By Billy Donati
The Raton City Commission in its regular meeting on Tuesday afternoon, directed City Manager Butch McGowen to begin drafting an ordinance that would increase the city’s Gross Receipts Tax by one quarter of one percent in order to meet the debt service of the Regional Aquatic Center. If enacted, the tax would not go into effect until next year, but would help keep the pool afloat as the city struggles to maintain services with dwindling revenues and an annual debt service of over $91,000.
The commission was meeting early, because of the planned NMDOT Public Meeting to unveil plans for the south interchange on I-25 that was set for 5:30 p.m.
Further pointing out the budget woes was the city’s GRT recap which shows a minus 2.95 % on collected Gross Receipts Tax thru May.
The Commission also approved unanimously the City’s Interim Budget for FY 2015 which shows anticipated revenue of $4.6 million and expenses of $4.5 million. The Fiscal year 2015 budget dedicates 29 percent to Police, 23% to fire, 15% to Executive, 12% to Public Works, 7% to Dispatch, 5% to Library, 3% to Building Maintenance and 6% to Other (combining Airport, Legislative, Animal Control and Judicial). McGowen, along with City Commissioner Ron Chavez commended City Treasurer MichaelAnne Antonucci for her invaluable help with the numbers and helping put together the City’s budget.
The commission also unanimously and separately approved the Raton Water Works Budget of $3.7 million and the Raton Public Service Budget of $6.7 million.
City Manager McGowen also told the Commission that City Police Chief Terry Sisneros was retiring after 25 years with the force and will be replaced, on an interim basis, by Capt. John Garcia, who will begin his duties on June 1. Also in his report, McGowen also told the Commission that the Raton City Landfill is closed and the first sanitation trailer load was on its way to Colorado. McGowen also said the new landfill for construction debris, etc. will also be open on Saturdays starting on June 7 and would be open 8am to 4pm.
In the committee reports, Commissioner Chavez reported that Lake Maloya water shed supply is holding well and divers will soon begin inspection of the dam and pipes for possible problems. He also reported that the city Parks and Rec Advisory Board elected Abel Jiron as Chairman and Joe Bustos as vice-chair.
The Commission also passed the CCJAB final budget adjustment for fiscal year 2014 and unanimously repealed ordinance 967 which had established a Raton Arts and Cultural District Board.
The next Raton City Commission meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 10 at 6 pm