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Clay Festival Success is Welcome News to Town Council

By Roger Lanse

Town Manager Alex Brown reported at the Silver City Town Council's meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 12, that the placing of chips on the town's chip-sealed streets was completed today, and they will be swept tomorrow to remove excess chips before the final fog sealing coat is applied later in the month.

The Silver City Clay Festival had triple the turnout of last year, one of the festival's organizers reported. Visitors came from California, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Mexico and Canada to participate in the various workshops, lectures and presentations. Forty-six attendees came on Tuesday, Aug. 5, and stayed through Sunday, Aug. 11. Many children attended classes in the use of clay at the Glenwood and Bayard libraries, the organizer said.

Silver City MainStreet Board President Lucy Whitmarsh told the council of two upcoming events the group is planning. One is Bash on Broadway scheduled for Saturday, Aug 16, to welcome returning and first-time Western New Mexico University students to classes and the second is also on Broadway called "Taste of Downtown" to be held Saturday, Sept. 6. "Taste" will be an opportunity for people to sample the fare of local restaurants and to hear music and bands.

Mayor Mike Morones reminded town residents that the next Town Council meeting will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 20, at 6 p.m. rather than its regularly scheduled date of Aug. 26, at 6 p.m. Council members will be attending the New Mexico Municipal League's Annual Conference the week of Aug. 25 in Albuquerque. The council selected Morones as delegate to the conference and District 1 Councilor Cynthia Bettison as alternate.

Gary Stailey stated that he has come out of retirement to work for the Juvenile Probation Office as Community Builder. The new program will use youth to beautify the community and make it safer and, in the process, enable the young people to develop new skills. The program is in partnership with the Town of Silver City.

The rejection of a bid by Havens Construction Co. of Silver City to complete renovations of the Silco Theater was approved. Mike Roberts of the company stated that he has been the successful bidder twice and asked why his company was not accepted. Brown told Roberts that it was because the bid came in higher than 10 percent over the engineer's estimate. Brown also stated that the town only has part of the funds to complete the job. Roberts later told the Grant County Beat, "They keep going out to bid knowing they don't have the budget."

Also approved was an agreement between the Town and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council No. 18, Local No. 3370, for the period July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. The new agreement includes changes to sick leave policy due to perceived abuse, Brown said. Reimbursement for overtime meals was given up in exchange for $10 extra each quarter added to longevity pay. Brown said the administration of the overtime meals was a real hassle.

 

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