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Hidalgo County Herald
Lordsburg, New Mexico
January 24, 2014     Hidalgo County Herald
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January 24, 2014

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? VOLUME ISSUE 4 FRIDAY JANUARY 24, 2014 75 Hidalgo County Small*own Papers 217 West Cota Street SheRon, WA 98584 ihh,h,h,hhh,l,,h,hlh'l .22 R 1000 rounds414S 500 rounds-S75 250 rounds440 LORDSBURG, NM 575-405-1572 Hi County's urge funding for PILT in Farm Bill Courtesy information U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Mar- tin Heinrich last week announced that that they have sent a bipartisan letter signed by a coalition of senators to the leadership Of the Farm Bill conference committee requesting that funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Pro- gram be included in the final Farm Bill conference report. PILT provides federal payments to local governments to help offset losses in property taxes due to nontaxable federal land within their boundaries. These resources are critical to rural counties across the U.S., which " use the funding to provide services, such as police, ftre protection, and emergency response. Funding for PILT expired at the end of the year, and unless it can be renewed, counties will see major budget cuts. In 2013, New Mexico received "$34,692,967. Hidalgo County received approximately $700,000 last year and largely depends on this funding each year. In a letter to the leaders of the Farm er r( year- Bill,Conference Committee, the senators wrote, "Counties across the country, par- ticularly those containing significant federal landholdings rely on PILT funds as sizeable percentages o.f their budgets. Many of the same rural counties that rely on programs in the Farm Bill also 'de- pend on PILT to sustain their economies and serve their citizens." "Without an extension of PILT, ru- ral counties will face drastic budget cuts in June and may struggle to fund the most basic of services" the senators added. In addition to Udall and Heinrich, the letter has been signed by Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Mike Crapo (R- ID), Mark Udall (D-CO), Jim Risch (R- ID), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark" Begich (D- AK), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Mark Warner (D-VA), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Patty Murray (D- WA), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Tim Kaine (D- VA), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Udall and Heinrich have been strong advocates for steady, full funding of the PILT program. After years of fund- ing PILT inconsistently, Congress in 2008 fully and automatically funded PILT for five years. In a 2012 transporta- tion bill, full funding was extended for another year, leaving the future beyond 2013 uncertain. Starting in 2011, Udall, along with then-Sen. Jeff Bingaman, helped lead the fight in the Senate for mandatory, long-term support of PILT and Secure Rural 'Schools funding to give local communities assurance that they can depend on this lifeline for long- term planning. Heinrich, then a member of the House, sponsored a companion bill, which would have fully funded the PILT program for an additional five years. Last year, Udall and Sen. Mike Enzi (R- WY), along with Heinrich, wrote the chairs and ranking members of the Sen- ate Appropriations Committee and Inte- rior subcommittee calling on them to fully support and fund pILZ.- This week's letter to the Farm Bill Conferees continues their push for full funding. Mike Gipson, Cyrq Director of Operations, explains to a tour group how the facility operates. Among those present included Hidalgo County Manager John Salazar, Hidalgo County Commissioner Richard Chaires, SPIRIT of Hidalgo's Christine Ortiz, local resident Nyia Walter and I-IMS's Beth Cox. For more photos from the open house, see Page 2 of this week's edition. Herald staff photo the opening of the first utility- erma end data .eraldstaffreport" Cyrq Energy celebrated the launch- Courtesy submission ing of the state's first utility-scale geo- U.S. Customs and Border Protection thermal power plant last Wednesday af- has released year-end data on its fiscal ternoon with a public 'event near Cotton year 2013 operations - illustrating the City. agency's success .in securing the border The new facility has been dedicated and facilitating legitimate trade and as The Dale Burgett Geothermal Power travel through targeted operations, en- Plant--in honor of the man who had a hanced partnerships, and the unprec- passionate commitment for geothermal edented deployment of personnel, tech- energy in the Animas Valley. Burgett nology and infrastructure along operated Burgett Greenhouses for, many America's borders, years and was a tireless advocate for ex- In fiscal 2013, CBP seized 4.3 mil- pansion and fairness in taxing of geo- See BORDER PATROL on Page 6 thermal resources. Ryan Estrada, Katy Estrada, Vern Richardson, and Rachel Estrada holding their D Superroc Altitude rockets.' in NMRC generatio ns c0m Courtesy submission in the C Helicopter Duration division petition for the adult C division was Vem Vern Richardson, Katy Estrada, having a time of 3:46 which beats previ- with Katy coming in a close second with Ryan Estrada and Rachel Estrada par- ous record by 15 seconds. Ryan Estrada only 6 points tess. Rachel was the win- ticipated in the New Mexico Rocketry also broke a national record in D Superroc ner of the A division with Ryan follow- Championship Rocket Launch hostedAltitude in division A with an altitude ing in second place. There were a total by the FLARE rocket club in of 280 meters times the length of his of eleven competitors in the two-day Alamogdrdo, NM last weekend, rocket at.300 cm. event. Katy Estrada broke a national record Overall winner of the Regional com- It was a great weekend to fly! I plant in New Among those making the event in- cluded Secretary of Economic Develop- ment Jon Barela, Vice President of Pub- lic Policy for PNM Ron Darnell and Cyrq CEO Nick Goodman~ New Mexico Gov- A birds-eye view of the facility. ernor Susana Martinez was slated to at- tend, but had to cancel last minute due to the school shooting in Roswell. In addition to a luncheon and guest speakers, invited guests were treated to tours of the facility, which went online last month. Geothermal power is generated by pumping water heated by the earth to the surface, extracting the heat, which then .turns the turbines and ultimately Creates electricity. The temperature of the water is more than 300 degrees. This hot water is pumped using a closed loop sys- tem, so no water is used in the produc- tion of the power and the geothermal sys- tem creates zero pollution and zero emis- sions. The power, currently at 4 megawatts but expected to expand to 10 MW, will be sold to PNM for the next 20 years for use solely in New Mexico. The first phase of the The Dale Burgett Geothermal Power Plant--for- merly known as Lighting Dock--was constructed in 2013 at a cost of $43 mil- lion. The second phase is schedule to be completed this year for an additional $67 million. The project created over 100 construction jobs and currently employs eight people. "This project opens the door for an amazing future for geothermal power in our state," said Secretary of Economic Development Jon Barela. "This major project has been a serious economic driver for southwestern New Mexico and other projects we hope are on the way to continue our development of this re- source." Geothermal power is considered a renewable energy source because the water iis heated deep within the earth, brought to the surface to ex- tract the en- ergy, then sent back down to 3,000 feet to be re-heated for future use. In addition, geo- thermal has the advantage over wind and solar in that it can be pro- duced 24 hours per day. "We are thrilled to have our first geo- Photo by BEN LA MARCA thermal plant up and running in New Mexico," said Cyrq CEO Nick Goodman. "PNM has been a great part- ner and we're honored to be able to help rrleet the energy challenge for this state?" Bootheel Cowboy Poetry Fiesta to feature Richin Moore Submitted by ALLEN "HOOK" HILL You have been forewarned! The time is rapidly approaching for the Bootheel Cowboy Poetry Fiesta, the 21" annual Lordsburg-Hidalgo County Mu- seum fundraiser. The annual Fiesta will be at the museum, located at 708 E. Sec- ond Street, in Lordsburg, at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 15, 2014. Two fine performers, who live deep in New Mexico's Bootheel, will kick off this year's Fiesta. Neither is a stranger to the Fiesta. Both have participated over the years and are crowd-pleasing artists from down the road and over the trail. Jan Richins hung up her guitar a year or so back and turned, her interest and talents to cowboy poetry. She's been there and done that on ranches, so her poetry comes from deep in her soul. We See COWOBY POETRY on Page 2 UPCOMING EVENTS Wolf Pack meeting The Hidalgo County Wolf Pack meeting will be held on January 30, 2014 at the BYA building at 402 DeMoss Street at 1 P.M. Lunch will be served and the public is encouraged to attend. sage and your call will be returned. Parenting program Circle of Security--a program that offers strategies to parents--will be held offered to Hidalgo County parents On Thursday afternoons from 2-3:30 p.m. at at 317 E. 4th Street (old Ena Mitchell to 2 or Tuesdays from 9 to 5 p.m. You Senior Center) from 4-8 P.M. On Thurs- will also need to provide branch of armed day January 30, 2014, the BYA will have forces served and war or conflict the vet- Project Venture, Movies and pizza at the eran served in, if applicable. If you are BYA building at 402 DeMoss from 4-8 unsure whether or not the photo is on P.M. file, call 575-542-8705. Veteran photos Team Kids Democratic meeting the HMS Conference Room beginning February 6, 2014. The series will con- The Hidalgo County Herald is cur- Team Kids youth group will be meet- The Hidalgo County Democratic chde March 27. To register, call 542- rently accepting photos of veterans to ing every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. at the 'Party is lookign for a meeting place.for" 2341 or 542-2339. be added to our existing database of more First Baptist Church of Lordsburg, cor- the next meeting (February). Keep an BYA hours than 300 photos. If you or your loved ner of ya and Animas Streets. Team Kids eye out in the Hidalgo County Herald one was not included in the 2005 col- is open to kids grads 1-6. for time, date and place or call 575-542- Stariing on January 27, 2017 the lection of photos, please bring your 8087. If no answer, please leave a mes- BYA Academic Support Center will be photo to the Herald on Mondays from 9 Continued on Page 2 | | Your vote be very much appredateeZ 't