(Photo Courtesy of Annette Toney) The Girl scouts were asked to start the meeting off with leading the pledge of allegiance before Mayor James Marshall read the proclamation proclaiming March 10-16 as Girl Scout Week. On the front row are Haylee Thurnherr, Rachel Windsor, Morgan Wendt, Mikaela Johnson, Niamh Stange, Melani Diaz, Elena Stange, Chloe Southerland, and on the back row are Annette Toney Membership Manger, Katelyn Hill, Marcella Johnson, Mayor Marshall, Serena Melancon, Carley Casey All are Girls Scouts of the Desert Southwest from Grant County. For more information on Girl Scouts call Annette Toney 538-2481
The Silver City Town Council meeting was an unusual continuum of smiles, back slapping, and all around good cheer Tuesday evening, March 12, as a result of multiple actions on the Town Council's part.
First, as Mayor James Marshall proclaimed March 10 to 16, 2013 officially "Girl Scout Week" in Silver City, the local Girl Scout troop handed out Girl Scout cookies to the grinning Town Councilors and staff. While there appeared to be no influence peddling detected by this reporter on the part of the young girls, the Town notables were clearly pleased with their spoils, which sweetened the pot of the evening's activities.
The most significant achievement in the line-up of good news for Silver City was the approval by the Council of Resolution No. 2013-14. The resolution authorizes the Town of Silver City's purchase of the landmark historic downtown Silco Theater building on North Bullard Street from its current owner, Silver City Mainstreet. Cheering and applause by the packed audience in response to the approval left no doubt that, as noted by MainStreet's Lucy Whitmarsh, the Town's purchase of the theater building—with the intent to open a movie house in downtown Silver City for the first time in decades—will "bring renewed economic vitality to the historic downtown." In addition to Whitmarsh, WNMU's Vice President for Student Affairs Isaac Brundage spoke in support of the resolution on WNMU President Joseph Shepard's behalf. He noted that WNMU is in the midst of a significant growth period in student enrollment and that a downtown movie theater within walking distance of the campus will be a major attraction for both current and potential students.
The Town's purchase of the theater for the specified amount of $390,000 or its appraised value, whichever is lower, is enabled by a $175,000 grant from the state's New Mexico MainStreet Program. The Town will seek financing through the New Mexico Finance Authority for the remainder of the purchase amount, but anticipates that revenues from rental space in the building will offset the debt.
While the approval of the Silco Theater resolution ended the Council meeting on a rare wave of boisterous and hearty good feeling, the Council's agenda leading to the approval included additional very positive news for Silver City:
• MRAC's Faye McCalmont reported that the recent Rhythm of the Dance performance sold out the WNMU Fine Arts Center Theatre—a rare occurrence—and brought numerous out of town visitors to Silver City;
• George Julian Dworin, introducing himself to the Council as the new Director of Silver City's Arts and Cultural District, announced a grant from New Mexico Arts to help develop a Clay Arts Trail from Southwest New Mexico throughout the state to "celebrate anything clay";
• Sherry Logan introduced herself as the new Director of the Grant County Chamber of Commerce and announced new Chamber activities, including Chamber luncheons and "Alive at Five;" and
• The Council approved Ordinance No. 1216 amending Chapter 6 (Animals) of the Municipal Code to clean up the language of the code, bring its fee structure in line with that of Grant County for consistency of enforcement, and to ensure that animals at large are neutered.
In other business, the Council approved Bid #12/13-2 for Blackhawk gravity sewer improvements by Renegade Construction Inc., contingent upon approval of additional funding to cover the $359,000 bid. In addition, the Council voted to elect Councilor Cynthia Bettison as President Pro Tempore (or "mayor pro tem"), as well as reappointing the Councilors to the committee and board positions that they held last year.
The meeting was adjourned on a very positive note.