By Lorri Ooley
The workshop and city council meeting held on Wednesday, Aug. 20, for the city of Elephant Butte proved to be a full day for council members and staff.
During the workshop portion of the meeting, the city and staff discussed at length the final revision of the city’s Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan (ICIP) for 2016-2020.
Ultimately, a few separate lines were condensed, as all agreed that Storm & Surface Water Control with Pave City Streets (line items 3 and 5) and City Facilities Improvements with Fire Department Expansion (line items 4 and 6) were similar in nature and would be best served by being addressed jointly. This would allow for the city to address funding the combined areas with a loan for items 4 and 6.
City Manager Alan Briley explained that any action would realistically come before the city council on September or October agendas. However, the current trend for a loan the city would be looking at to fund this area, roughly $200,000, would be very feasible for the city. This would address the current firehouse’s need for a garage renovation and expanding City Hall into the newly acquired building adjacent to the city’s existing City Hall.
Similarly, Construct New Regional Hospital and Regional Animal Shelter (line items 9 and 11) will remain on the city’s ICIP, as they are one of the fiscal entities for both organizations. Briley clarified that both areas of focus serve as a regional solution, to which the city provides support.
Mayor Eunice Kent requested that staff investigate a long term financial plan for Regional Animal Shelter, as time has now passed, leaving the city with a missed opportunity to set aside funds specifically for the regional animal shelter’s future. Briley provided that there was still time to do as such, if the council so wishes. The council agreed that saving the total of monies needed would not be realistic at this point; however, moving forward and not setting aside savings would not be prudent.
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