Saguache town board adds trustee, Cares Act funding still available

SAGUACHE — The Saguache Town Board selected a new trustee during their regular monthly meeting Nov. 9. Terry Gillette, Amy Garoutte and Loren Aldridge attended the online session, but when Garoutte noticed that Aldridge was also in the running, she praised his experience as a former trustee and withdrew from the selection.

Mayor Elvie Samora gave Gillette and Aldridge a chance to speak and field questions from the board. Then Town Administrator Iris Garcia received votes from trustees via private text. Aldridge won the count, and Saguache Town Attorney Gene Farish conducted the swearing-in proceedings.
“My goal is to keep Saguache alive and positive,” Aldridge said. “It’s on an upswing now, so let’s keep the upswing going.”

Aldridge added to discussions for the rest of the meeting, along with trustees Susan Collins, Amber Wilson, Wyoma Hansen, Janice Torrez, Mayor Pro-Tem Jim Jaminet and Mayor Samora.Continuing previous town board conversations, Theo Boudreaux described the final steps for installing an electric car charging station that Saguache trustees already approved. Boudreaux said Saguache County is paying for installation and other costs for the first year. They have sites selected in Center and Crestone, but “I need to define a location in Saguache as soon as possible,” Boudreaux said.

The General Manager of Joyful Journey, Boudreaux said they installed two charging stations this month (one inside and one outside). They upgraded service to 40 amps because it provides a quicker charge.
Deputy James Knight gave the sheriff’s report, a tabulation of calls ranging from theft and criminal mischief to a bull who keeps escaping his pasture.

“At least he’s just grazing in the wrong people’s yards,” Knight explained.

According to Patrick Cale’s maintenance report, staff winterized the pump houses and vehicles. Cale said he has also been turning off water for residents who won’t return until spring.

“We put four new tires on the grader,” Cale said, in addition to winterizing the backhoe and tractor. A new stop sign will be installed soon at 2nd Street and Pitkin Avenue near the school.

Administrator Garcia reported CARES Act expenditures from the $34,285 grant, noting that it must be used before Dec. 31. In addition to $12,684.69 for computers and $575 for cleaning, Garcia sought $2,700 for hand-sanitizing stations.

The remaining $18,324.58 is available for local groups. During the first round of CARES Act funding, Garcia notified every licensed business owner in Saguache. Mayor Samora requested contacting these organizations again to apply for a second round of funds.

Deputy Town Clerk Tina Sanchez provided a code enforcement update, noting that “It has been pretty quiet. I get reports of dogs, but I can’t give them a ticket until I have proof.” Sanchez added that a bear was responsible for trash blowing on US Highway 285 last week.

The board also agreed on a minimum price of $35,000 for selling town-owned property at 305 9th Street. The board approved renewing the liquor license for Mountain Liquor.

Town Attorney Eugene Farish confirmed the process for lifting a fire ban, a simple declaration from the mayor and approval of the board.

Farish also sought clarity to prepare for a trial Dec. 1. With 10 pieces of evidence to be presented virtually to the judge, Farish raised questions about procedure. Administrator Garcia, who also serves as court clerk, promised to contact the judge to clarify.


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