The Tuesday, July 18, 2023, Mountainair Town Council meeting began with Mayor Peter Nieto announcing that Ramona Vickrey had resigned, effective June 30, 2023, from her Emergency Medical Services Director role. No explanation was given why Vickrey had resigned.
Public Works Department Supervisor Carl Archuleta reported that there were still numerous issues with the new water meters installed by New Mexico Meters. Archuleta cited issues such as incorrect addresses and billing being delayed, but said that New Meters personnel had told him that the installers are working to fix the issues. At the January 17, 2023, meeting of the Mountainair Town Council, New Mexico Meters had represented that the installation of water meters would take from March to May 2023. Archuleta stated that the problems with the new water meters may lead to late bills for some customers.
Mayor Peter Nieto brought forth an action before the town council seeking to lock in natural gas prices with Summit Energy. The town councilors discussed locking in natural gas prices for either six months or one to three years to avoid price hikes. After a motion by Dustin Kayser and seconded by Ernie Lopez, the Council voted to lock in prices for six months, from October 2023 to March 2024, at $5.52/mmBTU (thousand British Thermal Units). At its highest, in March 2023, natural gas rates for Mountainair reached $33/mmBTU.
The town council discussed finalizing the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Council members reviewed each department's revenues, expenses, profits, and losses. They noted they have leftover grant money to use for certain projects like road work. They approved resolutions to adopt the quarterly report for the Fourth Quarter of Fiscal Year 2023, adopt the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, approve budget transfers for the quarter, and adjust the current budget. All votes on these matters were unanimous. The council adjourned the meeting after an hour of business. Immediately after the meeting, councilmember Dustin Kayser was involved in responding to a brush fire on Red Bluff Road.