June 20th's Mountainair Town Council Meeting focused on Jubilee and Infrastructure Improvements

June 20th's Mountainair Town Council Meeting focused on Jubilee and Infrastructure Improvements

The town council meeting began with Mayor Peter Nieto and the Town Council discussing the town’s need to hire two public works employees. Town Clerk Dennis Fulfer also mentioned that he was vetting two applicants for the Mountainair Police Department.

With respect to the Mountainair Jubilee, the mayor discussed the return of the “Pinto Bean Queen,” which should be someone who is between the ages of 16 and 25 and available on August 5, 2023. Nieto also advised the town council that the Jubilee parade marshals had been selected.

National Park Service Ranger Alex Arnold spoke about how there were volunteer opportunities for those interested at the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument. Arnold elaborated that there were opportunities to volunteer not only for those who wished to interact with visitors but also for those who were interested in doing maintenance and administrative tasks, such as accounting, for the National Monument. Arnold said that while the National Monument normally had a larger number of seasonal employees, it had only taken on one seasonal employee due to lack of available local housing.

Leonor Luna and Roberta Sanchez requested to rent or borrow the town’s canopy on behalf of St. Alice Roman Catholic Church for the parish fiesta. On a motion by Councilor Dustin Kayser, seconded by Councilor Ernie Lopez, the town council unanimously agreed to rent the canopy for $240 or less.

Dennis Fulfer brought forth Resolution 2023-14 on behalf of Torrance County Clerk Linda Jaramillo, which addressed authorization to conduct elections for two Mountainair town councilor positions. These positions would be up for election during the 2024 election cycle. The town council unanimously approved this measure.

Mayor Nieto then brought forward a request to close a portion of Main Street in front of the Shaffer Hotel for a dance on June 30, 2023, and a request to close Ripley Avenue on July 1, 2023, for the Salinas Car Show. The town council unanimously approved both requests.

The next matter before the town council was a request to spend roughly $4,500 on repairs to the Mountainair Public Works Department's bucket truck.  Fulfer stressed the bucket truck - and therefore the repairs - were essential for safe work by the Public Works Department. The town council unanimously approved this request.

Council-member Richard Torres sought to have street lights installed on the East side of Mountainair. After a brief discussion of whether the homeowners in the area had been contacted regarding whether the street lights would interfere with their enjoyment of dark skies, the town council agreed to install street lights at the intersections of Dunn Avenue and Wilson Avenue with I-60 and the NM-55 Viaduct.

Torres continued to focus on infrastructure with a discussion regarding fixing the sidewalk outside the Dr. Saul Building. The town council discussed how damage to the sidewalk had cost the town money in the past, seemingly referring to tort claims against the town, then expanded the discussion to address damaged doors at the Dr. Saul Building, the need for improvements to the building's parking lot, and the need for an Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible ramp for the building. No motion was made, although it appears that the town will develop a scope of work for a future resolution.

Dennis Fulfer sought approval of two resolutions, 2023-15 and 2023-16, that would allow for a budgetary transfer in the case of the former resolution and a budgetary adjustment in the case of the latter. In the case of the budgetary transfer, this related to grant money being moved from the town's general fund to the solid waste fund where it would move that fund to where Fulfer said "we're only about six or seven thousand in the hole." The town council unanimously approved this resolution. Fulfer also sought to increase the budgetary allotment (and not the actual amount spent) for certain line items in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget. The town council unanimously approved Fulfer's request.

Adjusting the date of the next regular meeting of the town council was the last matter before the body. Mayor Nieto sought to move the meeting from July 4, 2023, to July 3, 2023, and the council unanimously agreed to this move. During this meeting, the town council will address rate changes for municipal utilities.

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