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Photo: End and partial side elevations of the proposed Grant County Fairgrounds building.

The Grant County Commission held a special meeting this morning, April 2, to approve two resolutions and a bid.

Commission Chairman Brett Kasten right after the Call to Order asked for a moment of silence for "Doc" Griffin and the Griffin family because of Doc's death.

The first resolution under consideration was one authorizing and approving the submission of a loan application with the New Mexico Finance Authority in the amount of $276,495 for the acquisition of an International Rescue Pumper for the Santa Rita Volunteer Fire Department.

County Manager Jon Paul Saari noted that the department had already acquired the pumper, which had become available.  "The department had received a grant, so the loan will have a $16,000 to $17,000 payment through 10 years. The department also hopes to get a new station built, too."

Commissioner Ron Hall asked who would make the payments.

Saari explained the payments are made through an intercept agreement out of the department's funding of about $70,000 it receives through insurance money to the state each year. The funding left after the payment will be sent to the SRVFD.

The resolution was approved.

The second resolution, which was also approved, would allow the county to reimburse itself from the loan to the county's Fire Excise Tax Fund, the capital expenditure of $156,495 made to help purchase the pumper for the SRVFD.

The final item on the agenda addressed a bid to construct a livestock building at the Grant County Fairgrounds in Cliff to demolish and reconstruct the structure severely damaged in a microburst in 2012. Seven bids were received for the construction project. They ranged from a high of $601,720 to a low of $362,900.  Architect Jim Redford recommended the low bid be approved. The contract was awarded to TFC Construction out of La Joya, NM, near Socorro.

"The company is in compliance with state statute," Redford said. "The bid will also have gross receipts tax added on. The contract will be contingent on bonding and insurance."

Saari said a 15-day protest period would follow the award.

"We will let them know that we gave notice of intent today," Saari said. "This bid does not include the bathrooms yet. We want to get the building ready for the fair, so we will start as soon as possible. It will house the pigs, steers, sheep, and poultry. We will be tearing down what remains of the current building and restrooms. As soon as the building is up, the Silver FFA and Cliff FFA groups have expressed their willingness to put in the pens, for which we have already ordered the panels. They will do it as a project."

Redford said negotiations with the contractor could begin during the 15-day protest period "to make sure we get everything going quickly. It will take weeks just to get the building."

Saari explained to the Beat that the bid includes the demolition. He said Redford had asked the contractor to salvage the wood and metal roofing for the community to use. "The new building will be a metal building," Saari said.

"We will paint the whole building and the concrete to protect it from the elements, since it will be open at the bottom," Redford told the Beat. He said the bathrooms would be constructed separately, because there was not enough construction time to complete them before the fair in September. Redford said the bathrooms would be similar in design to those at Penny Park.

The next Commission work session will take place at 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 23, and the next regular meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday, April 25.

Live from Silver City

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