By Marty Mayfield
Raton City Commissioners heard from several citizens, pro and with suggestions for changes to the new animal ordinance they were considering during Tuesday evening’s regular Raton City Commission meeting.
Sue Duran spoke about the breeder’s permit fee believing that the $300 is too high, Commissioner Chavez agreed but it was noted that the fee is only $150. Kelly Jones brought her children and they again asked that the number of chickens not be restricted to only five. It was noted they don’t get enough eggs from their chickens to feed their family unless they hold them for a day or two and she added,”We would like to have more”. (Link to Animal Ordinance)
It was once again noted that the ordinance is a living document that it can and most likely will be changed to meet the needs of Raton. City Manager Scott Berry noted that livestock are also governed under the zoning ordinances as well as this animal ordinance. Commissioners then approved the new ordinance as presented.
Commissioners approved the agreement with Engineering Analytics for engineering services on the Hospital Drive project in the amount of $16,500. Berry noted that figure was below what was estimated for the project and construction will likely begin June 1, 2018.
Commissioners then approved a new lease agreement with C&C Communications of New Mexico which includes a reduction in price from $750 a year to $600 a year. Commissioners agreed they needed to reduce the price to keep C&C in business in Raton rather than loose another business. C&C had requested the reduction due to the loss of business in the area as two-way radio is being abandoned in favor of cell phones and other communication modes.
Commissioners heard from Geoff Peterson about a Jack Rabbit Booking app that will allow hotel bookings right from the ExploreRaton.com web page. Peterson noted that web sites like Expedia charge the hotel a commission, some as high as 20% to book a room. With the Jack Rabbit service, there is no commission fee which is a big plus for hotels. Commissioners approved the $5,705 that was requested and also approved the $11,000 asked for by Raton MainStreet for the Gate City Music Festival. Brenda Ferri noted this is less than last year due to some new sponsors coming on board and she hopes that next year the request will be even less.
Commissioners heard that the Fiscal Year 2018 budget was approved by the Department of Finance Administration and learned that the July 2017 financial report included more good news that the Gross Receipts Tax was once again up, this month by 2.8%. With that City Treasurer Michael Anne Antonucci brought the commissioners the first budget adjustment of the new budget. It includes fund transfers for repairs at the Aquatic Center and the accounting for Raton Water Works GRT. (Link to July2017 Financial Rpt) (Link to Budget Adj #1 FY18)
Commissioners approved a one-year lease renewal with Doss Aviation. Berry noted that the National Guard was still cleaning up the lead in the shooting range room at the Armory. They are hopeful that the last cleaning will pass inspection.
In the City Manager’s report, Scott Berry noted that commissioners Linde’ Schuster, Ron Chavez and Neil Segotta attended the New Mexico Municipal League meeting and Commissioner Segotta was elected Treasurer for this year. The city began the chip seal project Tuesday and will likely continue that through the week. Berry then asked Fire Chief Matthews to come in the room so he could inform commissioners that this would be Matthews last meeting as he is retiring effective September 1 after more than 20 years of service. Berry noted that the chief has done a great job, is very thorough and organized and has brought in a huge amount of grant money and would be very much missed.
Commissioners will meet again September 12 at 6:00 p.m. for their next regular meeting which will be broadcast on KRTN AM 1490