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Santa Fe Mayor Elected Chair Of Regional Coalition Of LANL Communities During Meeting In Los Alamos

on July 15, 2017 - 2:47pm
Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales, left, was elected the new chair of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities Committee (RCLC), taking over from Rio Arriba County Commissioner Barney Trujillo, right, who was elected vice-chair. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
 
RCLC Executive Director Andrea Romero listens as LANL Deputy Director of Acquisition Services Warren Finch speaks about dollars spent with New Mexico businesses. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
 
 
By BONNIE J. GORDON
Los Alamos Daily Post

The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities Committee met Friday in the Los Alamos County Council Chambers.

Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales was elected the new chair of the Committee, taking over from Rio Arriba County Commissioner Barney Trujillo, who was elected vice-chair. Los Alamos County Councilor Chris Chandler was elected secretary and Santa Fe County Commissioner Henry Roybal was elected treasurer.

Other Committee members present at the meeting included Town of Taos Commissioner Darien Fernandez and Ohkay Owingeh Representative Ron Lovato. Taos Commissioner Mark Gallegos attended via phone conferencing. Mayor of Espanola Alice Lucero and Jemez Pueblo Lt. Gov. Ward Yeppa were absent.

RCLC Executive Director Andrea Romero provided the Committee with an update on her office’s activities since the June meeting. The staff has been looking over the draft of the call for bids and proposed contract to manage Los Alamos National Laboratory released Wednesday, she said.

It is worrying that the draft of the contract does not include a commitment to working with local communities, Romero said. There is a 13 day period for response to the draft of the contract. The final draft will be released in September, she said. Proposals from prospective contractors are due in December. The Committee directed the staff to craft a response and to create a media response to the contract draft.

The draft of the proposal includes a 1 percent operating fee, paid to the contractor, rather than the 3 percent in the current contract. The fee is a big issue for local governments because gross receipts tax (GRT) is collected on the fee, Romero explained.

Another concern is the possibility that a non-profit organization, exempt from the GRT, may win the contract, Romero said.

Chair Gonzales pointed out that the legislature is considering charging non-profits the GRT. The Committee will be carefully monitoring this possible action.

The recent illegal shipment of radioactive material from LANL has caused concern on the part of the RCLC, Romero said. Romero and Trujillo recently took an environmental tour of LANL.

“They were very transparent about the process,” Romero said.

Romero showed off the new Regional Attraction Guide produced by RCLC. The Guide will be a recruitment tool for LANL, Romero said.

LANL Deputy Director of Acquisition Services Warren Finch gave a presentation of dollars spent with businesses in New Mexico. In 2015 the amount was $638 million and increased to $774 million in 2016. The amount spent in northern New Mexico in 2016 was $196 million.

Kim Sherwood of the LANL New Mexico Business Assistance Program explained how the Program helps businesses.

“We open the door of the Laboratory to small businesses,” Sherwood said. The Program has a budget of $4.8 million administered by LANL and Sandia Laboratories.

The Committee voted to change its monthly meeting schedule to quarterly meetings. This change was unanimously adopted. It will begin with the August meeting of the Committee.

 

RCLC Committee meeting Friday morning in the Los Alamos County Council Chambers. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com


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