Premium content

County moves to deny fee waiver requests from Archuleta Seniors Inc.


At its April 2 meeting, the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC), acting as the liquor board, denied waiver requests for a special event permit fee and building rental fee from Archuleta Seniors Inc. (ASI), among other business.

Following the approval of the special event permit allowing ASI to sell alcohol at its Spanish Fiesta Royalty Benefit on April 13, ASI Executive Director Rose Chavez presented to the BoCC and requested a waiver of the $100 special event permit fee and the $400 building rental fee for renting the county extension building for the event.

She explained that the Spanish Fiesta is a fundraiser for ASI, the Spanish Fiesta intergenerational youth royalty and the Spanish Fiesta Black, Indigenous and person of color scholarship fund for elders in the community.

She added that ASI revived the Spanish Fiesta after a 20-year hiatus and is expanding the fiesta over three years, including re-establishing youth royalty as part of the event.

Chavez stated that the event would involve 16 youth and their families competing to become fiesta royalty and that all proceeds from the event would go to the royalty.

She indicated that the royalty will represent the fiesta at community events and will also participate in community opportunities to develop their leadership skills.

She indicated that waiving the fee would help support fundraising for the royalty at the event.

Commissioner Veronica Medina asked if the county has provided special event fee or building rental fee waivers for any other nonprofit.

County Manager Derek Woodman indicated that the county has not waived either of these fees for other nonprofits.

Commissioner Ronnie Maez stated that he would not vote in favor of the waivers due to concerns about what precedent this would set for other nonprofits and their requests for fee waivers.

Commissioner Warren Brown then moved to deny the waivers for these reasons that Maez outlined.

He added that he fully supports ASI and the Spanish Fiesta, but “I think this is just not the way that the county should show their support.”

Medina seconded, commenting that she thanked Chavez for bringing the request, but that she felt it would set an unsustainable precedent.

Maez commented that he appreciated Chavez’s request as well, adding, “If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.”

“Exactly,” Chavez said.

The board unanimously voted to deny the fee waivers.

Vehicle leases

At the meeting, the BoCC also voted to approve $90,903.81 in spending for continuing leases on five county vehicles and new leases for four more.

Fleet Manager Waylon Sutton explained that all these vehicle leases were included in the 2024 budget and that County Attorney Todd Weaver had reviewed and done “extensive work” on ensuring the verbiage in the lease contracts is correct.

Medina asked if the county is considering consolidating some of the less-used vehicles between departments due to public concern that the county has too many leased vehicles.

Sutton commented that this would be an “excellent idea” and suggested that the departments with these vehicles should keep usage logs to track how heavily they are used before investigating potential consolidations for the 2025 budget.

Medina added that the public believes that the county is purchasing a large number of vehicles, but that they are actually leased yearly.