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A record $4.3 billion will be divided up between Colorado's 178 school districts thanks to the annual school finance bill that goes into effect on July 1st. That amount works out to about $5,930 for each of the 725,360 students expected to enroll in Colorado's public schools for the next academic year more specifically in our area, Alamosa will receive $13 million in funding for the next school year; Sangre De Cristo, $2.4 million; Antonito, $2.6 million; La Jara, $7.3 million; Sanford, $2.6 million; San Luis, $2.3 million; Sierra Grande, $2.3 million; Westcliffe, $3.1 million; Walsenburg, $4.7 million; La Veta, $2 million; Trinidad, $8.8 million; Primero, $1.7 million; Hoehne, $2.5 million; Aguilar, $1.5 million; Monte Vista, $8.1 million; Del Norte, $4.4 million; Sargent, $2.7 million; Center $4.2 million; Moffat $2 million; and Mountain Valley, $1.7 million.
Not only did the Colorado State Supreme Court deny a rehearing of the Taylor Ranch case, they actually modified the decision they originally made on April 28th. The court ruled 4-2 on April 28th that Costilla county landowners need only show that their property was settled when the land-grant access was established back in the 1800's and that they don't necessarily have to prove that they are direct heirs of the original settlers. The court has now modified the order to require the ranch owners to pay the residents' costs of tracing property titles. The modified order also states that the ranch owners must now pay the costs associated with identifying and notifying all persons who have access rights to the Taylor Ranch. Now that the re-hearing requested by the ranch owners has been rejected by the state supreme court, it is expected that the decision will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which could still delay the process of residents' establishing their right to access.
The Trinidad City Council voted 4-2 to relax the city's water restrictions effective immediately. Jim Fernandez, Trinidad's Utilities Superintendent, reported to council that north lake is currently at 95% of capacity and Monument Lake is only a foot from reaching its spillway level, thanks the the moisture that has been received over the past few weeks in the area. The new water restrictions are as follows: homes with addresses ending in an odd number may water from 6 to 8pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Homes ending in an even number may water from 6 to 8pm on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The Trinidad Golf Course has also been given two additional days to water on an interim basis.
It was a year ago today that the Million Fire broke out near the Million Reservoir South of the town of South Fork. The fire consumed 11 homes and 2 outbuildings over 9,346 acres and cost a total of $9.5 million to fight before all was said and done. And, on the anniversary of the fire, land steward associates will present a study of the fire and its aftermath tonight at 6pm at the South Fork Community Center. Everyone is welcome to the presentation that will show a potential for flooding, soil erosion and trees dying due to the stress from drought, insects and the fire. For more information, call 589-3907.
The Great Sand Dunes National Park Advisory Council will hold its second meeting focusing on how the council will be involved in the park's planning efforts, next Thursday, June 26th, from 1 to 8pm at the Crestone Community Building. The public will be welcome to address the council from 6:15 to 7pm. The council will also meet in other communities near the Sand Dunes over the course of the next several months.