By Hallie Richwine

The City of Bayard Council meeting on February 12, 2018 began at 2 p.m. after a work session that was approximately 30 minutes long. Mayor Charles Kelly, Mayor Pro Tem Chon Fierro, Councilor Adrian Ortiz, and Councilor Raul Villanueva attended. Councilor Zeke Santa Maria was unable to attend.

Councilors approved Chief Kerin's attendance to the Buckle Up New Mexico recertification on March 14 and 15. Councilors also accepted the resignation of Michael Madrid effective February 14.

George Marquez attended the meeting and spoke with council about the construction and installation of an Ice Station on Central Avenue. The machine uses a reverse osmosis, five-stage process which makes ice on demand. It can provide up to 90 bags at a time. Marquez said it will be well-lit and have a deer cam that takes photos any time a person is standing at the unit. Council approved Marquez' project upon meeting all setbacks and requirements.

In other miscellaneous business, council approved the submission of the grant application for the Maple and Elm Street improvements. Last year Bayard received funding for the beginning of the project and they are now seeking the remainder of the funds.

Dominic Fierro of Fierro & Fierro, CPA reported audit findings to the council, thanking staff, Kristina Ortiz, and the mayor for all their help. Fierro said the continuity in the staff made the audit go very well. He said it is not a forensic audit, they work with statistical samplings. The audit report was, "clean and fair." Even though it was not the best financial year for the city, the statement of findings was clear. Council approved the audit presentation with all in favor.

Under personnel action, council approved the hire of Nicholas Rosales as a patrol officer upon successful completion of pre-employment exams.

Chon Fierro reported the infields needing a lot of work at the ballfields. Two inches will be removed to rid the field of goatheads. New dirt will be ordered to replace what is taken away and they will also need to even out the area where the outfield meets the infield.

Kelly said he is leaving office soon, but he wanted to take the opportunity to thank the staff, and everyone across the board. "It has really been a pleasure to work with the city councilors, past and especially present. I've been Mayor for eight years, and in public service almost all of my adult life and I've enjoyed it for the most part. I've made a lot of friends and found that there are really hard workers in public office and among the staff."

Villanueva thanked Kelly for his service, in Bayard and in all his accomplishments.

The next meeting for the City of Bayard Council happens Monday, February 26, 2018 at 2 p.m. following a short work session.

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Editor's Note

The Grant County Beat continues to bring you new columnists. New this past week are the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.

The Beat has a new column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

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