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SCFD's Finest and the MRA Plan Capture Town Council's Attention

Eugene Rodriguez

Eugene Rodriguez

Chavez and ONeal

Tommy Chavez and Jerry O'Neal (Courtesy Photos)

By Charlie McKee

During the Reports section of the Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 Silver City Town Council meeting, Fire Chief Rudy Bencomo recognized Silver City's top firefighters in 2012.  The Silver City Fire Department honored the firefighters at their annual holiday party on Dec. 15 and presented the following awards:
•    2012 Firefighter of the Year – Eugene Rodriguez
•    Medal of Gallantry – Tommy Chavez
•    Medal of Gallantry – Jerry O'Neal

Engineer Driver Rodriguez also received recognition for achieving his Fire Officer Citation Bar.  Firefighters Chavez and O'Neal were awarded the Medals of Gallantry for rescuing an unconscious man from a burning trailer last summer.  The Mayor, Councilors, and entire audience at the Town Council meeting gave the three firefighters a sustained round of applause for their bravery and outstanding performance on behalf of the Town and its citizens.

Also during the Reports section of the meeting, Ken Romig of Dekker/Perich/Sabatini Design, presented an introductory information report on the proposed Project for Mine Safety on Boston Hill.  The project would consist of four phases: Assessment, Plan, Design, and Construction.  The project would be funded by the federal Abandoned Mine Lands Program, enacted in 1981 to mitigate public health and safety hazards as a result of abandoned mines, such as in Silver City's Boston Hill area.  Romig assured the Mayor and Council that an impressive multi-disciplinary team consisting of experts in the field of mine safety and local firms had been assembled; that the project would have a strong outreach component because of the multiple landowners having property in the Boston Hill area; and that each phase of the project would include public meetings soliciting and incorporating the public's concerns and viewpoints.

As part of the staff reports, Town Clerk Ann Mackie reported that the deadline for Town Council candidates in the March 5, 2013 municipal election was Jan. 8 and that two candidates had filed: Cynthia Bettison for District 1 and Jose Ray, Jr. for District 3.

During the Public Hearings portion of the Town Council meeting, the following items were approved:
•    Application #A-836420: Request for a restaurant liquor license with on-premise consumption only for the Adobe Springs Café at 1617 Silver Heights Blvd.
•    Notice of Intent Ordinance No. 1214: Making findings and determination pursuant to the Metropolitan Redevelopment Code and approving the Silver City Metropolitan Redevelopment Area (MRA) Plan.

As with all Notices of Intent Ordinances, residents and interested parties have an opportunity to review the intent of the ordinance and make their views known prior to the Town Council's vote to approve or disapprove the actual ordinance.  Vote on approval/disapproval of the actual MRA Plan will occur at the Town Council meeting on Feb. 12, 2013.

Councilor Mike Morones is sponsoring the NOI Ordinance No. 1214 and noted that it is an opportunity to prove that the Town of Silver City is pro-business and pro-economic growth in the Historic Downtown area.  Mayor James Marshall and Councilor Cynthia Bettison each requested wording changes in the language of the MRA Plan, which was based upon Silver City's 2010 Downtown Action Plan, prior to the final vote.  The changes requested were primarily focused on bringing the language current to 2013, both in terms of changes in the composition of the downtown area and in terms of use of time-sensitive terminology.  Charlie Deans of Community by Design in Santa Fe agreed with the intent of the changes and committed to updating the plan as requested in advance of the Feb. 12 vote.

Considerable review and discussion of the components of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Area designation and the ordinance itself occurred in prior Town Council meetings, which were reported in the Grant County Beat as follows:  http://www.grantcountybeat.com/index.php/news/news-articles/8365-silver-city-town-council-approves-metropolitan-redevelopment-area and http://www.grantcountybeat.com/index.php/news/news-articles/8027-town-council-stymied-by-question-of-silver-city-s-blight.

Lastly, the Town Council voted to approve open Council Meetings in 2013 on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.  The Town Council Meeting was then adjourned.

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