By Jim Owen

The Bayard City Council on Monday approved its 2016 Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan, which identifies projects for which officials will seek funding.

The state requires every town to draft an ICIP each year. The plan is a list of projects that councilors consider their top priorities. Bayard's goals are to complete construction of the town cemetery, erect a "Welcome to Bayard" sign on U.S. 180 and improve drainage on city streets.

Preliminary efforts to create the city's first municipal cemetery, off U.S. 180 south of town, are expected to be completed in September. Southwest Concrete & Paving of Silver City is the contractor.

Bayard received two legislative appropriations totaling $400,000 for the design and initial construction of the cemetery. The project ranks at the top of the latest ICIP because additional work needs to be done to prepare the site.

In other business during their regularly scheduled meeting, councilors approved an amendment to the city's Uniform Traffic Ordinance. A $100 bench-warrant fee will be imposed if a resident fails to appear in Municipal Court after receiving a traffic ticket. The state Legislature, during its annual session earlier this year, agreed to allow municipalities assess the fee.

The council decided to install a street light, on an existing pole, along North Street between Walnut and Rosemary streets. Neighborhood residents requested the light because the area is extremely dark at night. They cited safety concerns.

Another agenda item was a proclamation declaring Sept. 13 as Walk for the Heroes Appreciation Day. The document states that the event will "honor the losses we have suffered after 911." It points out that among those who have died are "civilians, first responders, firefighters, policemen and our armed forces."

The 6.8-mile walk will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, at the Gateway Motel in Hurley, and end about noon at Bataan Memorial Park near Fort Bayard. A bike run will start at the motel at the same time, and proceed to the park via the Inner Loop (through Mimbres, Pinos Altos and Silver City).

Donations will be used to pay the event's expenses, establish a James H. Pirtle Scholarship Fund, benefit the Southwest New Mexico Transition Center (for homeless veterans) and fund the Marine Corps Reserve's Toys for Tots program.

In other business, Councilors agreed to pay the expenses of City Clerk-Treasurer Kristina Ortiz to take part in a web-training session regarding "implementation and impacts of flood-insurance reform legislation" later this month. They also voted to send city employees Rhonda (Shareen) Rogers and Marlena Valenzuela to an October conference for motor-vehicle department managers.

The council accepted a letter of interest from resident Lucille Salas to serve on the city's Beautification Committee. Officials encourage anyone else interested in joining the committee to contact City Hall.

Councilors voted to enter into the New Mexico Water-Wastewater Agency Response Network's mutual-aid and assistance agreement. All the state's municipalities have been asked to join NMWARN, which will coordinate emergency-response efforts.


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