By Lynn Janes
The town of Bayard held a regular meeting October 23, 2023. Attendance included Mayor Chon Fierro, councilors Frances Gonzales, Eloy Gonzales, Jose Diaz, and Eloy Medina. Gabriel Ramos, city clerk, also attended.
The work session before the regular meeting allows the council to ask questions about items on the agenda.
Ramos updated the council on the grant they had received. Jenny Castanon secured a grant for the renovation of the union hall. This will be the second grant for the property and will bring a total of approximately $200,000.
Caesar Jimenez has requested to have a small portion of Winifred Street closed for a dinner he wants to have for the football players. He had spoken to the neighbors, and they all had approved the dinner. Ramos said it would be 3 pm to 7 pm on October 27, 2023.
Ramos said that they would be using the additional funds received in a grant to hire an additional police officer if the council approved. He did add that the grant would decrease over the next three years. Chief Hector Carrillo said they had provided 24/7 coverage since October 7, 2023. The Bayard police department has had an average of 300-400 calls a month. The last report only 23 of the calls had to be answered by the county. Carrillo said the department would be down two officers when they leave to attend the academy.
Medina wanted some information on trash pick up increases. Hurley had increased theirs and he wanted to know if Bayard had increased. Marlena Valenzuela, deputy clerk, said they increase every year to keep up with the increase imposed to the city by the provider. Medina asked that the residents be advised beforehand. Frances Gonzales said they should not start the increase until January and the city should eat the costs until that time. Ramos said that would cost the city approximately $3,000 for the month of November and the same for December. Diaz said they owed it to the residents. Valenzuela said the residents bill would increase about $3 a month.
Frances Gonzales wanted to remind everyone about the survey that needed to be filled out for the health council. Also, she reminded everyone that on November 2, 2023, a meeting concerning how to handle the homeless, and substance abuse issues would be held. Diaz added that this program has been working well in Farmington.
Diaz reminded everyone that the annual trunk or treat would be happening that coming weekend.
They called the regular meeting to order.
The council approved the consent agenda. It included the update on the union hall project, minutes from October 10, 2023, and accounts payable report October 23, 2023.
The council approved the service agreement with WNM Communications.
The council approved the closure of the first block on Winifred and Joan Street for the dinner Caesar Jimenez would be having for the football players on October 27, 2023, as previously discussed in the meeting.
The council approved the hiring of an additional police officer.
Mayor and councilor reports
Medina asked that everyone fill out the survey on behavioral health. It will help the county obtain more funding for drug rehabilitation and homeless.
Eloy Gonzales said he had attended the Mimbres Fall Festival and many people had participated. They had a lot of food and good music. He thought they should have one in Bayard in the future.
Frances Gonzales wanted to let everyone know the planning and zoning meeting would be held November 4, 2023, at 4 pm.
Diaz had attended the El Refugio Never Forgotten ceremony. He said it had been very touching. He added a thank you to the maintenance department for putting up the ribbons for El Refugio. Lastly, he reminded everyone about the meeting November 2, 2023, where Farmington would present how they have successfully handled the issues with substance abuse and homelessness.
Fierro brought up the welcome sign and the additions requested. They had submitted drawings to the DOT (Department of Transportation), and they had been denied. He and Ramos would be going to Deming to see what they could do.
Diaz brought up two trailers parked on the street, one on Canyon Street and one on Virginia Street. Frances Gonzales said they needed to use the ordinance recently passed to address the problem. Carrillo said they have been having problems with people claiming squatters rights.
Ramos wanted to let the council know a money card will be going around for Robert Terrazas. wastewater director, to help with the passing of his wife. Ramos said he also would be working on the quarterly report. He advised that the medical premiums would be increasing 10 percent, effective January 1, 2024. He also attended the Never Forgotten ceremony and found it very eye-opening. Ramos added that Castanon had been doing very well obtaining grants.
Carrillo let the council know that the department would be busy in the upcoming week. They would be helping with the painting of the "C" on the hill and closing the highway for the homecoming parade. They will also be assisting with the trunk or treat. He thanked the council for approving the seventh officer.
Dolores Charon, a resident, thanked everyone for the support they received during domestic violence awareness month.
Next regular meeting will be held November 13, 2023