By Marty Mayfield
The Raton City Commission met Tuesday evening, February 14th in regular session and wound up tabling the discussion on the access to the Old Pass road.
Laura Brewer spoke about the Old Pass road reminding the commissioners about its importance for both the Iridium layer and the Santa Fe Trail, noting the terrible condition of the road up to the layer as well as Goat Hill and the disrepair of the signage at the Iridium layer. Commissioner Chavez noted that the commission didn’t have the legal opinion yet and that he was planning to bring a possible solution to the commission as soon as they get an opinion that will hopefully meet the requests of the land owners and historic preservation of the area as well as the need to keep access open to the area.
Leslie Fernandez spoke on behalf of the Raton Humane Society, wanting to know if the city was going to act on the new animal ordinance that was presented to the commission. A committee meeting was promised in December to talk about the new animal ordinance that the Humane Society, as she put it, ” handed them on a silver platter”, 23 months ago. City Manager Scott Berry indicated that both December and January were very busy months and that he would try to get something set for next week.
Commissioners then passed Budget Adjustment #8 for Fiscal year 2017 noting that Carol Baca had obtained some dispatch consoles from Albuquerque PD for free and that the only cost would be about $1600 for installation which was handled in a line item transfer.
Commissioners approved the resolution for disposing of surplus equipment which was a 20-year-old ambulance and a 20KW generator.
Commissioners then held a quick public hearing concerning the meeting of disadvantaged business enterprise for the federal fiscal years 2016-2018 for the airport taxiway project. With no public discussion, they then approved resolution 2017-11 supporting the DBE for the airport project. This is a requirement to meet FAA funding for the project which will be for work on the taxiways.
Commissioners approved the contract renewal for Engineering Analytics. Karen Stern was present and noted the changes in the contract now included three levels of engineering support as well a laboratory testing services.
City Manager Scott Berry told commissioners that he had discussion with BNSF and the Federal Highway Administration concerning some leftover money from the multi-modal project and they all agreed it would be good to move that money to the train depot project.
He also spoke before a legislative committee that is working on a bill to make it more difficult to do a recall on the commission/city manager form of government in the state.
Berry told commissioners that there is still some capital outlay money that is being held by NM MainStreet that they are trying to secure for the Great Blocks project as well as funding from other sources to do at least two blocks of the First Street project.
With some quick footwork, the city was able to retain $12,000 for tire recycling that the state was threatening to take away. The city currently has a big pile of tires at the transfer station. Jason Phillips was able to obtain a good bid for the tires from Interwest LLC in Colorado to recycle the tires.
The city has been working with Raton Water Works on funding for the water treatment plant and can get all the funding in a guaranteed loan. The total commitment would be difficult for the water department to handle so they are talking with RUS to get at least 55% in grant monies.
Senate Bill 101 is moving through the legislature which includes severance tax bonds to in the amount of $2 million for the state engineer to do planning, design work on Cabresto, Morphy and Lake Maloya dams.
With that commissioners moved into executive session for the purpose of discussion on the firefighter’s contract.
Commissioners will meet again on February 28, at 6:00 p.m. for the next regular meeting.