Council OKs new dispatch faction

........................................................................................................................................................................................

The Socorro Dispatch Center was approved to be run by its own newly-created department by city council at council’s meeting Monday.

City officials said the intent of the new department is to give more centralized control to the dispatch director.

“It was meant to make it more responsive and make it more communicative for the police department,” Socorro Mayor Rhavi Bhasker said.

The center will remain in its current location at the Socorro Police Department and continue to fulfill its duties serving city emergency communication.

The department could be staffed with nine total dispatchers including the dispatch director, according to the plans announced at the Monday city council meeting. Currently the center has six members, but officials said if the city ever takes on more services, they may add more personnel in the future.

The plan also incorporates the city police and fire chiefs reporting separately to the Socorro mayor and city clerk.

The City of Socorro approved to borrow $583,700 at no interest for 12 years from the New Mexico Environment Department in order to fund substantial improvements to its wastewater treatment plant. The motion was approved at the Monday council meeting.

Wastewater officials said during the meeting the intent of the loan is to replace an existing bar screen, in-fluent pumps, a panel and, the most expensive aspect, the blowers that help run the plant. Money for paying the debt service on the loan come from the joint enterprise fund.

Through the Rural and Small Urban Public Transportation Program, the city is looking to establish a fixed route through Socorro.

City Clerk and Manager Pat Salome said the city has had an call-by-call system for six years or more, but this system would aid people who are not as ambulatory or as outgoing as people who use public transportation regularly. The funding, per the resolution, would match $129,465.65 from the city’s general general fund.

“The idea is to tie in the area with shopping, (New Mexico) Tech and pick a route for people who can’t otherwise get around to do what they need to do,” Salome said.