By Alexis Rico

The City of Bayard Council met for a brief work session followed by a regular session meeting on June 24, 2019, at the Bayard City Hall. Mayor Chon Fierro, Councilor Adrian Ortiz, Councilor Raul Villanueva, and Councilor Charles L. Kelly were present for the meetings.

During the work session, the Council discussed the annual increases for the utility rates. Town Clerk-Treasurer Kristina Ortiz stated the index for the categorized increase for all five services was 2.7%. The total increase for residential accounts is $2.30, which would include 62 cents for the base of water, 45 cents for sewer, 32 cents for landfill, 35 cents for garbage, and 56 cents for base water. “So, we are using the less of the increase,” stated Ortiz. The Council is trying to keep the rates about the same for the town.

Ortiz also discussed with the Council how the town was able to combine the water rights with Hanover in order to provide Hanover with the water they needed after their pumps stopped working and the town was limited on the water.

The Council also discussed with maintenance about the project for the new concession stand. Ortiz stated that the town can now move into the design plan of the new concession stand. The discussed design plan for the new concession stand included a set of bathrooms, an office area, a lounge area, and the kitchen and concession. It was discussed that the new concession stand would be made up of a metal frame and have stucco on the outside. It will be a lot bigger than the old concession stand. The next project would then be to demolish the old concession stand in order to see what the town could do with this area; possibly use it for storage.

The last item discussed in the work session was that the town would be advertising for two part-time janitorial positions at 25 hours per week on June 26. The town will also be advertising for a police position soon.

After the approval of the consent agenda during the regular meeting, the Council approved that Cody Dove would be removed from the introductory period effective July 6, 2019 for positions of Patrol Officer and Parks/Recreation with the standard $.25 per hour wage increase. The Council also approved the employee wage increases as approved by DFA and the 2019 Interim Budget effective on July 6, 2019.

Under Miscellaneous, the Council discussed and approved the adoption of Resolution 21-2019 – Fire Department salaries. Ortiz explained that this resolution authorized the stipends for $200 per pay period for the fire chief and $140 per pay period for assistant chief, treasurer, secretary, and the trainer.

For the Mayor's report, Mayor Chon Fierro opened with the statement that there was now water in the cemetery. Fierro also discussed with the Council some of the concerns he had been hearing from the community.
The first item discussed was incentives that could be used for volunteer firefighters to respond to more calls. The fire department mainly has to rely on the Hurley and Santa Clara fire departments to help with and fire calls because the Bayard fire department does not have enough personnel that are answering the calls. Fierro stated, “That’s a big problem.” Fierro asked if it would be possible for volunteers to get paid per call. Ortiz explained that according to their ordinance, they can only pay for the mileage of the drive to the call and to replace any clothes that may be damaged during the call.

The next item Fierro discussed with the council was the potholes around Bayard. Ortiz stated that they are waiting for the grant agreement to come back from the state. After the funds come in, the Council will need to plan how to do the repairs. Ortiz stated it was possible to combine some of the potholes to the Oak/Elm street project. Councilor Kelly stated he would ‘like to see the potholes being made as more of a priority’ for the town. Fierro stated that ‘some streets, such as Fahey, are in bad condition and would need to be completely redone’. Fierro stated that maintenance could focus on fixing some of the smaller potholes while they are waiting for the funds to come in.

Fierro also stated that he and the rest of the Copper County Senior Olympics softball team recently participated in the Senior Olympics and took third place at the national competition. “We did good for Grant County,” said Fierro.

The regular meeting session was adjourned at 2:15 p.m.

The next meeting and work session will be held on July 8, 2019, at the Bayard City Hall.