Geoff Peterson and Jessica Barfield told Raton commissioners about the work they have done on the ExploreRaton.com website and projects they are working on to help promote Raton. Photo by Marty Mayfield
RATON — At their regular meeting on Tuesday, November 28, Raton City Commissioners heard from Geoff Peterson and Jessica Barfield from the Center for Sustainable Community about the progress they have made in marketing Raton through the ExploreRaton.com web page and other programs they are working on for the community.
Peterson and Barfield came to the commission to request lodgers tax funding to continue the progress they have made in promoting Raton through the ExploreRaton.com webpage and expanding on the promotion the webpage brings to the city. The duo has created 17 ad campaigns promoting Raton for a total of $35,000 in advertising dollars.
According to Barfield 584,375 individuals saw the advertising and Google Ads prompted over 25,000 people to visit the ExploreRaton.com web page. They also were able to partner with Jackrabbit to enable visitors to book hotel rooms through the ExploreRaton website.
Barfield noted the website is seeing over 6,200 visitors a month with over 35% of those on mobile devices which she feels will continue to climb. They are continuing to improve the site by adding a Facebook presence and Instagram account to help promote the local hotels’ booking capability and promotions of local events. Peterson noted they are working on two more projects that include an association with Fat Pipe Albuquerque to help locals with growing a small remote business by offering high speed internet and office space. The other project is called small town affordable living which promotes the advantages of small town living. Commissioner Linde’ Schuster noted that she met a lady who chose to move to Raton because of the small town affordable living promotion.
To continue the work they have started, Peterson requested $2,000 a month through the end of the fiscal year, June 2018. He told commissioners that they are also working with Grow Raton for additional funding to help promote remote workers.
Commissioners were impressed with the work and the numbers so far and approved that request. Commissioners held a public hearing then approved the adoption of the resolution to send Ordinance 977 to the voters in March 2018. The ordinance will change the gross receipts tax that goes to the water department from one cent to 3/4 cent. The GRT money is essential to the water department as match money and to help with improvements.
Commissioners approved Election Resolution 2017-58 for the March 6, 2018 municipal election which includes two city commission positions, municipal judge and two ballot questions.
Commissioners approved the financial report which once again shows an increase in gross receipts taxes. City treasurer Michael Ann Antonucci reported that the city departments continue to operate under budget which is a good thing as the city moves into the lean time of winter. Commissioners also approved a budget adjustment for the library.
City manager Scott Berry told commissioners that the work at the municipal airport should be completed by the end of the week, weather permitting. Taxiway D is now finished and Taxiway A is all that remains.
Berry also reported that a Joe Apache work of art was donated to the city by resident Bill Allen, which will be hung in city hall.
Commissioners will meet again on December 12, 2017 at 6 pm and the meeting will be broadcast on KRTN-AM 1490.