News @ Noon / 9 January 2013

Welcome to News @ Noon for Wednesday 9 January 2013 brought to you by Gila / Mimbres Community Radio in a community media collaboration with The Grant County Beat – your daily newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County.

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County Commissioners at work session review regular agenda
Created on Tuesday, 08 January 2013 20:30

The Grant County Commission at its first work session of the year welcomed a new commissioner—Ron Hall, representing District 3—and a new treasurer—Steve Armendariz.

The regular meeting will be at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at the Grant County Administration Center.  The first item of business will be to elect a chairman.

The expenditure report will show that up to Jan. 7, the county  spent $4,048,544.84 for the month of December.  Saari explained that approximately $1.2 million is an indigent fund payment and another approximately $1.2 million is for construction on the County Business and Conference Center.  The rest – approximately 1.65 million – was for a month’s worth of payroll and “normal expenditures,” he said.

Commissioners will consider the volunteer fire department election results. Saari said the members of one department came forward with concerns about the election process and the individuals chosen as officers. “I will discuss the issue with (County Attorney) Abby (Robinson),” he said.

Other issues discussed included…

As a consent agenda item, the County Commission will approve or disapprove the Emergency Medical Services annual service report and application for the Gila Regional Medical Center EMS, Gila Valley EMS, Mimbres Valley EMS, Pinos Altos Volunteer Fire and Rescue and Tyrone VFR.

An addition of Policy 55 to the Grant County Sheriff’s Department Standard Operating Procedures would set rules and guidelines for use of the computers that have been installed in patrol cars, so the officers can stay out in the county and do their reports. “It’s a brand new policy,” Saari said.

He listed the committees that commissioners and county officials would serve on for the coming year.

Commissioner Gabriel Ramos said the list should include a statement that those who are appointed to boards and committees vote on behalf of the Commission. Saari said the list would be moved to resolutions and would include the statement for Thursday’s meeting.

Ramos also noted that there is confusion about the Transit Authority now that Grant County has taken it over. “We’ve suggested that we need to consider all transportation.”

Ramos said the marketing on the buses needs also to be addressed, because the signs look tacky after years of weather.

Saari suggested a vinyl wrap, so the whole bus is a moving billboard, but when he said the closest one to do that was Las Cruces, Kasten said he would prefer that it be put out to bid and be done by a local business.

An intergovernmental transfer of a 1995 Ford Bronco from the Road Department to Western New Mexico University will be considered.  Saari explained the university received a grant to study the effects of the Whitewater-Baldy Fire, but did not have a four-wheel-drive vehicle for researchers to be able to access the fire areas.

The Open Meetings Resolution for 2013 will also be considered at the Thursday meeting.

Saari said the county would try to hold firm on the previous Wednesday as the deadline for items to be put on the next week’s agenda, “so we can get the packet to you as a .pdf on Friday, giving you time to look over all items.” The OMA resolution will include that the commissioners will receive items in electronic form by the February meeting. “We want to have individual monitors for you and a big screen for the audience through an Apple TV. We want to make sure there are no additions at the last minute, although we can remove things up to the meeting time.”

The commissioners, as the Grant County Indigent and Health Care Claims Board, will consider 538 claims for $411,507.46.

Hall said he would like to have someone present at the meeting to explain to citizens where the money comes from to pay the indigent claims.  Saari said he would ask Beth Allred, who oversees the fund, if she can present at Thursday’s meeting.

The regular meeting will take place at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at the Grant County Administration Center.

Please visit for additional details.  A second article will cover county reports.

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