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Commissioners hear county reports, including election information

County commissioners continued the regular meeting after hearing presentations and discussing agreements and resolutions.

During county reports, Villanueva said officers have received ATV training the past two weekends, so the department can be more proactive on property crimes. He reported that seven vehicles were burglarized in the 2100 block of Cottage San Road the night of Sept. 20-21. “Please lock your vehicles and homes. We think it was a crime of opportunity. Also please contact us, if you see anything suspicious or someone who doesn’t belong in the neighborhood. The department will be proactive at the Cliff-Gila Fair this week, Sept. 26-29.”

He reported graffiti at old Fort Bayard, including on the sheriff’s substation. “We ask for the public’s help to report things you see.”

Villa said the 2012 tax rates are now in the system, and his department has employees working in the Mimbres area. They will be in county vehicles and will be wearing identification badges. “We are also working on having all employees in the department certified. We did not increase values in 2012, but are working in areas that haven’t been seen in years.”

Treasurer Alfred Sedillo said those on the tax-delinquent list should be receiving letters from the Department of Taxation and Revenue. “In the past, they used to let property owners pay their delinquent tax in partial payments, but we just got a directive that the delinquency must be paid in full. The New Mexico Association of Counties is working on changes in legislation, because Taxation and Revenue is not budging. We cannot accept partial payments. They tell us we cannot refuse a payment. Now they tell us we must refuse a partial payment. Call 575-574-0061 with questions.”

The second week in October, Taxation and Revenue will be in Grant County to address the list of delinquencies. “The statute says the department may have a tax sale once a year. It’s been years since we’ve had one. I know the department is stretched thin, but the Treasurers’ Affiliate is trying to change ‘may’ to ‘shall. Taxation and Revenue wants its money and will put a property owner on a contract to pay it. But we don’t get the money paid to us for 36 months. We don’t think it’s fair. We want our money, minus their fees, on the day the property sells. We’re also working with the Assessors’ Affiliate on the issue.”

Commission Chairman Brett Kasten asked for talking points “before we go to the Legislature.”

County Planner Anthony Gutierrez said the Community Development Block Grants are due in January. “I wanted to bring it to the attention of the commissioners, because we will have public meetings. Last year, we held them in Cliff-Gila, the Mimbres and here.”

To Commissioner Ramos, Gutierrez said he had heard from Interstate Stream Commission Deputy Director Craig Roepke that he had received recommendations on the county water project and wanted to set up a meeting with the municipalities involved, hopefully by the second week of October.

“We have also had a request to look at roads in Fierro and Hanover,” Gutierrez said. “The rural addressing is really bad, with roads with the same names. We will GPS all the roads and residences, and we will attempt to re-address all the residences. I want to straighten it out all at one time.”

Zamarripa said now that one election is past, his office is getting ready for the General Election on Nov. 6. “October 9 is the last day to register to vote. October 9 is also the first day of early and absentee voting, which will continue through Nov. 3. The satellite voting station at the Bayard Community Center will be held from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, beginning October 20. We will be open at the Clerk’s Office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays from October 9 through Nov. 2. You can also download absentee ballots from the county website at www.grantcountynm.com.

Kasten reminded people to make sure their addresses are correct at the Clerk’s, Treasurer’s and Assessor’s offices.

Saari said he had received a notice of concern from a citizen about the county not reusing metal to rebuild the damaged fair building. “We want to build a new facility. It is our Number 1 priority on our Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan. We want to bring it out of the hole it’s in and make it more user-friendly. I spoke to Mr. (Pat) Bearup, and he said the board had formed a committee to discuss a plan for the new structure. I asked that a couple of people be part of our group, but we’re not waiting on them.”

“After the fair it should proceed,” Miller said.

Saari said the county would proceed forward so it is ready for the CDBG and the Legislature.

He said a vehicle bid is ready to go out to Ford dealers in Grant County, Socorro, Deming and Lordsburg. “We want prices on Escapes and Explorers. The bid will be good for a year.”

“We had a very good meeting at Burro Mountain Homestead,” Saari said. “Commissioner Kasten, Road Superintendent Earl Moore, and Wildland Fire Officer Gary Benavidez, as well as members of the Tyrone Volunteer Fire Department attended the meeting. People thanked us for the job we do. It was a productive meeting, with people asking questions and understanding our answers. There was a lot of information on roads and fire. It felt like we accomplished something."

Miller announced the Grant County Fair to take place at the Cliff-Gila Fairgrounds from Sept. 26 through Sept. 29. "It's amazing how well the 4-H and FFA kids work, even without asking them to."

Ramos asked Saari the status of the Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction Committee. Gutierrez said he requested a list of members from the town, but by the time he got it, the terms had expired. The town will send new names.

Ramos complimented Public Works Director Justin Reese and his staff for helping the Cobre Cross-Country Team with the trails at Bataan Memorial Park. "I'm asking that the baseball fields be cleaned. They are getting used a lot. The weeds grew during the late rainy season. I would like them to be dragged every Friday."

Saari said someone had decided they needed the ATV used to drag the fields more "than we do. The Sheriff is on top of it, but hasn't found it yet."

"The Viva Santa Rita community sounds like we have done nothing," Kasten commented about an earlier presentation. "The day after I met with one of them about the roads, I got the plat, gave it to the Planning Department, and went out there with the Road Superintendent. I have met with the Planning Department, the attorney and the manager since then.

"We do want to get the road maintained, but we will not do it by breaking any state statutes or local laws," he concluded.

As the Grant County Health Claims Board, commissioners approved 847 in-county claims for $475,035.96 and 8 out-of-county claims for $16,676.13

The meeting was adjourned.

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