Horse running like the wind

A resolution for a letter of support was approved by council for CDOT regarding replacing the artwork currently on display at the roundabout located in the intersection of Nevada and University with a new horse running like the wind inspired piece created by artist sculptor Hans Droog. Pictured above is a rendering of how the piece will look after it has been put in place in the upcoming months.

In miscellaneous business at the regular meeting of Trinidad City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 1, council considered bid results for completing the interior finishing of Noah’s Ark Animal Shelter. Public Works Director Tom Beach provided a rundown of what they had received.

 “We did have three responding bidders,” said Beach, “and bids were fairly close as bidding goes these days.”

The lowest bid came in at $1,004,128. As for funds raised so far, Noah’s Ark themselves are contributing $324,524 that they raised for the project and so far the city has set aside about $528,000.

City Manager Mike Valentine said the deficit of about $154,000 could be budgeted into Capital Improvement Funds for council’s approval or could come from rainy day cannabis funds, but added the project just needs to be completed.

“As far as we are into this project, we need to conclude it,” said Valentine.

Council approved to award the bid to Schultz Construction, LLC for $1,004,128 and Valentine said the contractor would have 14 days to get agreements and bonds in place and construction could likely begin falling into place following September 21. The additional funds needed would come from 2021 capital improvement funds.

With cabinetry and faucets not included in the bid, some were curious as to why. Councilmember Karen Griego said it was because Noah’s Ark is currently working on grants to handle the interior furnishings including some cabinetry, faucets, and other finishing materials to save costs.

Currently, the city and Noah’s Ark are working to solidify a long-term lease agreement which will allow Noah’s to seek out additional funding for infrastructure such as kennels that would otherwise cost the organization approximately $60,000.

Outside of that, Noah’s Ark President Deborah Anderson said they would be running a capital campaign to get the rest of the needed funds once they have finished with their grant-seeking efforts so as not to fall back on the city.

“We will also have volunteers build the front desk and do landscaping and whatever else we need,” said Anderson.

Council unanimously agreed to a resolution supporting the placement of artwork within Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) facilities, something Beach said CDOT requested to move forward with installing a statue of a horse in the roundabout at Nevada and University, replacing the current blue abstract sculpture there now.

“The blue artwork that is there now will be moved over to Space to Create,” said Beach. “What I’ve been told is right at the entrance in the front on Main Street where the little alcove is. That’s subject to change, too.”

Councilmember Erin Ogletree said she had seen the work and was excited to see it finally on display.

“It is really an amazing piece of art,” said Ogletree. “I think it’s really going to have a nice setting there at the roundabout.”

Beach said that because they were working with CDOT to get the art installations shuffled, he was hesitant to give any indication of when the new piece would be installed adding it could be a month or several months, but they would keep pushing forward to get it in place.

Also at the meeting, Mayor Phil Rico took a moment to read letters sent in to them from Trinidad School District No. 1 and Trinidad State Junior College for donations the city recently made to the two schools.

After approving resolution 1573 authorizing the expenditure of cannabis revenues on behalf of the school district, TSD1 received a $25,000 donation from the city.

“The money will be used for enhancements to distance learning capabilities for our students,” said a letter from TSD1 Superintendent Dr. Bonnie Aaron. “Distance learning will require IT infrastructure upgrades and student learning devices.”

TSJC President Dr. Rhonda Epper also wrote to Councilmembers expressing gratitude for the $25,000 they received and added that they had concerns with student mental health and wellbeing and hoped the city would be able to help them better help their students.

Rico said that they would set up a time with Dr. Epper to sit down and chat with her to see what could be done to help.

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