Angel Fire Airport… would privatizing management be better?
by Carol Bridge
RATON — The Colfax County Commissioners met in regular session at the Colfax County Building on October 25. The Colfax County Airport at Angel Fire continued to be a high priority as a new managing board comes into place. Commissioners William Sauble and Landon Newton commended all of the people who applied to be a part of the new board, saying all the candidates would be good choices. The commissioners voted to approve the following people to head the airport in the future – Dan Rakes, representing the Angel Fire Resort, Chuck Howe, representing the village, Don Borgeson, at large, Pete Dunovant, non voting, and Fox Quin, non voting. Newton informed the board that it may, in the future, be wise to consider changing the management of the airport to a private business. After consultation with Richard Nuttal, Newton explained that a private entity has much more freedom to operate a small airport than does a governmental agency. A privately managed airport would have more leeway in such things as renting hangars and setting fuel prices and other services and charges. He recommended further study and consultation regarding the possibility of leasing the airport to a private company.
In other business, the commissioners approved $16,851,67 for indigent medical care, approved the renewal of a liquor license for the rodeo, approved a bid from Tru Degree for the boiler at the Senior Center and awarded the county solid waste contract to Tri-State Recycling.
Sauble spoke about the ground water survey that is taking place for the region and praised Robert Thompson, Colfax County road crew foreman, for prioritizing rural road repair. Newton spoke about the economic development meeting (NERPO) that he and Thompson recently attended. Newton also expressed concern that Raton representatives are not attending these important meetings that could impact the local economy.
Commissioner Roy Fernandez brought to the board’s attention that a landowner had recently gated a county road. He said that the gate wasn’t locked but that this may cause legal problems regarding access. County attorney Terrence Kamm stated that landowners do not have the right to stop road traffic on county roads and advised further study.
County manager Mary Lou Kern reported that interviews and hiring are occurring for the detention center and that special precautions will be taken when the electronic technology and surveillance equipment is being changed to accommodate the new prison space and beds.
The Colfax County Commissioners have adopted a changed schedule for meetings during the holidays. They will meet only one time per month for November and December. The December meeting will be on the 12. The next meeting will be November 14 in the Colfax County building on 3rd St at 9 am.