Center Town Trustees approve budget for 2022

Photo by Mechel Meek Town of Center Trustees approved the t for 2022 at their meeting on Dec. 14.

CENTER — Town of Center Trustees held a public meeting to finalize the budget and receive public comment on Tuesday, Dec. 14.

Trustee Bill McClure and Mayor Pro-tem Mary McClure were not available to attend the meeting.

Trustees had been discussing the budget for several months in executive sessions. According to State regulations, the budget is due to the State by Dec. 31.

The budget was lined out to those in attendance and the floor was opened to public comment. No one in attendance spoke during the public comment period in regards to the proposed budget.

The 2022 budget was passed unanimously.

The Town of Center is responsible for providing all public services, such as police, municipal courts, parks, streets, utilities, economic development and other similar services.

Town Manager Brian Lujan said, “I wanted to note that under the general fund, the water fund and the economic development fund includes grant revenue, which is more than our usual sales tax revenue. This is grant money that we have currently.” 

Next on the agenda was the Center Police Department report.

“We have had six trafficking arrests in the last two weeks,” Chief Dale Meek said. “We have the tools to combat these types of crime. We have had a couple of search warrants that have been successful. We are looking at seizing one vehicle that was involved in the transport of drugs. These are not arrests of users, these are high-level trafficking arrests."

Chief Meek also discussed a K-9 opportunity for the Town and CPD. A breeder is willing to donate a dog for CPD to train, which will then be donated to a Colorado police agency that is in need of a K-9. CPD is currently putting together a committee that will decide which agency should receive the donated K-9 by assessing their need through the use of an essay and their local community support.

CPD will donate the time and training of the K-9. The chief explained that this donation will be used to advertise and showcase to other law enforcement agencies what CPD can offer in regards to training and certifying K-9’s.

The Public Utilities Department's report was delivered by David Mehaffie. Residential water meters were supposed to be program-ready on Dec. 15, when test readings began. The commercial meters have been found to have dead batteries in some units and there are issues reading those units. Mehaffie stated that there are about 25 commercial meters that need batteries replaced. The utilities department is expecting to start test readings of the new water meters in the beginning of the new year, with billing to begin according to usage after successful testing.

“We are putting in all new water meters and it has been difficult to find all the old meters and getting everything upgraded,” said Lujan.

Davis Engineering staked out markers on the North 90 annex, to layout the proposed streets and alleyways for the property. These markers are for visualization purposes according to Lujan, as the layout may change many times before implementation.

The Town Manager report stated that the work of the overall town improvement plan is starting to come together.

“2021 is going to be the most successful so far since I have been here, we are moving the town forward and that is thanks to the council,” Lujan said. There will be three open trustee seats in 2022 for the Town. The designated election official will be Town Manager Lujan. Starting on Jan. 4, 2022, anyone wanting to run for Town Trustee can pick up a petition that must be turned in by Jan. 24, 2022. Each candidate must have at least 10 valid signatures on a petition to run for Town Trustee. More information can be obtained at the Town Hall.

Town Hall will be closed from noon on Dec. 30 to Jan. 3, 2022.