By Roger Lanse

Gary Stailey, Youth Project Leader for the town, announced at the Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 Silver City Town Council meeting that a volunteer workday is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 29, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at La Capilla Park. He urged residents to bring their weed trimmers and related safety equipment to make the park neat. With the recent rains “it’s just really grown up, a lot,” Stailey said. “This will be the final civic day for the year.”

District 3 Councilor Jose Ray Jr. encouraged residents who are experiencing a problem to please call their councilor about concerns they may have. Ray asked Silver City Police Chief Freddie Portillo to check into state regulations covering walking, jogging and running on city streets. Ray also asked Portillo for a report showing the number of people stopped in the town for texting while driving and how many stopped for bicycling offenses.

District 2 Councilor Lynda Aiman-Smith stated that the bee notice of intent ordinance will not be coming back to the council until October, but that she and other councilors have received much helpful information from residents.

District 1 Councilor Cynthia Bettison advised she has heard that the contractor building the senior affordable living complex above the intersection of Highways 180 and 90 is going to install a billboard with a phone number to call for information. “Until the billboard is put up,” Bettison said, “they can always call Jamie Embick at the Community Development Department.” Embick’s number is 534-6349.

Bettison also announced she has been elected President-elect of the New Mexico Municipal League. John Lopez, mayor of Silver City from 1978-1980, she said, was the last official from Silver City to hold the NMML president’s position.

Mayor Ken Ladner announced on Thursday, Sept. 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Grant County Veterans Memorial Business and Conference Center, the town will present an anti-litter program, including a discussion of uncovered loads going to the landfill. The public is invited.

Residents along the College Avenue street improvement project voiced concerns about Comcast cutting down and trimming 100-year-old trees in the College Avenue-8th Street area, entering private property, and stringing communication lines across private property. These residents complained they were never properly informed that these acts were part of the street improvement project.

Town Manager Alex Brown said, “As far as the work that you are discussing, that is work that is directly contracted with the university (Western New Mexico University),” which is funding certain aspects of the project to benefit the university. Brown said lines over private property is unacceptable as is entering private property. He said the town will try to keep abreast of the situation.

The residents asked: who is going to compensate us for the 100-year-old trees that have already been cut down that made out neighborhood beautiful? There was no answer.

Sabrina Pack, Principal and Chief Operating Officer of Skywest Media presented a summary of visitor surveys accomplished since Labor Day of 2017. The surveys focused on three main areas of interest, she said; who is coming, visitor perceptions, and economic impact, plus some secondary research. The Tour of the Gila produced the highest number of lodging stays, Pack said, while the Silver City Blues Festival had the greatest attendance which peaked at an estimated 6,500 on Saturday afternoon. She said NBC sent a team, as did New Mexico television stations KOB and KOAT. Other events surveyed included Wild, Wild West Pro Rodeo, Red Dot Fiesta, Silver City Clay Festival, Fiesta Latina, Gran Fondo, Gila River Festival, and Southwest Festival of the Written Word. Approximately 3,400 people were interviewed.

Christian Duran, Administrative Assistant for El Refugio, the domestic violence agency and shelter that serves Grant and Hidalgo counties, presented a list of sponsored events scheduled for October, which has been proclaimed Domestic Violence Awareness Month. El Refugio will be hosting the DVA Month proclamation at the Silver City Woman’s Club on Oct. 1 at 9 a.m. On Oct. 11, the ‘Remember My Name’ event will be held at El Refugio’s Healing Garden at 6:30 p.m.

A fundraiser-dance to benefit El Refugio will take place at The Flame Convention Center on Saturday, Oct. 13, from 8 p.m. to midnight, Duran said. Tickets will be $20/person, $35/per couple. El Refugio’s last October 2018 event will be their domestic violence annual training geared toward law enforcement, first responders, victim’s advocates, dispatch personnel, and others on Oct. 18-19 at the SCGCBCC from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Patrons utilizing the Silver City Library last year were almost equally divided between city residents and those living in Grant County outside Silver City, said Ken Dayer, Library Director. Dayer told council attendance has increased a little this year, and they are seeing a large increase in circulation of ebooks and the downloading of audio books. Although the library was experiencing a drop in circulation of traditional materials, Dayer said, that has picked up recently. Website and Wi-fi usage has also increased.

Council approved an extension of the lease agreement between the town and Washington Federal Savings and Loan; and approved a public celebration permit and application for the Gila River Festival’s Gala for the Gila on Sept. 21, 2018, from 6-10 p.m., at the Murray Hotel.

A resolution supporting efforts of Corre Caminos transportation services for fiscal year 2019 was approved. This was necessary to comply with New Mexico Department of Transportation’s rules to qualify for federal funds.

Two members of the Municipal Library Community Advisory Group, Ted Lynn and Ken Dowd, were reappointed.

Council approved the cancellation of the Silver City Town Meeting regularly scheduled for Tuesday, Sept, 25.