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City Council approves golf course expenses, among other expenditures

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The May 22 regular meeting of the Gallup City Council began with a moment of silence to acknowledge the passing of Pat Butler, owner of Butler’s Office Equipment and Supply and former city councilor.

Neil Butler, Pat’s nephew, was in attendance for the meeting and the council expressed condolences to the family.

Mayor Pro Tem Councilor Allan Landavazo said, “I want to deviate from the agenda a little bit, just to observe a moment of silence tonight in memory of Pat Butler.”

Discussions began in earnest with approval of the Fiscal Year 2019 membership agreement for the Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments.

Councilor Yogash Kumar said he was stepping down and would be replaced by Councilor Fran Palochak. The agreement passed unanimously.

Next item on the agenda was approval of the standardized parade route.

Karen Carlisle, emergency preparedness specialist, said the measure was to prevent vehicular attacks.

“It can happen anywhere,” she said of the potential for attacks by car.

Protection of people by blocking intersections to create safety barriers from vehicles was the purpose. The measure also allows for first responders to have access for response to emergencies.

The new route on Aztec between Eight and Ninth Street east to First Street was approved unanimously.

Matthew Alcala requested a budget increase of $30,000 to cover costs associated with irrigation storage tank installation.

He also requested $15,000 for the purchase of seed and $25,000 for the purchase of 96 12-volt batteries to repair 24 non-functioning golf carts.

“When are we going to open the golf course?” asked Palochak.

Alcala said the golf course is making a hard push for the first week of July, but the high winds and lack of rain have made things difficult.

“We had 80 percent dirt (on the course) and that’s now down to 20 percent,” he said.

The council approved the request unanimously.

C.B. Strain from the Planning and Development Department requested a budget adjustment for overtime deficit in the amount of $6,000.

“Overtime is a hard thing to pin down,” he said, noting that $6,000 should be a sufficient amount to get the department through to the next fiscal year.

Kumar asked if McKinley County participated in the effort. Strain said the county pays 40 percent of the budgeted amount, except for the past fiscal year.

The measure passed unanimously.

Strain also reported to the city council on the project budget increase for the Land Development Standards.

He requested $6,000 to cover the requests from the project steering committee and public amendments to the draft document.

Additional staff and research time was the source of the increase, he said.

Palochak commended the department and said, “It’s very well laid out. This (request) is appropriate and long overdue. This action is justified.”

Landavazo commended the staff for working to make Gallup more attractive to development before the agenda item passed unanimously.

The council also unanimously approved a budget adjustment for the Public Regulation Commission EMS grant for the Gallup Fire Department, acceptance of a building donation located at 313 Boardman and a MOU for cost sharing pictometry aerial photography with the county.

By Rick Abasta

Sun Correspondent