by Mary Jo Tesitor
TRINIDAD — The regular meeting of the Trinidad Chamber of Commerce, sponsored this month by the City of Trinidad, gave the new City Manager, Gabriel Engeland, another friendly forum to answer questions about his action plan for the upcoming months. His primary goals are to improve fiscal management through organizational changes while keeping people employed, improve an infrastructure for which maintenance has generally been deferred, and provide “sustainable and responsible government that provides necessary and desired services.” He reiterated that his highest priorities are parks and recreation and safety issues. He hopes his choices will be seen as “smart and well thought out.”
At the end of his presentation, Engeland welcomed questions from the audience of business owners and representatives. Of primary interest was the effect of marijuana sales on the city, both positive and negative. Engeland stated that sales tax was up substantially for January and February, even with only three new cannabis businesses operating. All local sales tax from these enterprises is unbudgeted. On the down side, there is word that police crime calls are up, particularly theft, and there are more young transients in town who are generating more requests for assistance.
The other item of interest was the city’s newly-installed roundabout and the confusion it sometimes creates for drivers who have never encountered one before. This type of intersection is considered by CDOT a safer and quicker alternative, and another is in the plans for the “five points” intersection at Colorado and Arizona Avenues.
Upcoming events for the community include Comcast Care Day, an Earth Day clean-up activity on Saturday, April 25, sponsored by the Trinidad Community Foundation and Comcast. The community is invited to come have breakfast to kick off the day, then help clean up along I-25, Hwy 350, Hwy 12, Central Park, Santa Fe Trail, and the river. (See details in ‘Briefs’)
TSJC’s graduation will be on Friday, May 8 at 10am. The 2015 Trinidad and Community Water Festival is scheduled for May 14. The Armed Forces Day Parade is scheduled for Saturday, May 16, with a free luncheon for area veterans and fundraising for the September 2015 Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. The Sangre de Cristo Hospice Kid’s Camp will be held in June, and the return of the Santa Fe Trail Days Festival will be on June 19 and 20, in Central Park.