Mary Ann Chavez Lopez was voted in as mayor pro tem at the city council meeting on Tuesday. The appointment will allow her to take care of mayoral duties when Bhasker is not available.

Other appointments made at the meeting included Chavez Lopez who will represent Socorro in the South Central Council of Governments with counselor Michael Olguin as an alternate. Councilor Deborah Dean will serve on the Rural Planning organization, with former councilor Gordy Hicks serving as an alternate. Michael Olguin will also serve as a representative at the municipal league.

Water leaks

Chavez Lopez asked about water leak concerns on Bagley and Hwy 60.
Lloyd Martinez, City of Socorro’s General Service director addressed these concerns and said the issue was due to high pressure.

He said that the system is gravity fed and the water pressure varies from 40lbs to over 100lbs depending on where you live in Socorro. The scheduled water shut off and street closures for Jan. 3 that interrupted water services was to allow them to put in a PRV that would help regulate the pressure that is causing the leaks. He said when they did that in other locations it stopped about 80% of the leaks.

“So, what we’re going to do is install a PRV. Over there by the railroad track Michigan…we’ll lower the pressure to about 70 lbs. in that area.” Martinez said.
He explained that he can’t lower it too much because then other homes will lose their water pressure.

Martinez talked about the status of the demolition of Finley gym saying that they’re still doing the design for it and estimated it would be in a couple months.

Bhasker said that the police department has moved the Zimmerly building, and they are working on a MOU with the schools to figure out where the municipal court and Friends of the Library could go in, with hopes of making an agreement with the Sarracino Middle School building.

Juvenile criminal issues

Police Chief Angel Garcia addressed a recent issue with juveniles.

“Just this weekend, on the 30th, some juveniles broke into the dispensary again.
“Within 45 minutes we had three individuals in custody. We did a search warrant today on their vehicle. All the product was inside their vehicle. We arrested two of the juveniles. We detain them, called JPO. They denied transport for these juveniles,” Garcia said.

“We didn’t know yet, but they had aso caused around $3,000 to $4000 in damage at Sarracino Middle School before this. The same individuals were caught on camera. We tried to get them reevaluated, to get transportation, but they still wouldn’t transport them,” Garcia said.

He said that two hours before they had damaged Sarracino, the same individuals were stealing alcohol at Walmart.

He said the challenge is finding room in juvenile facilities; sometimes they have to take them all the way to Las Cruces, Farmington or Mesilla Valley, if they have room.
Bhasker said, in an unrelated incident, that his hotel was held up at gunpoint two weeks ago.

“I mean we’re trying to get them but then we have no place to put them,” Bhasker said.

Chavez Lopez suggested that the county and city work together on a juvenile facility and suggested the old jail.

“We need to start those discussions,” said Bhasker.

In other business:
The budget committee is giving five percent raises across the board for city employees. The raises total $205,819 that is coming out of the reserves.

An informational presentation was done on the city electric design, and it was discussed if Socorro Electric Co-op would be on next meeting’s agenda. Later, it was confirmed that they would be on the agenda under a Franchise Agreement Update Discussion as per their request.

The council approved Western New Mexico’s special use permit to put up a mono pole in the industrial park to serve outside of TDS area.

Three businesses were approved including Trisha’s Tiny Tots, Four Paw Spa and ION developers (solar power Installers)

Socorro City Council’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on January 16.


Jessica Carranza Pino, Editor