by Marty Mayfield
RATON — Raton City Commissioners met Tuesday evening to approve several financial issues, including accepting the DFA approved final FY2019 final budget.
Commissioners heard from Gary Calderone about a property in the 400 block of Grant that has become overgrown with weeds to a point a small mower can’t do the job. The property owners of the dilapidated building live in Arizona and Colorado and so far, the city hasn’t been able to get them to respond to requests to maintain the property. With limited resources and of course legal issues, it is almost cost prohibitive for the city to condemn the property and have the building torn down and the property cleaned up.
Ivan Caylor asked the commissioners if there was something that could be done with the appliance repair shop in downtown Raton and have the owner move the appliances to the back of the store instead of leaving them visible from the street. He also asked about an abandoned vehicle that has a 2011 expiration that is on the street in south Raton.
Commissioners approved the Raton PBW and Kiwanis Walk for Domestic Violence to be held on October 6, 2018.
Commissioners held a public hearing concerning the ordinance authorizing the credit agreement with CoBank in the amount of $1,754,000 to finance the filter plant project. With no discussion from the public, commissioners moved on with approving the credit agreement and loan on behalf of the Raton Water Works. This is a formality to meet USDA grant requirements for the grant from USDA for the project. Dan Campbell told commissioners that the project is out for bid and would take at least a year, but the project is slated for two.
Commissioners then heard about the grant application for phase II of the Taxiway A project. As part of the agreement of this amount, FAA had a couple of stipulations concerning the building of hangars as the city has a few privately-owned hangars with 50 year lease agreements. The other stipulation concerned not charging government owned aircraft to use the facilities at the airport. Commissioners approved the grant agreement for $1,187,122. The city will provide $65,951 for its match as will the state. This project should start soon and take about 60 days to complete.
Commissioners then accepted the DFA approved FY2019 Final Budget. City treasurer Michael Anne Antonucci noted that the city was once again seeing gross receipts above budget with an increase of 0.88% or $23,564.94.
Commissioners then introduced the supplement to Ordinance 940 consisting of ordinances 993-996. This is the process that is required to have the updated ordinances published online and made public. Commissioners postponed the introduction of the ordinance that relates to the New Mexico Uniform Traffic Ordinance. It will be brought back before commissioners at the next meeting as Antonucci needed to visit with Municipal Judge Manfredi and Chief John Garcia before bringing the ordinance to the commission.
City Manager Scott Berry noted in his report that Mayor Neil Segotta Jr. had been elected as vice president of the New Mexico Municipal League at the annual meeting for the upcoming year. The city will be seeing more road construction in the coming weeks as the water project on Brilliant to Hart and Hart to Second Street gets underway. This project should take about 60 days to complete as the city replaces a steel water line with a PVC water line. Berry noted they have had several issues with the old steel line in the past few years.
Hospital Drive project will get underway soon with a one-way access to the hospital at all times to allow traffic to get the emergency room as expediently as possible.
The preconstruction meeting will be held for the great blocks project this week with construction to begin in the next two weeks.
A preliminary report on the dam is due in soon. Public works is working on an accessibility report for Raton and it will include phase II of the great block’s projects. Dan Campbell and Scott Berry will meet with the New Mexico Environment Department concerning the nutrients and other affluent limits coming out of the waste water treatment plant. While the water department has been able to control those costs, it will become more expensive to handle the effluent water and meet government regulations and those costs will likely be passed on to consumers.
With that commissioners voted to move into a closed session for litigation. Berry noted that they were not going to talk about the Van Buskirk lawsuit tonight but would talk about the Lodger’s tax collection suit against the Travel Motel.
Commissioners will meet again on September 25, at 6 pm for their next regular meeting which will be broadcast on KRTN 1490 AM.