By Hallie Richwine

The City of Bayard Council meeting on December 11, 2017 began at 2 p.m. after a work session that lasted approximately one hour. Councilors Chon Fierro, Raul Villanueva, Zeke Santa Maria, and Adrian Ortiz attended as well as Mayor Charles Kelly.

During public input Oscar Melin of the Copper Little League spoke to the councilors, asking that the city help prepare the field for play. Melin wanted to establish communication with the council before the season begins and expressed interest in attending future meetings to give updates. He said he understands the former Cyclone Field may not be ready for the coming season but he wanted to point out the irrigation pipe directly in front of the pitching mound.

The main presentation before the councilors was from Grant County and Bohannon Huston, showing the possible phases of the Effluent Water Project. Engineer Matt Thompson presented possible uses for the reclaimed water. In previous discussions the City of Bayard talked about using the water processed through the plant to water playing fields. While this remains a possibility, Thompson added additional phases, from watering Fort Bayard to building a riparian habitat which would allow the public access to wildlife. Properly using effluent water extends the life of the water in Grant County, and considering any (or all) of the possibilities Thompson presented improves that timeline.

Council approved the adoption of Resolution 23-2017, the 2018 election resolution, as well as the 2018 council meeting schedule and holiday schedule.

Among other action items, council approved a variance for a fence that was constructed on Cactus Street. The majority of homes on the street have fences in the easement and the new construction was in conjunction with an existing rock wall. The variance allows for the front fencing but there are to be no alterations to the side of the property.

Council also agreed to allow the Grant County Water Commission to lead the Regional Potable Water Project. For funding purposes the municipalities involved in the project are working to have the GCWC as the central party. This means through all phases of the projects the debt will be placed on the water commission itself, allowing for further funding requests.

“Who takes care of maintenance?” asked Fierro.

Clerk Kristina Ortiz said the GCWC will designate maintenance duties once there is a Joint Partnership Agreement in place. “The state goal is regionalization,” said Ortiz.

Fierro asked if the city would be charged for the project even if they don’t use the water. Kelly said only a portion of the debt for the overall project would belong to Bayard. Additional costs would include usage and would only be incurred if the city tapped into that water source.

All councilors were in favor except Santa Maria.

During the Mayor’s report Kelly reminded the council that filing day for the 2018 election is January 9. Seats up for election are the mayor, two councilors, and the judge.

The next regular meeting for the City of Bayard Council happens January 8, 2018.

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