Siting committee meeting attendance down

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By Jennifer Garcia

Things are coming down to the wire for the Municipal Building Siting Citizens’ Selection Committee.

Committee members are working feverishly in an effort to be able to provide council with their recommendations for a new municipal building site by Sept. 30.

On Thursday, the committee will not only hold their regularly scheduled meeting, but they will also host a meet and greet session from 5:30 to 6 p.m. in council chambers.

The preliminary meeting will give the public the opportunity talk to the consultants, FBT Architects and EPS, Inc., who will assist the committee.

The regular committee meeting will immediately follow the open house.

The committee has narrowed its site choices down to three. The Los Alamos Apartment site, 1247 Central Avenue and the apartment complexes at Iris and Myrtle streets are all being considered as a possible site for the new municipal building.

Committee Chair Stan Primak and Vice Chair Carl Thornton have voiced some concern over the public’s low attendance at the committee’s regular meetings. “Attendance has been down. We’re not getting input we want,” Primak said. Only a handful of people interested in the topic have been attending the bi-weekly meetings since they started in June.

Despite low public attendance, Primak said the committee has been getting comments regarding the project. A booth was set up at the county fair last month, during which Los Alamos County residents had the opportunity to comment on the process. In addition, committee members also manned a booth at Los Alamos National Bank and interacted with people there, as well.

“We received about 150-200 comments when we worked the county fair,” Thornton said. “The comments have been very positive. All the citizens of Los Alamos should value this project. We want what’s best for Los Alamos,” Thornton said.

County Planner Paul Belson has also been receiving e-mails from the public, but Primak and Thornton are still concerned that there is not enough attendance at the meetings.

The primary function of the committee is to provide council with their recommendations for a site for the building. The committee is not responsible for the design or any other aspect of the project. “Our intent is to pick the site,” Primak said. “The consultants will tell us how big the building should be, how much parking there should be, etc.,” he said.  “We’ll get to know each other a little bit. At the next meeting, they will come back with their ideas and we’ll take public comments.”