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Council provides updates on ongoing construction projects, including second McDonald’s

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For the Daily Press

Updates on construction projects around Artesia were the highlight of the June 11 Artesia City Council meeting.

Infrastructure Director Byron Landfair reported work on the previously reported second McDonald’s location in front of Wal-Mart is getting started. Equipment for the Splash Pad at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Complex has arrived, and crews are hopefully targeting the Fourth of July for an opening. More likely, Landfair said, it will be later in July.

Bathrooms at the City of Champions Sports Complex at Jaycee Park are progressing, and the city also plans to award the bid for the 26th Street Reconstruction Project at the first council meeting in July, with construction starting in fall or early winter and running for 18 months.

During the budget and finance committee report, District 2 Councilor Jarrod Moreau reported the city received a grant from the Water Trust Board to be used for a new water well at the Bulldog tank west of town. The council later approved Resolution 1863 that verifies the city’s matching contribution of $108,785 for the Water Trust Board grant. The total project cost is $2.2 million, according to Landfair.

“We got a 90/10 split, which is not common,” said Moreau. “It’s typically a 60/40 split. So our match is $108,785, and we’re gonnna pick up $687,000.”

District 1 Councilor Raul Rodriguez gave a report on the Planning Committee meeting, which includes updates on developments throughout the community, including the NinjaCross system installation at the Artesia Aquatic Center, personnel at the aquatic center, summer recreation, and a list of condemned properties. He also noted people are appreciating the upgrades at the cemetery.

Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Youtsey reported on the Government Committee meeting, which inluded an update on an airport hangar agreement and fees and a possible replacement for the airplane that was removed from the Airplane Park on the east end of Eagle Draw.

Following a public hearing, the council approved the vacation of 50 feet of public right-of-way in the Charlie H. Smith Addition of Smith Avenue to the City of Artesia, County of Eddy, for a dedication circle and consolidation of Lots 1, 3, 5 and 7, Block 2; owners: Richard Leaton/English Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the City of Artesia, and Wesley Knowlton/Tiny Homes, LLC.

The council also approved Resolution 1864 for a budget adjustment and a lease transfer made between 2404 Parkland, LLC, to Robert M. and Pamela K. Eales, and the City of Artesia.

City Clerk Summer Valverde reported the final pricing results of the Gross Receipts Tax Bond Series 2024, with interest rates of 3.19% and 3.92% on the bonds.
As part of its consent agenda, the council granted permission for:

  • a request for proposal for the provision of indigent attorney services to Saunders, Bruin, Coll & Worley, PA.
  • an aviation grant agreement between the NMDOT-Aviation Division and the City of Artesia for a project tractor and attachments.
  • the Fiscal Year 2025 LDWI Enforcement Allocation between the Eddy County DWI Program and the Artesia Police Department.
  • the hiring of Jacob Lara, Finance and Administration Department PT Accounts Payable, at a pay rate of $2,425.15 per month and Kaden Zuniga, uncertified firefighter, $4,478.50 per month.
  • the resignation of Scot Moter, IT administrator, effective June 7.
  • one fire employee to attend the Fire-Rescue International Conference in Dallas, Texas.
  • one fire employee to attend the NMML Policy Committee Meeting in Albuquerque.
  • one fire employee to attend Enhanced All-Hazards Incident Management training in College Station, Texas.
  • one fire employee to attend Wilderness Emergency Medical Services training in Taos.
  • one police employee to attend Visit Espanola Animal Services training in Espanola.
  • one police employee to attend the NMML Policy and Resolution Committee Meetings in Albuquerque.
  • one finance and administration employee to attend IIMC Online Professional Development Program classes.
  • one finance and administration employee to attend the NMML Policy and Resolution Committee Meetings in Albuquerque.
Brienne Green
Daily Press Editor

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