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Town Council Begins Prep for Hudson Street Bridge Take Down

By Charlie McKee

During the New Business portion of the Tuesday, Jan. 14, Silver City Town Council meeting, the Council approved Resolution No. 2014-02. The resolution authorizes the Town Manager to apply for a loan of between $160,000 and $180,000 to reconstruct the 12" water main that is suspended under the Hudson Street Bridge. The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) is scheduled to completely remove and subsequently replace Hudson Street Bridge starting in October 2014.

Town Manager Alex Brown assured the Council that the loan application is simply a financial decision that allows the Town to take advantage of three-year, 0% financing from the State of New Mexico to pay for the water main replacement. The water main is the only obligation in the reconstruction project for which the Town of Silver City is fiscally responsible. Brown stated that the income to the Town that is anticipated from the gross receipts tax resulting from the reconstruction project will more than cover the cost of the water main replacement over time. Brown also assured the Council that temporary removal of the water main will not adversely impact water supply to residents, as water is independently supplied to the Town on both sides of the bridge and the bridge waterline is in place only to provide a safeguard against times of peak water usage.

Prior to New Business, the Council heard reports from the Silver City Arts and Cultural District (ACD) and Silver City MainStreet Project during the Reports portion of the meeting. George Julian Dworin, Director of the ACD, reported on a new advertising campaign to draw increased tourism to the area. Dworin distributed copies of the Tucson magazine, "Zocalo," to the Council, in which his new collaborative methodology of leveraging multiple Silver City advertisers' dollars enabled acquisition of a full center-spread ad in the magazine. "Silver City cannot be ignored," he stated. In addition to incorporating as many as 12 advertisers in each campaign, Dworin expects the new slogan "Silver City New Mexico – You Can Be Here by Lunch!" to capture the attention of readers and draw them to the area. The "El Paso Scene" and "New Mexico Magazine" are the next targets of the campaign.

Continuing the Reports portion of the meeting, Silver City MainStreets' Director, Francis Bee, reported to the Council that he had submitted the required MainStreet statistical reporting to the State of New Mexico's MainStreet Program, which will subsequently be incorporated into the program's nationwide reporting statistics. He also noted that the number one attraction listed by visitors to the area in the past several months is Silver City's Historic Downtown.

During the Staff Reports portion of the meeting, Town Clerk Ann Mackie reported that no one had registered as a write-in candidate for the Municipal Election to be held on Mar. 4, 2014. Therefore, the final candidates for office are:
•    Mayor - Michael Shawn Morones
•    Councilor in District 2 - Lynda D. Aiman-Smith and Rebecca A. Spann
•    Councilor in District 4 - Guadalupe "Lupe" Cano
•    Municipal Judge - Sonya Ruiz and Benny G. Montes

A Public Hearing was then conducted regarding approval/disapproval of Liquor License No. 0361 for a new CVS Pharmacy to be constructed on Silver Heights Boulevard. CVS requested a waiver of the distance from school requirement for the liquor license, because of its proposed location across the street from WNMU's Watts Hall. Linda Aikin, the attorney representing CVS, stated that there would be only package liquor sales at the establishment and that no open drinks would be sold. The Council then approved Application No. A-894063.

In addition to approval of the resolution to apply for the Hudson Street Bridge loan, the following items were approved during the New Business portion of the Council meeting:
•    Resolution No. 2014-01 Open Meetings, which is an annual resolution ensuring that Town Council meetings are conducted in a public place, that the public is properly notified of the meetings, and that the agendas are published in advance of the meetings.
•    Reappointment of David Krisch to the Library Board.
•    Reappointment of Elizabeth Miller and Carl Scholl to the Cemetery Board.
•    Rescheduling of the Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, Town Council meeting to Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, at 6:00 pm.

The Town Council meeting was then adjourned.

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