Marijuana ordinances were passed during the February City Council meeting, held at City Hall.

Councilman David Armstrong proposed a limit of three marijuana retail stores, three medical stores and three cultivation/manufacturing facilities; whereas councilman Frank Schmeiser proposed unlimited facilities in the city.

The vote was split between the council with Armstrong, Troy Abdulla and Eloy Salazar voting for a limit of only three outlets of each type and Schmeiser, Robert Smith and Janice Cline voting for unlimited marijuana outlets.

Mayor Jim Collins then broke the tie, voting for unlimited facilities. City Clerk Charmaine Tripp announced Marijuana ordinances are effective March 1 and letters of intent will be accepted beginning then.

Las Animas voters, on Nov. 6, approved medical marijuana centers, cultivation operations and medical marijuana-infused product manufacturing within city limits. Voters also approved recreational marijuana facilities, including sales, cultivation, manufacturing and testing facilities in town, subject to additional regulations as may be adopted by city council.

In other City Council business, Bent County Development Direcotr Sammie George requested a letter of support from City Council for the 18-hole disc golf to be installed at the Las Animas Golf Course. She stated the disc golf course should increase the use of the local golf facility.

Tripp announced that glass partitions and new counters have been installed in the utility payment office providing security for the staff and preventing cold drafts in the office. Additional security features have been installed including alarms, cameras, sensors and more.

According to Tripp, a recent break-in at City Hall cost the city approximately $10,000.

Rod Clodfelter, superintendent of light and power reported on Jan. 1 that the Fort Lyon substation transformer tripped offline at approximately 9:25 pm. His crew was able to get power restored in one hour and 58 minutes. A pole was replaced at the 1100 block of Highway 101 after being hit on Jan. 21. The repair cost was approximately $2,000.

The systems wide load of KWHs was 8.8-percent lower in January 2019 than January 2018.

Director of Public Works Ken Wagner announced security systems have been installed at the water plant, the shops and the swimming pool buildings. He requested permission to purchase a half-ton pickup truck costing $32,000. It is in the 20019 budget.

Black Hills energy will be replacing all gas lines and services in Las Animas during the next two years, Wagner said.

City crews replaced approximately 780 feet of six-inch clay sewer main with eight-inch PVC between Ash and Grove avenues and Ninth and 10th streets. Twenty-two taps were also replaced in this area. In addition, 350 feet of eight-inch PVC were installed in place of six-inch sewer main between Elm and Locust avenues and 10th and 11th streets along with five new taps, Wagner reported.

Approximately 1,500 tons of sand was hauled by city crews and 140 tons of base material was put out in alleyways in January, stated Wagner. In addition, Wagner announced city crews would replace fencing between the golf course and the lagoon area in February.

Code Enforcement officer Greg Champney submitted his report for January. Fifteen door knockers were given in various locations around town, nine abatement letters were issued and two demolitions by owners are in progress.

A liquor license renewal application for J R Liquor Inc. was approved.

Loaf 'N Jug No. 59 requested modification of the store premises for it’s liquor license.

Joyce Brooks was reappointed to the Las Animas/Bent County Library Board for a five-year term.

Mayor Collins announced the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the conveyance of certain real property owned by the city of Las Animas and not held for a governmental purpose. The City Council desires to assign, transfer and convey to William and Shelley Allen , Lots five and six in Block 45 in Las Animas.

The next City Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m.  March 12 at City Hall.