by Marty Mayfield
RATON — Raton Fire and Emergency Services Chief Jim Matthews, speaking to the Raton City Commission this week, listed the top 10 dangerous buildings in Raton the code enforcement group has identified as needing to be demolished.
Commissioners will be asked to start the demo process on two particularly dangerous buildings at their next meeting. As city manager Scott Berry noted, demolishing privately owned buildings requires a very specific process to be followed.
Matthews also requested commissioners rescind the city’s burn ban, as recent rains have reduced fire danger. He also noted fireworks are only permitted from June 20 to July 6.
Commissioners approved three street closures for the July 4th weekend parade on First Street and the VFW closure for a street dance on Park Ave.
Berry recommended the city use $50,000 in matching funds from the gas tax to get $400,000 for the first phase of the great blocks project on First Street. The total project cost is estimated to be just over $1 million. The first phase will take care of some street improvements on Cook, First, and Rio Grande.
Berry noted the city only receives two cents of the $.17 gas tax for street improvements. He asked for approval to do chip seal work on Mora, Pecos, Dwyer and Buena Vista, and to do paving work on Savage, Cook and Apache between First and Second Streets. Some of the work will depend on when the capital funding money becomes available that the city was approved for this last legislative session.
In other business:
Commissioners approved Jose Mauricio Lemus to the lodger’s tax board and approved the 13th budget adjustment of the 2016 fiscal year. They also approved the vector control agreement with Colfax County Vector Control Services with the same terms as last year.
Commissioners approved a request from Alpha Design to include some electrical engineering work on the Shuler theater digital upgrade project. More design work needs to be done, and some of the additional financing will come from the Shuler Restoration Board.
Commissioners approved the amended MOU with the Raton Chamber of Commerce. The agreement will remain the same and is extended for one year. Once again commissioners agreed that they would require the chamber to produce financial reports for their operations to allow the city to monitor how the money they provide gets spent.
Berry told commissioners the Segerstrom Creek project is 75% complete and all parties involved were pleased with the work so far. Berry also touched on the water mapping project meeting he attended, noting they need lots of money to complete this project. The city will be opening bids for the cover work at the landfill and other projects in the coming week.
Raton and the State of Colorado are looking at some dam improvement work at Lake Dorothy.
Work at the Wärsilä power plant is progressing. The old generator has been removed and the bid for new construction to prepare for the new generator will be opened June 17.