By Marty Mayfield
Raton City Commissioners met Tuesday evening, June 28th and approved a new water rate and heard that the gross receipts are down by just over 4% in May.
Commissioners approved Ordinance 992 establishing new rates for water and sewer. The rate increase is to help offset the costs of doing business for the water department. Dan Campbell informed commissioners that some of the new regulations that are coming down the pike will add costs to purifying Raton’s drinking water as well as improving the water discharged from the waste water treatment plant. (Link to Ordinance 992 New Water Sewer Rates)
Commissioners also heard from City Treasurer Michael Anne Antonucci that gross receipts tax revenues were down again by just over 4% which leaves Raton under budget by $111,736. Antonucci is hoping that the figures for May will show an increase as McDonalds is fully reopened and the construction projects are back in full swing. She noted that the departments have been very good at keeping costs down and holding off purchasing till the last minute. (Link to May 2016 Financial Report)
Commissioners approved the water department’s request to move forward with a USDA grant application to work on the 1946 vintage water filter plant. Commissioners also approved the Tiger Drive repaving project with good news in that the bid was actually about $2200 less than the engineer’s estimate. W.M. Serazio was the only bid at $183,881 versus the estimate of $186,131. The reduction is due to lower oil prices affecting asphalt prices.
Commissioners also approved a contract with Valle Del Sol for Youth services. They also heard from Fire Chief Jim Matthews requesting to proceed with the demolition of 421 and 421 ½ North 4th Street. Matthews showed pictures of the building which is in bad shape with falling ceilings and roof as well as two to four feet high weeds and other trash in the house and on the grounds. The process will begin with advertising the demo and then proceeding with an asbestos inspection before proceeding with the demolition.
Jason Phillips filling in for City Manager Scott Berry kept the report short noting that there are 200 bear dumpsters out with another 400 awaiting to be deployed during the next month. City crews have been out abating illegal dump sites and Phillips noted that the landfill will take all of the items that have been illegally dumped if people would just take them out there.
Commissioners will meet again on July 12 at 6:00 p.m. for their next regular meeting.