Senator Siah Correa Hemphill spoke during the City of Socorro city council meeting on Monday to give an update on the New Mexico Legislature and the bills she helped get passed.
Correa Hemphill started off thanking the Department of Health, the Emergency Manager’s office, the Socorro Fire Department and all of the volunteers who help vaccinate the community every week.
“I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your leadership in Socorro,” she said. “I’m so proud of the work that Socorro has done during the pandemic — really leading the state in recovery. You
guys have done a fantastic job. I was there just last week with the Lieutenant Governor out at the vaccine clinic. It was so incredible to see all that work that is being done in your community and grateful to be part of that.”
According to Socorro Fire Chief Joe Gonzales, 5,200 vaccines have been administered as off Friday, April 9.
During the legislature session, Correa Hemphill worked closely with Gail Armstrong to bring over $6 million in capital outlay to Socorro County.
“That was really rewarding,” she said.
In Alamo, the Alamo Chapter Strategic and Distribution Building Construction will receive $75,000, and $150,000 will be going towards the Alamo Chapter Water Wells Construction.
In Magdalena, $1 million is for the Benjamin Well Improvements, $320,000 to purchase ambulances and $127,500 towards the Magdalena Senior Center Code Compliance.
Socorro will be receiving the most money with $500,00 for the burn building construction, $450,000 for courthouse improvements, $351,000 for the Kelly Hall Replacement and Construction, $200,000 for the construction of the convention center, $190,000 for improving the community center and $150,000 for vehicle purchases and equipment. In Veguita, $89,000 is for the Veguita Senior Center Code Compliance.
There will be $2,500,000 for infrastructure upgrades throughout the county.
Correa Hemphill helped with the passing of Senate Bill 1 which is the restaurant’s gross receipt tax bill and the working families tax credits. From March through June of 2021, restaurants will be able to write off their gross receipts tax to help provide extra support. Working families who qualify will be able get a $600 tax rebate.
Correa Hemphill was part of the passage of Senate Bill 193 which will establish a new state office to help move forward with broadband plans.
“I know that has been a challenge in Socorro and the surrounding areas, especially during the pandemic when children were all trying to access their education through the internet,” she said. “We hope to be able to move forward and really develop more of an infrastructure for broadband.”
During the legislature session, Correa Hemphill and other senators passed a $7.4 billion budget that will make investments in behavioral health, early childhood wellbeing, economic developments, infrastructure, public education and much more.
The council held a public hearing for Ordinance No. 19-08-05 (Amendment C) and after there was no public comment, the ordinance was approved unanimously.
The ordinance is between the Rural Community Assistance Corporation and the City of Socorro in relation to the improvements to the city’s wastewater collection system. It was originally approved on Sept. 3, 2019, but was amended to increase the “par amount of the bond anticipation note/loan agreement by the amount of $1,474,000 for a total par amount not to exceed $6,424,000.”
The money will be used to cover the costs of preliminary expenses and engineering related to the improvements of the wastewater collection system.
The council also approved Resolution No. 21-04-19 between the City of Socorro and the New Mexico Department of Transportation.
According to City Treasurer/Administrator Donald Monette, the city applied for the grant last year and it was to be used to start improving West Spring Street towards the fire academy and the bus route.
Monette said the city had some funds to finish Western Hills but not enough to completely finish the project and that the resolution is asking the DOT to move the money from Spring Street to Western Hills.
The cost of the project is $40,000 and the DOT will cover $30,000. The City of Socorro will be responsible for the remaining $10,000 and any costs that exceed the original $40,000.
Two businesses were approved during the city council meeting. Mel Stairs is opening Mineral Exploration Location Services LLC at 203 Manzanares Ave which is a mineral sales and education business. Citrus Ramirez is a produce business and is owned by Imelda Marrufo de Ramirez. According to the business registration, Hasit Patel gave permission for Marrufo de Ramirez to use 1009 N. California Street.