[Editor's Note: This is the fifth of a series of articles on the Feb. 6, 2024, Grant County Commission work session and Feb. 8, 2024, regular meeting. This continues with the work session review of the regular meeting agenda and elected officials' reports.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

The first elected official report at the regular meeting on Feb. 8, 2024 came from Treasurer Patrick Cohn, after Clerk Marisa Castrillo said she had no report.

Cohn talked about the tax maintenance report as of Jan. 31, 2024.

Taxes collected in January 2024 for 2023 taxes totaled $189,570.12. 2023 taxes collected to date totaled $8.966.711.87 of 64.47 percent of the total taxes billed, leaving $4,942,376.10 uncollected.

For the 10 years of taxes, the percentage collected stands at 92.45 percent, with the total collected at $114,411,815.35 and total uncollected at $9,341,136.81.

He noted that he had been chosen the New Mexico Counties Treasurer's Affiliate chair beginning the end of June. after the NMC conference .

Cohn reported that solid waste had held interviews. "I hope to be able to report next month that we do have the solid waste position filled." He thanked his staff for dealing with having to also cover solid waste during the vacancy. "They have showed their leadership and team work."

Sheriff Raul Villanueva presented the next report. He began with the number of calls for the month, which stood at 1,658, with 1,235 self-initiated, and 423 dispatched. They included 28 crash reports and 96 incident reports. He said the department had dealt with four unattended deaths, 30 animal complaints and 12 unwanted subjects, among other calls, including 18 domestic violence calls and 19 alarm calls.

In cases of interest, he reported a missing person call on Jan. 7, 2024. After adding him to the National Crime Information Center as a missing person, the department investigated more and determined the missing person had a warrant and had turned himself into the Detention Center.

Another case involved aggravated assault with a knife. The subject was a female having suicidal ideations, and had tried to stab her husband. He gained control of the knife and called 911 from the neighbor's house. She was placed in protective custody and treated at Gila Regional Medical Center before being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Villanueva then named the deputies, two sergeants and deputies who had attended various training programs including on the computer voice stress analyzer, basic crisis intervention and the field officer training program in order to help maintain a good efficient program for new hires.

He noted that Operation Stonegarden 2022 funding is still active. "We did get approved $279,000 for the 2023 Stonegarden program, but "we are still waiting on FEMA to commence expenditures, hopefully later this month or in March. We are dealing with undocumented individuals in both the mining district and Hachita areas. We see a lot on highway 180. We will not pursue if they do not stop. They are on 180 cutting through to highway 61. We have four new vehicles getting outfitted, and did receive one fully equipped vehicle for patrol and one equipped for the criminal division. I would like to thank Maintenance for helping repaint the sheriff's office and for everything they do for Grant County. I also want to thank my staff for all their hard work in everything they do on a daily basis."

The last elected official report came from Chief Deputy Assessor Raul Turrieta. He said Assessor Misty Trujillo was busy processing deeds as the department continues to look for a deed processor. January and February are the rendition period for people to report their property. "New Mexico is a self-rendering state. You have to report your personal property and livestock. You can also do it on the website, where IT Director Adam Baca has made it easy."

"For manufactured homes, you have to call in at 575-574-0030 and render your manufactured home," Turrieta continued. "If you don't you will have a 5 percent penalty on your valuation." One other thing that is important is a valuation freeze for those 65 or older with a combined income of $40,000 or less on their primary residents, he said. "You have to come in for three years in a row and after the third year, the freeze remains until the property is sold or transferred. Also head of household exemption gets $2,000 off the valuation and $4,000 off for veterans. We have to see the DD214, with the information that is at the state Veterans' Affairs Office. Veterans that are 100 percent disabled can be totally exempted off the assessment rolls. By the end of March, we will send out the notice of valuation. If you have any questions or you want to contest your valuation, just come into the office and we'll help you."

The next article will get into the presentations and proclamations at the regular meeting.

To read the previous articles, please visit https://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/82709-grant-county-commission-work-session-020624; https://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/82762-grant-county-commission-work-session-020624-part-2; https://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/82781-grant-county-commission-work-session-020624-part-3 ; and https://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/82805-grant-county-commission-work-session-020624-and-regular-meeting-020824-part-4

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