By Marty Mayfield
Raton City Commissioners met Tuesday evening, October 24th, in regular session to deal with a lengthy agenda that included adoption of the new solid waste ordinance and the introduction of the ordinance for the continuation of the one cent Gross Receipts Tax for Raton Water Works.
Commissioners first big item on the agenda was a public hearing for the new Solid Waste Ordinance. Once again no one came forward to comment on the ordinance and so it was adopted. Berry did note that dumping of appliances and furniture will now be illegal and noted that it is free for city residents to take those items to the transfer station and that it will take everyone in the city to help keep it clean.
Commissioners approved a solid waste rate hike for construction and demolition waste and tires. Rates for tire disposal will now cost $5.00 a tire with truck tires at $12.00. C&D waste will go up to $70.00 per ton for city residents and $75.00 a ton non-residents. Jason Phillips noted that as of 2015 the city has disposed of 38,733 car tires and 610 semi-truck tires at a cost of $60,997 to the city. (Link to the Solid Waste Rates)
Commissioners approved a renewal of the MOU between Raton Fire and Emergency Services and Maxwell Fire Department.
City Treasurer Michael Ann Antonucci gave the first quarter financial report which included the good news that the GRT continues to show an increase at 3.3% year to date per budget. That’s an increase of $89,374.10. Antonucci also presented budget adjustment #3 for fiscal year 2018. The budget adjustments included several transfers for the Fire Department and capitol funds transfers for the airport construction projects. Commissioners also approved the application to purchase three police vehicles using Law Enforcement funds through the New Mexico Finance Authority. (Link to the 1st Qtr Financial Report) (Link to the Budget Adjustment#3)
Commissioners approved the Juvenile Justice grant application for FY19. Danielle Archuleta noted that they are asking for an increase in funding from Children Youth and Families Department because of an increase in the number of clients they handle in Colfax and Union Counties. These requests are required to go through the city commission as Raton acts as the fiscal agent for the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee. The MOU with the advisory committee was also approved.
Commissioners approved an amendment to the contract with Express Aviation as Fixed Base Operator at Crews Field Airport. The amendment asked that Express Aviation will be the only vendor for fuel. The agreement will be good through 2028.
The city of Raton will continue to be a member in the North Central Economic Development District and City Manager Scott Berry and Public Works Director Jason Phillips were named voting members to the Northeast Regional Transportation Planning and Organizing committee.
Commissioners approved an amendment to the grant for the reconstruction of Taxiway A at the municipal airport. The amendment is asking the state aviation to increase their funding from $33,334 to $38,978. They then approved an amendment for Taxiway D construction due to problems with subgrade soils being water logged after many inches of rainfall. The change order is for $40,000.
Commissioners approved the introduction of an ordinance that will allow the voters to determine the fate of the one cent gross receipts tax that the water board has used for capital improvement projects. Water Department Manager Dan Campbell told commissioners that the tax will soon expire but if residents don’t renew it, it could mean water rate increases to cover the loss of the tax. This is a first step in a long process that will ask voters to put the question on the March ballot. (Link to the 1-cent Water Board GRT Ordinance)
City Manager Berry noted in his report that the construction at the airport should be done by the end of November. He also noted they had a trial run of the new digital projection equipment at the Shuler this last weekend and that they are expecting a grand opening November 3, 2017 with the movie “Thor”.
With that commissioners moved to enter an executive session to discuss litigation over the landfill. The lawsuit has been brought by Mark and Lori Van Buskirk. Commissioners will then come back into open session and deliberate and act on allowing the city manager to attend mediation on behalf of the city.
Commissioners will meet again on November 14, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. for their next regular meeting. the meeting will be broadcast on KRTN AM-1490.