BACA GRANDE SUBDIVISIONS — With snacks and handouts on Sept. 19, a group of volunteers from the Baca Grande Property Owners Association hosted an information exchange at the POA Hall to present the group’s first efforts toward creating the Town of Baca Grande.
More than 35 people attended the meeting in person, and a couple dozen observed via ZOOM, including the featured presenter of the evening, Michael McCall. McCall cut in and out throughout the meeting but nonetheless presented a financial snapshot and responded to member questions and comments.
Until the district judge responds to the group’s petition filed on Aug. 8, the initiative will not move forward. However, primary spokesperson Desiree Marceau promised another meeting on Monday, Sept. 26, also at the POA Hall at 6 p.m. The initial meeting, as Marceau repeated repeatedly, was merely to explain that the process had begun.
Audience members raised questions, made comments, and shared their concerns. Unanswered questions far outnumbered the explanations provided during this initial phase of township pursuit. Members of the Baca Grande POA board and administrative staff provided input and inquiries from the member point of view.
The Baca Grande POA has budgeted for a substantial assessment hike from $493 in 2022 to $640.90 for 2023. The proposed budget covers all the services funded through the POA, substantially paid for with assessments collected. When an earlier incarnation of the POA board increased assessments a few years ago, members recalled the board, and the fees were reduced.
Of the 2,240 property owners, between 1,200 and 1,400 are residents. As written on the group’s Web site (https://townofbacagrande.info/): “Once permission is granted by the court, residents within the proposed town that are also registered electors will get to vote a simple yes or no on becoming our own town.”
Residents who are not registered electors can register to vote in Saguache County to become eligible for the up-or-down vote for Baca Grande township. Without meeting the two requirements —residency and Saguache County voter registration — perhaps more than 1,000 property owners cannot vote, if the election comes to pass.