Moriarty continued work on its infrastructure, last week approving work on three streets and moving forward with extension of its water and sewer line west.

Three roads in the city, Michael, Girard and Elsie, will get a sidewalk, curb and gutter, along with chip seal, at a cost of $602,000. The city got $500,000 from the state legislature for the project.

Due to funding limitations, sidewalks will only be built on one side of each road, although the project will be bid out in such a way that those details could be added. “I’d rather spend the money up front, maybe have a smaller project, but get it done correctly,” said Councilor Bobby Ortiz, making the motion to send the project out to bid. It was approved unanimously.

The Tillery water line extension, on the north side of Route 66 and west of the TA Truck Stop, will proceed.

The water line will cross a PNM easement, but legal issues there mean the city has to pay $100 for encroachment, and PNM will keep its easement.

In other business, the city is seeking an animal control officer. “We’ve been trying to hire an animal control person for some time now,” said police chief Bobby Garcia, adding that he thought a higher wage would help find somebody. The job will start at $13 an hour, with a raise to $14 an hour after that person becomes certified, Garcia said.

The fire department is changed its description of a part-time firefighter position, and adding a part-time firefighter paramedic position.

Fire chief Steve Spann also described a new process for fire extinguisher training that is safer because there is no need to “slosh diesel around” in demonstrating how to use them. A piece of equipment from Mallory Safety was authorized for purchase for $7,283. Spann said the money was in the fire department’s budget and would make it much safer to train members of the public in using a fire extinguisher.

The new tool has been used with McLeod Medical and the Read “Write” Adult Literacy Program to “rave reviews,” Spann said.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at