Granada Town Board Facing Budget Increases

The Granada Trustees will be covering their 2012 budget with a fine tooth comb this fall, attempting to find extra revenues for additional expenses.  Two areas were noted during the August 24 meeting, a request for E-9-1-1 funding from the Prowers County Commissioners; and the other added expense will be for repairs along the town’s 200 foot long levee.  While the commissioners have a figure in mind for emergency phone funding from Granada, it’s an open book for the levee repairs.  The good news is that the flood plain study showed that only as little as two inches of material needs to be added to some portions of the levee.  The report from the Colorado Water Conservancy Board assessed Granada to be in very good shape compared to other towns in this region.  Granada may try to team with Holly officials on a portion of the study to minimize engineering costs.   The Granada levee, according to the assessment, has a ‘Freeboarding’ status with regard to needing flood insurance for homes and businesses.  Trustee Jarene DeBono said the board has until this October to outline its plans for a Freeboard project.  County Commissioner Gene Millbrand said Mary Root, county director for Southeast Land & Development, could assist with information for a starting point on the report.  The CWBC requires that the levees must be certified by October 2013 to be up to code, otherwise Granada citizens could be required to carry flood insurance on their mortgages.   

The other dollar impact on the town budget for 2012 will come from the county’s request for funding to cover the cost of E-9-1-1 calls in Granada.  There were 1,178 calls made in 2010, and according to Granada Police Chief David Dougherty, 660 calls had been made so far in 2011.  All three commissioners were on hand at the Granada meeting to address the funding issue.  They estimated Granada’s share, on 9% of the calls, at $28,000, based on the $310,000 cost of running the operation last year.  Through some new calculations offered by Trustee Martin Jensen, the amount was reduced to $15,500 and later, down to 4% of calls, or about $12,863.  555 calls made in 2010 were from the Granada police department.  Chief Dougherty explained that when information-request calls were made regarding traffic stops or other events, it was apparently added to the total.  He told the board he would take steps to reduce that many calls.  The Commissioners asked the board to make an appropriate contribution in next year’s budget.  The number of ambulance calls to Granada was also discussed with the commissioners.  Those also impact the total number of emergency calls.  The recent county-city of Lamar meeting noted that ambulance runs to Granada was increasing.  The county contributes $12,000 a year to the city for the Lamar Ambulance operation.  Commissioner Joe Marble said the county has paid the cost for the past five years, but can’t afford to do it alone anymore and was looking to other towns in the county for financial support.  Even though each phone, including cell phones, used in the county is assessed a $0.70 monthly surcharge by the E-9-1-1 Authority Board to offset the dispatch operation, that price is fixed and can only be altered by the state PUC.  The fee is in line with other rural and metro cities in Colorado. 

In other news, the town’s water system has been repaired.  John McMillan, the new town maintenance supervisor since June first, reported to the Trustees during Wednesday’s make-up meeting from earlier this month.  He said water service from the pumps was restored about two weeks ago and the booster pumps are operating and a lightning resistor for the well house has been purchased.  McMillan passed his three month probationary period and is now employed full time with full employee benefits.  McMillan reported that the street sweeper and mosquito sprayer is repaired and spraying will resume in Granada.  

In other news, Mayor Baca said the playground equipment will be installed at the park on the 16th and 17th of September.  The board decided to update the town’s policy book, stating that the town complex would not be rented during Bristol/Granada days.  A building shed permit was approved for Helen Ibarra, and will not require any utility installation.  The board approved the first reading of an ordinance which mandates that all Granada residents, either home-owners or renters, must have city water and electricity installed in their residences.  No garden hoses or extension cords can be used to supply another residence.  Funding for a welcome sign into Granada was discussed.  $1,900 has already been secured and another $2,000 will be needed.  SECORHT, the regional tourism group said two information kiosks will be set up in Granada, and one side of the old jail will be painted with an historically oriented mural.  CDOT, however, rejected the town’s proposed locations for the information kiosks as being too hard to see from the highway.  A section of Hoisington Street will be blocked off on September 17 to provide an area for an equestrian event.  The board decided that while a dish washer was used so little in the senior center, the broken unit didn’t need to be replaced.  However, the broken ice maker will be brought into Lamar for repairs, not to exceed $200.  Discussion regarding the outdoor loan and use of the white chairs and tables from the complex went unresolved.  The Civic Club has a policy that when the equipment was donated that it could not be used on loan and out of doors.  Marge Creech, speaking for the Club, said the policy was ignored during the National Night Out event in town when the equipment was taken to the park.  She said members were fearful that once the loan of equipment begins, chairs or tables would not be returned, and the policy should be honored regardless of the nature of event. 

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: CommissionerscommunityCountyEconomyFeaturedGranadaHealthLaw EnforcementPublic SafetyUtilities


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.