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Ignacio hires town manager
11/19/2013 By: Melanie Brubaker Mazur
Trustees approve liquor license for Sidekick
Ignacio’s new town manager started work on Monday.
He is Lee San Miguel of Phoenix, and his past experience has included working as village administrator in Questa, N.M. He also has worked as the assistant to the city manager and was a management analyst in Avondale, Ariz. for 11 years and was a division director at Maricopa County Animal Control for four years. He also was a community specialist for the state of Colorado from 1987 to 1990.
Ignacio town trustees approved San Miguel’s hire 6-0 on Tuesday night at their November board meeting.
Trustees also are seeking applicants to fill a few months left in the seat vacated by Ray Larsen, who resigned from the town board for personal reasons.
Larsen’s seat, along with those of five other trustees, will be up for election in April.
Town trustees also unanimously approved the liquor license renewal for the Sidekick Lounge.
Owner Leo Abeyta answered questions from the trustees about a Colorado Department of Revenue inspection in July of 2012 when he was not at the bar.
Ignacio Police Chief Kirk Phillips said state inspectors can demand to see receipts of liquor purchased by a bar owner. Abeyta keeps the records in his office, and he wasn’t at work at the time and had locked his office. Not having those records readily available was a violation of state law, Phillips said.
Inspectors also found fruit flies in some bottles of liquor in his bar.
Abeyta said the problems had been rectified. He had been using pourers in some bottles of liquor, and now he is sealing the bottles back up.
Phillips said he learned fruit flies are actually a pretty common occurrence in bars in July.
Abeyta also said there is now a set of keys at the bar to open his office when he isn’t at work. He paid a fine and is on probation with the state through March. This is his first state liquor violation in his 21 years of owning a bar, he added.
Also on Tuesday evening, Miriam Willow Giles, the departing town planner, said before she leaves she would like to recommend the town trustees reform the town’s land use code.
The town’s planning commission also has disbanded, with all but one planning commissioner resigning this fall, leaving only Dixie Melton serving as a planning commissioner.
Giles said commissioners were frustrated at attending a monthly meeting where a quorum usually wasn’t met. She recommended scheduled quarterly meetings, with special meetings called for planning issues as needed.
Giles also recommended that the business zoning on Goddard Avenue, Ignacio’s main business district, be changed to mixed use zoning. Homeowners in the area would like the flexibility of mixed use zoning so they can add on or remodel their homes. Under current town codes, if their homes were destroyed, they couldn’t even be rebuilt as homes, only businesses.
Giles also recommended allowing larger signs for businesses. Current regulations limit the size to 200 square feet. Giles recommended allowing 250 square feet.
The board will have a public hearing on the recommendations at 6 p.m. during next month’s meeting on Dec. 11.
The board also will meet with La Plata County commissioners during an informal meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Sky Ute Casino. The commissioners will then have an “On the Road” meeting at 7 p.m. at the Ignacio Community Library to meet with local residents to discuss their concerns.
In other news, Chief Phillips said the town received a limited gaming impact grant from the state for $133,000.
Public Works Director James Brown reported that his staff is training this week to operate the town’s natural gas system.
Town Treasurer Lisa Rea said for 2013, the town’s revenues are holding steady and costs are down about five percent.
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