During the Public Hearing portion of its Tuesday evening meeting, June 25, 2013, the Town Council approved Ordinance No. 1221: rezoning the land occupied by the Shady Groves Mobile Home and RV Park at 1605 Canal Street from Residential A to Residential C. Residential C designates the land as "Manufactured Home Park and and Attached Housing (RC) District" instead of "Single Family District."
Town of Silver City Planner Jaime Embick outlined the recommended changes to the Council, and Operations Manager Tom Peterson subsequently testified regarding the need for the changes. Peterson stated that in the past year, since taking over operations of the park, he has made a concerted effort to effect a "character change" in the property by getting rid of certain elements, by upgrading living units within the park, by implementing new landscaping, and by making other positive changes. He noted that children are again feeling safe to play in the area and that it is becoming a better place for the future. When Mayor James Marshall asked Peterson specifically why he was applying for the rezoning, Peterson explained that the rezoning would make the park compliant for its current mobile home use and would allow him to be in compliance for installing new structures and for grading the property. The Council then voted to approve the zoning change.
During the Reports portion of the Town Council meeting, Heidi Sexton, President of the Board of Directors of the High Desert Humane Society (HDHS), explained the differences between the mission and programs of HDHS, a non-profit organization, and the Animal Shelter, which HDHS operates on behalf of the Town of Silver City and Grant County. The Animal Shelter houses stray animals and manages the sale of animal licenses for the Town. HDHS then takes ownership of animals that remain unclaimed in the animal shelter and readies those that are candidates for adoption as pets. HDHS operates a vaccination clinic, its "HALT" neutering and spaying program, a pet crematorium, and a pet memorial garden, all funded primarily by donations. The proceeds of sales from the HDHS "Paws Cause" store go directly to the HALT program. Sexton also announced that HDHS would be celebrating its 40th anniversary of operation at an event in Gough Park on October 5, 2013, from 10 am to 2 pm.
Cissy McAndrew, Southwest Chapter of the Green Chamber of Commerce executive director, gave her quarterly update regarding tourist traffic at the Murray Ryan Visitor Center. McAndrew stated that more than 15,000 visitors have been logged in the first full year of the Chamber's operation of the Visitor Center and that there has been an average of 10 more people per day at this time this year than last year. She noted that her staff has been using social media to make clear to tourists that the fires in the region are not impacting Silver City. McAndrew also informed the Council that they are currently in the process of updating the Visitor Center's local map, which has not been updated in over 15 years, to include Wind Canyon and Arenas Valley.
Following Reports and the Public Hearing, the Council approved the following resolutions in the New Business portion of the meeting:
• Resolution No. 2013-24: Southwest New Mexico Energy and Green Jobs Task Force's Regional Strategic Plan for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and Associated Job Creation, which was formulated by the four southwest counties over three years, including participation by the Town of Silver City and in concert with the goals of its Office of Sustainability.
• Resolution No. 2013-25: Renewal and continuation of the agreement supporting the Public Private Economic Development MainStreet Project as part of New Mexico's statewide program.
• Resolution No. 2013-23: Amendment to the Town of Silver City Employees Personnel Manual to reflect current policies governing new and existing employees.
In answering the Mayor's questions regarding the MainStreet Project above, President of the Board of Directors Lucy Whitmarsh announced the hiring of a new MainStreet Manager, Francis Bee of Mimbres. (See Grant County Beat: http://www.grantcountybeat.com/index.php/news/news-articles/11136-silver-city-mainstreet-names-new-director)
The meeting was then adjourned.