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Council approves three projects

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Historical archives decision put on hold

By Jennifer Garcia

Three of four phase two Capital Improvement Project applications were approved during Monday night’s County Council meeting.

The following were approved for the next phase:

• White Rock Visitor Center and Budget Revision.

• Los Alamos County Golf Course Community Building and Budget Revision.

• Lighting upgrades for North Mesa Sports Complex and Budget.

The fourth CIP application on the agenda, Los Alamos Archival and Records Center and Budget Revisions and Budget Revision did not get the green light, however.

Councilor Nona Bowman said she was worried about the location of the historical archives.

“The historical archives at the municipal building doesn’t seem like the right location,” she said. “The location should be closer to the historical and cultural district.”

Bowman also said that a 66,000-square-foot municipal building seems rather large and added that the acreage on Central Avenue (the L.A. Apartments site) could be used for something else, such as affordable housing, condominiums or offices.

“I’m trying to think about the future. I’m concerned that we are not keeping the foot traffic in what I call the post office area,” she said.

Los Alamos Historical Society President Dennis Erickson also spoke out regarding the municipal building and archival and records center.

“ … We worked collectively formulating both the report and application that’s before you. The preferred alternative of picking up the option of integrating the center into the

Municipal Building offers the most cost-effective expedient to the historical society’s challenge,” Erickson said.

L.A. Historical Society Member Ron Wilkins agreed.

“I think the Fuller Lodge board’s concern is to see the archives move to an appropriate facility as quickly as possible,” he said.

Following public comment, Bowman moved, seconded by Councilor Michael Wheeler, that council take no action at this time on the application.

The motion read: “I further move that a phase 1 CIP application be prepared and submitted by Aug. 23, 2010 for an approximately 15,000 square feet community meeting center to be co-located with an approximately 7,500 square feet historical archives center in one facility at the community building site on 20th Street and that the phase 1 study compare the designs and costs of the co-located archives and community meeting centers by renovation of the existing community building with additions or the construction of a new building.”

Councilors voted 7-0 to divide the question, then voted on the divided motion.

The first part of the motion, to take no action on the CIP Application was approved.

The second part of the motion, that a phase 1 CIP application be prepared and submitted by Aug. 23, 2010 for a smaller facility at a different location failed 0-7.