1. Pledged $12,500 to support Amtrak service

The commission voted 5-0 in favor of supporting a federal TIGER IX grant application being made by Colfax County New Mexico.

This application, if approved, would be the third grant to improve the rail line used by the Southwest Chief which stops in Newton each day.

The commission pledged $12,500 in matching funds for the grant, which was requested of each community on the route. Four state departments of transportation, including Kansas, have pledged $1 million each. Amtrak and BNSF have each pledged $3 million to matching funds.

The grant, if approved, would provide $25 million to make rail improvements in New Mexico.

Previous grants — one for $25 million and one for $12 million — paid for improvements in Kansas and Colorado.

 

2. Set caps on law enforcement center fees

The commission approved a draft of an agreement with Harvey County to have engineers and architects look at the costs of renovating the Law Enforcement Center on Seventh Street.  

The draft set cap on those expenses — $241,000 total. Of that, the city expense was capped at $160,000 and the county at $80,000. According to Bob Myers, city manager and attorney, the split of expenses was determined by how much of the building the city and county are using. 

 

3. Approved a temporary street closure

Approved request to close Oak Street between Fourth and the alley on Oct. 24 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., and a temporary alcohol permit, for the Safe Hope open house.

Safe Hope, formerly the Harvey County Domestic Violence Task Force and Safe House, has moved offices into what was once the Harvey County Health Department on Oak Street.