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Public hearing on city council’s agenda Thursday

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The Roswell City Council will conduct a public hearing and possibly vote on a resolution requesting a lower interest rate on a $5.5 million loan at its regular meeting on Thursday.

The meeting will be at 6 p.m. Thursday in Meeting Room A of the Roswell Convention and Civic Center, 912 N. Main. Due to state health orders, the public is encouraged to attend electronically. The meeting will be livestreamed on the city’s YouTube channel. Those wanting to participate can do so through GoToMeeting virtual meeting software.

By computer, tablet or smartphone, the meeting can be joined at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/815060573. To join by phone, call 669-224-3412 and use access code 815-060-573.

The public hearing will be on proposed ordinance 20-16, which would request a 0.5% interest rate on the $5.5 million loan the city received in 2019 from the New Mexico Environment Department Clean Water Revolving Loan fund. The original terms called for a 1.2% interest rate for 20 years. Because the city has not yet drawn on the loan and interest rates have dropped, the city can request the lower rate, according to City Engineer Louis Najar.

Najar estimates the difference in interest rates would save the city $770,000. The Infrastructure Committee recommended the proposed resolution 4-0 in November and the full council voted 8-0 in December to schedule the public hearing.

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The $5.5 million would pay for the design and construction of a dewatering facility at the wastewater treatment plant.

Anyone wishing to speak in favor or against the resolution should sign up to speak prior the meeting, either at the civic center or through GoToMeeting.

Among the council’s new business for Thursday is consideration of approval of the mayor’s recommendations for the city’s Labor Management Relations Board. Mayor Dennis Kintigh has recommended Rich Olson as the management representative, Scott Douglass as the neutral representative and Pauline Ponce as the labor representative. All three have served on the board previously.

The council will also consider a memorandum of understanding with Chaves County over the use of $5 million in state appropriations the county received for the Roswell Air Center. In the Finance Committee meeting last week, Kintigh expressed concerns the MOU is vague and does not codify verbal agreements between the city and county. City councilors Margaret Kennard and Jeanine Best said they thought the county should have approached and worked with the city before requesting the funds. The committee voted 3-0 to have the MOU reviewed by the full council.

Approval of lease renewal for Building 611 at the Roswell Air Center to the New Mexico Department of Health is also on the agenda. The lease would increase the rent more than 100% to $225,408 a year or about $12 per square foot and includes a yearly 3% cost of living adjustment.

Renewal of the lease has met some opposition from city councilors, first in a special meeting in late November and in the Legal Committee in December. The Legal Committee recommended approval 2-1 at that meeting. Councilors and the mayor have expressed concerns the building would be more appropriately used by an aviation-related business and the rent is not set at market value, essentially giving the state a subsidy.

The meeting’s consent agenda contains 12 items in addition to last month’s minutes. The 12 items were previously considered and voted on in committees and will be voted on by the full council in one action as routine items. Any councilor can request an item be removed from the consent agenda and placed on the regular agenda for discussion and vote, however.

Items on the consent agenda include:

• An intergovernmental agreement with National Purchasing Partners, a Seattle-based cooperative.

• A request for proposals to establish a pool of general construction contractors for various city construction projects.

• A contract to Abraham’s Construction, Albuquerque, for the reconstruction of the bridge at South Lea Avenue and West Deming Street for $1.1 million.

• A professional services agreement for $527,000 to Bohannon Huston Inc., Albuquerque, for a survey and master plan of the Cielo Grande Recreation Area.

• An RFP for emergency ambulance services to American Medical Response Ambulance Service.

• A contract for two 10-passenger buses from Creative Bus Sales for $221,500.

• A contract for a new backhoe for the cemetery from Wagner Caterpillar, Albuquerque, for $121,840.

• Consideration of dissolving the six remaining furlough days for city employees.

• Consideration of waiver of storage fees for November and December for airplanes parked at the Roswell Air Center by American Airlines.

• A resolution to consider a loan for the new compactor for the landfill.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.