By Marty Mayfield
The Raton City Commission met Tuesday evening and after a few months of talks approved the transfer and lease of the BNSF Railroad Depot located in Downtown Raton.
BNSF will remove some of their clutter in the building and over time will completely move out of the building. The city will have use of the lobby and other parts of the building until BNSF moves out completely in the distant future. One request made by Mayor Mantz is that Amtrak move their ticket sales into the building and remove the Morgan building out.
Commissioners approved the changes to the fixed asset inventory and will see the new inventory changes once City Treasurer Michael Anne Antonucci gets all the reports to reconcile. She noted that with some of the changes the reports needed to be updated and some can only be done through the software vendor. She hopes to have the new list completed by the next city commission meeting.
Commissioners heard from Renee Smith with Lamar Billboards on the details of the new contract for city billboard advertising. This year there will be six billboards located in Amarillo Texas, Tucumcari and Roswell with two located near Raton. Smith noted that she was also able to secure some free advertising on a new electronic billboard in Albuquerque for about a week earlier this year.
The contract for the next two years for the six billboards will be $56,200 split equally for each year. The new contract also includes new vinyl signs for the locations. Smith was able to clarify some of the questions that commissioners had from a previous meeting in September.
Commissioners then heard from Dan Campbell on the Segerstrom Creek restoration project which is nearing completion. The project included erosion control utilizing boulders and burnt tree logs. They also will be reseeding the area as they pull out.
The Lake Dorothy dam project is about 25% complete at this time. Campbell is hoping that concrete work can be completed sometime in November and the project completed in December of this year. It is a project that is being funded by both New Mexico and Colorado.
Campbell noted that the engineering for the filter plant project had received some praise for its scope however funding for the project could be effected by the upcoming presidential election.
Robert Walton, RPS General Manager, updated the commissioners on the new generator progress. The new engine and generator have been moved into the building and crews are in the process of completing the hookup of wiring and controls for the unit. Commissioning for the unit is expected to be completed in March of 2017 with final completion estimated to be April 28, 2017.
City Manager Scott Berry noted that city department heads had completed some management training and they are working on their mission statements for the training. Progress on the closing of the landfill is moving along with a temporary seed cover now in place. The Multi-modal center is now complete and along with the depot will make a more complete welcoming center for train passengers to Raton.
Berry noted that with a special session looming that funding for the chip seal project will possibly be held up and would not be released in time to get the work done this year so they are expecting it to be in the spring of 2017.
Commissioners will meet again on October 25, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. for their next regular meeting.