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The Greenlee County Board of Supervisors voted last week to compensate Erica Gonzalez $52,000 a year to be the county’s rural development coordinator. They also determined Gonzalez should primarily focus on housing, said County Administrator Derek Rapier.

As a result, Gonzalez will work with housing developers to identify appropriate locations and streamline zoning and permit processes, Rapier said. She will also continue to consult with nonprofit agencies outside Greenlee County about housing projects they’ve been able to create.

Back in April, Rapier, Gonzalez and Supervisors Richard Lunt and David Gomez traveled to Las Cruces and Hatch, N.M. to visit three housing subdivisions and two apartment complexes built by non-profit organizations with federal funding and in the case of the houses, sweat equity put in by the homeowners themselves.

Each said they were excited about what they’d seen and would like to explore the possibilities further.

The board also agreed to hire Scott Adams as Greenlee County’s Chief Deputy County Attorney as of Nov. 1 because County Attorney Jeremy Ford will be resigning in April to run for Greenlee County Superior Court Judge. Current Judge Monica Stauffer is expected to retire at the end of her term.

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In addition, Fleet Manager Tony Hines provided the board information about the latest GPS tracking systems available and the pros and cons of each. Sheriff Tim Sumner has expressed his desire to replace all of the GPS equipment on his deputies’ vehicles believing it to be highly inaccurate when tracking locations and speeds of vehicles.

The item was on the agenda as a “discussion only” topic.

In an interview Friday, Rapier said he will soon be asking county department heads for their opinions on how the county should spend $1.85 million they’ll be receiving as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act and the framework for how they’ll make their ultimate decisions.

The federal government has strict guidelines for how it can be spent and the county needs to make sure they spend it on something that will have a long-term impact, but won’t cost the county too much once the funding is gone, he said.

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