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The Artesia City Council approved ordinances set forth during a pair of public hearings at their regularly-scheduled meeting Tuesday at City Hall.

The first hearing concerned an amendment to Section 12-2-2 of the Artesia City Code: Penalty Assessment Misdemeanors; Definitions and Schedule of Assessments.

The council had approved changes to uniform traffic ordinance violation fines in this section at a previous meeting but had adopted only what was sent to the city by the New Mexico Municipal League.

“We didn’t address what was in our existing one, so we need to merge those two,” city clerk Aubrey Hobson said.

The council unanimously approved, with all councilors present.

The second hearing was for a final plat on the Joy Subdivision, which requested the division of Tract A into Tracts 1-4. The subdivision is located on the north side of blocks 2000-2500 on Fairgrounds Road and is owned by Richard and Patricia Joy.

Community Development director Jim McGuire said the approval of the final plat was a formality, as the preliminary plat was approved at the council’s last meeting.

That ordinance was also unanimously approved.

Fire Chief Kevin Hope provided the council with an update on the department’s efforts to fill the six EMT positions for which funding was recently granted by the Eddy County Commission.

“We tested last weekend, and from that, we have four on the list – one certified, three non-certified,” Hope said. “We should have some names for the next council meeting.”

In Community Development, McGuire informed the council the city is working to finalize its contract for the Artesia Aquatic Center with United Pools, and work at the Center is continuing to come along.

Infrastructure director Byron Landfair stated the pre-bid process for the Hermosa Drive Reconstruction Project begins today, with bid opening scheduled for Nov. 28. Landfair said the department hopes to award the bid at the council’s first meeting in December.

Hobson requested the council’s approval of a trio of resolutions, the first concerning budget adjustments to the 2018-19 budget for revenues provided by the county and Artesia General Hospital for the six EMTs and new ambulance for the Artesia Fire Department and other items, such as the bond project and safety pay for city employees.

The second resolution included confirmation that municipal elections would continue to be conducted on Municipal Officer Election Day in March of even-numbered years, while the third was to correct misspellings and other minor errors on the Utility Lien Resolution.

All three resolutions were approved unanimously.

The council also ratified a letter written by Mayor Raye Miller and sent to the Bureau of Land Management asking for support for items being presented by the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association’s in the BLM’s Draft Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement.

At the request of Councilor Bill Rogers, the council also tentatively set a mid-year budget workshop for 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26.

Councilor Kent Bratcher asked that people keep the residents of California in their thoughts as they deal with the effects of wildfires and the recent mass shooting, and all councilors expressed their wishes to one another, city employees, and the public for a happy Thanksgiving.

The council will not convene again until their singular meeting in December: Tuesday, Dec. 11.

As part of its consent agenda Tuesday, the council gave permission for:

• approval of a second amendment and extension of a commercial lease for the City Planning Offices, 801 W. Bush Ave.

• the hiring of Kevin Hernandez as a firefighter/EMT I at a pay rate of $3,487 per month and Braeden Haeck as a police Community Service Officer at a rate of $2,037 per month.

• two finance and administration employees to attend the New Mexico Government Finance Officers Association Winter Conference in Albuquerque.

• one fire employee to attend a Medical Direction Committee meeting in Albuquerque.

• one solid waste employee to attend transfer station certification training in Truth or Consequences.

• one police employee to attend Supervising the Toxic Officer training in Rio Rancho.

• one police employee to attend Use of Force Instructor training in Hobbs.

• the cancellation of the Nov. 27 council meeting and setting of the December council meeting for Tuesday, Dec. 11.