Town finalizes Taos Air flights

By Jesse Moya
jmoya@taosnews.com
Posted 4/11/19

The town of Taos Council met for a regular meeting Tuesday (April 9) and officially approved a summer air contract for Taos Air, the charter service to and from …

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Town finalizes Taos Air flights

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The town of Taos Council met for a regular meeting Tuesday (April 9) and officially approved a summer air contract for Taos Air, the charter service to and from Texas.

The council previously voted to approve funds to the air service and approved the action to partner in paying for summer flights. Councilor George "Fritz" Hahn wanted assurance that funds to pay for Taos Air were not coming out of the general fund or any other fund other than lodger's tax.

"None of this is money that can be used for paving streets, salaries or anything like that," according to town manger Rick Bellis.

Taos Air will receive $200,000 from the town and Taos County lodger's tax funds to help pay for the summer flight schedule. Currently, the air service flies visitors to and from Texas airports into Taos for winter visits. The new schedule will continue the services into the summer for visitors wanting to catch summer time activities in Taos.

According to town officials, the flights are 70 percent full and over half of the people flying on the plane visit the town of Taos, not just the ski valley.

Councilors Darien Fernandez and Pascualito Maestas were optimistic about the flights, saying this could be an economic boom for Taos as businesses use the plane to bring ideas and employees to Taos.

During the meeting, the council also approved a development block grant for $700,000 to update the Taos water systems. In 2018, the town experienced a slew of issues with their water system that prompted a water emergency declaration from the town. Pumps failed and needed immediate repair. This grant allows the town to make needed upgrades to the system.

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