Fire Chief Troy Hughes answers Council Council questions about the new lease. Print Screen Photo
County Council approved a new lease for Los Alamos County Fire Administration at 999 Central Ave. effective May 1.
Councilor Rick Reiss recused himself due to being a party to the lease. The Fire Department has been at its current location in the TRK Building (195 East Road) since 1994.
Reiss is the managing member and has a 25 percent ownership interest in 999 Central Ave.
Both the County Procurement Code and the New Mexico Governmental Conduct Act recognize that conflicts of interest may arise from time to time, particularly in smaller communities such as Los Alamos, when local governmental entities enter into contracts with local elected officials.
Both state law and the County Code provide that Council may grant a waiver of the conflict if certain conditions are met. Council voted to grant a waiver from the conflict of interest on the grounds that:
- Councilor Reiss’ financial interest in the subject property was publicly disclosed prior to solicitation for the subject property;
- Councilor Reiss, by abstaining from any participation in the approval of the proposed lease, shall not exercise any apparent bias or favoritism;
- The approval of the lease will be in the best interests of the County; and
- The lease was competitively procured.
Fire Chief Troy Hughes indicated that the move was necessary due to the cost of reconfiguring the current lease space, lack of an existing lease and concerns over safety of firefighters crossing East Road due to parking restrictions at the current location.
The 999 Central location offered the lowest monthly cost of the six properties evaluated. The cost of the lease for 999 Central is $14,549.63 per month for the base year.