Mayor Wood reported that the Spirit World 100 gravel bike race was a success and praised organizers Heidi Rentz and Zander Ault.
Three South 32 staff members spoke at the meeting, President Pat Risner, Melanie Lawson, and Colette Brown-Rodriguez. Lawson and Brown-Rodriguez spoke of the prefeasability study to be completed at the end of March 2020. The feasability phase, occurring 2020-2021, will produce a fully detailed economic analysis and plan of operation for mining.
Risner said the remediation of the former Trench Mine was near completion and there will be a reduction of mine-related traffic through the town. He stated that the tailings storage facility is “state-of-the-art” with a design featuring an impermeable liner and under drainpipe system feeding liquid to the water treatment plant.
Risner said that the tailings pile would be capped with soil and vegetated, which should stop the leaching of rainwater into the drainage system. The company does not want to commit to operating a plant in perpetuity. He added that the company believes that their clean-up has saved taxpayers around $25 million.
Given community objection to connecting Harshaw Road with SR 82, Risner said the company “may reconsider” that route. Councilman Reibslager added that any addition of truck traffic through the town on Route 82 “would kill the town.”
The Little Free Pantry will be relocated to the Town Library. The Council approved Resolution No. 19-07, adopting for the next five years the Senior Citizens/Community Center Management Agreement. The Council approved an improvement to water service near the gazebo funded by a materials donation from Gerry Isaacs and labor by town employees.
The South32 Hermosa Community fund granted $10,000 to the Town’s Tree and Park Committee but the Committee does not qualify as a non-profit organization and therefore cannot accept the donation.
The Council approved selling an abandoned portion of Three-R Avenue, to Coronado Custom Homes, for approximately $10,000.
During the Call to the Public, Carolyn Shafer contextualized the history of Trench Mine remediation in response to South32 President Pat Risner presentation on Nov 13 and stated skepticism that South32 can shut down the water treatment plan at the end of mine operations.
Erin Botz said the swimming pool at the high school should be kept open and suggested that the town cover its cost of operation. Janet Herron added that a citizens’ commission for the pool is being formed and that it would like to work with the Town Council and the School Board. The Council approved a study session for Dec 22 at 6 p.m. about the pool. The Council approved one meeting for Dec. on the 18th at 7 p.m.
Spirit World 100 organizers Heidi Rentz and Zander Ault thanked the town, its business-owners and Marshal for support in the Nov. 9 race event and weekend. The Council approved next year’s race for Nov. 5-8.