Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – December 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

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Valley voters shouted “NO” to tax increases. Alamosa County’s proposed 1-cent sales tax died hard, as did a large levy increase in South Fork. Mineral County also denied a tax increase. Conejos County voters said ix-nay to attempts to get a prison in Antonito. Centennial School District voters in San Luis were the exception, approving a mill levy increase for a new school.

Water Well

It was a good water year for El Valle, with the Rio Grande running at 110 percent of normal, according to the state division of water resources. A healthy snowpack and a slow runoff contributed to the wet conditions, and the Rio Grande Compact obligations should be virtually painless.

More Pain for Pool

Splashland, the 55-year-old hot springs pool in Alamosa, has taken another hit. Already the victim of embezzlement and negligent maintenance, the organization had another thief on its board of directors. Anissa Henry, board president, confessed to taking $5,700 from the ailing facility. What’s worse, she had the board fire previous director David Vest, saying he took the funds. Henry is on probation for a previous felony.

CRT Grows

There’ll be more room for butts at the Creede Repertory Theatre. The organization is purchasing the Bob Ford mini-mall in Creede, and will replace its “black box” small theater upstairs from the main stage. The new space will have double the seating capacity, and will be available for year-round use.

In other good news for Creede, The Holy Moses is back in on the main drag. After the devastating fire last December, the gift shop operated this summer out of a log cabin in town. The rebuilt digs are done, however, and the owners say it has “really nice features — It’s very lovely.” Journeys coffeehouse will reopen as the Mermaid Café by the day after Thanksgiving, in time for the Creede Chocolate Festival.

Brief Briefs

The abandoned and burned Rialto Theater building has been purchased by the owners of the Pizza Den & Pasta restaurant. The new facility will be an expansion of their Alamosa business.

The Blanca-Fort Garland Community Center is sporting an edgy new entrance, and an award for its design.

Alamosa County Commissioner Darius Allen pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after an Aug. 15 confrontation with a citizen at a commission meeting.

Dr. Glenn Burnham is the winner of this year’s Billy Adams Award from Adams State College. Burnham is an education professor emeritus at ASC.

A group of Karen refugees from Burma may relocate to Center. The agriculture center is similar to their homeland.

The Alamosa County Commissioners rejected a plan to subdivide 35 acres on South River Road.

Fort Garland is now home to a U.S. Air Force T-33. The jet resides at the Veterans Memorial Park on the town’s east side.

Blanca’s Harvest Festival was a success, raising nearly all the matching funds needed for new curbs, sidewalks, and lighting along the town’s Main Street.

Adams State College’s football coach Wayne McGinn resigned.

The Saguache Fire Department got a new/used fire truck. A gift from the Littleton F.D., the 1985 model only cost the department $100.

Patricia Martinez, the director of the Alamosa Housing Authority, is facing charges of embezzlement. Irene Taylor, a bookkeeper at La Jara Pharmacy, was also arrested for theft from her employer.

The town of Center isn’t getting its allowance until its homework is done. The state and county are withholding tax monies pending completion of the town’s audits for the last three years.

The Alamosa wastewater treatment plant is going to solar power, receiving its juice from SunEdison.