This article concludes the participating organization group reports at the Gila EDA Roundtable on Friday, as well as a discussion on the future of economic development in the county.

Cissy McAndrew reported on behalf of Mimbres Region Arts Council and said the Las Cruces Symphony would be in town Oct. 26, and the folk and indie series would begin soon. Pickamania! would move to Labor Day weekend next year.

Western New Mexico University President Joseph Shepard protested the date, because the university has been planning for a long time to have the Chicano Music Festival that same weekend, because of the labor connection.

Jon Saari, county manager, said: "We need to do a better job of planning so things aren't on the same weekends."

Arlene Schadel, county economic development coordinator, said a calendar on the Tourism web page should be the clearinghouse.

"We also chose Labor Day, so as not to conflict with Pickamania!, which has been later in September," Shepard said.  

Tony Trujillo, Gila EDA member said the forum for sharing information was "right here," at the Roundtable.

Priscilla Lucero, Southwest New Mexico Council of Governments executive director, thanked Schadel for her contributions. "We are extending our boundaries," she said. "The COG received a $90,000 award to create a state economic development plan. We will have forums around the state. I wanted it based here, because I wanted rural communities to be involved and featured."

She will present capital outlay workshops on Nov. 6, in preparation for the Prospectors Legislative Forum. The COG is also doing an application from Western for $2 million for Phase I of a vocational-technical school. By Nov. 1, a feasibility plan should be in place. "All the local governments have supported a vo-tech school."

Lucero also said the COG is working with Grant County on a brownfields application for $350,000 for an environmental assessment of Fort Bayard.

"We are also working on an art place grant to develop an art incubator with WNMU," Lucero said.  "The Border Trade Alliance has announced the law is changing from 25 miles north of the border to 55 miles, which will include everywhere south of Interstate 10. People will come through our ports of entry, where they will have a 15-minute wait, instead of a 3-5 hour wait in El Paso. We need to have bi-lingual individuals in shops."

The Colonias Infrastructure Fund applications are due in March. She said the Juvenile Justice Committee is asking for additional dollars for parents for youths.

Mary Stoecker, representing the four county-sustainability group, said a year ago the group had piles of information around green jobs and sustainability and planned to hire someone to put the information together into a plan.

"I became the de facto writer," Stoecker said. "I gave out a drafty draft over the summer, but have had no input back. Hopefully there will be a four-county group, who will use integrated information from the Grant County plan." She said, because the group was formed by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, she is waiting to hear from his staff on the status of the group, considering his upcoming retirement from the U.S. Senate

McAndrew also reported for the Silver City Arts and Culture District, which she said is promoting Savor Silver City, promoting residents to eat in local restaurants. "We have more diversity of food in a small area downtown than anywhere else."

Bruce Ashburn of the Small Business Development Center said 12 veterans visited campus and he counseled them when he hosted his veterans' outreach program. Seventy-eight people participated in an IRS workshop. "We do a lot of business counseling over the Internet and phone with our community outreach." He announced new owners of the Lake Roberts Motel. Little Caesar's is coming to town. He also said Kathie Gilbert would contact many of those present at the meeting on the leadership program.

Montoya said the Hurley Meat Market had 1,800 people come from Mexico for the chili.

He said there continues to be concern in the community about economic development. "There is a concern that the COG has taken over and may be in a conflict of interest, with too much to do. The community has suddenly become aware and is wondering why the (Grant County Economic Development) Coalition (for Progress) has disbanded. There are rumors and confusion. With Arlene leaving the county, is there enough work force to do economic development? The county is still working with the Texas outfit. What is the rift among the municipalities and the county? There should be a meeting to clarify everything."

Garcia said the Gila EDA plans a meeting with the governmental entities and the COG to determine how to move forward. "We will still be collaborating and we're not going away. There is nothing stopping us from changing direction, but we're not going to fail. We have to team together and have to strategize and get a plan."

Montoya said it seemed things had splintered. "I would hope when things get settled, you have a meeting to explain it."

Skip Thacker, Gila EDA member, said when the coalition formed, it brought in the Gila EDA. "It seems we are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory."

Grant County Commission Chairman Brett Kasten said he didn't know what happened with the coalition, but "some felt it was broken. The collaboration with the municipalities, I don't think is broken in all areas, but there is no appetite to redo a joint-powers agreement. Jon and I and the Silver City mayor and manager and the university have collaborated."

Thacker said he heard very clearly that there is a disconnect with the surrounding communities.

"On a monthly basis, we meet with the county and Silver City," he said. "We talk about the swimming pool, youth football and baseball and using other facilities. We are trying to get together on the Fort Bayard issue, and going to Santa Clara to talk about it. Perhaps the coalition will not be as formalized."

Kasten said the group is not really fractured, as the county is putting in a bid for the New Mexico Association of Counties June 2014 week-long conference. Las Vegas hosted it last year and reaped $2 million in gross receipts. "We do not have the required number of hotel rooms, so we will use the new dorm rooms at Western. About 700 people come for the week.

McAndrew asked for the dates. Saari said it would be around June 15-19, but might be in 2015 instead.

"As soon as we know, we will buy blocks of rooms a year in advance," Kasten said.

Clark said as long as it does not conflict with the rodeo, when hotels are full.

The next Roundtable meeting will take place at 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 16, likely at the Grant County Administration Center.

Live from Silver City

Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates

Welcome to Three Times Weekly Updates! You will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.
You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Fire Alerts

Editor's Note

For those of my subscribers who may be in the Eurozone, the Beat has updated its Privacy Policy and its Terms of Service to comply with GDPR.

For those of you who don't have a clue what GDPR is, I didn't either until a few days ago. It stands for General Data Protection Regulation, and it unifies data privacy requirements across all members of the Eurozone. 

Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat redership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised. 

The Grant County Beat endeavors to post to the Elections page, under News, at the least, notices of candidates for Grant County races. Some candidates for statewide races have also sent their notices. 

The Beat continues to bring you new columnists.Recent additions  include the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.

The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  


All articles and photos indicated by a byline are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ad on the Beat.

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com, if you notice any problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

If you subscribe to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option on the left side of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Note: This is another component that is in progress of going to a different software to make it easier for you to use and find classifieds that interest you. Check Out Classifieds. And look at Sponsors to see who is helping the Beat.

It's really easy to check to see if there's a classified ad. Just click on Classifieds in the blue menu and the page will open letting you know if there is a classified ad. Remember that your buying classified ads gives you a wide readership, as well as supporting the Beat. Post YOURS for quick results!

Note that if an article does not have a byline, it was sent to the Beat and written by someone not affiliated with the Beat

When you click on the blue and orange button on the upper left side of most pages, you will find out how you can help the Beat defray its expenses, which, with increased readership, continue to grow. You will arrive at a page that gives you options of how you can Help the Beat. All help is greatly appreciated and keeps the news you want and need coming into your browser.

Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News.

Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com