By Marty Mayfield
Raton City Commissioners listened to citizens concerning the Old Pass road and limiting access to the property past the Comcast towers at Tuesday, November 8th meeting but not before Commissioner Ron Chavez told fellow commissioners that he wanted to postpone a decision on the matter until they received a legal opinion on the matter of closing the road.
Commissioners then heard from Leslie Fernandez who urged them to seek that legal opinion before they made any decisions. She also noted that this matter had been before the commission about 15 years ago and at that time it was determined they couldn’t close the road.
Roger Rael spoke to commissioners noting he had the privilege to see the documentation that Nancy Robertson had done several years ago concerning the road. He then read a letter that Richard Azar wrote to the Editor of the Raton Range concerning the use of the Old Pass road noting it had been purchased by the citizens of New Mexico a long time before the current land owners had arrived on the scene. Azar wrote his letter in 1999.
Preciliano Martín spoke to commissioners protesting how this matter had been handled. He noted that he went up on the road the day after the meeting and found the gate and signs in place. He believed it had been a done deal based on his interpretation of the commission meeting and the fact the signs and gate were already in place. Commissioners assured Martin that was not the case and that they wanted more information before making a decision.
Dennis Snyder spoke on the responsibilities of land owners based on his association with the Santa Fe Trail associations and the problems they have dealt with through that organization.
In other commission business commissioners approved the MOU with the Juvenile Justice Continuum advisory board and also approved the appropriation of 10 dumpsters to the Town of Springer.
Commissioners approved the purchase of work by Gordon Environmental for the work to be done on an additional water monitoring well at the land fill. New Mexico Environment Department didn’t like the work being done on an RFP that is over four years old. The city will purchase the work under a provision in the New Mexico purchasing code that allows for professional services under $50,000. The costs for the well and engineering is $25,000. Commissioners also approved a budget adjustment that moves money from the sanitation department to a fund to cover the closing costs of the landfill.
Commissioners requested that Raton City Manager Scott Berry work out a lease agreement for a billboard on city property. That lease had expired on September 30, 2016 and the city had just agreed to use that billboard for two years for outdoor advertising with Lamar.
In the city manager’s report, Scott Berry informed commissioners about the presentation they delivered to the New Mexico MainStreet group. He also noted that the group Spark had painted the caboose at the visitor’s center and that work is being done at the airport on the gate.
Commissioners then went into executive session for pending litigation concerning the settlement agreement related to PERLB Case number 118-11 and case number 302-11 IAFF Local 2378. Commissioners will meet again on November 22, 2016 for their next regular meeting.