By Lynn Janes
Silver City held a regular meeting March 14, 2023. The meeting started with Mayor Ken Ladner calling the meeting to order. He led the Pledge of Allegiance and salute to the New Mexico state flag. Council members attending the meeting included Lucian Farmer, Jose Ray, Nicholas Prince, and Guadalupe Cano.
The council approved the agenda with the exception of tabling an amendment to the cannabis ordinance that Cano said would not be ready to vote on.
Ceremonies none currently.
Proclamations none currently.
Cano said a couple of years ago they had engraved name tags and she thought it would be nice for them to have them again. Alex Brown, town manager said he would look into it.
She said she had met with the Grant County Extension 4-H. She commented it had been an “eye opening” experience. “When you hear 4-H you think kids and cows. The program has far more. They have several programs, leadership, baking, life skills, gardening, etc. They need adult volunteers so if you have a skill that would fit in, please consider volunteering.”
The Southwest Word Fiesta will have a presentation March 27, 2023, for Women’s History Month. Cano said she would be speaking about one of her relatives that held the position of New Mexico Secretary 95 years ago.
Ray said he had attended the Rhythm of Dance at Western New Mexico University and they had done a great job and he really enjoyed it. He also wanted to warn people that with warmer weather coming on to be watchful of people walking and riding bicycles.
Prince wanted to give kudos to the Silver City Main Street Project for all the great work they do. He talked about some other meetings he attended. He thanked the public works department for fixing potholes.
Farmer said he apologized to everyone because he had dropped off the past three or four weeks. Every year they have a geological resource model update. It had a lot of information to compile. He thanked them for handling the trail situation so well and following the process.
Ray commented on something Prince said. In humor, potholes are speed bumps.
Ladner said, “Today is Pi day” and started to recite the Pi number.
The council approved the minutes from the February 28, 2023, meeting.
Public input none currently.
Alex Brown, town manager, gave the council a brief report on the current projects. The recreation center he said he would address later in the meeting. They have $350,000 set aside for the Annex building and have been waiting to see if the funding from the legislature passes to get the additional funding needed and they can move forward on getting the project done. Brown met with the architect for the swimming pool, and they will be starting meetings with the steering committee. The golf course continues to be busy especially when it warms up a little. On the part of the Little Walnut project that could not be finished due to funding they have started right-of-way acquisition and will know if the funding needed comes through in May. The regional water project had the joint powers agreement signed and it had been sent off to the state. Usually, it takes months for things to be approved but it had been received back the next day approved. The 32nd Street project is out for bid and should have an award for it by the end of April to bring to the council.
Brown had some other items to make the council aware of that had not been on the agenda. The lodger’s tax and gross receipts tax have come in higher than expected by 21 percent. He said in part it was due to the expansion Freeport had been doing and the contractors that have been coming in for it.
Prince asked about the lodger’s tax and short-term rentals. Brown said they had been working to identify those through Air BnB. They had 63 listed before covid and now have 93.
Vistas de Plata Subdivision has been able to move forward. A problem with PNM had been taken care of and will be done in six weeks. Brown said they had sold three lots and the contractor had materials to build four houses. He said the homes could be built in eight weeks. This phase will include eight homes. After that they will still have forty-three remaining. Brown said they have applied with MFA (Mortgage Finance Authority) for $1.5 million to address drainage and grading improvements. They have spoken with Senator Martin Heinrich for another $1.5 million to do the rest. Brown said he has been a proponent of the project and felt they will not have a problem.
Public hearings none currently.
Work session agenda.
They had several topics to choose from. Cano wanted to add one. Discussion and direction of the Silver City Fire Department. Prince and Farmer both wanted to discuss the strategies and recruitment for town manager and staff who will be retiring in a few years. The council voted to make those the topics of the next work session.
Unfinished business none currently.
The council approved the RFQ (request for quote) 22/23-1Q for construction manager for the recreation center. Brown said they only received one response and they had been from Albuquerque. They had met all requirements and he had gotten feedback from some of the local contractors that they had a reputable reputation. The award went to Bradbury Stamm Construction. Brown said he had met with the architect, and they will still be on track to have the design done by November of 2023 and project done by November 2024
The mayor recommended the appointment of Patricia Hunt to the Municipal Museum Community Advisory group. The Silver City Museum director had recommended her. The council approved the appointment.