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City council approves resolution of support for Coal Ave Commons project

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The Gallup City Council discussed and approved a local government road fund application to the New Mexico Department of Transportation at its recent regular meeting.

The application was prepared by city staff as part of the city’s funding strategy for the Coal Ave Commons Construction Project, which has been in the works since last year.

Another part of the application is a resolution of support from the city council, according to Public Works Director Stanley Henderson, who spoke for the agenda item.

“Confidence is high with the project this year,” Henderson said March 26, adding that the city was denied the grant last year because the project was not shovel ready.

Henderson said that they are ready and qualified this year, and when asked about a potential timetable by Dist. 2 Councilor Allan Landavazo, he said that the final decision by NMDOT will be in June, and the money will be awarded in September.

If the city is awarded the grant by NMDOT, it will need to provide a match of 25 percent, according to Henderson. The funding request submitted by staff was about $1.56 million, so the city would have to provide about $396,000.

The funding source will be determined if and when NMDOT awards the grant to the city, Henderson said. The city will also need to pre-plan for the grant during its budgeting session, he added.

Dist. 4 Councilor Fran Palochak said that Coal Ave Commons is a high-priority project, and that the city should look at any funding opportunity to get the project finished.

Other items discussed at the regular meeting:

The Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation will be held again in April. The challenge is a friendly competition between cities of similar sizes to determine who can conserve the most water. The City of Gallup was the winner last year in city sizes between 5,000 and 29,999. Gallup residents can take the pledge online at http://www.mywaterpledge.com.

A utility easement from Wal-Mart for the construction of charging stations for electric and hybrid cars, which would allow the city to take over the high voltage line to the transformer near the parking lot, was approved with a 5-0-0 vote. No timetable was given for when the stations would be completed.

A bid contract for a replacement boiler at Red Rock Park Auditorium was approved with a 5-0-0 vote. Dallago Corporation was awarded the contract in the amount of about $119,144. The council previously budgeted $200,000 for the project, so the remaining funds will roll back into the Lodgers’ Tax Reserve.

By Cody Begaye
Sun Correspondent