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City council to consider ratifying land purchase


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

The city of Roswell is purchasing an 11-acre vacant property near the Roswell Air Center but has not yet designated a use for it. 

The city’s bid of $300,000 in a February online auction was accepted by the U.S. General Services Administration for the land identified as formerly a part of the Roswell Job Corps Center, 57 G Street.

The Roswell City Council will consider ratifying the purchase at its meeting this week. The council will also consider other large-ticket items including moving forward on construction of a new landfill cell and new software for the emergency dispatch center.

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.

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The vacant lot the city is purchasing is just south of the Job Corps Center, bordered by Mathis Street on the north, Columbia Avenue on the west and Earl Cummings Loop on the south and east.

The lot has been essentially dormant since Walker Air Force Base was closed in 1967, Mayor Dennis Kintigh said.

“That was given to Job Corps, but they never utilized it,” he said.

Kintigh said he initially made contact with Job Corps four years ago about acquiring the land. The federally owned property had to go through a process of offering it as surplus to other federal agencies.

The GSA opened bidding for the property in January, and the city was notified March 8 its bid had been accepted. A 10% deposit of earnest money was due three days later, and the balance is due Wednesday, according to the award letter from the GSA included in the council’s agenda packet.

The city council discussed the purchase in an executive session at a special meeting Feb. 16, but took no action.

Kintigh said the city could use money from the water department enterprise fund rather than the airport enterprise fund for the purchase. Using airport funds could bring some restrictions from the Federal Aviation Administration on the land’s use.

“The intent is, if we use a different fund for that, we can keep the FAA’s fingers out of it for a little bit,” Kintigh said.

Kintigh said he would advocate for the city to eventually move water department facilities to the new acquisition. The city’s Central Control — the call center for the Utilities Department that is manned 24 hours a day — is about 2 miles to the west and the water department’s pipe storage facility is just west of that.

“These water department facilities pay a lease to the airport enterprise fund. So my concept is we would swap them, the property these water assets are located on for this chunk next to the terminal,” Kintigh said.

Leasing the new property for development such as a hotel is another possibility.

“That option is something we’re interested in exploring because it’s right across from the terminal,” Kintigh said.

“We’re keeping our options open is the best way to put it,” Kintigh said.

The council will also consider Thursday two items related to the construction of a new cell at the municipal landfill.

First will be a public hearing and vote on a proposed ordinance authorizing a loan agreement for $5.4 million to pay for the construction of the landfill cell and the $1.2 million purchase of the new landfill compactor.

The second item is awarding the construction agreement to the sole bidder, J&H Services, Albuquerque, for $3.6 million. The city council’s Legal Committee voted 3-0 in a special meeting April 1 to recommend the bid.

The remaining $605,000 of the loan amount would cover costs associated with the loan. The city’s interest rate on the loan is 0.83%. If the ordinance is approved, the first interest payment date would be Dec. 1 with the first principal payment date June 1, 2022. The final payment on the loan would be June 1, 2031.

The city has moved to expedite construction of the landfill cell after its consultant, Souder, Miller and Associates of Albuquerque, calculated the cell was filling faster than anticipated and would reach capacity in July.

The council will also consider approval of a $217,209 purchase of call-taking software from Priority Dispatch Corporation for the Pecos Valley Regional Communication Center. The city and county operate the center jointly, with the city providing the staff and equipment.

The purchase will include training of the staff and certification of dispatchers. The amount is included in the Public Safety Department’s budget for fiscal 2021.

The agreement includes five years of software maintenance, with the first year included in the purchase price. Each year after that would be $27,000 per year.

Other items on Thursday’s agenda include:

• Presentations from Excel Energy on the impact from recent storms, Roswell Police Department on Neighborhood Watch and an update on the speedway.

• A public hearing and vote on a proposed ordinance that would amend city code to call for rescheduling of city council meetings in the event of a holiday or other conflict.

• Approval of resolutions on demolition of four dilapidated structures and amending the fiscal 2021 budget.

• Consideration of approval of a request for proposals to form a pool of contractors for general constructions services, a lease agreement for telecommunications towers, awarding a $92,227 contract for a new roof at the wastewater treatment plant, and a service agreement for ambulance service.

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

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