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Artesia City Council- October 24, 2023

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The Artesia City Council approved adding three items to its Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan (ICIP) to put on the application to the New Mexico Legislature at the Oct. 24 council meeting.

According to Summer Valverde, Artesia city clerk/treasurer, those items included $500,000 for the construction of a new utility billing/finance building, $500,000 for a backup generator for city water wells, and $1 million for a rescue engine.

Valverde noted that $1.5 million is already set aside for the new utility billing/finance building.

“The utility billing/finance department is currently renting and running out of space,” she said. “We also want to have a drive through so it is easier for our residents.”

Adding those items to the application doesn’t mean that will be funded first, said Mayor Jon Henry.

“Some legislators have pet projects,” he said. “The sooner we start talking to legislators about what we’re thinking the better.”

Hearings for the capital outlay for this district will take place at the City Council chambers this November, according to Valverde. Artesia Police Chief Kirk Roberts noted that it has been his observation that the funding that gets approved falls in line with the Governor’s priorities.

Councilor Raul Rodriguez reported the planning committee had reviewed recent events and discussed a fee schedule for food trucks that sell in the city.

Rodriguez also reported the infrastructure reviewed a list of projects the city would like to complete with the additional $300,000 funding received from the state. Those projects included tree trimming, tree replacement, new bleachers at Jaycee Park, awning replacement, new picnic tables, picnic shelter maintenance, and electrical service to the new concession stand at Jaycee Park. They also reviewed Woodbine Cemetery improvements and recommended moving forward with purchase of a new garbage truck.

Roberts introduced the new City of Artesia investigator Zane Brown.

Fire Chief Kevin Hope reported the repair of the city’s early warning system that recently went off late at night. Hope reported the city had just had maintenance done on the system over a month ago and somehow in the process the time of the drill was accidentally reset.

Community Development/Infrastructure Director Byron Landfair reported there is a leak on the tank on Eighth Street and the department is assessing the best way access and fix the leak.

Valverde provided an update on recent IT and WIFI issues at the Artesia Public Library. The city has contracted with PVT to put in new switches, which necessitated upgrading software and hardware, which has caused WIFI outages.

“WIFI has been horrible there and has been linked to new hardware which connect to new software,” said Valverde. “We apologize for lack of WIFI at the library lately, but they are working on it.”

The council approved two requests for City Facilities and the application for a special permit:

• Artesia High School Cross Country to hold their District 4-4A Cross Country Championships on November 3, 2023, at Jaycee Park from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

• Loving Elementary-Kindergarten School to use the restrooms at Martin Luther Park on October 25, 2023, from 10:30 to 12:00 pm.

• Hotel Artesia, LLC to apply for a Special Dispenser Permit for an outdoor event on November 3, 2023, from 5:00 to 9:00 pm coinciding with Balloons and Tunes.

The council also granted permission for:

• the hiring of Fernando Valdez, Safety Coordinator, at a pay rate of $5,150.08 per month and Zane Brown, Certified Police Officer, at $28.90 per hour

• the promotion of Jarod Acosta, Police Officer Cadet, at $22.36 per hour

• the resignations of James McGuire, Community Development Director, Community Development, effective Oct. 1, and Matthew Martinez, Certified Police Officer, Police, effective Oct. 31.

During the public hearing portion of the meeting the council approved the following:

• Case No. 23-05: Zone change from single-family district “R-1B” to special use zone “SU-1”. Location: 409 W. Centre Avenue; Legal: Lot 2 of Block 4 of the Roselawn Subdivision; Owner: City of Artesia. The property was the site was the old national guard armory and buildings on the site were recently demolished.

• Case No. 23-06: Final plat for Johnson Estate Land Division tract R replat. Request to subdivide 10.38 acres into three (3) tracts; Location: North of 3401 Johnson Road; Legal: Tract R, Johnson Estate Land Division; Owner: Robert H. Johnson Estate. The request will move forward to the Eddy County Commission.

• Case No. 23-07: Final plat for Johnson Land Division #2 tract 2 replat. Request to subdivide 10.06 acres into three (3) tracts; Location: West of 512 E. Castleberry Road; Legal: Tract 2, Johnson Land. The request will move forward to the Eddy County Commission.

• Case No. 23-08: Final plat for Johnson Family Land Division 3 line adjustment tract F2-1 replat. Request to subdivide 17.29 acres into three (3) tracts; Location: East of 3103 Johnson Road; Legal: Tract F2-1 of Johnson Family Land Division 3 line adjustment; Owner: Robert H. Johnson Estate. The request will move forward to the Eddy County Commission.

• Case No. 23-09: Final plat for tract 4 Johnson tracts line adjustment replat 2. Request to subdivide 8.34 acres into three (3) tracts; Location: Northeast of 3401 Johnson Road; Legal: Tract 4B, Tract 4 Johnson Tracts Line Adjustment; Owner: Robert H. Johnson Estate. The request will move forward to the Eddy County Commission.

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