By Marty Mayfield
Raton City Commissioners met Tuesday evening, March 14th and received the opinion from Attorney John Utton concerning the Old Pass Road and access to the road and area beyond the city limits.
Commissioners heard from Preciliano Martin and Laura Brewer on the subject during the Public Comment Section. Martin noted that the current signs and gate up near Comcast is, in his opinion, an intimidation factor and is as much the problem as people going up there and doing the vandalism and trash dumping. He questioned its legality if the City did not give permission for it to be there. Brewer was concerned about the Iridium layer and picnic areas along the old road. City Manager Scott Berry noted that there has been vandalism to the picnic tables in the area as well.
Commissioner Ron Chavez told those in attendance that he will have a proposal for the next meeting when the matter is brought up for action. His idea is that the city create an accountability access to the area but not close it off. He also noted that in no way will the City give away or completely close off the road.
Berry told commissioners that several details will have to be worked out such as where the access will be restricted and how it is to be implemented. Attorney Utton recommended that an ordinance be drafted to deal with the issue and spell out how access is to be setup and who will have what kind of access. It is recommended that land owners, emergency personnel, hikers, and mountain bikers have unfettered access while all four wheel and off road four wheel vehicles have permitted access.
The matter will likely be brought up at the next regular meeting on March 28 where some direction will be given to Berry on how the commission wants to proceed on the matter.
Commissioners then approved a budget adjustment for the Juvenile Justice program simply moving monies around to meet the needs of the different programs and to expend the grant money by the end of the period in June.
Commissioners also approved a Lodger’s Tax recommendation for $5000 to the Raton Chamber to create a community guide. The request was for more but the board only recommended $5,000. Laura Brewer who is on the chamber board noted the full cost of the guide would likely cost around $15,000.
Commissioners approved the requests for Raton MainStreet’s Hops and Vines event allowing Sierra Blanca Brewery and Black Smuggles Winery to bring their wines and brews for the annual event at the Raton Museum on April 22.
Commissioners approved the appointments of Joe Gagliardi to the Raton Water Board, Ferman Ulibarri to the Raton Housing Board, William H. Daly to the Labor Management Board and Jessica Barfield to the Lodger’s Tax Board.
City Manager Scott Berry noted that a special session of the legislature may be in the works as budget issues continue to stifle law makers. Once the session is over the Municipal League will hold a meeting to explain many of the issues that affect small communities.
Berry is planning to meet with the Armory Board in Santa Fe and discuss the issues with the armory including the on-going lead cleanup. He noted the lease on the building expired in January and that the month-to-month clause was in effect. He is hoping the lead issues are resolved and the Armory Board will be able to deed the property over at their June meeting.
Berry also noted that there are several projects that are in progress or completed such as the concrete repairs on the Lake Maloya spillway and foundation work on the water intake building near Cimarron.
Commissioners will meet again on March 28 in the commission chambers for their next regular meeting.
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