By Lorie Hildebrand and Alexis Rico
The City of Bayard Council met for a work session followed by a regular session meeting on June 10, 2019, at the Bayard City Hall. Mayor Chon Fierro, Councilor Raul Villanueva, Councilor Eloy Medina, and Councilor Charles L. Kelly were present for the meetings.
After calling the regular meeting to order and the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Chon Fierro asked for any public input. The Hanover Water Association thanked the Mayor and Council Members for their support of providing backup water to Hanover residents. Their only request was for a slight increase in the water amount allowed each month by Bayard. Clerk/Treasurer Ms. Ortiz stated that as long as there were no leaks or waste problems, Bayard had no problem supplying the water needs of Hanover. The rates would stay the same but total payment due for the water would increase as need did.
The Joint Powers Agreement for Consolidated Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) was approved by the council. At the work session before the regular Council Meeting, James Marshall, member of the Board of Directors of the Grant County Regional Dispatch Authority answered questions the council wanted clarified.
Marshall outlined the JPA, costs associated and each entity’s percentage of contribution. Gila Regional Medical Center did not agree to sign the agreement for the upcoming year and thus, the coverage fee would need to be covered and disbursed evenly among Bayard, Hurley, Santa Clara, and Western New Mexico University. The coverage fee for each town would increase from 5% to 6% which would be a $1,500 increase in the $3,900 fee for Bayard.
He also discussed with the council pricing issues that dispatch has faced over the years that included issues with staffing and a high turnover rate for staff. Dispatch currently has 9 employees that are working 12-hour shifts. They work many hours overtime that is costly on the budget for dispatch. Marshall stated that it is a high-stress environment and that there is “no way we can pay their true value for the work they do.” This could be reflecting why dispatch loses many of its newer employees.
Council concern was of increased costs in the future for Central Dispatch and if contributions could be billed quarterly. Future costs would likely be higher with much needed additional positions added in dispatch. And quarterly billing was an option. Future needs will be addressed as they come up.
During the work session, Marshall and the council also briefly discussed the recycling program for Bayard. Marshall stated that the recycling program would stay the same for the town until July 1, 2019, when recycling would be picked-up at the roadside. After July 1, cardboard would be gathered in a bin in a public space, such as near Food Basket.
In reports, Town Clerk-Treasurer Kristina Ortiz discussed the current projects that she is working on. Ortiz is currently working on the 911 placement project and is working on street name signs that are going to be ordered. The town is in the process of getting rid of any replicated names and numbers on the streets. Ortiz stated that she will be asking for citizen input on the project before it becomes finalized and the signs are ordered.
In the Mayor’s report, Fierro thanked the Bayard Maintenance Department for their cleanup work throughout Bayard and the Cemetery. In the Police Department report, the Chief stated there was now twenty-four hour coverage by officers in Bayard. Work was continuing on orientation of officers along with a handbook to address locations of key landmarks, dress code, etc. For the Town Clerk report, Ortiz is still working on the new addressing system, ordering street signs and address numbers. There will be more interaction with Bayard residents soon to address their concerns and orient them to the new system.
The meeting adjourned just before 3 p.m.
The next meeting and work session will take place on June 24, 2019, at the Bayard City Hall.