By Alexis Rico and Lorie Hildebrand
The Town of Hurley Council met for a regular session meeting on June 11, 2019. Mayor Ed Stevens, Mayor Pro Tem Richard Maynes, Councilor Freddie Rodriguez, and Councilor Esther Gil were present for the meeting.
The meeting with public input from Hurley citizen Lola Polley. Polley addressed the council about the issues with the feral cats in the town and with the ‘vacant’ house located on 13 Carrasco. Polley provided the council with handouts about the different diseases that feral cats can have and how they can infect other animals and humans, so this issue poses a public health and safety issues for the town. She has two puppies diagnosed with cat-carried, intestinal-bacterial infections. She said her vet was reasonably sure they were exposed in her yard where the cats have access. Polley stated she knew that many of the feral cats could be living in the abandoned house at 13 Carrasco that is close to her residence and questioned the council if there was anything they could do about eradicating some of the internal issues of the house and the feral cats to make a safer environment.
Ordinance Officer Delilah Huerta stated the house on 13 Carrasco is currently in the court process and that the case keeps being extended.
The Council thanked Polley for bringing the issue to their attention and for the effort that she had made with the informational handouts that she provided the council. The Council is still currently looking into solutions for the feral cats in the town.
During the approval of the Consent Agenda section of the meeting, the council heard monthly reports from the maintenance department, town clerk, fire department, animal control, code enforcer, and the police department.
The maintenance department’s report included that the department has done its routine cleaning, worked on back-up prevention, check some manholes, and checked out the basket at the lift station. A new functional lift station was received by the town six months ago which is used to help the department to perform their jobs and eliminate problems. Trees were bought and planted at the cemetery. The department also found some valves for the pool that were not taken care of properly and were partially frozen. after repairs, the pool is currently open and is working fine. They have worked on leaks. J & S Plumbing is almost done installing the new water meters throughout the town. Testing is still occurring on water in the town.
Town of Hurley Clerk Lori Ortiz stated she was working on a lot of grants for future street and water projects for the town. The maintenance department has completed the cemetery, the town hall, and the pool projects. The month has been ‘quiet, but busy.’
The fire department report included that there had been two fires in the past month but had been taken care of.
Animal Control Officer Diamond Muller presented the animal control report to the council. For the month of May, Muller had received 14 citizen contacts, 5 animal complaints, 1 civil standby, and one dog bite case in which the dog was transported to a canine rehab facility in Portales. There was one adoption made and one penalization in the month. Muller stated she had received $100 from the Snell Middle School Builders Club, making the revenue for the month $1,045. The cat room was up and running and there are 7 kittens currently. Muller talked about the recent animal abandonment case that she had recently won after working on it since February. Muller also talked about the feral cats problem also being a process that the town should participate in to prevent. There are traps for rent for 5 days for $10 at the town hall. The fee is used to feed, house, and relocate the animals.
Code enforcement has mailed out around 100 code letters, for everything from weeds to abandoned vehicles.
The Council congratulated Muller on her case win and thanked her for all the efforts she does for the town.
In the code enforcer report, Huerta stated that she had received over 100 letters about weeds, clutter, abandoned cars, and vacant homes and she was doing the paperwork and continuing the process of alleviating the town of these issues. Huerta is currently working on a few vacant-house cases, but they are ‘tied up’ with the court and there was not much more the council can do at that time. Mayor Steven stated that “There is effort being made.”
Chief of Police Jaime Serrano stated it had been a slow month for the department, “which is good because that means we’re doing our job.” Serrano went on to talk about an investigation that the department had at the beginning of the month for a break-in case of several of the houses on Geronimo, which was solved with the help of the Silver City Police Department and the perpetrator was apprehended. The department is working on slowing down traffic throughout the town. The department is working on finding a red four-wheeler driven by a ‘young female’ that is driving up and down the alleys of A Street and C Street in order for this safety issue to be dealt with. Serrano also stated that domestics were down for the month. Serrano said the department is trying their best to take care of their citizens daily and solve all cases.
The Council approved resolution no. 21 – 2018/2019 to request grant funds from the New Mexico Department of Transportation. This grant would fund curb and road work on A Street through D Street.
The Council approved resolution no. 22 - 2018/2019, which is a resolution to participate in local government road fund program and request for match waiver administered by the New Mexico Department of Transportation. Ortiz informed the Council that this resolution was annually approved and that the match waiver allowed the Council to fund many projects for the town and has been ‘very useful’ in the past.
The Council approved the applications for a kennel license for both Amanda Elliot on D Street and for Christine Courington on Elgua. They had received no complaints or problems about either location and all of the animals were both registered and vaccinated.
Councilor Gil in her report stated that she had good feelings towards the maintenance department work at the pool and the cemetery.
In Mayor Stevens report, Stevens stated that the water project was ‘moving forward,’ the maintenance department was doing ‘tremendous work with the weed problems.’ Stevens described the past month as being “just the normal, normal.” There was not that much to report.
Stevens talked about the large participation the town had at the last ordinance workshop on the abandoned/neglected houses in the town. Another workshop is scheduled for this ordinance on July 16, 2019, and he encouraged the town to come and participate. “It’s your town. It’s about time you stepped up,” concluded Stevens.
The meeting adjourned at 5:33 p.m.
The next regular meeting session will be held on July 9, 2019.
An Ordinance Workshop will take place July 16 at 5 p.m.