By Marty Mayfield
The Raton City Commission unanimously approved Ordinance 990 increasing the city’s portion of the gross receipts tax by .25% for debt service, capital improvements, repair and maintenance of the Raton Aquatic/Recreation Center.
Not one-person spoke against the increase noted City Manager Butch McGowen as he recommended the passage to the commission. He commended the commission and those who spoke for realizing that this is not something anyone really wanted to do but it is the solution to the problem and according to Bob Beaudette, who handed the commission three different plans they could use to pay off the debt. Beaudette indicted if the commission used either of these plans it could pay off this debt as much as eight to 12 years early.
Wayne McMurtry and Beaudette did not agree in whole with the commission about using some of the money from the GRT for maintenance instead of using all of it to service the debt. Mayor Pro-Tem Neal Segotta agreed in part with the speakers but indicated we need to create a cash reserve for repairs noting the $10,000 pump that was replaced this year at the aquatic center.
Commissioners also approved the final budget adjustment for 2014. After little discussion they approved the 2014-2015 fiscal year municipal budget. The final budget for the city is expecting revenues of $4,635,800 and expenses of $4,563,407.
Commissioners also approved the Main Street application for the annual street fair to take place on First Street between Cook and Clark Avenues on September 6, 2014.
City Manager Butch McGowen brought the commission up to date on a few items such as the Raton Downtown Historic meeting July 29, at 6:00 p.m. at the International room of the International Bank. That employees would be attending the three day state procurement training.
Commissioners appointed Ron Chavez as the voting delegate to the New Mexico Municipal League conference in Albuquerque. The city will heir to a Veteran’s Memorial at Pesavento Park paid for by funds the veterans raised.
The next regular meeting will be on August 12 at 6:00 p.m. with the following meeting in August to be moved to August 25th at 12:00 noon to allow commissioners to go to the NMML conference.
(For a complete run down on the GRT see the story Gross Receipts Tax City’s Prime Income on our web page.)