Click to search Click to search

Final MRA desig Map - 12-4-12 copy
Map courtesy Silver City Community Development Department
The newly-declared Silver City Metropolitan Redevelopment Area includes all areas enclosed by the purple line. The Big Ditch is to the right, just inside the boundary.

By Dan Roblee
For the Beat

The Silver City Town Council unanimously designated its downtown as a Metropolitan Redevelopment Area Dec. 11, despite concerns that labeling the area ‘blighted’ could have a negative impact on public perceptions. Another touchy term, the description of part of the town as a ‘slum,’ was deleted from an earlier draft of the resolution prior to approval.

“We heard at the last hearings there were concerns about the word ‘slum,’” said consultant Charlie Deans, who helped city planners prepare the resolution. “That part of the [state] statute isn’t part of what we’re doing, so we deleted the wording.”

“Silver City is not a slum, and it never will be,” he added.

The MRA designation is the first step in a process that can eventually allow the town to pursue otherwise illegal joint public-private improvement partnerships, bypass low-income qualifications when applying for Community Development Block Grants, and eventually declare the area a Tax Increment Financing District. A TIF district allows the town to roll property tax-revenue increases, resulting from property appreciation, directly back into the TIF area.

The MRA boundaries encompass the historic downtown area and include parts of the Chihuahua, Silver City and North Addition historic districts.

According to Mayor James Marshall, any stigma associated with the term ‘blight’ was a minor concern compared to the potential benefits of the MRA.

“I have no objection to calling an area blighted that’s blighted,” Marshall said. “If we use our attorney’s phrase from last meeting, there are areas that are ugly, and need help. To just go on as is and continue with our chamber of commerce statements, that’s burying our heads in the sand.”

Councilwoman Cynthia Bettison felt differently about the label, and early in the discussion proposed shrinking the MRA area to exclude as many residences as possible, sparing homeowners any loss of face.

“It’s been my experience in life that perception is reality for 99 percent of people,” Bettison said. “Even if people are told there’s no negative, they might believe there’re negatives down the line. You can’t change perception.”

Her proposal, however, excluded businesses on the College St. corridor and elsewhere, along with the residences. Nick Seibel, Silver City MainStreet Project manager, said that excluding those business areas could have very real consequences.

“College St. and Broadway both have been left out of the streetlights program downtown,” Seibel said. “The MRA may give us tools to accomplish those projects.”  

Marshall pointed out that the reality of a blighted property near a home would be more harmful to the homeowner than any perception resulting from the MRA’s wording.

This argument eventually convinced Bettison, who withdrew her recommendation and joined her colleagues in voting for the resolution, with the original boundaries.

Map courtesy Silver City Community Development Department
The newly-declared Silver City Metropolitan Redevelopment Area includes all areas enclosed by the purple line. The Big Ditch is to the right, just inside the boundary.

Live from Silver City

Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates

Welcome to Three Times Weekly Updates! You will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.
You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Fire Alerts

Editor's Note

Four NEW classifieds for furniture and an REI screen house

A new classified just came in from a fellow looking for work doing thinning, fire protection work, etc. 

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a cheaper and shorter option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. The former software failed us, so it's just a category now, with prices posted. Send your information to editor@grantcountybeat.com and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at https://www.grantcountybeat.com/about/submissions. They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as the editor.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. It

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues.

The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  


All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option on the left side of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News.

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat. 

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member.

We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com