The Socorro City Council attends to business at the latest meeting.
Cathy Cook | El Defensor Chieftain

Supply chain issues are slowing down progress on Finley Gym and rising construction costs are delaying progress on a planned housing project in the city of Socorro.

The city remodel of Finley Gym is progressing, with one large snag. The heating and cooling system has yet to be completed and is likely to take months, because the Socorro Electric Coop needs to put in a new transformer, the City of Socorro General Services Director Lloyd Martinez informed the Socorro City Council last week during their regular meeting.

The transformer could take 30 to 50 weeks to be delivered, he said.

Another local project facing delays is a 32-unit supportive housing apartment building that will have subsidized rent and services on-site to help stabilize residents. City councilor Mary Anne Chavez-Lopez, who is also the director of El Camino Real Housing Authority, told the council that the project is at a standstill because construction prices have increased so dramatically that it will take an additional $2 million in funding to build.

The land for the building was donated by the City of Socorro, and Socorro County is supposed to manage the on-site services. In 2021, the estimated cost for the project was $8 million and state funding had been secured for $6.1 million.

In other business:

  • Fire Chief Lawrence Baca told the Council that the department has had 210 more calls than at the same time last year. The department should be hiring two new staff members soon.
  • Socorro County Animal Shelter Director Lupe Tarango said animal control took 52 dogs to Utah the week before, and by the time they returned, the shelter was once again half full.
  • Luis Contreras and Beth Cadol updated the city council on the Chile Harvest Triathlon. There were 112 adult participants and 44 children signed up for the youth race. There were 18 kids from Socorro County. Due to lightning, only 14 of the kids were able to finish their race. The adult race included participants from El Paso, Alamogordo, Los Alamos, Albuquerque and Las Cruces.

The next regular council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 19, at 6 p.m.