New Fire Chiefs, Detention Center Upgrades, Student Fair Attendance on County Agenda

By Tony A. Archuleta

HERALD Reporter

The Sierra County Commission was scheduled to meet on Tuesday, Nov. 18, with several items of interest on the agenda.


Kicking off the meeting, the proposed appointments of two fire chiefs – Harold Snyder at Arrey Volunteer Fire Department and Tony Candelaria at Monticello Volunteer Fire Department.

The county’s fire administrator, Paul Tooley, recommends the appointments of Snyder and Candelaria under the Sierra County Fire & Emergency Services Administrative Ordinance.


Each month the commission recognizes the employment anniversary dates of county staff. November’s honorees are Eloy Armijo (1998), Amanda Cardona (2003), Barbara Morrow (2012), Elizabeth Carson (2000), Bradley Spencer (2000), Ida Olivas (2002), John Bensley (2011).


A proposed resolution calls for the addition of the Sierra County Detention Center to the 2016-2020 Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan.

The ICIP was originally adopted in August, but serious deficiencies at the detention center were recently brought to light by County Manager Bruce Swingle and detention center Administrator Virginia Lee.

If passed, detention center improvements will be added to the list of short- and long-range capital improvement efforts. Also high on the ICIP list: regional animal shelter, construction and debris landfill, new county administrative complex, water services, eastern county roads, new hospital and road department equipment.


County Road Department Supervisor Nathan Gustin was scheduled to present the yearly estimate for maintenance of county roads.

The total mileage for districts countywide is 570.6 miles – District A (240.4), District B (161.6), District C (155.9), “Lease Lot” (7.15), Lakeshore Highlands Estates (5.57).

Prominent roads in each district: A (Lower Cuchillo Creek, Palomas Gap), B (Berrenda Road, Lake Valley School Road, Animas Creek Road), C (Hermosa Road, San Miguel Road), Lease Lots (Mitchell Point, Three Sisters) and Lakeshore Highlands (Caballo Place, Hwy Greer, Arabian Circle).


For the commissioners’ review, a Nov. 18 letter from Manager Swingle to Truth or Consequences Schools Superintendent Craig Cummins, asking the school district “to use the bye week during the fall sports season for the second week of October.

“The Sierra County Fair is traditionally held on the second week of October and should be something that has the undivided attention of all in Sierra County,” the letter states. “With using the free week during the County Fair, student athletes would not be forced to choose sports or 4-H/FFA and fair activities. It would also allow families to attend and support our county’s showcase event.”


The commission also was slated to consider a resolution to establish a Risk Management Committee.

The committee will “assist management in protecting the county’s human, capital and financial resources,” the proposed resolution states. “The committee will strive to identify and eliminate or reduce sources of actual or potential loss to employees, citizens, county property and equipment.”


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