Francisco Fort to receive over $85,000 to rehab exterior

By Cathy Mullens –(Published: August 24, 2017) Although it’s not official, La Veta town trustees received notice this week a $86,520 grant has been awarded from the State Historical Fund for Francisco Fort.

Mayor Doug Brgoch announced at Tuesday nights all committee meeting the town got a letter saying the grant for exterior rehabilitation of the fort has been awarded.

One caveat of the grant is that the State Historical Fund will have a 20-year covenant on the site. Acceptance of the grant will be on the agenda at the next town board meeting on Sept. 5.

There will be a $50,000 match from the local board and that money comes from money the town has earmarked for Francisco Fort and is now in their account. Brgoch said the fort board has about $150,000 in their account right now.

The money comes partly from two separate one half percent taxes. Both taxes sunset in 2020 and the town and the fort board met Tuesday night to discuss the possibility of putting an issue on the ballot for the April 2018 election. One of the sales taxes was passed by the voters in 2008 and one in 2014. Members of both boards discussed the possibility of asking for a one percent sales tax dedicated for Francisco Fort Museum.

Current taxes have a clause that directs the first $50,000 collected to the fort for maintenance, construction, repair, restoration, operations, salaries and other costs for the museum and any excess money to be used for streets and alley repair.