By Marty Mayfield
KRTN Multi-Media –
Raton City Commissioners met Tuesday night, April 11th and during the Public Comment section, heard from Frank Ferri, who praised the City’s employees and department for their hard work and professionalism. Laura Brewer with the Raton Chamber gave an overview of efforts at the Chamber including the volunteers who are making it possible to man the Visitor’s Center to keep it open seven days per week. Also, after a question from Robert Horner, City Manager Scott Berry spent several minutes talking about Solid Waste and about the possible location of the transfer station near the city shop on Grant Avenue.
Berry explained that the city is in the process of upgrading the sanitation department because of the landfill closure and other environmental mandates. The city has two trash trucks on regular routes during the week with others covering to make up for holidays and weekends. He also talked about the new bear proof dumpsters and explained that they don’t work if you leave the lids open. Recently a lid was left open and a bear climbed into the dumpster and the lid closed on it. A city employee then had to go let the angry bear out of the dumpster which creates a dangerous situation for whomever happens to open the lid.
Berry eluded to the possibility of placing the transfer station near the city shop on Roundhouse Road. The reasoning behind this move is to provide a more convenient location for people to drop off solid waste instead of the illegal dumping that some are now doing. Also, the need for facilities with power since there is no power on Armstrong Lane where the current facilities are located. It will also be more accessible for city employees to do work on equipment as well as having other facilities for employees. The decision to place the transfer station there has not been finalized or approved by the commission.
On a related subject, Commissioners approved a proposal from Gordon Environmental to continue water sampling on the landfill. This will only be for one year and is a logical move since Gordon Environmental is still doing other related work. Berry and Jason Phillips noted the price is a bit on the high side and that future sampling could be done in-house, but the city needs time to get that worked out or to seek bids from other labs.
Commissioner then moved on to the business part of the meeting City Treasurer Michael Ann Antonucci noted that there is a transfer from the reserve fund to purchase an asphalt roller for the street department to replace an older piece of equipment, something that Berry noted is becoming a priority as the city deals with aging equipment. (Link to Budget Adjust10 FY17)
Commissioners then approved a resolution supporting Raton MainStreet in their efforts for economic development along with the New Mexico MainStreet. Berry noted that they have submitted a pre-proposal package to the USDA Economic Development Administration under their EDA public works program, requesting the full balance of funding for the Great Blocks Project for Raton MainStreet, but there are several hoops to jump through before that is a done deal.
There was little discussion on the city budget as Berry noted they are still in the early stages but are asking for input from Raton residents as to where the city should focus efforts.
Commissioners then held a public hearing regarding the Beer and Wine license for Bruno’s Pizza who is looking to relocate to the old White House Saloon building on Cook Ave. With no comment from the public commissioners approved the move of the license.
The city approved an MOU with the Raton golf course for an 18-hole disc golf course with Professional Disc Golf Association accreditation so they could hold tournaments in Raton. Parks and Recreation Director Jarod Chatterly noted that it is a good mix to have disc golf and ball golf on the same course. He also noted that disc golf is seeing a 12% growth rate annually with over 8000 course nationwide.
Commissioners appointed Larry McQueary to the City’s financial advisory board.
in his report, City Manager Berry noted that they are continuing work on the Shuler projection equipment and he is asking for an RFP due in by May 15 and it will be brought to commissioners at the May 23 meeting.
Raton city commissioners will meet again on May 9, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the commission chambers unless they decide to move it in lieu of a workshop with EPA consultants on some strategies for Raton.