From the Desk of Red River Mayor Calhoun
by LINDA CALHOUN, Mayor of Red River
Our summer season started off with a successful Memorial Weekend Motorcycle Rally. We had over 28,000 riders and no serious incidents. We are always grateful to the state police and Taos County Sheriff’s department for lending a hand with extra personnel to help our Marshal’s department. The town concentrated on having food vendors in the park and this seemed to help take some of the burden off our local restaurants. As a community, we are very cognizant of the drought and the fires in the area, and we held a town meeting prior to the weekend to make sure all our residents were aware of the extreme fire danger and make sure we were sending out accurate and appropriate messaging to all of our guests.
The town worked in cooperation with Taos County emergency operations and set up our conference center as an evacuation site. With generous donations from Angel Fire, we were able to offer food and other necessary supplies to the evacuees. We had about 20 fire chasers that were stationed at the Hermit’s Peak Calf Canyon Fire for several different periods.
Clean up still continues in the upper Red River valley from the snow squall in December. It is definitely a challenge working with state agencies as we try and navigate resources and funding.
The first weekend of June we hosted our annual Classic Car Show in the park with a record-breaking number of entries. We had over 100 cars on display and the day ended with a concert by Nashville recording star John King.
Fine Art and Wine was held over Father’s Day weekend. This is always a fun event, hosted by our Chamber of Commerce and this year didn’t disappoint. They had three full days in the park with music, food, and vendors. It was very well attended, and everyone had a great time.
The skatepark at Mallette Park is currently under construction. We are very excited about this addition to go along with the pump track that was completed last fall. The new playground equipment in Brandenburg Park is finally completed and ready for use after the latest load of wood chips were received. We were successful with a $99,999.00 grant from the New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Department, and we are in the process of ordering new restrooms for Mallette Park. There is a 4–5-monthlead time once we get the order placed, so we are hoping to have these fully operational by the end of fall. Our flower baskets have arrived and our parks and trails committee is working on weeding and planning flowers in the planters in the medians as you enter town from Bobcat Pass.
In town hall, we are working with our engineers as we move forward with water line replacements in the Tenderfoot area, sidewalk improvements on Main Street and infrastructure and paving upgrades on High Street. We’ve also submitted our 2022-2023 budget to Department of Finance and Administration for approval.
We can’t help but be concerned about the summer tourist season with the high price of gas, forest closures and rising interest rates. As I write this, we are receiving a very much needed and welcome rain today. We are cautiously optimistic about the forest reopening soon and people being more open to travel.