By Roger Lanse

A resolution which would provide for the encroachment of a grease barrel owned by Q's Southern Bistro, DBA Fry House, on a portion of the Texas Street right-of-way across from the Episcopal Church of The Good Shepherd was voted down Tuesday at the Silver City Town Council meeting, 3-1, with District 2 Councilor Lynda Aiman-Smith casting the dissenting vote.

Supporters and those in opposition presented their testimony before the council.

Supporters, including Janey Katz representing the Hub, and Anthony Quintana representing the Fry House restaurant, stated the present used cooking oil container, located inside the Hub quadrangle, is difficult for the recycler from Tucson to access without dragging hoses from Bullard Street through the common outdoor eating area of the Hub. Additionally, they said, the grease barrel's present location precludes increasing outdoor seating for dining. Backers of the resolution said the container's relocation would make it easier for new restaurants to be established, adding to the revitalization of downtown.

Those opposing the resolution cited precedent within the downtown historic district, that municipal property should not be used for the convenience of a private business, and possible insects, oil spills, sidewalk deterioration, impediments to foot and handicapped traffic and offensive odors.

Town staff presented their findings and recommended council deny the application, but also recommended if council approved the resolution, applicant must maintain the oil receptacle odor-free and clean, secure it against vandalism or tipping, and replace any sidewalk segments stained by the oil.

Council denied the application.

The preliminary fiscal year 2015-2016 town budget of $37,247,243 was approved by the council.

Several residents voiced their concern over PNM's Stipulation Plan for the San Juan Generating Station, basically stating PNM should phase out the burning of coal to produce energy, in favor of renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar. One opponent of the plan linked climate change to PNM's coal burning and stated, "We have 8.5 years left in which to avoid a point of no return with regard to climate change."

Ron Darnell, Senior Vice President of PNM, said the Plan is to retire two units at SJGS which would reduce seven types of emissions by 50 percent, reduce coal use by 30 percent and reduce clean water use by 50 percent. To make up for the shutdown of the two units, PNM would continue to use the zero emission Palo Verde Nuclear facility, add a new natural gas peaking plant at SJGS, and add 40 megawatts of solar, Darnell said.

According to Darnell, the Public Regulation Commission will begin deliberating PNM's plan as soon as Wednesday, May 27.

Mayor Michael Morones declared May 30 to June 6, 2015, as First NM Bank Wild, Wild West Pro Rodeo Week.

Finally, Morones appointed Rider South and Jeffrey Fell to the Cemetery Board.

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