By Marty Mayfield
The Raton City Commission told the Chamber board and Lodger’s Tax board to get together and amend the current Memorandum of Understanding to be more specific about how the lodger’s tax monies were to be used by the Chamber.
There was a general consensus that a tourism coordinator is needed and that it should be at the Chamber, which is located in the Welcome Center. The MOU also states that is where the Chamber of Commerce should be located to meet visitors that visit our city.
HM Burleson Chamber President explained the Chamber’s position on the matter stating the importance of a city’s Chamber of Commerce.
Thomas Angeli a member of the Lodger’s Tax board told commissioner that they wanted the Chamber to continue and that the agreement was weak and needed work to be more specific and provide the Chamber with needed guidelines. They did not want the Chamber to go away either.
Commissioner Ron Chavez felt that the two boards needed to get together and amend the MOU to meet the needs of both parties. Mayor Mantz included that the city should also be involved with the amending of the MOU. The decision on the MOU was tabled until the existing one could be amended and brought back to the commission for their approval,
Commissioners then approved the financial statement for December 2014. Michael Ann Antonucci told the commission that the city is below what was budgeted for December but in actual money was up 1.6% over last year. She noted that the city had not received the property tax money, which as of this report left them a bit short. Antonucci hoped the property tax money would be in this week.
Danniele Esparza spoke about some budget changes that were being requested noting that they had cut some expenses in order to move some monies to cover other expenses. She also noted that referrals were up by about 50%. Commissioners approved the changes to the grant.
Commissioners also approved the service agreement with Engineering Analytics, Inc. City Manager Scott Berry told the commission that the funding for the work done by the firm would be handled on a task order basis per job. The first two jobs would be paving jobs.
The commissioners then heard and approved the mill overlay projects for First Street which will be done once a water line project is complete and a mill overlay project on Tiger Drive. Work on this project will begin after school is out and the Raton Public Schools who received a grant will help with the funding on the Tiger Drive project.
City Manger Scott Berry informed commissioners about Amtrak and that a Tiger Grant was being sought for the New Mexico portion of the line. There are meetings going on concerning the Educational building.
The city will place a cattle guard on the road going into the airport to help keep wildlife out of the airport property. There is an old fuel tank that will be replaced and the city will begin the process to acquire funding to rehab Taxiway “A”.
Berry will meet with Ryan Flynn, Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department to help obtain $500,000 for funding of the transfer station. Berry went on to say “We really need to build the transfer station in 2015.” The current facility is only a temporary situation. Berry will also meet with Lt Governor John Sanchez and discuss the matter with him as well.
The commission will meet again February 10 for the next regular meeting and have moved the February 24 meeting to Thursday February 26 at 6:00 p.m. to due to the Municipal League day on February 24.