Trinity Site becomes a reality

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Papers are signed, implementation begins

By Carol A. Clark

The collective sense of relief was nearly palpable as an effort that began in 1965 ended Thursday night with the unanimous approval of lease agreements and property conveyances involving the Trinity Site Revitalization and Airport Basin projects.

“I believe this is a win-win for both parties and establishes what we both want to work for,” County Administrator Tony Mortillaro said.

The elation was made clear by public applause as school board members and county councilors gathered together in council chambers, casting unanimous votes – filling the future with hope for economic revitalization, enhanced workplace environments, increased employee productivity and endless retail possibilities.

Despite a few lingering concerns, most comments from the public urged councilors and school board members to sign the papers and get on with the plans.

Jim Hall spoke at length from the perspective of a resident who put his four children through Los Alamos Public Schools, served eight years as a school board member and four years as a county councilor.

“Putting this vote off in search of perfection would be a serious mistake,” he said.

Dennis Erickson addressed the joint session saying, “As a longtime resident and grateful parent … I ask both bodies to approve these documents.”

Kristen Algeria spoke of the lack of  “basic amenities” that force residents to shop off the hill. “Please move forward … take leadership and do what needs to be done to move forward,” she said.

A mixture of relief and excitement was expressed as the joint body prepared to finalize the complex transaction split between three detailed documents.

School board member Thelma Hahn went first. “I vote yes with an appreciation for all the work that’s gone on between the county and the schools,” she said.

Voting second, Ken Johnson said with a big smile, “Yes – and thank God it’s over.”  

County Councilor Sharon Stover said, “I’m just really proud to be here tonight – this is a culmination of the efforts of a lot of past and current councilors and school board members … we’ve got something that’s going to be of true value for the county, the schools and in time for the entire community.”

County Councilor Michael Wismer prefaced his vote with an enthusiastic, “Hell yes.”

The State Board of Finance must approve the documents before implementation can begin.