Mike Weber, of the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District, spoke to the Las Animas City Council at their March meeting to request the city join Bent County as lead sponsors in support of the application for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment‘s Nonpoint Source Program Grant.

Weber addressed the Board of County Commissioners March 7 regarding the amount of selenium - a naturally occurring element present in sedimentary rocks, shales, coal and phosphate deposits and soils - that is being discharged into the Arkansas River, and the grant application.

City Council members voted to join Bent County in efforts to achieve compliance with the Clean Water Act over a four-year period.

In other business, City Clerk Charmaine Trippbreported that the Security Project is nearly complete. The security cameras and alarm systems are installed, she said, and the buzz-through hallway door will be installed soon by Morgan and Sons, as will the ADA component.

Tripp reported that the first round of meetings with prospective marijuana businesses and City Department Officials was held Friday at City Hall.

Six letters of intent were filed; however, one letter was withdrawn, said Tripp, who created - with council's approval and with the assistance of Deputy City Clerk Mary Tuttle - the City Business License and other documents to accompany the application. Public Works Administrative Assistant Cheryl Miller worked on the zoning forms and building applications for marijuana businesses. Tripp told council she anticipates receiving completed applications this week.

Once the marijuana business applications are received, a public hearing will be scheduled for citizen input. Doug Manley will act as hearing officer.

City Attorney Sam Vigil was responsible for creating the marijuana ordinance and resolutions.

 In other news: 

The City Clerk announced she had received the first fermented Malt Beverage license for Pester Marketing dba ALTA. Tripp is working on the Loaf and Jug application for the changeover to a FMB license. Additional processing fees were charged by the City and State as Loaf 'N Jug was late in turning in their license. Mike Torres’s of Tony’s Sports Bar requested modification of his premises for a Corn Hole Tournament to be held on Santa Fe Trail Day.
Tom and Brandi Gonzales, on behalf of property owners Gonzales and Siaz, were present and appealed Code Enforcement Officer's Greg Champney’s charge for cleaning up 24 lots at Lois and Poplar between 9th and 10th Streets to Cottonwood. As the property clean-up had not been completed by the city’s deadline and there was no contact with city officials by the owners, Champney had city crews do the cleanup and billed the owners approximately $450 for work done. After discussion by Council members to waive part of the fee, they voted to waive the full amount.
Public works Director Kenneth Wagner reported the purchase of a new F150 pickup in the amount of $34,843.00 from Netherton Motor Company. Wagner stated this is the first new pickup purchased by the Public Works Department in 22 years.
A water main break was repaired by city crews on Grand between U.S. 50 and Eighth street. A lead service line on Elm between First and Second streets was replaced.
Approximately 430 feet of 12-inch PVC storm drain pipe was installed on St. Vrain Avenue between Ninth and Tenth streets. City crews also installed two new drain inlet boxes, as this area was holding water during heavy rains. On Fourth Street between St. Vrain and Moore avenues, approximately 200 feet of 12-inch clay storm drain pipe was replaced with 12-inch PVC pipe because the existing pipe was cracked and clogged with roots.
Joe Gagliano was formally designated as City Engineer of record for the Building Department.
Snow removal was required by city crews twice in February, and the fence between the golf course and the lagoon was replaced. also in February.
Dustin Ramsey, municipal meter technician, presented the Light and Power report. He said 15 pole-mounted transformers were received on Feb. 21 from Solomon Transformers, for a total of $14,950.00. New radios have been installed in all L&P trucks for better communication between plant operator and staff. Formerly, all were using cell phones to communicate, which raised a safety risk with crew members in four different locations on the system trying to communicate with the plant operator on switching procedures.
Lynn Wright and Kevin Miller were sent to Colorado Springs to help set poles for the Lineman’s Rodeo, held Feb. 25-27. La Junta sent three linemen, and Lamar and Trinidad each sent two.
The system-wide load comparison for February 2018 and February 2019 was approximately 6.1 percent lower in 2019. For year-to-date load comparison, 2019 was 7.6 percent lower.
Champney, code enforcement officer, reported 12 door knockers given through March 6, which included theft of electric service, for which the Bent County Sheriff was called. Graffiti was removed from two dumpsters located south side and two dumpsters on the westcside.
The second reading and adoption of Ordinance No. 178, authorizing the transfer of certain real property owned by the City of Las Animas and not held for a governmental purpose.
The mayor proclaimed the creation of an age-friendly advisory council and the creation of a youth-friendly advisory council to the City of Las Animas.
Collins also submitted a letter written to the AARP of Colorado Associate State Director Roberto Rey in appreciation of the opportunity for the Leadership Team to join with AARP, the World Health Organization and the Lifelong Colorado Initiative. The creation of the new Community Action Center will create opportunities for civic and social engagement, access to life, work, play and planning for health care structures.
The parade route for Santa Fe Trail Day was approved.

The next Las Animas City Council meeting will be 7 p.m. April 9, and it is open to the public.