By Marty Mayfield
Raton City Commissioners introduced a new animal ordinance Tuesday evening July 11th at the regular commission meeting which will supersede the one written in 1984 that was only three pages long.
Former District Attorney Leslie Fernandez spoke to the commission and went over some of the changes in the ordinance that she and a committee helped draft. She began by explaining the ordinance is more encompassing and updated. Three of the major changes to the ordinance deal with livestock and that it will be illegal to have large livestock in the city limits with the exception of those zoned R1. She noted this will effect many horse owners in the city limits. The ordinance will allow five chickens to reside at one residence but no roosters.
Fernandez noted there will be a mandatory spay and neuter policy in effect for all cats and dogs. The only way around that is to obtain a $350 breeders permit which will only be allowed for those who have registered dogs with registration paperwork. Hobby breeding will not be allowed under the ordinance. Also a big change is that there will be a ban on single point tethering or having a dog chained up. There will be a 90 day grace period to get a fence built or possibly a trolley system could be used.
The one problem that was talked about, but believed to be too financially difficult, would be to have a trap, spay and release program for ferrel cats. With the large number of ferrel cats in the city limits it would be almost impossible to pay for the program. The new ordinance will be advertised for the next 30 days with a public hearing scheduled for the second meeting in August to have a public hearing. (link to the new Animal Ordinance)
Commissioners also approved the street closure for the Sinner’s car show on First Street. City manager Scott Berry noted that there will be accommodations made for the First Street Farmer’s Market that takes place on Saturdays.
They heard from Fire Chief Jim Matthews about an Emergency Operations Plan that is being written. Commissioners approved the document with Mayor Mantz voting no as she had not been given a copy to read. Matthews noted the document is a living document that will likely be changed many times a year as situations warrant.
Commissioners approved a 2-year agreement with the Raton firefighters Local 2378 which become effective on July 12, 2017.
Commissioners then approved the task orders for Molzen-Corbin for professional services on Taxiway A rehab and the construction of Taxiway D at Raton’s Crews Field Airport. Berry noted the bids will be opened and presented to the commission at the August meetings. They also approved the state aviation grant that covers consumables at the airport. Berry noted this is an annual grant application.
The commission was told about the Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan which includes street repairs and dam work at Lake Maloya as the two top priorities for the city. Those however could change as commissioners hear from Raton citizens and they prepare the plan for a September submittal to Department of Finance Administration.
In the city manager’s report, Berry noted that the construction on the Shuler Digital Film Projection project could begin this week and be finished up within about 90 days.
He touched on the chip seal projects and wants to use gas tax monies to work on a drainage problem on Price Street and Clayton Road.
There is work going on at the community kitchen with demolition of cabinets and working on appliances.
He also noted that they are seeing bear problems in parts of town that they hadn’t seen before. He noted that the new bear proof dumpsters have moved the bears farther into town as they look for food. He recommended residents note their dumpster pickup day and hold the trash till that day.
The next regular commission meeting will be July 25, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.