Final MRA desig Map - 12-4-12 copy
Map courtesy Silver City Community Development Department
The newly-declared Silver City Metropolitan Redevelopment Area includes all areas enclosed by the purple line. The Big Ditch is to the right, just inside the boundary.

By Dan Roblee
For the Beat

The Silver City Town Council unanimously designated its downtown as a Metropolitan Redevelopment Area Dec. 11, despite concerns that labeling the area ‘blighted’ could have a negative impact on public perceptions. Another touchy term, the description of part of the town as a ‘slum,’ was deleted from an earlier draft of the resolution prior to approval.

“We heard at the last hearings there were concerns about the word ‘slum,’” said consultant Charlie Deans, who helped city planners prepare the resolution. “That part of the [state] statute isn’t part of what we’re doing, so we deleted the wording.”

“Silver City is not a slum, and it never will be,” he added.

The MRA designation is the first step in a process that can eventually allow the town to pursue otherwise illegal joint public-private improvement partnerships, bypass low-income qualifications when applying for Community Development Block Grants, and eventually declare the area a Tax Increment Financing District. A TIF district allows the town to roll property tax-revenue increases, resulting from property appreciation, directly back into the TIF area.

The MRA boundaries encompass the historic downtown area and include parts of the Chihuahua, Silver City and North Addition historic districts.

According to Mayor James Marshall, any stigma associated with the term ‘blight’ was a minor concern compared to the potential benefits of the MRA.

“I have no objection to calling an area blighted that’s blighted,” Marshall said. “If we use our attorney’s phrase from last meeting, there are areas that are ugly, and need help. To just go on as is and continue with our chamber of commerce statements, that’s burying our heads in the sand.”

Councilwoman Cynthia Bettison felt differently about the label, and early in the discussion proposed shrinking the MRA area to exclude as many residences as possible, sparing homeowners any loss of face.

“It’s been my experience in life that perception is reality for 99 percent of people,” Bettison said. “Even if people are told there’s no negative, they might believe there’re negatives down the line. You can’t change perception.”

Her proposal, however, excluded businesses on the College St. corridor and elsewhere, along with the residences. Nick Seibel, Silver City MainStreet Project manager, said that excluding those business areas could have very real consequences.

“College St. and Broadway both have been left out of the streetlights program downtown,” Seibel said. “The MRA may give us tools to accomplish those projects.”  

Marshall pointed out that the reality of a blighted property near a home would be more harmful to the homeowner than any perception resulting from the MRA’s wording.

This argument eventually convinced Bettison, who withdrew her recommendation and joined her colleagues in voting for the resolution, with the original boundaries.

Map courtesy Silver City Community Development Department
The newly-declared Silver City Metropolitan Redevelopment Area includes all areas enclosed by the purple line. The Big Ditch is to the right, just inside the boundary.

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

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!  


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