairs, spoke to the Council about possible grand funds to help construct a new town shop. The Town of Haxtun recently sold property and buildings to Haxtun Health and within two years, plan to donate the current town shop and property to the local hospital as part of the deal signed last month.

In the meantime, the Town of Haxtun is in design and pre-construction phases of building a new shop on Town owned property on the west end of Haxtun where the Quonset currently sits. The property is located at the end of Strohm Street.

Etl told the Council they could leverage the cost of the shell of a new shop and use it as a match in a 50/50 grant to help fund finishings on the inside of the building such as plumbing, framing, HVAC and other finishings. The grant is due in August with awards made in November. He said funds would be distributed to grant winners in January, 2022.

Before wrapping up action items, council members agreed to increase the annual Town of Haxtun contribution to the PCED by $1,500 per year to help the organization increase the executive director’s salary to better reflect that of others in the area. The Town of Haxtun annual contribution will, from now forward, be $7,000 per year.

During discussion items, the Council looked at various options for allowing chickens/fowl inside city limits. The topic has been before the Council several times over the past two decades and is being addressed again. Council members reviewed information from Colorado State University Extension regarding owning and caring for chickens and other fowl. Plans are to continue the discussion at future meetings.

The Council also reviewed various funding options for a proposed street project. Plans are to have the bond attorney make changes to possible ballot questions for an upcoming election.

In other business the Council:

• Voted to contribute $1,500 to make upgrades to the Ovid Community Center where meet and greet meals are made and prepared for distribution. Each week, the meet and greet service provides 360 meals, 81 of which are disturbed in Haxtun. The funds will come from COVID relief money;

• Superintendent Ron Carpenter said he is working to submit a grant to the Colorado Department of Transportation to potentially repave Colorado Avenue from in front of the fire hall building to the elementary school, including the elementary parking lot. The grant would also allow funding for new sidewalks and approaches;

• Carpenter said two of the Town’s wells are in need of repairs, one on Westridge as well as the main well on Colorado Avenue. Sargent Drilling is taking care of all necessary repairs;

• Carpenter also noted that crews have been in to repair the sand filter at the current swimming pool. Plans are to open the pool this season, permitting functionality of the boiler. That process will be tested once the pool is filled with water;

• Town Clerk Karie Wilson said a new payment drop box will be placed in front of Town Hall. The drop box will also serve as a location for ballot drop off during elections. In doing so, the Town of Haxtun will also be required to install security cameras.

 

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