The City of Bayard Council Meeting on July 23, 2018 began around 2 p.m. after a work session that was approximately 30 minutes long. Councilors Zeke Santa Maria and Eloy Medina attended as well as Mayor Pro Tem Raul Villanueva and Mayor Chon Fierro.
Susan Beck spoke to council about the Hollomon Air Force Base Training Flights. Beck is a retired Air Force colonel and a resident of Grant County. Hollomon AFB received F-16 units a couple of years ago from Luke AFB in Phoenix, AZ for pilot training. The Air Force is reviewing its training airspace and announced last fall they were considering the Gila National Forest airspace as a possibility. At this time the airspace is used by the New Mexico National Guard however if the Gila airspace is chosen as a training area that would add an additional 10,000 flights per year.
Al Gamboa, a Marine Corps veteran and Grant County native voiced concern about the possibility. “Our wilderness is a natural resource we rely on. People will be deterred from coming here. The National Wilderness was set aside specifically for its intended purpose.”
As a municipality, Bayard is able to make a formal statement to the Air Force during their scoping process.
During public input Raul Turrieta agreed with Gamboa that the wilderness area is special and he believes the flyovers could be a detriment to tourism.
In other business the city is looking at ways to compensate maintenance staff that are on call or on standby. There is currently no policy to take care of weekend staffing. Clerk Kristina Ortiz said the scheduling and budget will be reviewed and hopefully next month an amendment can be made.
Council approved the installation of a manufactured home on Momsen Street after resident Richard Dominguez petitioned for a variance. The lot is narrower than the ordinance but after inspection Ortiz believes the installation would enhance the area.
The next meeting for the City of Bayard happens Tuesday, July 31 at 9:30 a.m.