MONTE VISTA— City Manager Forrest Neuerburg gave a year-end report at the Thursday, Jan. 4 meeting of the Monte Vista City Council verbally and in his memo to council. Neuerburg updated the council on upcoming projects and reviewed the positive projects and accomplishments of the city for 2017.
Neuerburg began by sharing a new program idea to hopefully garner new business downtown. San Luis Valley Development Resource Group (SLVDRG) owns the vacant building at 234 Adams Street. SLVDRG is planning to offer the building an a one-year free lease and wondered if the city would be interested in participating in a partnership program where ideas were submitted for the vacant building and the winner would win the lease. Neuerburg and the council discussed the idea and agreed it sounded good and are going to work on the details.
Neuerburg said a strategic planning session is needed once the council is again full. “There are a number of ideas which have been set forth during the election campaigns and it would be useful to move from ‘what’ to ‘how’ with measurable goals and assigned responsibilities,” he said.
The city manager then reviewed the city’s projects from 2017.
Throughout the year the city upgraded city hall so that it can function in emergency situations according to Neuerburg. It would be used as a command center in the event of emergencies. “Wiring and circuits in the building were upgraded, and in emergency situations city hall will have power, officers will be able to communicate via cell phone, and the city will have capabilities for dealing with certain elements of an emergency. This spring city staff will be working on an updated emergency management plan which will include specific defined uses for city hall,” said Neuerburg.
Proximity Malt beginning services was another positive for the city. The company has brought 25 value-added agriculture jobs to the community. The city worked with them to provide wastewater treatment which was a key factor in Proximity being able to operate.
“Perhaps, as proof of concept more than anything else, the city was able to host Boutique Air at our airport while extensive renovations were completed at the Alamosa airport. Public Works crews cleaned up the old terminal at our airport, we rolled out the welcome mat for the initial flights to Monte and with the assistance of Art Jones, air operations went smoothly between the commercial air carriers, our normal private users and our bread and butter ‘crop dusting’ operations,” he said.
The process of hiring new police chief John Rosecrans also went well according to Neuerburg. The hiring process was fully managed internally. “Chief Rosecrans hit the ground running and has made a number of improvements to the organization to date. One program the chief instituted is ‘Coffee with a Cop’ which I have attended and it has created some useful dialogue with the public.”
Neuerburg is pleased the city has been able to keep the Best and Brightest Intern program and have hired Azarel Madrigal at a full-time status at no extra cost to the city. After the previous intern left for personal reasons Neuerburg was able to reinstate the program through conversations with the Department of Local Affairs. “This has worked out very well and is a good example of how the city’s strong relationships with outside entities have proven to our benefit,” said Neuerburg.