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Raton City Commission supporting efforts to bring visitors downtown

by Marty Mayfield
KRTN Multi-Media
RATON — Raton City Commissioners met Tuesday in largely routine business to approve bids and renew agreements. Notable among the items approved were several geared toward supporting efforts to bring visitors to Raton.
Commissioners approved the event form for the July 22-25 Run to Raton on First Street, which will bring a welcome influx of visitors to the community.

The commission renewed contracts with Lamar for area billboards and added a billboard at the Armex complex with Linmark Outdoor Advertising. The Armex billboard will be used to direct traffic to downtown after the north exit is closed to southbound traffic. At that point the Highway 72 exit will be the first exit into town.

Commissioner renewed the MOU with the Center for Community Innovation for operating  the visitors center, which has had about 800 visitors in the last three weeks.  The center has 13 volunteers and needs more.

City manager Scott Berry reported the Ports to Plains economic impact study has been completed and will be posted on the city website. It is just one step in extending I-27 further north. It is hoped that I-27 will be routed up through New Mexico rather than going through Oklahoma and into eastern Colorado.

Berry also said the Great Blocks project has come to a close, and that it was the first one in New Mexico and the first one completed. The aquatic center will be fully open with no restrictions on July 1. The senior center window project is complete. Finally, officials held pre-construction conferences for the CDBG project in downtown Raton, the depot and Whittier/Byron Street projects which will begin in late July.

In other business
Commissioners approved the contracts for solid waste tipping fees ($2,750/5,000 tons) and transportation of the waste to the landfill at Wagon Mound. The only bid for transportation was Arthur Rolloff at $225 per load.
Commissioners approved the $40,801 contract with Springer Electric to put three phase power into the armory at the airport.
Commissioners approved contracts with Envision IT Solutions for IT services, with monthly costs at $2,589 for the city, $2,669 for the police department, and $1,332 for the fire department

In the financial report, commissioners heard the city GRT is 2.07% below budget for May.  City Treasurer Michael Anne Antonucci reported the city GRT is 2.07% below budget for May, that gas tax revenue is up $10,000 over a year ago and lodgers tax is beginning to see a rebound.

The next regular city commission meeting is July 13.  City Hall will be closed July 5.