MONTE VISTA — The City of Monte Vista celebrated three long-time employees with a combined 40 years of employment during a City Council meeting on March 3.
City worker Jesus Juarez was also acknowledged by his supervisor at the meeting, for 20 years of employment with the city. Juarez was stated to be dependable, and a hard worker, who always shows up for any job that is needed by his supervisor. Juarez received a standing ovation from everyone at the Council meeting.
City Manager GiGi Dennis recognized two of her employees who have been with the city for 10 years.
"I am very proud to announce that I have two of my team members that are celebrating 10 years of service. The first one is Public Works Director Robert Vance," Dennis said. "I must say we have the finest Public Works Department in the San Luis Valley. I am really proud of Robert and his team and really glad to be working with him.”
Dennis also recognized Kids Connection Director Anika Velasquez.
“Anika provides a wonderful, safe haven for children of all ages here in Monte Vista," Dennis said. "You just run a wonderful program here and I am really proud of you.”
Vance and Velasquez also received certificates of appreciation.
Vance also presented a certificate of service to one of his employees, Mario Duran. Duran was not present at the meeting, but Vance acknowledged Duran for one year of service in Monte Vista.
"He’s come to Public Works and is a true joy and asset to Public Works, and we really appreciate having him on board,” Vance said.
Kids Connection recognized Madison Miller for one year of service with the City of Monte Vista as Youth Leader. Miller was presented with a certificate from Kids Connection.
Dennis gave the Council an update on Planning and Zoning Commission applicants.
“There are three openings in the commission, and we have four very good applicants," she said.
Dennis said the Council could either vote for all of them at the meeting or they could call each of them in and visit with them individually. Dennis said that all applicants were active in the community.
The Council said the applicants were qualified and that it was going to be a tough decision. Dennis said they could vote three people to the commission and have the fourth be an alternate.
The Council voted unanimously to interview the candidates individually on March 15.
A representative of the Monte Vista Art Walk said they were planning to continue having it on the third Friday of each month and would start again in May and run through September. The group representative was requesting that part of Adams Street downtown be blocked off so that artists could be seen more easily. In past years, artists and vendors set up on the sidewalk.
“We would really like to make this thing bigger this year, to get more community involved and more artists involved,” the Art Walk representative said.
Tentative times for the art walk would be from 4 to 8 p.m., with the street needing to be blocked off at 3 p.m., to give the artists and musicians time to set up.
City Manager Dennis said there were some internal logistics that would need to be considered such as City employee schedules.
Vance said recommended that the Art Walk speak with the surrounding businesses and have them sign something that shows that they understand what the event will entail and that the group might consider blocking off less of Adams Street than what was being proposed, as the surrounding businesses still needed to function and allow people access.
Dennis said she would try to meet with the Art Walk.
Dennis also said she received a letter of resignation from Chelsea Martinez, who was serving as the Board Chairman for the Vali 3 Theatre. "I’ve got some real concerns, we’ve got a little asset downtown and yet, we are trying to run it with volunteers,” Dennis said. “I don’t know that it's really working out as planned, with the gusto from the beginning. So, I would like to propose that we have a work session on this, to see what direction you guys want to go in. The committee themselves has been working for two years on getting their 501 c3 and they haven’t completed that process yet. We cover the insurance for the building, and they have had some significant errors in emergency lighting and exit signs. Rob got an estimate and it's going to be $3,800. I proposed to them that they pay half, and the City would pay half, so we can get that taken care of for the Mountain Film Festival, that’s later in April.”
It was discussed that there is no alternate location for the festival if the theatre cannot be used.
Dennis said that a work session would be scheduled to speak more in-depth about the theatre. The work session was scheduled for March 15.
Dennis also said a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new trail in Monte Vista was set for 11 a.m. on March 31. The next City Council meeting is March 17.