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Budget woes continue for City of Raton

by Marty Mayfield KRTN Multi-Media

RATON — It was reported at Tuesday’s Raton City Commission meeting that gross receipt taxes are down for January and that will make municipal budget projects for the next few months unpredictable. Treasurer Michael Ann Antonucci told commissioners it appears the food and medical reimbursements are more normal but she will continue to monitor those areas. The city however is at 62% of budget for the year, which is good considering the decline in GRT. Raton City Manager Scott Berry told commissioners Governor Martinez vetoed the $50,000 request for the water department and approved the $150,000 for street improvements. Commissioners approved the financial report and approved the budget adjustments which Antonucci noted was mostly transfers within department’s budget line items. In other financial items; commissioners approved the Tiger Eight Grant application request for $12,500 in matching money. The city of Lamar will make the grant application this year on behalf of the Southwest Chief Amtrak route. In response to conversations with the Whittington Center, commissioners approved a grant application for $12,500 with $2,500 for matching money to purchase another recycling trailer to be placed at the NRA facility. Jason Phillips noted the Whittington Center has been recycling all along. With many visitors coming from areas of the country that are more used to recycling. the trailer will help the center to promote its recycling efforts. Raton is a hub for recycling and the Whittington Center is considered one of the spoke organizations/ communities that use Raton as its recycling hub. This is seen as a win-win for both the city and shooting center. Phillips also noted, in order for the recycling to work better and more effectively they needed an education program to educate residents and other area communities on more effective recycling. In other business; the Raton Lodger’s Tax Advisory Board has not met recently and in lieu of a board recommendation, the commission approved $5,000 for the Raton Country Club for expenses related to a golf tourney coming up in the near future. The monies will come from the Lodger’s Tax promotional funds. • Commissioners approved two Memorandums of Understanding with the Colfax County Senior Center. One MOU replaces the previous one with name changes for the Senior Center director and city manager. The other deals with emergency use of the convention center should a disaster occur at the senior center that renders it incapable of performing its duties. • Berry said in his report, the Municipal League had a meeting in Raton Tuesday, March 22 and they presented their legislative report. They also heard from the New Mexico Finance Authority and will have a meeting with them on Wednesday. • Public Works is working on drainage issues as well as continuing street repairs. Berry noted the design team for the Great Blocks Project have submitted their final plans with a price tag of just over $1 million. He said funding will likely have to be sought from several sources and projects completed along the way as funding becomes available. The Multi-Modal Center Project is progressing and should start to see more progress with the better weather. • The Bee Hive project is now in the design phase and project managers are applying for permits. Construction should begin this summer.

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