By Roger Lanse
Cissy McAndrew, president of the Silver City Regional Association of Realtors told the Silver City Town Council at its July 24 meeting, “that 2017 was the best we’ve had since 2007, and we are continuing to be very, very busy. Our numbers are actually pretty close as far as the number of properties that are closing, but what we see is we’re actually seeing an increase in the cost or in the sales price of the property.” McAndrew continued, “We went from an average list price of $137,757 last year up to $158,541 (so far in 2018).”
Since 2007, very few new homes are being built, McAndrew said. Building materials have gone up so that when prospective builders see how expensive it is to build many opt to look for an existing house. This is why it’s difficult to get contractors to spend hours working up a bid on building a new home, she said, only to have the buyer bow out when they hear the price.
“We have over 65 properties under contract right now,” McAndrew stated. “Because of the reduced properties available the price is going up. It’s starting to become a seller’s market.”
Turning to rentals, McAndrew said if one goes looking for a rental, it’s a very tight market. Some buyers are turning their purchase into AirBnBs and other homes are being purchased to be listed that were rentals. “That’s one of our challenges,” she said. “The investors I work with, I’m actually trying to get them to purchase homes and then turn them into long-term rentals.”
District 3 Councilor Jose Ray Jr stated, “I want to remind the downtown merchants that there has to be a four-foot clearance on the sidewalk for the people to walk by. Some merchants don’t abide by that rule.” He also reminded seniors that the Senior Center offers a good midday meal for $2.
Mayor Ken Ladner said that next February the town will be celebrating Territorial Charter Day and anyone who would like to volunteer to be on the planning committee should contact Silver City Town Clerk Ann Mackie.
Town Manager Alex Brown reported that N. Georgia Street between Highway 180 and 13th Street will be closed Aug. 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., as a temporary play street for the Silver City Territorial Charter Volunteer Day District 2 Play Street event.
Brown also stated that the bank occupying the City Hall Annex is willing to extend their lease for another two years.
An ordinance sponsored by Ray adopting the establishment of the Agmechtronix manufacturing facility as an economic development project within and for the Town of Silver City was approved.
Also approved was a two-year contract agreement between the Town and the Southwest Solid Waste Authority. The agreement is $74,000 more than last year brought on in part by collection difficulties from small streets that do not allow the large collection trucks entry, Brown said. In answer to a question by District 1 Councilor Cynthia Bettison, Brown said, “It’s going to be re-evaluated every 12 months. We’re doing a whole lot of things to try to continue recycling, even though there’s not a whole lot (of businesses accepting recyclables) out there right now, but we’re trying real hard to keep it going.” The contract was approved.
Council approved a request for proposal for tourism marketing services from Griffin and Associates in Albuquerque. Brown said, “We’ve identified that it would be better for us to go to a marketing firm to do the marketing for all of the tourist events and the destination marketing for the Town.” Brown said Griffin and Associates are the marketing firm for Sierra County.
Approved was the $32,921,832 Town budget for the fiscal year commencing July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. Brown told council all funds are in good shape and the Town is carrying more than the 1/12 reserve.