By Charlie McKee
During the opening portion of the Silver City Town Council meeting of Tuesday, April 23, Mayor James Marshall made the following proclamations for the Town of Silver City:
• May 9, 2013 shall be "Children's Mental Health Awareness Day" – The Wellness Coalition, in collaboration with the other mental health services organizations in Grant County, is organizing a Scavenger Hunt on May 11 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm for children ages 11 to 20 years in recognition of the day.
• May 14, 2013 shall be "American Legion Day" – American Legion Post 18, which has been active in Silver City since 1919, is honored to welcome the first official visit of an American Legion National Commander, James E. Koutz, to Silver City on May 14.
• The Town of Silver City shall be a "Bullying and Harassment Free Zone" – Community partners are hosting a free workshop on May 10 led by acclaimed educator Ester Williams on "The Bully, The Bullied, & The Bystander: Helping Them All" to raise citizen awareness of this growing problem that affects 30 percent of today's school children.
Councilor Cynthia Bettison then reminded the meeting attendees of Comcast Cares Day on April 27, 2013, and urged them to participate in the building of a Mimbres Region Arts Council (MRAC) Youth Mural entitled "Agua es La Vida/Water is Life." The mural will be installed on the 12th Street Bridge at 12th and Santa Rita Streets.
Councilor Jose Ray, Jr. also reminded the attendees to be especially aware and tolerant of the many bicyclists in town over the next few weeks for the Tour of the Gila Bicycle Race.
During the Business portion of the Council meeting, the Town Council approved two resolutions in their ongoing effort to improve "quality of life" for Silver City and Grant County residents. The resolutions permit the Town to continue the processes of installing multi-use field lighting for the athletic fields at Scott Park and of acquiring the historic downtown Silco Theater for renovation and installation of equipment to enable showing of current first-run films, bringing new business and vitality to the historic downtown.
The Council approved Resolution No. 2013-15, which authorizes financing with the New Mexico Financing Authority of almost $250,000 to complete the purchase of the Silco Theater by the Town. The loan funding is in addition to a $175,000 grant from the New Mexico MainStreet organization, which is enabling the purchase. Silver City MainStreet must meet all its requirements as specified in the purchase agreement prior to the loan's being executed. Councilor Mike Morones assured the Council that both New Mexico MainStreet and Silver City MainStreet were on track to accomplish all their requirements in facilitating the purchase.
The Council then approved Resolution No. 2013-16, which authorizes financing with the New Mexico Financing Authority of $700,000 to install night lighting throughout the athletic fields of Scott Park. The funding is in addition to capital outlay from the State of New Mexico obtained by Senator Howie Morales and Representative Rudy Martinez amounting to $275,000. The lighting will allow night games to be played at the park, opening it up to many more sports events, including WNMU football practices. Cissy McAndrew, Executive Director of the Southwest Chapter of the Green Chamber of Commerce, urged the Council and Town Manager Alex Brown to ensure that the lighting will be energy efficient and will protect the dark night skies. Brown assured her that this would be the case. At the respective suggestions of Bettison and Ray, Brown also agreed to research the possibilities of adding timers to turn off the lights automatically and of adding protection for the lights from projectiles.
In other business, the Council approved the Notice of Intent Ordinance 1219, which enables the Southwest Solid Waste Authority to refinance its debt. This action guarantees repayment of the debt to the financing bank by the Town of Silver City, as well as the other municipalities of Grant County, utilizing the distributions of the Environmental Services Gross Receipts Tax Revenues in the event the Authority fails to pay its debt. Brown explained that the refinancing would actually bring revenue to the Town, as opposed to requiring any payment, since the Southwest Solid Waste Authority would be able to repay monies it owes the Town and Grant County as a result of the refinancing. As in the case of all Notices of Intent, this one allows time for public input regarding the ordinance prior to the Council's final vote.
The Council also approved Bid #12/13-10 for a Homeowner Rehabilitation Project. The costs for this project were re-estimated and put out to bid with only one bidder responding. Chavez Construction was awarded the bid for $64,042. A HUD grant will provide 100% of the funding for the project.
Lastly, the Council approved the Mayor's appointments to the following Town positions:
• Cemetery Board: Reappointment of Rider South and a new appointment of Jeffrey Fell.
• Incentive Review Committee:
• District 1 – Sherry Ann Clements
• District 2 – Lynda Aiman-Smith
• District 3 – Robert Donnelly
• District 4 – Annie Lessem
• At Large – Sherri Lyle
The meeting was then adjourned.