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City Council to consider zoo event proposals

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The question about whether to award event hosting at the Spring River Zoo to two organizations, the Friends of the Spring River Zoo and Roebuck Entertainment LLC, is scheduled to be heard at the Roswell City Council meeting on Oct. 10.

A City Council Legal Committee meeting Thursday afternoon was canceled due to lack of a quorum. City Councilors Savino Sanchez and Barry Foster were unable to attend. The committee’s next meeting will be Oct. 24.

All items on the agenda will be considered later this month, except the matter concerning the Spring River Zoo Seasonal Events Request for Proposals.

Mayor Dennis Kintigh, Committee Chair Judy Stubbs and City Manager Joe Neeb decided that time constraints required that item to be heard by the City Council this month, so it will appear on the Oct. 10 agenda without a committee recommendation.

The RFP, which was issued Aug. 13 and closed Sept. 3, sought entities willing to coordinate and promote family-friendly events at the zoo to attract visitors and increase tourism.

Two responses were received, one from the Friends of the Spring River Zoo, a nonprofit fundraising and support organization for the city feature, and the other from Roebuck Entertainment, owned by City Councilor Jacob Roebuck. He created the annual Roswell Christmas Railway attraction in 2016, choosing to hold it on the zoo property.

The selection evaluation committee recommended awarding the RFP to both entities. Out of 125 possible points for seven categories, the committee gave the nonprofit 96 points and awarded 63 points to Roebuck Entertainment.

“Both Offerors have shown the capability and ability to provide successful events,” the recommendation stated.

City Attorney Aaron Holloman said that the New Mexico Governmental Conduct Act permits awarding a contract to an elected official associated with the city as long as a competitive bidding process is used.