CIP talk tops council meeting

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By Jennifer Garcia

County council may have been missing a member on Tuesday night, but they breezed through the agenda swiftly and easily.

Council Chair Michael Wheeler was absent because he was in Chicago, accepting the Siemens Sustainable Community Award.

The agenda was shortened a bit by the omission of the DP Road/NM 502 discussion. The presentation will be put on a later agenda.

The representative from the New Mexico Department of Transportation who was supposed to give the presentation was unable to make it to the meeting because of a family emergency.

The consent agenda was approved without any discussion, however, the acceptance of library donations and approval of Budget Revision No. 2009-26 were moved to the business portion of the agenda, per Councilor Nona Bowman’s request.

“I pulled this agenda item to recognize the Friends of the Library and thank them on behalf of the council,” Bowman said, when the item came up for discussion. She pointed out that the Friends have raised $27,000 through the sale of books.

“Some of those books are bought by neighboring communities and taken to their libraries,” she said.

After Bowman’s comments, she made a motion to accept the funds donated from the Friends of the Library, the Library Gift Fund; and the annual collection for lost and damaged books; and further moved that Council approve Budget Revision 2009-26 in the amount of $35,192.

The motion was seconded by Councilor Vincent Chiravalle and passed 6-0.

The second item of business concerned approving Guaranteed Maximum Price #4 in the amount of $52,630,952 to cover costs associated with the Airport Basin Site.

Capital Projects and Facilities Director Anne Laurent gave a PowerPoint presentation, outlining the progress that’s been made on the project.

Laurent explained to councilors that back in December, when GMP #3 was presented for approval, they were unable to make that their final GMP because of the fluctuating price of asphalt.

“We’re here to award the remainder of the asphalt work because they only guarantee prices for 30 days,” Laurent said. She also pointed out that the price of asphalt has fallen since December.

“It had been $80 a ton and now the price has come down to $65 a ton,” she said.

In addition, Hensel Phelps was able to lock in asphalt prices for June and July and have a guaranteed maximum price for August, as well.  As a result, Laurent told councilors that the price of asphalt couldn’t get any worse.

“The final cost could potentially be less than what we say tonight,” she said.

Following Laurent’s presentation, Bowman said that she felt a little better about this project than she did in December because the project is on budget. Other councilors asked Laurent a few questions regarding the project and contingency funds.

Laurent said there’s still a risk contingency fund intact and said there’s still $490,751 left in the budget. “If the money’s not spent, it goes back into CIP,” she said.

Bowman made the motion to approve GMP #4, seconded by Councilor Sharon Stover. After a vote, the motion passed 6-0.

Some board appointments were also made during the meeting Tuesday. Council voted unanimously to appoint Gary Kemp to the White Rock Master Plan/Implementation Steering Committee.

Four candidates were up for nomination to the Personnel Board. Bowman moved, seconded by Stover to nominate Terry Priestly, Becky Cordova, Art Brown and Gerard Kendall to fill two vacancies on the Personnel Board.

By roll call vote, councilors voted for two nominees. The two nominees receiving the highest vote totals of the four were appointed to terms ending March 31, 2012. As a result of the votes, Terry Priestly and Gerard Kendall were appointed to the Board.

Three councilors were appointed to an Ad Hoc Sub-Committee to develop a strategy for economic development for future RFPs. Council Vice Chair Mike Wismer appointed Councilors Stover, Ralph Phelps and Robert Gibson to the sub-committee.

The animal shelter was also discussed at the meeting. Look for an update on the animal shelter project in tomorrow’s paper.