Category: News

Twin Eagle, RPS Power Provider part 4 of 4

By Marty Mayfield

KRTN Multi-Media


Twin Eagle is Raton’s power provider but the power comes from the Xcel Energy power plant at Pueblo, Colorado and goes down a transmission line owned by Tri-State Generation to Burro Canyon then on to Raton on a transmission line owned by Raton Public Service.

That wasn’t always the case as RPS became a member of the Arkansas River Power Authority about 1984. ARPA is a political subdivision of the State of Colorado which afforded seven communities including Trinidad to merge generation and purchase power at a cost savings to its members.  When RPS divested it’s membership following a settlement agreement on December 24, 2009 RPS as part of that agreement would purchase the 27 Mile 69-kilovolt Burro Canyon Transmission line and the remaining part of the Wartsila generating unit that was co-owned by ARPA and RPS. In return RPS entered into a 3-year power purchase agreement with ARPA and RPS would not be held liable for the cost of the Lamar Repower Project that originally started out at $69 million and grew to over $130 million. That project to date has not generated any power and the cost has ballooned to over $170 million.

When RPS divorced the Arkansas River Power Authority in December of 2009 RPS was forced to find electricity from another source as Raton was no longer generating its own power. The Wartsila Generator had blown up and the power plant had been moth balled due to environmental issues that were too costly to comply with, not to mention the plant was over 50 years old which attributed to some of the environmental upgrade costs.

Seeking bids from several suppliers, not necessarily the actual electric generation company, Enserco a subsidiary of Black Hills offered RPS a bid that was 6.2 cents a kilowatt for 10 years, something that was almost unheard of at the time. Enserco was one of two bidders who would offer a 10-year contract for electricity. The current RPS contract runs through 2023. The electric generation industry at the time was seeing fuel prices fluctuate as well as increasing transmission costs and increased demand. Environmental issues with coal generation were adding costs to the those plants. Many companies would barely consider a five-year deal let alone a 10-year contract.

Enserco was later purchased by Twin Eagle Resources Management, LLC in 2014, who is a power broker or buyer/reseller of electricity. They purchase power from a generation company and then resell it on the open market or on contract like they have with RPS. Generation costs such as fuel fees are passed on to the consumer as part of the electric bill.

At the time 6.2 cents a Kilowatt was not a bad price yet today some Ratonians are now complaining about higher electric bills. The question here is do they track their usage and costs to really see where the difference in the bills comes from? Is it simply that they use more electricity than they realize? Probably not, as most consumers simply pay the bill. Also as part of that bill there are fuel adjustment costs, transmission costs and other factors that are calculated into the bill. The other factors are costs that are passed on by the generation companies to cusumers, things that RPS or Twin Eagle have no control over.

As RPS nears the end of that 10-year contract it will be time to negotiate a new deal or find a new supplier. Tri-State Generation supplies power to several electric coops in Colorado and New Mexico including San Isabel in southern Colorado, Springer Electric Coop and Southwestern Electric Coop in northeastern New Mexico.

Xcel Energy supplies power to the region from plants in Colorado and Texas. Xcel is also very big into wind energy in Texas and Colorado. Will these companies even bid for such a small load as Raton? Perhaps on a year to year contract and maybe a five year deal if that or will RPS be able to find a good deal with another power broker?

With changes in the federal administration the wind and solar energy picture may change drastically between now and the 2023 when the RPS contract expires. Environmental issues with coal and natural gas will influence their prices which could cause price swings in fuel costs. These are factors that will influence the next electric contract RPS tries to negotiate. Will RPS be able to negotiate another 10-year contract to the benefit of Raton residents? Most likely not, there are too many uncertainties in the electric industry for a company to look that far into the future.

Public Training Available

Disaster Planning

The Raton Office of Emergency Management has completed a city-wide

Emergency Operations Plan.

This plan addresses;



Emergency Response


Preparedness (72 hours self-sufficient)


Job Opening

Raton Fire Department has immediate openings for the position of Firefighter / EMT.

Job duties include;

Structural and Wildland Firefighting

Emergency Medical Response

Hazardous Materials Operations

Rescue Procedures

May be requested to respond locally or nationally

Excellent benefit package – Including Medical Insurance, Retirement, Sick and Vacation Leave


Public Training

Raton Fire & Emergency Services provides emergency response training to the public and our mutual aid partners. Most trainings are provide free to the public or at cost. Other trainings are come with scholarship opportunities. Available trainings include;

CPR & First Aid (3rd Thursday of each month)

Fire Extinguisher Operations

Home and Business Disaster Planning

Continuing Medical CE for EMT license retention

EMT-Basic Class

EMT-Advanced Class (class starts July 12the in Raton)


For any additional information call the Raton Fire Department at (575) 445-2708

Raton Fire & EMS ~ Fireworks

Raton Fire & Emergency Services
~ Fireworks

Public Display
Yes, the City will be conducting their annual firework display this year.
Contributions will be accepted any time, any day, at the Raton Fire Stations # 1 and #2
Street Collections / Contributions (Fire Engines Drive-By) will be 5-8 PM July 1, 2 & 3
Firework Show – Tuesday, July 4th, apx. 9 PM from Round House Park

Personal Use
Fireworks may be purchased anytime that they are available for sale.
Sellers – must have a sales permit, license and have been inspected
You must be 16 years of age or older to purchase fireworks
You may light fireworks June 20th through July 6th, 9:00 am to 10:00 pm
You may not light fireworks within 100 feet of combustible vegetation

Prohibited Fireworks – Possess or sell – These or by any other names:
Aerial spinners
Missile-type rockets
Roman Candles
Stick-type rockets

For any additional information call the Raton Fire Department at (575) 445-2708

June 15, 2017

fireworks green
Raton Fire & Emergency Services
127 Clark Ave.
Raton, NM 87740

The Buckets are Full for a Rainy Day Maybe Part 3

By Marty Mayfield

KRTN Multi-Media


Raton Public Service was set up in such a way by its founders to protect the profits and capital that the company accumulates over the years in order to have funds available in case the worst case scenario came along.

RPS is a New Mexico Corporation with the City of Raton as the beneficial owner of all the capital stock. The City of Raton purchased the company in 1919 and established an independent franchise structure that has protected the electric utility from government overreach and political winds. The City Commission appoints three trustees who hold shares on behalf of the city while the board of directors consists of a five-member board with the mayor having an automatic seat and the commission selecting one additional commissioner to represent the city. The trustees then vote the shares for the remaining three board members. The board of directors has established a policy that provides for advisory members who sit as citizen advisors but have no vote.

RPS is governed by the City of Raton Ordinance No. 942 and in lieu of a franchise fee RPS provides electricity to the city for municipal use at no cost. The exception being energy that is taken for proprietary purposes where the city pays the actual costs.

Over the years different city commissions sought to either force RPS to pay the city its residual fees or even to go after the monies RPS had accumulated and placed into capital funds to refill its dwindling coffers. Yet the founding fathers knew this could happen and thus wrote the franchise in such a way to help protect from those aggressions.

While this may seem unfair to some it has the purpose to not only protect RPS but to help protect the ratepayers, who are the residents of Raton in case a catastrophe took place. Over the years an aging infrastructure has required RPS to look at upgrades and changes to the system. Over the last few years RPS has upgraded the distribution system by replacing poles and overhead wire. This has allowed RPS to increase the voltage on the different circuits to help with distribution losses and create a more uniform system and it was all paid for without going out for loans by the capital improvements fund.

Should a catastrophe occur, such as a tornado, severe ice storm or winds that downs poles and wire RPS can replace that infrastructure probably without going out for loans from its current reserves. RPS still owns the Burro Canyon line which several years ago, was estimated to cost about $1,000,000 a mile, at today’s cost it’s probably much more. Should RPS have to replace some of that line due to weather they would be able to pay for it with the capital monies the company has saved up, depending on the amount of line that is lost.

The method RPS uses for its revenues is called the Rate and Income Requirements and Disposition of System Revenues, commonly referred to as the bucket system, which was established to ensure the financial stability of the company.  Revenues paid to the company are set aside into a special fund known as the City of Raton Electric Utility System Gross Income Fund, designated as the “Income Fund” from which monies shall be expended in the following priority:

Gross Income Account is the account used to pay current expenses.

Debt Service Reserve are funds required for debt service and bond reserves not to exceed one half of the annual service requirements.

Operation Reserve Fund is the cash reserves adequate to permit payment of the average cash expenses required for a 60-day period.

Reserve for Annual Overhaul is funds that are used to pay, in whole or in part, for periodic repairs and inspections.

Capital Improvements and Replacement Fund is money that is used to pay for, in whole or in part, the costs associated with additions, extensions and improvements to the electric utility system.

City of Raton Residual Funds are funds to be transferred to the city treasurer should there be any leftover funds after funding the above the accounts as designated by Ordinance 942 at the end of the fiscal year.

Recently the 7.5 megawatt Wartsila generator blew up and had to be replaced. The generator was covered by insurance but its replacement is only a 4.3 megawatt generator which was dictated in large part by the insurance company proceeds that RPS received which was $6.2 million, which was the full replacement cost of the Wartsila unit. The new GE Jenbacher generator will supply power to only part of Raton at a time. Raton has seen a max load of close to 12 megawatts in years past. Normally the load runs less than eight megawatts. Should RPS have used some of its capital monies to increase the size of that generator? At a cost of $1.4 million a megawatt the answer to that question is no. it would cost close to another $6 million to provide a generator that would be close to covering Raton’s needs and quite simply RPS doesn’t have that much money saved up and still maintain an adequate reserve.


Commissioners Meet Tuesday Evening and Approve Several Items

By Marty Mayfield

KRTN Multi-Media


Raton City Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, June 13th and approved the Raton Mainstreet street closure of First Street for the 4th of July activities and parade to be held that day. The parade will be held at 5:00 p.m. before the fireworks. They also approved the activities for the 2017 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally and the Lodger’s Tax request for the Gate City Music Festival for $11,000 to help with expenses. Diana Sanchez told the commissioner that Susie Bogguss will be the headliner this year on Sunday September 3 at the Shuler.

The agreement with the firefighters local was tabled since the group had not voted on the contract yet.

Human Resource Development Associates, Inc. received the nod for the contract to run the Direct Youth Services for this fiscal year. They beat out Valle Del Sol of New Mexico based on the scores of the evaluation committee. Valle Del Sol ran the program this last fiscal year. (Link to the JJACC RFP)

Commissioners approved the dispatch agreement with the Town of Springer, the agreement is basically the same as last year and covers part of the cost of dispatcher’s payroll.

The RPS budget adjustment #2 was approved. The adjustment transfers funds from the Gross Income Fund to the Capital Projects fund. The total transfer is $181,440.00 which moves the money into the capital fund due to an increase in revenues in the gross income fund. (Link to the RPS Budget Adjustment #2).  City Manager Scott Berry also talked about the current testing for a black start that RPS will work on this week beginning on Thursday night at midnight till about 4:00 a.m. The testing is important to get all the bugs worked out so that in the event that Raton loses power they can start the generator within a short time and begin bringing the town back up. The blackouts could also occur Friday morning and Saturday morning depending on how the testing goes.

Commissioners approved the resolution showing the changes in the health insurance program which moves the city employees back into the state insurance program. They then approved budget adjustment #14 which covers several line items to balance things out for the end of the fiscal year.  (Link to the Budget Adjustment #14)

In the city manager’s report Scott Berry noted the airport improvements were moving along and that several plants that didn’t make it through the winter will be replaced at the multi-modal center. He has several meetings planned this week including the conclusion of the strategic planning meeting and the EPA meeting conclusion. Street projects will be underway this week and into July and August.

He also noted that it is important that property owners to work at keeping weeds and grass down and noted the convenience center is open on Saturdays to take yard waste and reminded residents to keep the dumpster lids closed they can’t keep the bears out if they are not closed.

With that Mayor Pro-Tem noted that he was at a meeting where he learned that the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department can keep Gross Receipts Tax payments without telling the community they are doing it until they reach a certain level. There is a lawsuit being filed concerning just that thing where Tax and Rev has withheld money form five communities in the state.

After 26 years and over $120,600 raised the Knights of Columbus will be retiring from the St Jude’s Bikeathon.  Frank Cimino told Raton City Commissioners Tuesday evening after receiving the Proclamation recognizing the Bikeathon.

Cimino told commissioners he hoped that a group, possibly one of the families that have been so active in the annual event will pick it up and ride with it.

Commissioners also heard from the Yob family concerning the slowness or lack of progress in the Mandy Van Landingham murder case.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, June 27 and will be broadcast on KRTN 1490 AM.


Mike Colangelo, Mark Riddeford, Frank Cimino and Gus Mascarenas accepted the proclamation for the St Jude's Bikeathon. After 26 years the Knights of Columbus will be doing the bikeathon for the last time. Cimino hopes another group will pickup the bikeathon and ride with it.

Mike Colangelo, Mark Riddeford, Frank Cimino and Gus Mascarenas accepted the proclamation for the St Jude’s Bikeathon. After 26 years the Knights of Columbus will be doing the bikeathon for the last time. Cimino hopes another group will pickup the bikeathon and ride with it.

Proclmation St Judes Bikeathon-2059


City-wide Burn Restrictions

Raton Fire & Emergency Services

127 Clark Ave.

Raton, NM  87740






City wide Burn Restrictions


The City of Raton has, as part of their City Ordinances, Fire Restrictions. These restrictions are in force year round and do not require a special decree to activate. These restrictions apply to the Raton City and the Extra Territorial Zone (ETZ).


These ordinances limit;

The Storage of Flammable and Combustible Materials,

Open Burning,

Recreational Fires,

Open Area burning (None allowed within 50 feet of any structure)

Open Burning within an approved container (None within 15 feet any structure)

Bar-B-Qs (Must be 10 feet distance or greater from any structure)

All Fires require – Attendance – Fire Extinguisher or Water Hose


Permits are required for;


Recreational Fires

Range Management

Weed Control


Additional Restrictions or Bans may be imposed if conditions warrant.


For areas outside the Raton City limits or the ETZ, contact the Colfax County Fire Marshal’s Office at 575-245-3473. For any additional information call the Raton Fire Department at (575) 445-2708




June 9, 2017

Special hunting skills camp offered at Wedding Cake Ranch near Clayton

news banner bw logo

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866
Media contact: Karl Moffatt: (505) 476-8007


Special hunting skills camp offered
at Wedding Cake Ranch near Clayton

CLAYTON – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is partnering with First in the Field to offer a free hunting, fishing and outdoors skills camp where youths will receive hands-on training.

The camp is open to youths ages 11 and older. The camp will be conducted June 22-25 at the Wedding Cake Ranch near Clayton. Meals and equipment are provided and participants will camp in tents at the ranch. Registration is underway. Participants must complete and return the registration form available at www.wildlife.state.nm.us/education/hunter-education/ by 5 p.m. June 17 to be eligible. Slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Participants will learn how to safely handle and fire shotguns, .22 rifles and pistols, practice archery with 3D targets, learn fishing skills with bait and flies, practice survival skills, orienteering, game trailing, wildlife observation and identification, trapping, camping, cooking and more under the supervision of department staff and volunteers.

To qualify for the camp, youths must have earned their hunter education certification online and register with an adult. To hunt legally in New Mexico, youths under 18 years of age first must successfully complete a hunter education course or be registered in the department’s Mentored-Youth Hunting Program.

For more information, please contact First in the Field, info@firstinthefield.org or the department’s Hunter Education Office, www.wildlife.state.nm.us/education/hunter-education/ or  (505) 222-4731.


Distribution, Generation and Transmission the RPS Way

By Marty Mayfield

KRTN Multi-Media


The Raton Public Service distribution system consists of eight circuits feeding the city of Raton and out east into Carrisbrook along highway 72.

RPS over the last few years has been upgrading the distribution system by replacing poles and wire to bring it in line with today’s standards and improve reliability. There have also been upgrades at the Power Plant Substation near downtown Raton in the form of a new transformer and switch gear to help with the distribution of electricity.

The electricity coming into Raton comes in on a single 69KV line from the Raton substation on Gardner Road and is metered at the power plant before going out on the distribution system. The Power Plant Substation is also where Raton’s own generation capability ties into the system.

RPS mothballed the old power plant in February 2006 due to environmental issues with coal burning emissions. At that time securing a source for coal had also become problematic for RPS. The equipment in the power plant is well over 50 years old and will require some work to get it back up and running, should RPS find a way to deal with the emissions issue. With the new federal administration in place could those restrictions be lifted offering a ray of hope for RPS? Or will new technology that is being developed answer the emissions issues? Also, will RPS be able to find a supply of coal that meets the needs of the plant? All these questions will remain unanswered for the near future.

RPS dedicated resources, financial and personnel, to overhauling the Wartsila 7.5 megawatt gas generator so that they would be able to generate most of their power needs and eliminate the need to purchase power from ARPA. Following the complete overhaul in October 2012 the Wartsila generator suffered a catastrophic failure that rendered it inoperable during the start up to the desired output.

With proceeds from insurance RPS set out to procure replacement generation. Ultimately a 4.3 megawatt generator was purchased. The new 4.3 megawatt GE Jenbacher generator will be operational in mid-2017 however Raton will only be allowed to run the generator during times of blackout based on the current contract with Twin Eagle. According to the manufacturer the best scenario for the generator’s operation is to run it continuously. Due to the size of the unit only parts of town can be supplied with electricity during a total power outage, while other parts of town will go dark until outside power is restored or switched in from Springer Electric. Rolling black outs are also a consideration should the power be out for an extended length of time. Those blackouts will most likely effect the residential areas of town in order to keep essential or emergency facilities like the hospital operational.

Should RPS find a way to add more natural gas generation to the system the next question, is there enough capacity in the current gas distribution system of Raton Natural Gas to handle such a demand? According to David Link of Raton Natural Gas they have the capacity coming into Raton the issue maybe more the local distribution system and whether it is big enough to feed the demand at the location of the plant.

The main RPS substation is located near the old power plant. From here electricity is distributed to the different circuits in Raton.

The main RPS substation is located near the old power plant. From here electricity is distributed to the different circuits in Raton.


This is the hub or the main RPS Substation where the power comes into Raton from the Burro Canyon Line and is distributed to the different circuits in town.

This is the hub or the main RPS Substation where the power comes into Raton from the Burro Canyon Line and is distributed to the different circuits in town.


The new 4.4 Megawatt GE Jenbacher Generator. The generator will supply only a portion of Raton's electric needs.

The new 4.4 Megawatt GE Jenbacher Generator. The generator will supply only a portion of Raton’s electric needs.


The new GE Jenbacher Generator housed in the old Warzilla Building.

The new GE Jenbacher Generator housed in the old Warzilla Building.

Eighth Judicial Court Docket Report May-June

Docket Report for May 17, 2017 – June 1, 2017

Adam Rivera appeared for arraignment on May 17, 2017. Bond was set at $2,500.00 cash or surety. Upon his release, Mr. Rivera is placed on all standard conditions of release along with the special condition of the entering of a waiver of extradition and reporting to HRDA for random UA’s.

Shelbe Mastrantoni appeared for first appearance on May 17, 2017. Denials were entered on all charges and bond was ordered to remain at $2,500.00 cash or surety. Mr. Mastrantoni is to continue to report to APPO.

Starla Richards appeared for first appearance on May 17, 2017. Denials were entered on all charged and bond was set at $5,000.00 cash or surety. Ms. Richards was placed on all standard conditions of release and is to report to APPO if she posts bond.

Dominic Apodaca appeared for a first appearance hearing on June 1, 2017. Denials were entered on all allegations and he was continued on all previous terms and conditions of release

Louis Duran plead guilty to Count 2, Tampering with Evidence, a 4th Degree Felony, on June 1, 2017. He was sentenced to 18 months DOC. Mr. Duran is to receive pre-sentence credit for 288 days. The State dismissed the following counts in D-809-CR-2016-133: Count 1, Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder (Willful and Deliberate), a Second Degree Felony and Count 3, Possession of a Firearm or Destructive Device by a Felon, a Fourth Degree Felony. Also Dismissed was Count 1, First Degree Murder (Willful and Deliberate), a Capital Felony in D-809-CR-2016-140.

Joseph Herrera appeared for arraignment on June 1, 2017. Bond was set to remain at $20,000.00 cash or surety. Mr. Herrera is placed on standard conditions of release, is to not have contact with victims/parties to this case, and is to report to HRDA for random UAs.

Philip Staley appeared for arraignment on June 1, 2017. He is to be released and transported to treatment.

A bench warrant was issued for the arrest of Julian Hernandez for Failure to Appear in the amount of $5,000.00 cash or surety.

Briana Vasquez appeared for arraignment on June 1, 2017. Pleas of not guilty were entered on all counts. She was continued on all previous terms and conditions of release.

Kelcey Raught appeared for arraignment on June 1, 2017. A plea of not guilty was entered. Ms. Raught is to remain on all standard conditions of release.

Nicholas Casados appeared for a Non-Jury Trial on an appeal from the Magistrate Court. There was no representation of the State and therefore the case was dismissed and remanded back to the Magistrate Court.


Bernard Sandoval Named to C. Springs Sports Hall of Fame

The Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017 will be formally inducted and honored on Tuesday, October 24 at The Broadmoor World Arena.

Special Recognition Award

Bernard Sandoval

Bernard Sandoval will receive a Special Recognition Award and will be inducted alongside The 1998 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team, Chuck Wielgus, The Donner Family, Henry “ ank” Egan, Pat Garrity and Janine Szpara. In addition, Mitch Johnson will receive the Col. F. Don Miller Sports Service Award, the El Pomar Foundation will receive the Thayer Tutt Sportsman Award.
The Sports Hall of Fame has honored greats like Peggy Fleming, Goose Gossage, William Thayer Tutt, Bobby Unser, Bob Mathias, Dave Ogrean, Bonnie Blair, 1980 USA Olympic Ice Hockey Team, Bill Hybl, Marty Louthan, Ben Martin, Amy Van Dyken, Ken Hatfield, Fisher DeBerry, Earl “Dutch” Clark, David and Hayes Jenkins, Chris Fowler, Rulon Gardner, and many great high school and collegiate championship teams from Colorado Springs.

Bernard Sandoval is founder and president of SANDIA Advertising in Colorado Springs – a strategy, advertising, design and digital shop that provides creative answers to business challenges.

In 2008 Sandoval spearheaded the “Olympic City USA” concept as a branding vehicle for Colorado Springs, tying our metro region to the Olympic brand and its themes of excellence, patriotism and aspiration. “Olympic City USA”  has now been adopted as the official moniker of the city and embraced by leading organizations. Sandoval was honored by Mayor John Suthers with the Spirit of the Springs Award for championing this effort over many years.
Over his 30-year career, Sandoval has worked with U.S. Figure Skating, USA Hockey, USA Basketball, USA Cycling, USA Wrestling, and numerous regional and international events. He has donated thousands of hours to local organizations such as the Colorado Springs Sports Corp, Broadmoor Skating Club, Rocky Mountain USO, Colorado Literacy, Colorado AIGA, El Pomar Institute for Innovation and Commercialization and the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs. He played a major role in crafting visual identities for the Colorado Springs Sports Corp, The Broadmoor World Arena, Central Bancorp, The Club at Flying Horse and the Olympic City USA task force. He was instrumental in leading the task force through a marketing plan involving flags, pole banners, billboards, airport signage and TV ads. He was also instrumental in guiding the group through a messaging platform.

His knowledge of design, digital media, social media and the city in general was invaluable. The task force asked Sandoval to design a logo that would connect Colorado Springs to the Olympic movement, knowing that it would not be able to use the Olympic rings in the logo. His team studied other cities that had Olympic affiliations and proposed a design that met with unanimous approval by the task force, City leadership and USOC leadership. The logo has been enthusiastically received by the public and the Colorado Springs Olympic Family. In his distinguished career Sandoval has won more than 100 awards for marketing and design excellence.

He is a graduate of Raton High School and is the son of Gene and Eva Sandoval of Raton. He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, Renee, and two daughters, Brandi and Michelle.