You are here: HomeNewsFront Page News ArticlesGrant County Commission discusses ordinance and resolution

Grant County Commission discusses ordinance and resolution


A fire ordinance and a safety net care pool resolution will be approved on Thursday

By Mary Alice Murphy

The Grant County Commission, at its Tuesday, May 6, 2014, work session, reviewed a fire ordinance and a safety net care pool resolution.

At the regular meeting to be held Thursday, May 8, at 9 a.m., commissioners will, as their first order of business hold a public hearing on the adoption of an ordinance "establishing firefighting and emergency response authority, fire equipment procurement standards, and rules regarding fire hazards applicable to the general public, and imposition of burn restrictions during severe drought and other fire emergencies." The commissioners will then approve or disapprove the ordinance.

County Attorney Abigail Robinson, said a minor change had been made in language, thanks to a suggestion from a resident. In Section 3 A, the word combustible had been changed to flammable.

Commission Chairman Brett Kasten asked how the ordinance would be enforced, when someone finds a fire hazard. "Will (Fire Management Officer) Randy (Villa) go to see the site?"

County Manager Jon Paul Saari said if someone calls and reports a fire hazard, Gilbert Helton, county code enforcement, usually enforces it. But in this ordinance, it will be enforced by Villa and the Sheriff's Department.

"I see the penalty is $300 and up to 90 days in jail," Kasten said.

Commissioner Ron Hall said the Magistrate Court would receive the guilty or not guilty plea, if charges were made.

"When we get a complaint, we will investigate it and we will give them the opportunity to clean it up," Sheriff Raul Villanueva said. "If they don't comply within a time frame, we will cite them and send them to Magistrate Court."

"What if they do not clean it up?" Kasten asked.

"We cite them again," Villanueva said.

Saari said, under the solid waste ordinance, Helton can order it cleaned up and the people will have to reimburse the county.

Hall noted that a separate ordinance, from this one to be considered on Thursday, deals with this issue and gives the steps, allowing so many days to clean it up and if they don't, the county cleans it up and bills the property owner.

Commissioner Gabriel Ramos said he thought the county needs a follow-up ordinance with steps to continue with yards and properties.

Robinson noted the ordinance, when approved, would repeal the emergency ordinance approved a couple of weeks ago. She said the fire management officer would, upon approval of the ordinance, immediately post the fire restrictions.

Kasten asked what would happen after the second or more violations, and Robinson suggested talking to the magistrate judges, "but I think the ordinance is already flexible."

He also asked about the difference between a chainsaw with no spark arrestor and other mechanical tools without spark arrestors.

Robinson said the FMO had the flexibility to approve or not approve a certain device.

"We are in a severe drought," Villa pointed out. "In the future, we'll look at what works. We do have an application for permits. Contractors are coming in to get the permits."

Saari pointed out that the ordinance says "'anything deemed a hazard,' so we don't have to list everything."

Kasten said the ordinance is for liability purposes.

Robinson said the ordinance is just a guide.

"From a fire management standpoint, the volunteer fire departments monitor within their own districts," Villa said.

The expenditure report for the past two weeks was for $750,969, which Saari called "normal expenditures," as the county tries to finish out grants before the end of the fiscal year.

Also on Thursday's regular meeting agenda is a resolution of intent to adopt an ordinance dedicating, in quarterly installments, an amount equal to a gross receipts tax of one-twelfth of 1 percent applied to the taxable gross receipts reported during the prior fiscal year by persons engaged in business in the county to the newly created safety net care pool fund; and providing an effective date transferring funds.

Saari said the amount would be about $480,000 from the county to the state. "The best estimate of what the hospital will get is $5 million annually. There is no threat of the hospital closing its doors. Our payments will go out in March, June, September and December, so our first payment will be in September, after the beginning of the new fiscal year."

In new business, the commissioners will recognize the state champions, Cobre High School Band.

Two items will be added to Thursday's agenda. The first will be approval of two items for the Tyrone Volunteer Fire Department—the purchase of a tanker truck at a cost of $162,738 from station fire funds for the Flying A station and the transfer of a brush truck, with 38,000 miles on it, from the Columbus Fire Department to the Tyrone VFD.

The second item is part of the Senior Service Program, which must now adopt a policy and procedures specifically for the program.

Robinson said she needed to discuss a couple of things with the program's director, Terry Trujillo, but most of the document is fine.

The next article will cover county reports.


Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates

Welcome to Three Times Weekly Updates! You will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.
You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Fire Alerts

Editor's Note

Twice lately, someone has used one of MY photos, TAKEN by ME, without attribution or payment to me or the Beat. Remember that ALL PHOTOS ON THE SITE ARE COPYRIGHTED BY THE PHOTOGRAPHER. All content is also automatically copyrighted to the creator, when it is posted. 

For all you non-profits out there who hold regular fundraisers and want to thank your supporters, the Beat has a new flat rate of $20 plus GRT for Thank You Ads, which are posted under Community. Thanks for supporting the Beat.

The Beat is very pleased and excited to announce that it has an intern, Alexis Rico, who is studying journalism at New Mexico State University. Please welcome her. We will be experimenting together on some new ways to provide the news to you. We look forward to your comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Thanks for being a Beat reader!

The Beat thanks all of you who have become friends of the Beat by sponsoring pages.

We have added a new category under Sponsors on the menu—Local businesses. You and your business can benefit from the exposure by contacting the Beat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Someone will contact you for an interview and to take photos. The cost for the sponsorship is $100, and you can continue the relationship by advertising your business for a longer term. The longer the term, the better the discount you receive.

The Beat is now posting legal notices for area governmental agencies. Check under the menu item Community to find Legals for what's happening in the area in the way of meetings and other legal notices.

You may have noticed a blue button on the upper left side of most pages. It says Sponsor GCBTo help defray ever-increasing costs of the Beat and to prevent the requirement for paid subscriptions, the Beat is asking you to choose an amount you want to pay on a one-time or regular basis to SPONSOR a page or feature that you rely on. 

If you subscribe to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option on the left side of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Comics are now available. As the editor, I chose my favorites first--B.C. and Wizard of Id. The Beat is seeking sponsors for these comics and for your favorites, too. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for rates. 

Check Out Classifieds.

It's really easy to check to see if there's a classified ad. Just click on Classifieds in the blue menu and the page will open letting you know if there is a classified ad. Remember that your buying classified ads gives you a wide readership, as well as supporting the Beat.

Post YOURS for quick results!

Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News.

Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com.

Go to top