The Socorro County Board of Commissioners covered department reports and twelve action items during their regular meeting held on Sept. 12.

County Detention Center Administrator, Eddie Garcia, highlighted the detainees’ submissions to the Socorro County Fair, in his report to the Board.

“They do have heart; they do have talent.” Garcia said.

He reported that both male and female detainees placed for their salsa, art, and weaving submissions. He noted that one detainee was brought to tears with his first-place achievement. Chairman Ray Martinez requested that those individuals be invited to the next meeting for recognition by the Board.

Michael Hawkes, County Manager, addressed an ongoing Hop Canyon complaint from a resident. According to Hawkes, allegations were made that flooding occurred after the road was paved, using funding from 2019 and 2020.

“Our engineering firm says that there is no basis for that allegation,” Hawkes said. “Myself, the road superintendent and the engineering firm, we went out there right after the flood in which the complaint was made and we took an excess of 100 photos and found no evidence of flooding.”

The resident submitted information from another engineer, who said they could complete Phase One for $20,000, to fix the problem.

“We have spent above and beyond our budget to answer concerns,” Hawkes said.

Commissioners discussed possible solutions, permission from neighbors and concerns about pushing the problem down the road. After this discussion, Commissioners approved Phase One of Hop Canyon repairs up to $30,000 dollars.

Veronica Pound, Hospital Chief Executive, gave her annual community report to the Board. She addressed the national shortage of family medicine practitioners and radiologic technologists. Her request for the annual distribution of funds for the third quarter was approved by the board.

The ARPA budget was approved by commissioners who agreed to split $21,000 earmarked for the Magdalena and Socorro Senior Centers evenly, allocating $10,500 to each center. The initial budget had allocated $16,000 for the Socorro Senior Center and $5,000 for Magdalena Senior Center.

County Lawyer, Adren Nance, recommended the board should not contribute from the general fund to the National Center for Public Land Counties Center, as requested. Although he feels they do good work, he was concerned because they are a private organization. Commissioners agreed that they needed more information from them on how the requested funds will be spent. The allocation was not approved by the Board.

Commissioners discussed their district quarterly projects, not to exceed $200,000. They agreed to give out funds based on seniority. Chairman Martinez, selected to go first, submitted his list that included $105,000 for the San Antonio project, $25,000 for signage in his district and $30,000 for the Hop Canyon project.

In other business:

  • Donald Chavez was nominated to the National Museum of the American Latino and National Hispanic Cultural Center Hall of Fame. The Indigent Cremation and Burial Policy was updated.
  • The use of overhead crossing on county property from SunZia, the recertification on the gross receipts, acknowledgment of personnel changes, allocation of funds for Chile Taste Off and $10,000 from the lodger tax were all approved.