Trinidad looks closer at La Puerta financing, receives 2nd quarter financials

Trinidad looks closer at La Puerta financing, receives 2nd quarter financials

by Bill Knowles

TRINIDAD — The Trinidad City Council opened a series of meetings Tuesday beginning with a special meeting with an executive session as the only agenda item, allowing the council, some city staff, attorney’s representing the La Puerta development, and members of the Trinidad Urban Renewal Authority to discuss issues concerning the financing of La Puerta.

The city council had approved with a 6-0 vote a resolution establishing a date for a public hearing to consider the organization of the “La Puerta Business Improvement District”. They set the date for the Sept. 4 city council meeting. A petition for the organization of the Business Improvement District was filed with the city on July 30, 2018.

The regular meeting began at 6 pm.

In miscellaneous business, the council approved with a 7-0 vote a seventh amendment to a water purchase contract between the City of Trinidad and Pinon Water and Sanitation District. The amendment will be active until July 21, 2021.

When asked why, city utilities director Mike Valentine told the council it was a house keeping measure. “It’s usually a ten-year renewal and this hasn’t been renewed since July 21, 2011. We got with the district and they’re good with it and staff’s good with it, so I put it back onto a ten-year cycle.”

The Pinon Water and Sanitation District is located off south I-25. The houses behind Cannaco and Walmart, the Quality Inn, Tequila’s, and the trailers in the area are part of the district. The district was formed in the early 80s. As part of the fifth amendment, the district reserved five water taps. Between the fifth amendment and sixth amendment, the district used one so the seventh amendment shows four taps reserved. In the 1981 agreement, the district had reserved a total of 30 taps.

There is currently a moratorium in the seventh amendment stopping the district from using any more taps while there are water restrictions in place. The taps are residential taps. The remaining taps are reserved over again through negotiations when the agreement is renewed. So, according to Valentine, if the district doesn’t use the taps by July 2021, then they will have to be renegotiated into the new amendment.

With a 7-0 vote, the council approved the bid results for the sidewalk vault enclosures in the 200 block of East Main Street, including the southeast corner at the intersection with Maple. The bid was for about $70,000 and was awarded to Western Civil Contractors, the lowest of two bids received for the project.

The project needed to be done during the time of the Main Street project, but the vault was historic and CDoT refused to touch it, according to the city’s public works director Tom Beech. “There are two vaults under the sidewalk at 218 East Main, one east and one west. The one to the east is larger.

“The east vault… is supported by a steel beam and the one to the west is not supported at all. This made the price go up to make the vault more secure.”

The steel doors over the vaults can still be utilized and the vaults are accessible.

The vaults were coal chutes at one time. The reinforcement work will make the vaults safer for pedestrians that walk on them.

The council adjourned at about 7 pm.