By Lynn Janes

The town of Hurley held a regular meeting May 14, 2024. Attendance to the meeting included Mayor Ed Stevens, councilors Nanette Day, Reynaldo Maynes, Keana Huerta, and James Langley.

Langley wanted to table personnel items on the agenda because he wanted evaluations before he would approve the removal of probation for some new employees. He didn't feel the department heads' recommendation would be enough. The council approved the agenda with the tabling of those items and will address it at the upcoming special meeting.

Public input

Matt Runnels spoke to the council and said he would be running for magistrate judge. Early voting had started, and he would be having a BBQ.

Vannessa Martinez addressed the council and said she would be starting an organization similar to the Hurley Pride. It will be called Corazon de Hurley Committee. The council told her to let them know if she needed anything. Stevens said, "We will all help."

The council approved the consent agenda that included minutes from the past regular meeting and budget workshop. It also included reports from the maintenance department, clerk, fire department, animal control, code enforcement, police department, judge and library.

Blas Rodriguez, maintenance supervisor, said they have been working on the wastewater lines and utility lines for the new Dollar General store.

Lori Ortiz, clerk/treasurer, had included the ICIP (infrastructure capital improvement plan) for the council to review and let her know of any changes or additions they wanted. The plan will be due July 12, 2024, and she will be having a public hearing for the residents in June to allow their input. On May 22, 2023, all town employees will be required to take a defensive driving class being held for the Tri-City mining district and on May 23, 2024, a CPR class will be available.

Darlene McBride, deputy clerk, put together a trifold pamphlet for people new to the town specifically but anyone can pick one up at the clerk's office. It has all the information that would be useful to new and current residents. McBride told the council to let her know if they wanted anything else in the pamphlet.

Ortiz commented that McBride had done an excellent job on the pamphlet, and she thanked maintenance for all the work they had done.

The consent agenda had included increasing the hours for animal control from 20 hours a week to 40 hours. Jason Cox, animal control officer, will begin July 1, 2024, the beginning of the fiscal year. Langley said he thought he would start sooner. Ortiz said the council had left it up to the police chief to decide when he would start the 40-hour week. Day said it needs to be sooner. A discussion about getting him started as soon as possible went on for a while. They have had a dog problem and Day said, "The residents want us to address this and get it under control." Stevens said he would talk to Cox and the police chief to see if he could start sooner. Ortiz told them it will require a budget adjustment but if the council wants that it can be done.

The council approved resolution No. 17-2023/2024. The resolution approves the fiscal year 2023 audit report done by Beasley, Mitchell and Company. The audit had two findings. One had to do with the inability of the current software to properly deal with invoice and payment dates. The town will be purchasing new software to solve the problem that specifically has been coded for government entities. The second had to do with asset resolutions and it will be added next year to comply with that requirement.

The council approved Beasley, Mitchell and Company to do the fiscal year 2024 audit.

The council approved the request from Ramon Lucero to relocate a mobile home that currently sits at 109 ½ D Street to 506 E Street. Code enforcement said he had met all requirements.

The council discussed the issue of zoning in the town. They will be meeting with the Municipal League for direction

The council approved the adoption of ordinance 11-K after some discussion and changes in the language. Ortiz had spoken to Ben Young, town attorney, and he had made some changes. He had removed some items and added some wording. Day had concerns over the livestock part of the ordinance. The intent had been to make it work for the people already here and now does not limit it. Contradictions with other ordinances had been pointed out. They spoke about the permitting and some didn't feel they should require that. The permit would be for the person and not the number of animals.

Probation completion for three employees will be tabled and will give the department heads time to write up an evaluation and include it on the upcoming special meeting.

The council approved Gerald Polk, maintenance laborer, to attend a workshop in Ruidoso. He will be receiving credit hours for certification.

The council approved Cox attending a training workshop in Albuquerque. The training will be for animal cruelty investigation.

The council approved Austin Whitehead, patrolman, to attend training in Albuquerque.

The council discussed the recreational improvements for the town that have been in discussion for a while. Ortiz said Rodriquez had been looking at a solar blanket for the swimming pool as a quick fix to heat the pool. He had looked at costs and sizes. The cover would have to be 30 feet x 60 feet. He could not find a mechanism that big that would roll it up. It would have to be rolled up by hand. He didn't feel the staff would do that because of the weight and it could easily sink since it sits on top of the water. Rodriguez pointed out that currently the staff does not do the maintenance needed such as skimming the pool. He anticipated the solar blanket would just sink to the bottom of the pool. The current cover goes 3 feet past the edge all the way around. He will be looking into other options. He will also be meeting with the Stantec engineer to see what options he had.

They talked about the possibility of upgrading the current boiler system to heat the pool. Rodriguez said they didn't have room for an upgraded system. Ortiz wanted the council to keep in mind the additional cost and the town did not have the revenue. She cautioned them to choose wisely, "Remember we are a small town."

Rodriguez said he had contacted Garcia Fencing for a quote to put fencing at the E Street park. The fencing would be similar to what they have at the Santa Clara splash park. It would be 6 feet tall and commercial grade wrought iron. They can install it without any damage to the trees. Stevens asked him to look at other options that would be more cost effective. Maynes felt that they could find a more cost-effective option.

Ortiz said she had reached out to the Municipal league and the town lawyer concerning the request Day had made about hiring a human resource consultant. They will be contacting her shortly.

Ortiz went over all the quarterly budget adjustments for resolution no. 18-2023/2024. The council approved the resolution.

Special meeting and workshop May 21, 2024
The next regular meeting will be June 11, 2024, at 5:00 pm.

Meeting adjourned.

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