City hears plea from schools

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At the City Council meeting Monday night, in the public forum, Socorro Consolidated Schools Superintendent Randall Earwood presented to council members the importance of the community voting for the mill levy in the school board election Feb. 5. Earwood said the mill levy is for general maintenance of facilities and is $5 million dollars, covering a four year period. There will be no increase in taxes if the mill levy passes, he said.

At the City Council meeting Monday night, in the public forum, Socorro Consolidated Schools Superintendent Randall Earwood presented to council members the importance of the community voting for the mill levy in the school board election Feb. 5. Earwood said the mill levy is for general maintenance of facilities and is $5 million dollars, covering a four year period. There will be no increase in taxes if the mill levy passes, he said.

He had a list of proposed projects for Socorro schools that would use mill levy funds.

If the mill levy passes, San Antonio Elementary School will receive a new building that will cost $1.6 million dollars. The state will provide 77 percent of funding, he said. If the mill levy doesn't pass, San Antonio students will have to be bussed into town to Zimmerly and Parkview elementary schools, and currently there isn't enough room or capacity to hold that many students, he said.

"We're asking that you guys get the word out to your constituents," Earwood said. "This is extremely important for the school district. We need the 2 mill levy to pass so we can keep the funds rolling in the school district and keep going in a positive direction."

Also at the meeting, council members passed the resolution for the city employee blood drive. According to the resolution, the city of Socorro works with United Blood Services from time to time to sponsor local blood drives. The blood drives take place at the youth center on five dates out of the year. The goal of the blood drive is to collect 25 pints of blood and all donations are used in the Socorro area. All city employees are encouraged to participate, and those who donate blood will get two personal holiday hours added to their personal holiday leave.

The water meter loan program was also approved during the Monday meeting. City Clerk Pat Salome said all meters in Socorro, with the exception of large ones, will be replaced with meters than can be read electronically. An estimated 2,600 water meter replacements are needed and some have already been replaced, he said. The new meters will provide better information are more technologically advanced, can be read more easily, are more efficient and are more accurate.

In the discussion part of the meeting, Healthy Kids Socorro coordinator Cynthia Connolly gave council members an update about Healthy Kids Socorro and how children will continue to live a healthy lifestyle.

On the first Wednesday of the month, children are biking to school. At Cottonwood Valley Charter School, they are taking the Healthy Kids 5-2-1-0 Challenge.

The challenge is for third graders who will track themselves for 21 days to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables, spend two hours a day or less watching television or on the computer, have one hour of exercise; and for children to drink beverages with zero calories, including more water.

The children who are successful with the challenge will receive a governor's medal, and for those who participate will get a certificate from the mayor. A letter was sent home to the parents about the challenge to encourage children, as well as encourage parents to participate in the challenge with their child.

Parkview Elementary School will also accept the challenge, but not until March.

"If you guys would like to work with us in issuing a proclamation, we would be interested in you having to do that," Connolly said. "If you're interested in doing that, that would kind of get the city behind it, get the parents involved, get the community involved and get people active and also involved in eating right."

Connolly said Roswell schools had a similar program with the city support behind them. She also invited community and council members to participate in the stakeholders meeting held on Feb. 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the Parkview cafeteria for their input about the challenge and the schools Healthy Kids, Socorro will be working with, she said.