July 10 First News: Florida company asks PRC for purchase of NM Gas Co. (listen)

Florida-based TECO Energy has applied to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission for approval of its acquisition of New Mexico Gas Company. In May, TECO Energy entered into a stock purchase agreement to buy the company for $950 million.  The transaction is expected to close in early 2014, pending approval from regulators.  TECO Energy’s main subsidiaries are the Tampa Electric Company in West Central Florida, ad TECO Coal in Kentucky and Virginia.

At Santa Fe’s City Council meeting tonight, the governing body could create a new, albeit small city park downtown. Some 240 square feet of city-owned land adjacent to the Water Street parking lot may soon become Cerletti Park, named for Tourism Secretary Mike Cerletti who died last year. The area has been a hangout for vagrants and the scene of frequent harassment complaints. The park designation is seen as a move to boost public safety and the area would also receive new landscaping.  Councilors will also consider approving a city-wide gun safety promotional campaign featuring public service announcements on busses and benches.

An internal City of Santa Fe audit has found that an expensive data-backup equipment purchase made in 2007 has not been used for its stated purposes.  Some components of the near $600,000 technical package have never been used at all. The IT system is now viewed as nearing obsolescence. The matter is raising questions about the acquisition process as the no-bid purchase never went into service as intended and subsequently did not benefit the citizens of Santa Fe. Further investigation will try to determine if city and/or state purchasing codes were violated.

Tomorrow's meeting of Santa Fe's Planning Commission will look at that request to redevelop the old Manderfield School across from Cristo Rey Church as a mixed-use studio, cafe and residential complex. Some local residents have been voicing disapproval of the plan, saying such an enterprise is not appropriate for the neighborhood. The 1.4 acre property has been vacant for a number of years with Santa Fe Schools prepared to sell it to Clare and Michael Maraist. They couple has said the purchase is contingent upon city approval of their new development plan.

UNM's athletic venue known as "The Pit" could be re-christened to a name of your choice for a cost of $10-to-$15 million.  KOB-TV reports that UNM's Athletic Department  needs to generate new revenue to pay down some of the $40 million spent on the arena’s renovation. If naming rights are purchased by a family, the name change would be permanent.  If bought by a corporation, then the change would be temporary.

By order of Governor Martinez, flags across New Mexico will be at half staff today through Friday in honor of former governor David F. Cargo who died over the weekend. Cargo will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda tomorrow. A funeral mass is scheduled for the Cathedral Basilica on Friday with Cargo to be laid to rest in the Santa Fe National Cemetery.

Weather for Santa Fe – partly sunny skies forecast for today through Friday with highs in the upper 80s.  A 40% chance for afternoon and evening thundershowers today decreasing to 30% tomorrow.  Overnight lows in the mid 60s