Socorro County Annex

In her final report as County Manager, Delilah Walsh told the Board of County Commissioners at its June 25 meeting that public hearings are beginning for the county’s Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan (ICIP) for the next fiscal year.

“Representative Armstrong has access to the ICIP database and has attended the DFA training so she will be able to handle the input and reports,” Walsh said. “It is imperative the commission rank the following projects on top as we will have design documents ready for bids by December 2019; meaning we can complete in July 2020.”

For the board’s first public hearing, she recommended the projects that she said will save the county in recurrent operational funds:

  1. Additional funds to complete the solar field at the Socorro County Detention Center for $135,000.
  2. Additional funds to complete the energy efficient improvements at the Socorro County Courthouse for $500,000.
  3. Replace all roof failures in the County capital inventory for $202,000.
  4. Full Sheriff’s Department fleet replacement for $175,000.

The board will hold a second public hearing at its next meeting.

Other projects that may be considered include $370,000 for Exit 152 Escondida Levee Bridge, $100,000 for Sabinal/Abeytas Community Center, $63,000 for San Antonio Storm Water Detention Pond, and $1.5 million for Highway 60 Turning Lane Improvements, among others.

In other business:

• The board approved Resolution 2019–47; Acceptance of 2019-2020 Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant. The Socorro County fuel project, Bosquecito Fuels Reduction Phase 1, has been awarded $39,945 by the National Fire Plan through Bureau of Land Management funds in cooperation with New Mexico Counties.

• The board approved Resolution 2019-48; Socorro County Sheriff’s Department Command Structure, which includes a three percent pay raise for all Sheriff’s office employees. Sheriff William Armijo assured the commissioners that there were sufficient funds to cover the raise and all he needed was their approval.

• Socorro General Hospital Administrator Veronica Pound gave an extensive overview of all medical services available at the hospital.

• The board rejected a motion by Glen Duggins to increase Senior Center quarter-time employees to half-time. Duggins argued that asking the two employees to come in for only two hours a day was unacceptable. Board Chairwoman Salas said increasing the two employees to 20 hours a week would raise the center’s budget to $13,000, and it would have to be considered when next year’s budget is discussed. Commissioner Ray Martinez agreed with Duggins. The motion failed on a 3-2 vote.

• Salas read a proclamation recognizing Walsh’s ten years as county manager, and that her “leadership has made Socorro County a flagship county in New Mexico in transparency, the development of policies and procedures, financial stability and above all else she has earned the confidence of the community and the other local governments within and outside the State of New Mexico.” The entire board joined Salas in thanking Walsh “for her service, dedication and accomplishments, and wishes her success in her new employment with the City of Las Cruces.”

• The next county commission meeting will be at 9 a.m. July 9 in the County Annex building. That meeting will mark Michael Hawkes’ first day as county manager.