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Village Council rewrites work schedules

De Baca County News of Fort Sumner, New Mexico

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Full-time employees in City Hall, Library, Senior Center affected

Village employees who work at City Hall, the Library and the Senior Center could see their work day increased by an hour per day after action Monday by the Fort Sumner Village Council.

Based on the recommendation of Mayor Windell Bridges, the Council unanimously approved publishing an ordinance to amend to the Village personnel policy increasing the work week for non-maintenance personnel from 35 to 40 hours.

Bridges told the Council that full-time employees at City Hall, the Library and the Senior Center have, since the early 1970s, been paid based on a 40-hour week, but working just 35 hours. Those employees have also accrued vacation time and sick leave as if they had worked 40 hours.

The Council will consider final approval of the ordinance at its next meeting Oct. 11.

The 35-hour-per-week policy was apparently implemented under the administration of the late Mike Teeter as an energy savings measure during the energy crisis of the early 1970's. Since that time, full-time employees at City Hall, the Library and the Senior Center have been paid an hourly rate based on 40 hours per week, but have worked just 35 hours. warned the Council "to be careful" in its approval of the billboard contract and offered to assist the local Lodgers' Tax Committee in its promotion of the Village.

Approved the expense of $5,567.42 for the purchase of eight tables and 42 chairs for the Senior Center.

The proposal was the lowest of three, said Sena. Other quotes were $6,374.42 from ATD America and $5,983.87 from Global Industrial Equipment.

The Village received a $5,400 grant from the Area Agency on Aging for the purchase.

Approved the hiring of Gabriel Garcia at $8.50 per hour. Bridges said Garcia would start on Sept. 20 and has passed "all necessary testing."

Approved $2,135.89 to reimburse De Baca County for half of testing costs at the County Landfill. Bridges said the funds will come from the Village's environmental gross receipts tax.

Village employees assigned to streets, parks and water and wastewater all continued to work 40-hour weeks, however

Bridges said he didn't know why the policy had been allowed to continue and didn't feel it was fair to ask part of the Village employees to work a 40-hour week when others were working 35 hours and being paid for 40.

Bridges said business hours at City Hall, the Library and the Senior Center would all be extended to reflect the 40-hour week. City Hall will open at 8 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. with employees given an hour off for lunch.

The Council also unanimously approved and ordinance implementing the state Uniform Traffic Ordinance Compilation, an annual action to incorporate changes in traffic laws approved in the most recent legislative session. The vote followed a public hearing on the ordinance. There were no comments during the hearing.

In other business Monday, the Village Council:

Approved in a single vote, without discussion or comment, three resolutions, accounts payable and the minutes of a regular meeting Aug. 9 and a special meeting Aug. 20. The items were all listed under the heading "Consent Agenda."

The resolutions included a letter of support for the proposed SunZia Southwest project. SunZia, based in Phoenix, AZ, proposed to built two extra-high voltage electric transmission lines from the Corona area to Pinal County, AZ. If built, the lines would be used to transport renewable energy (wind, solar, geo-thermal from Arizona and New Mexico to serve customers in the southwestern U.S.

Also among the resolutions was the Village's 2010 Community Development Block Grant application and the Village's ranking of potential capital improvement projects required by the state of New Mexico. The "Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan" (ICIP) lists, in order of preference and importance, the projects the Council believes the Village should pursue state funding for.

Tabled for more information a proposal for the donation of $500 from Dennis Luce.

The donation is related to two wells drilled on a section of state land east of Billy the Kid Road, which is partially bisected by U.S. 60-84 East.

The Village spent at least $25,000 on hydrological and archeological studies and drilled two water wells on the property, which had been designated for an "ag industrial park" in 2000-01. The Village and an Economic Development Advisory Committee had hoped to use 130 acres of the 640-acre site for a dairy.

About $800,000 in state and federal grants was made available for the project, along with the local money from the City's general fund.

The dairy proposal fell for a number of reasons, including the fact that one of the two test wells was dry and the second produced about "10 to 15 gallons per minute," said City Clerk Ron Sena. The available water was considered minimal and not adequate to supply the dairy's needs.

The state lease on the 'school section' has changed hands twice since that time and is now held by Luce.

Bridges said Luce is offering the $500 premium to "claim the two test holes."

Sena told the Council that he had talked to the State Land Office, which leases the property for grazing, and was told that since the Village had abandoned the wells, it had no right to the wells.

Asked what the reason for the donation was for if the Village had no rights, Sena and Bridges weren't clear.

The Council tabled the issue for more information.

Approved the expense of $200 in Lodger's Tax funds to promote Fort Sumner and De Baca County through the county's fair booth at the New Mexico State Fair.

Extension Agent Leigh Ann Marez and her staff construct the booth with a new theme each year.

Approved a 1 -year lease with Lamar Advertising for the renewal of the lease of a billboard on 1-40 near Tucumcari. The billboard will cost $250 per month and was recommended by the Lodgers' Tax Committee, said chairman Sandy Paul, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce.

At the end of the meeting, George Dodge a candidate for State Representative and the chairman of the Santa Rosa Lodgers' Tax Committee,

Copyright 2010 De Baca County News, Fort Sumner, New Mexico. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

© 2011 De Baca County News Fort Sumner, New Mexico. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from DAS.

Original Publication Date: September 16, 2010

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