The City of Socorro entered 2016 in a very stable and financially sound position. The new year also brought exciting changes to the City. With the retirement of City Clerk Pat Salome, the City welcomed former City Councilor Donald Monette as the City Administrator. Mr. Monette will be the all-around supervisor of each department as well as the point of contact for the Socorro City Council, the media and the general public. Mr. Monette’s knowledge of City matters from his time on the City Council and background in budgets and finance will be a great addition to the City Administration.
We have purchased several new City vehicles which you may have seen in and around the City. The rodeo arena now has a ticket booth, a practice arena, livestock enclosures and a completed RV park. The City of Socorro Summer Youth Employment Program will soon be underway. Below is an update on the wonderful and hard-working City staff and the projects they are working on:
The Mayor’s Office continues to have an open door policy. As before, the City Council agenda, minutes and videos from the meeting are available on the City’s website www.socorronm.gov. We have continued to install GPS units on City vehicles. The City Council continues to be active in multiple projects including the Rio Grande Levy Reconstruction Project, the rodeo and soccer complex, economic development, police oversight and infrastructure improvements.
The Finance Department continues to work with the public on utility billing, ambulance billing, purchasing, grants administration and accounts payable. The Finance Department continues to offer Budget Billing for utility customers. Collections and cash flow for the City continues to be steady.
Socorro Public Library
The Socorro Public Library has seen new renovations including new carpet and fresh paint. The library continues to serve the public by offering exciting children and adult programs, providing tax forms and offering computer training classes.
Our new director of one year has brought a new energy to our Animal Shelter. There have been multiple improvements at the animal shelter both inside and outside of the buildings. City staff will be attending certification training for our animal control officers. Animal control calls are being tracked in order to recognize problem areas and proper enforcement action is being taken. The City has been able to work with the City of Truth or Consequences to provide animal services while they are in the process of acquiring a new shelter.
The Police Department continues to serve our community efficiently and professionally. We continue to provide a school resource officer at the high school. The Police Department will soon have three new graduates of the Police Academy serving Socorro.
The City of Socorro Dispatch Department has been upgraded with all new 911 equipment. The department has been able to map call types such as traffic accidents, animal control calls and criminal activity in order to identify problem areas. The Department then works with the Police Department on prevention in these areas. The Dispatch Department recently added to its staff including a certified dispatcher and a new graduate from the Police Academy.
Recreation, Youth Center & Tourism Departments
The City of Socorro Recreation Department continues to offer athletic programs to our youth and adults including basketball, volleyball, flag football, swimming, etc. Many local events/programs are housed in Finley Gym including the Community Arts Party, job fairs, the annual haunted house and the teen center. The Youth Center offers programs for children all day in the summer and after school during the school year. The Tourism Department continues to promote our City and provide information and gift bags to tourists. The Department is currently developing a strategic plan and branding strategy to help promote the City and increase tourism spending. These three departments work hard every year to produce events including Socorrofest, Cinco de Mayo and parades. Please visit the City’s tourism website at www.socorronm.org.
The Fire and Ambulance Department continues to deliver ambulance and fire service efficiently to Socorro residents. PHI medical helicopter services is still housed at the City’s municipal airport. City of Socorro firefighters and EMTs continue to further their education with training classes in order to better serve Socorro.
Sanitation and recycling staff continue to pick up on a daily basis and during the holidays. The new cell at the landfill is in use and work on a second new cell will start soon. Many of the landfill staff have received their certifications. City staff in these departments also work very hard on cleaning up litter in order to keep the City clean.
The Gas Department will soon be undertaking a valve replacement project which will increase the amount of natural gas the City can deliver to Socorro residents during the winter season. Another project being developed is the addition of a parallel gas line that will allow for future system expansion. Gas Department crews have been replacing natural gas lines throughout Socorro. The Gas Department yard is also home to a compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel station where City staff can fuel their CNG vehicles. This area will see two new tanks that will expand the capacity of the station.
The Auto Maintenance Department has been consolidated into one location. The City hired a Fleet Manager who has helped inventory our fleet and place each department and their vehicles on a maintenance schedule, ensuring the City receives the longest lives possible from its vehicles. A new software system helps keep track of vehicle logs and maintenance records.
Street Department crews continue to work on customer work orders and street maintenance. Road Department crews are working on special projects including the rodeo arena. The City of Socorro will be planning a Spring Cleanup wherein City crews will pick up appliances, weeds and other items. Soon, please look for flyers to know when your area of the City is scheduled for pickup.
As stated above, the City airport continues to house the PHI medical helicopter. The airport will soon be getting a new fuel farm. The annual fly-in event brings in visitors from all around the state. The Socorro Civil Air Patrol unit has assisted the City with keeping the airport clean and attractive for pilots.
The City of Socorro Water Department continues to operate the arsenic treatment plants and replace water lines throughout Socorro. Production Department staff regularly clean the lift stations and have already started getting the swimming pool ready for the summer.
Wastewater Department/Wastewater Treatment Plant
The Wastewater Treatment Plant has received several upgrades in the past few months with more upgrades to come.
Parks Department crews are very busy keeping our local parks, street medians and Plaza area beautiful. The Parks Department created a walking path and exercise area at Sedillo Park.
The Transportation Department continues to serve our community both with local and out of town routes. The City hopes to soon add a fixed-route in the City of Socorro.
-Mayor Ravi Bhasker
111 School of Mines Road
P.O. Box K
Socorro, New Mexico 87801