EB Council Tidies Up Codes And Funds

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In addition to standard reports and business items, Elephant Butte city councilors addressed the adoption of two ordinance revisions and several budget adjustments during their October 4 regular meeting.
The afternoon session also included discussion about animal control procedures and board approval of a meeting schedule change for the remainder of October and November.
ORDINANCES ADOPTED
After conducting public hearings, during which no statements of support or opposition were offered, city councilors voted unanimously to approve the adoption of Ordinance 169 and 170.
•Ordinance 169 pertained to annual revisions in the State of New Mexico’s Uniform Traffic Code.
During her introduction of the measure, city manager Yovanne Lucero said this year’s changes appeared to focus on the introduction of regulations pertaining to the operation of ATVs and other off-road vehicles on state and community thoroughfares. She noted state regulations now set forth provisions for communities to follow Elephant Butte’s lead in allowing off-road riders to utilize city streets. Lucero said the code changes also permit communities to establish separate speed limits and other restrictions on the use of such vehicles if so desired.

EB Council Approves

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After conducting a second public hearing August 1, Elephant Butte City Council members voted unanimously in support of a motion to approve a revised water and wastewater service fee increase.
With this action, fees and conditions outlined in the ordinance (No. 164) will now go into effect for the city’s utility customers on September 1 of this year. An additional $9 service fee for residential wastewater customers is included and will be implemented on July 1, 2018.
Prior to opening a public hearing on the proposed measure, mayor Eunice Kent provided those in attendance with an overview of the situation city leaders have faced, regarding the development and maintenance of municipal water and wastewater infrastructure.

City Holds On Shelter SCRDA

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The Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) City Commission received an audit report and approved the final 2017/2018 Fiscal Year (FY) budget during their July 26 regular meeting. While members did vote on several other action items, they opted to postpone consideration of a controversial women’s recovery program shelter and set aside any immediate action pertaining to the city’s participation with the Sierra County Regional Dispatch Authority.
SHELTER PROPOSAL STALLED
Commissioners conducted a formal public hearing into a proposal from T-or-C resident Phyllis Mecca, which seeks a special use permit to develop a woman’s recovery program shelter at 819 North Date Street, formerly the Oasis Motel.
Following “battershell procedures” which ostensibly ensures all concerned parties have an opportunity to speak and cross-examine all other participants, commissioners heard comments supporting Mecca’s proposal, as well as several objections, which primarily centered upon the selected location.

EB Pauses On Rate Changes

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After convening a public hearing June 21, which included numerous citizen comments questioning proposed increases in the city’s water and wastewater rates, Elephant Butte City Council members opted to postpone consideration of the related ordinance.
During the board’s regular session public works director Jesse Cole outlined the proposed ordinance (No. 164), which sought an increase in the base water rate and sewer service fees, while also introducing the establishment of commercial water rates. Cole reviewed how the recommended fee structure was designed to assure all operational costs were addressed, while also allowing a sufficient level of income to properly maintain the respective systems.