After determining quorum, saying an invocation, and reciting the pledge of allegiance, the December 14th City Council meeting began. The Councilmen approved new requests for city facilities and heard from city departments and employees. The Artesia Fire Department has five new cadets who will join their team. The salaries of the new cadets, the city prosecutor, and the new equipment operator were all discussed during this point of the meeting. The vote to approve these salaries came to a vote of six in favor of approving with one vote in dissent.
Director of Human Resources, Sandi Countryman, then, stated her retirement date as April 2022. She has 8 remaining City Council meetings until April of next year.
Next, came the portion of the meeting for public hearings. The council approved a vacation of a plot owned by the city on 6th and Park Avenue. The unanimous approval came as the result of a Planning and Zoning Committee recommendation. The second part on the agenda for public hearings was a request to approve an increase in sewer user rates and charges. The increases look at internal and external usages of water.
The City Council did not hear any committee reports on the evening of the 14th. The meeting continued with reports from the APD and AFD. Both the fire and police departments gave reports detailing statistics from the year. Police Chief Kirk Roberts referenced the increase in burglaries due to the holiday season. “Many folks are keeping gifts in the living room this time of year and there are more frequent door deliveries as well,” he said. The other statistic discussed was the number of stolen vehicles in the city. This past year 30 were stolen and then nearly all of those vehicles were recovered.
Fire Chief Hope discussed the declaration of three surplus vehicles. The vehicles, worth a few hundred dollars each, will be used for training the new cadets mentioned during the City Departments and Employees agenda item.
Next, Byron Landfair the Director of Infrastructure followed up his Community Development Report of statistics by answering questions. During this time, it was noted that Popeye’s had received Department of Transportation approval for access to their location.
The last action of the evening came with the unanimous approval of the Amendment to Wastewater Service Agreement with HollyFrontier Navajo Refining LLC Renewable Diesel Unit (RDU). The City Council expressed their gratitude for all that the company does for the community to the HollyFrontier representatives present at the December 14th meeting.