A Tall Work Order

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Contractors were reportedly replacing an antenna unit atop the large communication tower located along North Kopra St. Monday, January 29. This high wire act was taking place while many in the community were experiencing cell phone issues and some may have connected the two. A check of the situation revealed that a fiber optic cable in Doña Ana County was severed and deemed to be responsible for service interruptions experienced in Sierra County. The cell tower maintenance was therefore not involved, but was nonetheless a spectacular operation to observe.

Continued Erosion Presses Bridge Project

City of Truth or Consequences

In a brief update January 23, Sierra County Flood Director Travis Atwell told county commissioners that continuing erosion along Cuchillo Negro Creek was now posing a threat to the NM 51 bridge. Because of this recent determination, Atwell said that state and federal authorities would soon be stepping up the pace and moving foward with planned renovations. over the past several years, adjacent bank erosion has been creeping toward neighboring residences and posed worrisome issues for an underground gas line.

EB Council Looks At Drone Use

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Although the Elephant Butte City Council’s January 24 special meeting included several actions, the afternoon’s liveliest discussion focused on the potential introduction of regulations to control operation of drones (“small-unmanned aircraft”), within the city.
Councilors were presented with a proposed ordinance (No.171), which was forwarded from the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) following an extensive review and discussion of the matter.
Board members were told a series of citizen complaints pertaining to suspicious operation of drones prompted the P&Z’s review.
Councilors acknowledged reports of drones flying at low levels around private residences and discussed how they might best address what could potentially be illegal activity.
While expressing sensitivity to privacy concerns, councilor Edna Trager shared her personal interest in drone aircraft. She noted how legal operations might be misinterpreted by individuals unfamiliar with their uses and standard operational methods. She suggested an educational effort might be necessary to clarify issues.

EB City Manager Resigns

Yvonne-Elephant-Butte-Manager

In a January 15 press release, Elephant Butte City Manager Yovanne Lucero announced that she had submitted a letter of resignation and would be officially stepping away from her post February 2.
During a brief interview January 17, Lucero confirmed the press release and said the city’s administrative staff had already initiated a formal search for her replacement.
The city manager’s resignation comes almost one full year after she was hired and took the oath of office on January 20, 2017.

Citizen Comments Overtake Meeting

City-Comm-Erica-Baker

The Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) City Commission’s January 10 regular meeting was dominated by a string of public comments, which for the most part centered on a desire for continued infrastructure improvements and code enforcement efforts.
All told, 17 speakers addressed the board to express concerns. Aside from calls for the commission to place more emphasis on primary infrastructure, streets and aesthetic aspects of the community, a handful of residents directly expressed concerns and/or opposition to the proposed law enforcement complex. This issue, which will go before voters January 23, was later addressed in respective presentations offered by local resident Ron Fenn and city manager Juan Fuentes.
Public comments also included concerns about present operation of the municipal golf course, off-road vehicle use, as well as information about a private effort to establish a nature conservancy within the city.
Following citizen comments, city manager Juan Fuentes and mayor Steve Green responded to several questions and concerns raised during the session.