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Raton City Commission hears parks & recreation update

The city parks and recreation report from Jared Chatterley was first up on the agenda for the Tuesday Raton City Commission meeting and drew comments from the public. Cathy Shultz spoke to the commission during the public comment period about the proposed dog park. There seemed to be some confusion as to how the park would be funded. The process of finalizing the park is still under review mainly due to finance issues. Chatterley’s report began with a short history on recreation and the many different kinds of programs that have been developed, including the Master of the Mountain Race, which he noted has gained international attention with a team from Canada planning to participate this year. The aquatic center has grown into a multi use complex, which includes a horseshoe pit, which will be the site of a tournament later this month, to walking trails. He reported further expansion is in the works to include a dog park, volleyball and bocce courts, disc golf and possibly an amphitheater. Commissioners then heard from Raton City Manager

Scott Berry, as he went over the Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan list. The transfer station still remains the number one priority with the Lake Maloya Dam safety improvements a close second. In other business, commissioners approved a three-year contract with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council to include a 2.75% pay raise this year and a 2% increase over the next two years. The city approved the memorandum of understanding with Mainstreet that will run to 2017. They also approved a resolution supporting a Public-Private economic development Mainstreet project. Berry indicated the MOU was an agreement for the two entities to cooperate and work together on such projects as the Shuler restoration, the Great Blocks grant, and other positive momentum projects taking place in downtown Raton. Commissioners approved Budget adjustment #10 for this fiscal year and approved the bid from Serazio Construction for concrete work at Fire Station #2 on Troy Avenue in the amount of $37,722.50 excluding GRT. They also approved the bid from Do It Right Construction to install 72 solar panels on the older building for a cost of $56,719.54. Chief Jim Matthews noted if all went well, the solar panels would pay for themselves in six years. Both projects are funded through Fire Fund dollars. Commissioners heard from Bob Osborn of New Mexico Game and Fish concerning the grant for bear resistant dumpsters. He said the grant would expire this year and if the city intended to use it, it needed to be done quickly. The city is required to provide 35% matching funds which can be done with money or in-kind services, which could include establishing an additional refuse collection route to remove trash more often. Commissioners then approved the memorandum of agreement to work with the game and fish department. Berry said the Raton Pass Scenic Highway could be put on the National Register of Historic Places by the New Mexico Cultural properties review committee at their next meeting. He reported 25 bales of tires have been removed and the landfill and transfer station area underwent an inspection by the Environment Department last week. The next regular meeting of the Raton City Commission will be June 23, at 6 pm.