Grant County Commission holds work session on the proposed employee salary step plan 022222

By Mary Alice Murphy

To begin the Grant County Commission work session on Feb. 22, 2022, County Manager Tim Zamora said: "I am seeking direction from you [commissioners] on the step plan, so I can come back with recommendations."

He said on the table was the latest job classification study. "We developed some steps and tried to keep the steps to be implemented every three years. They include minimum, medium and maximum steps."

Zamora described the three steps for each level of job classification. "Different positions fit into different grade levels," of which he gave examples.

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Deming man appears in federal court for child pornography charges

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Jeffery Dean Biddle, 41, of Deming, New Mexico, made an initial appearance in federal court on March 2 facing charges of production and attempted production of child pornography, receipt and attempted receipt of child pornography, and enticement and attempted enticement. Biddle will remain in custody pending a preliminary and detention hearing scheduled for March 7.

According to a criminal complaint, on Oct. 7, 2021, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Biddle's residence. During that search and subsequent searches of Biddle's social media accounts, investigators found evidence that Biddle allegedly used several Facebook accounts to gain access or attempt to gain access to minor victims. Biddle also allegedly used his cellphone to communicate with victims. Some of the conversation led to Biddle allegedly requesting naked photos of children.

A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Grant County Commission work session held 020822 and regular meeting held 021022, part 6

[Editor's Note: This concludes the series of articles on the Grant County Commission work session of Feb. 8, 2022, and the regular meeting on Feb. 10, 2022. This report covers the review of the regular meeting agenda at the work session and includes decisions and discussions at the regular meeting.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

The first item on the Feb. 8, 2022, Grant County commission's work session's review of the regular meeting agenda addressed the financial report.

Financial Officer Linda Vasquez first presented the quarterly report that ended the second quarter of the fiscal year on Dec. 31, 2021. She first gave the recap of the General Fund, which began the quarter with $4,308,588 million in cash, $8,993,754.09 in investments, revenues of $6,762,861.81, transfers out -$1,826,801.81, expenditures of $4,763,713.12, adjustments of $13,829.45, leaving a balance of $13,486,518.42. With required reserves of $1,190,928.28, the adjusted balance was $12,297,590.14.

The Road Department Fund had a beginning balance of $509,332, with zero investments, revenues of $395,256.84, zero transfers, expenditures of $857,005.23, leaving a balance of $47,583.81, minus required one-twelfth reserves of $71,417.10, leaving a negative balance of $23,833.49.

The Jail Fund for the Detention Center had a beginning balance of $280,604, with zero investments, revenues of $415,264.12, transfers in of $1,457,703.25, expenditures of $1,771,833.17, leaving a balance of $381,738.20, with no required reserves leaving the adjusted balance the same.

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Grant County volunteer fire departments practice a propane burn 022622

Photos Courtesy of Pinos Altos Volunteer Fire and Rescue as marked

On Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, Grant County volunteer fire departments held a joint training event at Fort Bayard Fire Department.

An annual event that had been canceled for two years, the training burn had been redesigned to more closely simulate a real dispatch and deployment scenario, and it was a useful way for departments to practice teamwork, use their gear, and become more familiar with their fire engines.

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Grant County Commission work session held 020822 and regular meeting held 021022, part 5

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Deputy Michael Valencia, Dispatcher Teresa Ortiz and Deputy Joe Carlos are thanked by Grant County resident Robert Martinez.[Editor's Note: This is part of a series of articles on the Grant County Commission work session of Feb. 8, 2022, and the regular meeting on Feb. 10, 2022. This report from the regular session begins with the reports.]

Photo and article by Mary Alice Murphy

At the regular meeting of the Grant County Commission on Feb. 10, 2022, Treasurer Patrick Cohn gave his report. "Of 2021 taxes, we have collected 64 percent for about $8 million, and $4.5 million not yet collected. We have an average rate of collection at 92 percent over the past 10 years. About $9.1 million in taxes have remained uncollected. If you have not received your tax bill, please let us know, especially if you have paid off your mortgage, because the bill might still be going to the mortgage company. We are working on delinquent taxes from 2019. If they are not paid by July, we will add them to the state auction list."

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Welcome to the Beat: Restored!

Welcome to the Beat: Restored! It's been a long and difficult process, but we've rebuilt the Grant County Beat from the ground up: a new server and updated software, with every add-on evaluated, and either updated or removed. Thanks for your patience as we transitioned to our fresh, clean server. Let us know if you see anything amiss, otherwise, enjoy! From the webmaster. Toolie Garner.

Public hearing for zoning in Hurley

By Lynn Janes

The town of Hurley held a workshop and special town meeting February 22, 2022, beginning with the roll call and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Attendance of the meeting included Mayor Ed Stevens, Mayor Pro Tem Richard Maynes and councilors, Freddie Rodriguez, and Nanette Day. Mateo Madrid did not attend.

They approved the agenda for the workshop.

Stevens turned the meeting over to Maynes to begin the discussion on the proposed new cannabis ordinance. Maynes handed out a proposed business zoning map. It included the Gateway restaurant area, the Hurley Bar to the end of the street going east and the property west of the railroad tracks. The council discussed the map and asked questions addressed to Maynes.

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Bullard Street Closure, Monday February 28, 8:30am to 9:15 am

Silver City MainStreet with NM MainStreet will have a drone flying over the Big Ditch Park next Monday morning to do topographic work that will be used for improvements to the Big Ditch Park.

Drone footage will also be taken of Bullard Street and other areas of downtown to be used for marketing downtown Silver City. For safety reasons, Bullard Street will be closed to traffic on Monday February 28, from 8:30am to 9:15am between Broadway and College.

Patience and understanding is appreciated. 

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