[Editor's Note: This is part 3 of a multi-article report on the work session of the Grant County Commission on March 6, 2018. This article covers the review of the regular meeting agenda and county reports. It also has photos of the proclamations presented at the regular meeting and SOME shorter items that were approved at the regular meeting.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

The Grant County Commission at its work session on March 6, 2018, reviewed the regular agenda for the meeting to take place on March 8, 2018.

The first item of business on Thursday would be a Gila Regional Medical Center update by Chief Executive Officer Taffy Arias. [Editor's note: It will be reported in a later article.]

The regular financial report was given by Randy Hernandez, accounting specialist. He reported that expenditures for the period since the last report and ending on March 2, 2018, totaled $1,843,951.24, including one payroll period for $208,543.12. Also included in the total are extraordinary expense of more than $10,000. Those listed were $16,096.88 to Hazair, Inc. for Phase 3 Risk assessment and research for mitigation plan; $30,458.85 to Southwest Concrete & Paving for routine patching for county roads; $28,463.70 to Western Builders, LLC for progress billing for Santa Rita Fire Station construction; $39,134.38 to Bank of Albuquerque for bond interest payment on 2014 G.O. Bonds; $68,072.05 to Gila Regional Medical Center for January 2018 indigent claims; $693,992.00 to NM County Insurance Authority for 2018 Law Enforcement & Multiline Pool Contributions; $24,370.18 to Wright Express Fleet Services for January 2018 fuel charges; $19,858.99 to Dement Electric Inc. for emergency generator backup for Sapillo Creek VFD; $22,756.42 to Morrow Enterprises Inc. for progress billing for the Lower Mimbres VFD water storage; $13,284.00 to Skywest Media LLC for October/December 2017 Marketing Services for Conference Center; $18,920.98 to Ascent Aviation for February 2018 jet fuel; $43,746.39 to Southwest Solid Waste Authority for January 2018 tipping fees; $22,587.17 to Summit Food Service for January 2018 inmate meals and medical snacks; $11,990.56 to Tyler Technologies for 2018/2019 annual disaster recovery renewal; and $14,735.53 to Juniper Advisory LLD for February 2018 retainer fee and services.

 img 7524 Two proclamations were on tap for Thursday. The first recognized the Silver High School Wrestling Team for winning the 2018 class A-AAAA state championship. Coach Luis Alvarado accepted the proclamation on Thursday along with assistant coaches and team members. Coach Luis Alvarado accepted the proclamation on Thursday along with assistant coaches and team members.

img 7531 The second proclamation to be presented on Thursday was for the Grant County DWI Prevention Program and Aldo Leopold Charter School Kick Butts Day on March 21, 2018.

At the work session, County Manager Charlene Webb asked for an item to be added to the regular session. "Please add Dan Otero of Hidalgo Medical Services to the agenda to give an update on Tu Casa and the senior programs. [Editor's Note: This update will be covered in another article.]

Commissioners approved on Thursday the 2018 Volunteer Firefighters Annual reporting for the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) for the volunteer fire departments of Cliff/Gila, Fort Bayard, Lower Mimbres, Pinos Alto, Santa Rita, Sapillo Creek, Tyrone, Upper Mimbres and Whiskey Creek.

Also, at the regular session, commissioners approved reappointments of Lodger's Tax Advisory Board members Becky O'Connor and John Rohovec representing lodging; Michael Barragree and David C. Shirk for tourism; and Douglas Dinwiddie at large member.

Two members of the Road Abandonment Committee were reappointed: Ty Bays and Debbie Rogers, and a new member, Loren Frost, was appointed. County Planner and Economic Development Director Michael "Mischa" Larisch said his office has had more interest in getting roads looked at for potential abandonment.

Commissioners approved the Law Enforcement Protection Fund, which included a distribution of $20,000 and $600 each per full-time certified Sheriff's deputy, which at 33, would bring an extra distribution of $19,900 for a total of $39,900 to provide funding for repair and purchase of law enforcement apparatus and equipment and expenses associated with advanced law enforcement planning and training.

Also approved was consent for right of entry regarding a proposed Boston Hill Mining District Safeguard Project. The purpose is to safeguard abandoned mines in the area. "If we grant right of entry, the program will do the work at no cost," County Manager Charlene Webb said. "I think it's a win-win."

Under resolutions, two long ones pertaining to applications for airport aid from the Federal Aviation Administration. They obligate the county to provide matching funds of 2.5 percent and authorize the county to accept the grant offer and execution of contract documents for two projects. The first is to prepare a preliminary engineering report, evaluating the commercial service terminal and general aviation aprons rehabilitation and repairs. The second is also to prepare a PER to evaluate the commercial service terminal code compliance rehabilitation and repairs, with both at the Grant County-Silver City Airport. Commissioners approved the applications at the Thursday regular meeting.

Airport Manager Rebekah Wenger said the apron is broken up and engineers need to come in to evaluate it. The second item would allow evaluation of the terminal. For both the county's match is $2,600.

As the Grant County Health Care Claims Board, commissioners approved seven GRMC indigent claims for $9,594.08 and one GRMC ambulance claim for $709 for total payments from the Grant County Indigent Fund of $10,303.08.

Under county official reports, Detention Center Administrator Michael Carillo reported the jail has three vacancies, with five applicants recently hired. He said the average daily population is 81, one more than in the previous report. High male is 63, with one more than last month and high female population at 18, with two more. On March 2, the jail held 84 inmates. He reported the Stepping Up Program would hold its next meeting on April 18. "We held a meeting for the residential treatment facility and got a lot of information, with the possibility of treatment and a mental health unit in the detention center."

Randy Villa, General Services director, said the maintenance department was looking at lighting issues in the Courthouse parking lot. "We updated the bulbs to LED and it has helped. We are getting striping for the airport parking lot. We are working on weeds and turning off heat to cool, if we ever went to heat." He said the commissioners will be invited for a collaborative meeting for major fires. "Mischa and I applied for a $10,000 grant through the New Mexico Association of Counties to educate the public on firewise programs."

Commissioner Gabriel Ramos asked how often the reverse 911 is activated. "Two weekends ago, we had a gas lead near the university. Half the people didn't receive calls."

Villa said people get contacted only if they sign up for the Code Red service, also known as Reverse 911. They can sign up their landline or cell phone.

Webb said the county is working on issues and looking at different options, especially on how to better manage getting the information out.

"We want to make sure the volunteer fire departments are included," Villa said, "so they can help provide resources to help."

img 1561County Planner and Economic Development Director Michael "Mischa" Larisch, in blue shirt, accepted a certificate recognizing his becoming a certified floodplain manager.Commission Chairman Billy Billings noted that Larisch has become a certified floodplain manager. Commissioner awarded him with a certificate of completion.

In his report, Larisch said the Tu Casa furnishings would be delivered and installed the week of March 12. "We have a few issues with floors to fix, but we are close to done. The Santa Rita Fire Station's concrete was delayed by the Freeport bridge and weather. The rest will move quickly. The Lower Mimbres VFD still has delays on its storage tank. We are moving forward with the Asset Management Plan. Because of a delay in the airport generator, the company will provide a loaner. Caterpillar failed to comply with Buy America, so they are working through the issue. We had an Opportunity Zone meeting with the New Mexico Environment Department, the (Southwest New Mexico) Council of Governments, Silver City, Santa Clara, Hurley and Bayard. Opterra continues to work on its energy plan. This would be a great project for general obligation bonds. Pretty much every building the county owns makes sense for renewables."

"We in our office are working through the process on P cards (Purchasing cards) and fuel cards, so we can become more efficient," Webb said. "We want to avoid audit findings."

She said she was contacted by Mark Van Dyke, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez's chief of staff for a question and answer public meeting session with Alan Shafer of the Air Force on Thursday afternoon. "I don't know that I can accomplish it, but I'll try."
Commissioners Harry Browne and Alicia Edwards were in agreement that if it could not be a public meeting that it not be held.

Edwards in her commissioner's report gave some statistics and said she couldn't blame Otero County and Alamogordo for wanting the expansion at Holloman Air Force Base, because it would create new jobs for the area. She then read a statement, which is also posted at http://www.grantcountybeat.com/editorial/42698-letter-to-editor-about-proposed-air-force-training-flyovers

A future article will complete the regular session held Thursday, March 8.

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