Monday, June 24

The Crestone Eagle is a nonprofit monthly newspaper serving Crestone and the San Luis Valley

Baca Grande committee plans appeal

Residents in favor of incorporating the Town of Baca Grande are planning to file a second petition after Judge Crista L. Newmyer-Olsen dismissed the first petition, citing four basic areas where the petitioners failed to fulfill the necessary legal requirements of forming a town.

The Baca Grande Property Association (BGPOA) had requested the motion to dismiss. Supporters of the petition are addressing these issues as they prepare to file a second time. One issue is the requirement that the owner of three 40-acre parcels included within the proposed boundaries must grant permission for having these properties included. The three tracts are owned by the BGPOA, which had not granted permission to include them within the proposed town.

Lisa Cyriacks, a member of the Baca Grande Committee, a group advocating in favor of the petition, says the owners have been recontacted ahead of the repetition.

There is also a requirement that the population within the proposed boundaries be verified by the most recent U.S. Census data available. The petition’s population documentation did not include this official data, as none was currently available. “We’re in the process of getting recognized as a census-designated place that would allow us to collect and verify the demographic and economic data needed for the petition,” Cyriacks says.

Cyriacks says she wants residents to understand that the most important part of the petition is to allow the community to have these conversations, especially as the population continues to grow.

Other proponents are concerned that sales tax revenue collected by Amazon,
from Baca residents, is going to the town of Crestone, which shares the same zip code. According to the Feb. 10 Grimes report, that amounts to a 3.5 percent overcharge.

“A total of $435,341 in sales tax revenue for most of 2021, including Water and
Sewer sales tax, was listed in the town of Crestone’s 2022 budget,” Grimes reported.

“If Baca becomes a municipality, the sales tax revenue will go back to us, which is a substantial amount of money,” says Marceau.

In a written statement in response to the original petition, the BGPOA stated: “This matter has opened up the door to many constructive conversations and we are available to answer your questions as they arise. We recognize our diverse Membership holds various opinions on this matter.”

Opponents have emphasized that formation of a town would not automatically dissolve the POA. In a recent letter to the Crestone Eagle, Joy Hill stated, “Assuming that the BGPOA will cease to exist because a town is formed… is blatantly false! Bylaws (of the association) mandate that dissolution can only be determined by a specific and substantial vote of membership.”

Calls to POA management regarding to petitioners’ intent to refile were not
returned.

Both parties will come together for a work session at the POA Hall on March 22
for the purposes of exploring common ground on the town issue.

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