Community Christmas Tree for Holly, Trustees Review Sheriff Contract



Holly, known as the Christmas City in Colorado, will have a fourteen foot tall Christmas tree in place at the flagpole on Main Street this year. Jennifer Holdren described the proposal for the Holly Trustees during their regular monthly meeting this past Wednesday, November 1st.  “The Holly Pride Committee has available funds to purchase the tree which should cost around $5,000,” she explained, asking for permission from the Trustees to have the flag pole taken down during the holiday and put back up at the end of the season.  The vote was unanimous as the Trustees said there are other areas in town where the flag could be displayed.

The tree will come in panels and will have permanent led lighting which can be used to decorate store fronts along Main Street. Holdren explained that each year, additional four foot panels can be purchased and added to the tree so it can be increased to 18 or 22 feet or more as finances allow.  The city crew will take handle the assembly and take down.

Kevin Kazmarek and Travis Black from the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, asked the Trustees for a letter of support in their effort to purchase between 500 to 700 acres of land at the Mid Western Farms Gravel Pit at the edge of town. The area has been used by hunters and fishermen over the years under the guidance of the CPW which has leased the land in the past.  Kazmarek explained that the department wants to buy the land and was approached by the property owners on the potential sale.  The drawback has occurred in the state legislature which rules on such sales.  The Capitol Development Committee turned down the request last year, stating it felt the CPW already owns enough land in the state, based on its annual budget.  Black said the ownership could help increase the hunting and fishing trade in Holly, opening the area to more tourist visits which would help grow sales in the local retail sector.    The current lease expires in 2018 and can be renewed, but it comes with various provisions or sideboards, Black said, which limits development of the property.  The Trustees said they would provide a letter of support before the December 20th deadline in the state legislature.  Kazmarek said the CPW would also accept letters of support from the general public.

The Trustees decided to table the annual contract with the Prowers County Sheriff’s Office for an additional month. Action was tabled last month due to lack of a quorum.  Action was tabled this month as the Trustees felt they might be able to negotiate a lower price on the $58,000 contract for law enforcement coverage in the town, the same figure as last year.  Trustee Jacob Holdren asked Sheriff Zordel, who attended the meeting, how the department’s coverage in Holly differed from Wiley’s as that community has no contract.  Holly receives 160 hours of on-site coverage per month, in addition to any emergency calls.  Zordel replied that one of his deputies is a Holly resident which helps provide that many hours to the community in a quicker response time.  He stated that 12% of his annual staffing budget is based on a deputy for Holly and would probably have to reduce his staff if his budget is also reduced which would also cut back on coverage to the community.  Zordel said he would be willing to negotiate on the contract if the Trustees had some recommendations at their next meeting on December 6th.

In other action, the Trustees approved a contract renewal with NMPP for $3,950 for an electric rate study for the community; liquor license renewals were approved for East Side Liquor and J.R.’s Country Store and optional coverages for CIRSA insurance coverage. The Trustees also approved a contract with Marty Canfield for construction of a sidewalk for the town’s Historical Society headquarters.

By Russ Baldwin

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