By Lynn Janes
The Silver City Town Council held a regular meeting August 22, 2023. The meeting started with Mayor Ken Ladner calling the meeting to order and leading the Pledge of Allegiance and salute to the New Mexico state flag. Council members attending the meeting included Jose Ray, Nicholas Prince, Guadalupe Cano, and Rudy Bencomo.
The council approved the agenda.
Ceremonies none currently.
Proclamations none currently.
Ray reminded everyone to turn in the mail in ballots. Next weekend they will hold the Fiesta Carnitas, Música y Mas. He wanted to invite everyone. Ray added that, “We try to help all the people no matter what their district is.”
Prince didn’t have any comment currently.
Bencomo announced he would be running for the district 1 council position in the November election.
Cano thanked the police for their continued presence in the Brewer Hill area. “It is working, and the people are very happy.” She thanked the fire department for their quick response to the fire at the pallet plant on Brewer Hill.
Ladner said he and Cano had attended the Copper Country Senior Olympics and the Town of Silver City had been recognized for their support. He passed around the plaque for people to see.
The council approved the minutes for the meeting on August 8, 2023
Richard Grossman, a resident, addressed the council. He said he had suffered from loud barking dogs for years. He had talked to the people with the dogs, and they said dogs will be dogs and that they provided them a security system. Grossman said, “They bark incessantly and are not trained.” Animal control did help with one of the two problems he had been talking about. One of them had accumulated five dogs and the legal limit is two. “The dogs bark at anyone walking by.” Animal control said they could do a bark survey. He didn’t feel that would be necessary as the new ordinance that started August 1, 2023, would address it. He had called recently and the person he spoke to had not been aware of the new ordinance. Grossman referred to the public nuisance ordinance. His problems had to do with two properties, and he had videoed the dogs and emailed it to Prince. “You have a problem with animal control because they are not aware of this ordinance nor aware of the video I sent.” He went on to say that “People are irresponsible dog owners.” Grossman told the city what he thought they needed to do to solve the problem and went over the ordinance. The people that have the dogs also have a Harley and continually rev it up and that needs to be added to the problem.
Paul Barsom, a resident and close neighbor of Grossman, said he has also experienced problems with these dogs. People need to be aware of this ordinance. Silver City in general has this problem. He continued, “When walking by the dogs start barking and it is a problem.” He had another problem he wanted to address the council about. The speed bump on E Street causes a problem, when people hit it, it is loud. “Permanent speed bumps are clearly required.” He explained to the council what type would be needed.
Brown did not have anything to report currently.
Public hearings none currently.
Unfinished business none currently.
The council approved the public celebration permit for the Denim and Diamonds Dance that would be serving alcohol September 16, 2023, from 7 pm to 10 pm. The license holder would be Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery. It will be held at the Murray Hotel and a fundraiser for the Silver City Museum.
The council approved the public celebration permit for the Pride Fest that will be serving alcohol September 9, 2023, from 10 am to 4:30 pm. The license holder would be Q’s Southern Bistro. It will be held at 1201 North Pope.
The council approved ordinance No. 1322 that authorized the sale of .436 acre of land to Richard Mata in the amount of $15,200. Brown said they had been working on this for a few years and had a public hearing on it recently.
The council approved ordinance No. 1323 amending chapter 10 business registration and licensing. Jim Reynolds, town attorney, said they had been made aware by code enforcement and Fire Chief Milo Lambert that in reference to inspection and environment issues they had contradicting language. This would make it clear.
The council approved the notice of intent of ordinance No. 1324. This would amend chapter 44 on taxation and lodgers tax. It will make it reflect the current state statues. Currently Airbnbs have exemption if they have 3 or fewer beds. Now all would have to pay lodgers tax for any rental of 30 days or less regardless of the number of beds. Brown said letters had been sent out already in error. The tax will start in October. Cano said, “I am glad this finally happened, we have talked about it for a long time.” Prince said he had been told 97 or 98 Airbnbs had been identified and asked Brown if that remained the same. Brown said as of last week they had identified 89.
The council approved resolution 2023-19. This authorized the execution and delivery of a Colonias infrastructure project fund loan and grant agreement with the New Mexico Finance Authority. This project moves the sewer line currently inaccessible to an area that the city has right of way and easements to access in case of problems. In the past problems have occurred because of the current location.
The council approved resolution 2023-20. This adopts procedures for the acceptance of payments by credit card and debit card. Brown said this lines out the process and protection of customer information meeting federal requirements. Brown added an addendum to the resolution. It would allow the town manager to override and be able to authorize refunds, voids, and credits. He said he wanted to add this to protect the residents. If a mistake was made such as processing $1,000 instead of just $100 it could take several days to have the money come back to the customer and some people can’t afford that. This would allow the town manager to provide a credit right away. It would only be used in extenuating circumstances.
The council approved resolution No. 2023-21. This approved the purchase of a 14.545 acre tract of real estate by the town of Silver City from Fowler Development, LLC. Brown said this would include the store on Silver Street and 32nd Street and assuming a three year-lease of the store. The land appraised at $1,190,000. The city will pay $1 million and 31 sewer and water taps valued at $3,425 each and totaling $106,175. A letter will be issued to Fowler Development for the remainder of $83,825 as a donation to the city.
The council approved resolution No. 2023-22. This adopts the 2025-2029 ICIP (infrastructure capital improvement plan) for the Silver City Senior Center. Brown said these must be submitted each year. The senior center is required to submit a separate plan due to receiving a different funding source than the city. HMS (Hidalgo Medical Services) runs the center for the city.
The council approved the appointment of Hillary Treadway to planning and zoning by Ladner.