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Communications Coalition-November 2020

The Huerfano Communications Coalition was created for the purpose of meeting to communicate programs, projects, and interest of mutual interest; to discuss and study matters of mutual interest and concern; and to develop policy and action recommendation for ratification and implementation by participating governmental entities, organization, corporations and agencies. The goal of the Coalition shall be to strengthen the local economy while combining total resources for meeting area challenges beyond the individual capacities of the Coalition members and to work across governmental boundaries for the combined good of Huerfano County.


Carolyn Newman, United Church, Mining Museum, Heritage Center:

  • United Church is not currently meeting but their food kiosk is stocked thanks to money from COVID Relief. Please help yourself if you need it but be warned the food goes fast- usually gone in 15-20 minutes. Church building is for sale. New Hope Church is meeting there for now.

  • Mining museum is closed for the season.

  • Heritage Center is open 10 hours a week- call 719-738-2346 if you need help. Open Wednesday 2-5, Thursday 11-3, and Friday 2-5.

Lois Adams, Cuchara Mountain Park, Historic Society:

  • Everything is gorgeous at the Park but it is definitely mud season. Forrest service built a trail but everything is slowing down a little for the winter. Lift is still being worked on- really need $20,000 to get everything running. Might hear about a grant soon.

  • Historical Society is working on getting local speakers to present via Zoom during the winter. Probably Sunday Afternoon, explaining Huerfano County history. Let Lois know if you have topic ideas or want to volunteer to be a speaker!

Carl Young, County Administrator, Tourism Board:

  • Judicial center will be open November 20th! Excited to unveil the building to the community. The county is still deciding if the grand opening will be online only or will have some in person component. There will be a virtual walk through either way, follow One Huerfano on FaceBook to stay up to date on where to find the walkthrough. (https://www.facebook.com/OneHuerfano) John Galusha would like to thank the City for fast work installing a new fire hydrant outside the new building.

  • Waste transfer is now taking electronic waste (computers, phones, printers etc.) for a nominal fee. Paint waste will soon be taken there as well! Stay tuned for updates!

  • Tourism Board just released walking tours of Walsenburg and La Veta. Cuchara’s tour will be out soon! Download the TravelStorys app to take the tours!

Debbie Channel, Hospital Board:

  • Free drive through COVID testing Friday 9-12 and 1-5 and Saturday 9-12 and 1-4 at the Walsenburg train depot. If you get tested you will be entered to win an iPad!

Bailee Harris, Spanish Peaks Business Alliance:

  • Tomorrow (11/6) starts the Signage Committee’s public art show at Museum of Friends. Please vote for your favorite art to be used on light pole banners throughout the county. Please stop in and vote or vote on line here! https://www.spba.huerfano.org/signage

  • Next Thursday (11/12) is our annual membership drive meeting at 5:30 via Zoom. Members are encouraged to renew their membership and learn what SPBA has been up to. We will also vote on new SPBA Board members! Members can renew or join from our website -> https://www.spba.huerfano.org/

  • Our 3rd Annual Holiday Giving Celebration will be completely virtually this year! Information will be coming to nonprofits November 13th about signing up. (As a reminder nonprofits should be members to participate in the Celebration, please reach out if this is a financial burden this year. We have suggestions and want to make sure you’re able to participate!)

Rose True, SPACe:

  • Membership meeting will be Tuesday November 10th at 5:30 via Zoom. Please (bring your own) BYOWine and Cheese. You can become a member through the website! https://spanishpeaksarts.org/joining-space/

  • Gift of Art Show November 10th-January 2nd. Opening reception will be held November 14th from 5-7pm with proper COVID precautions in place. The show will be full of great Christmas gifts! The gallery is open Tuesday, Thursday 11-3, and Saturday 10-3. See attached poster for more information.

  • SPACe is applying for various funds, Received a CO Creative Industries Grant that has helped them get through the down turn. Looking for another Executive Director if anyone is interested- will come with a revamped job description and payment! Reach out if interested.

  • Getting into the virtual scene- https://spanishpeaksarts.org/ please support their efforts!

John Galusha, County Administrator:

  • Gardner Well has been down all summer. On the last testing step with State Health Department now hoping to be done soon.

  • November 11th the work on I-25 is set to be done. Next they’ll pave community center parking lot in Gardner.

  • Meeting with Health Department tomorrow about COVID spike in Huerfano County.

  • La Veta Village Assisted Living could be open in the summer.

Debi Sporleder, World Journal:

  • Special publications coming out soon!

Bob Kennemer, Southern Colorado Economic Development District:

  • I am the new Regional Disaster Recovery Planner with the Southern Colorado Economic Development District (SCEDD). I serve Huerfano, Las Animas, and Custer Counties. Myself and three other planners will be assisting all 13 SE Colorado Counties to better deal with the economic impact caused by the pandemic. We are funded for two years (maybe longer) by a grant from the CARES Act. SCEDD also receives funding from the 13 counties previously noted. Simply put, my job is connect businesses, nonprofits, and governments with state and federal funds and resources. Currently, the new SCEDD staff are working on a survey to get a better idea of the impacts of the pandemic, developing a new and improved website, and informational materials. I look forward to working with all of you!

  • Bob’s new Contact information!!! Huerfano County Community Center, 928 Russell Walsenburg, CO 81989. 719-248-4543 Bob@scedd.com

Bree Jones, La Veta School District:

  • While they currently have 10 kids in quarantine, they are celebrating still getting to learn in person for now.

  • The new building is coming along nicely. Football field is almost ready for 11 man football! There will only be bleachers on one side due to ADA compliance.

  • As noted last month they have decided to change their school mascot. A branding committee is now working on this. The Redhawks, Red Wolves, Bears, and Raptors are the current top choices. Should make a decision before the end of December.

Monica Birrer, Dakota Campground:

  • Just here to check in and hear the resources in the County.

  • Biggest issue right now is keeping people from town out of their shower. They have not been taking overnight campers since March- everyone currently there is basically living there full time. Requested city funding to provide shower coupons for the TA- so they can send homeless to TA to shower. Not quite as involved in town as they have been but still participating and here to help.

Greg Sund, City of Walsenburg Administrator:

  • Working on budget for 2021. Obviously there will be challenges this year.

  • Highway 10 project had bids come back higher than expected so the Board rejected them. They are back to soliciting bids.

  • Currently looking at upgrades to the waste water treatment plant. Currently only running one side, unused side is breaking down and needs to be replaced for the future. Looking at also putting a roof over the new work to better protect it for the future.

  • The city has been working on codifying city code for the past ten years. A new draft can be viewed here-> https://cityofwalsenburg.colorado.gov/public-record/rules-and-regulations/municipal-codeAny topic can also be searched to see what is on the book.

  • The city is still working through a drought. Water is down and they are working on it. Fingers crossed for the winter. Bob asked about the reasoning for draining a lake. Greg clarified it wasn’t a change in policy just a reaction to the draught, it is a resource they had to use.