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 Author: SMB
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:25 am 
On Tuesday, August 30, we were walking into town over Boston Hill and found that someone had posted part of the trail (as it swings toward town from the hilltop bench and adjacent to one of the enclosed mine sites) "Private Property." Does anyone what this is about?


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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:24 am 
It's a long and sordid story and if you do a search on this site using "AML" you will see a number of my articles going back to 2012 when the NM Abandoned Mine Land (AML) group and their contractors came to hold community meetings about closing off more open mine shafts and trail improvements. Nine months later the meeting were complete and AML and their contractors went back to their offices and began their plans but there was a glitch. A couple of the popular trails crossed private land containing many open shafts and part of the popular "grand ballroom".

During their planning they approached the private owner and ask for a right-of-way across his land but no deal was struck. A couple of years ago I interviewed the owner who told me that while he didn't have a problem with informal trails he didn't like the thought of formal trails and the promotion of tourists. The owner told me that contained in the right-of-way deal AML offered was a provision that if he ever wanted to sell the land he would have to consult with AML and he said "no-way". He also said that he would consider donating the land to the Town if he could get a good write-off. I tipped off the Town who got an appraisal but it was too low for the owner so he began to put up no trespassing signs all of which put the planning in disarray and back to square one.

In a conversation yesterday with a local who has some involvement with AML and their contractors I was told that the contractors contract is up soon so there may be something announced soon after that; that would be on government time "soon" at which time the fight over money and politics begins. AML gets their money from a tax on coal mines and as those mines decrease so will available money.


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 Author: SMB
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:48 pm 
Thanks, Crow.


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 Author: JE1947
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:03 am 
Thanks, John. Yeah, one way or another, the Town should move towards securing the entire Boston Hills area. Perhaps somewhere down the line, some donor can contribute to the purchase. The mines & "coal taxes" should be shunned where possible. This is a good local hiking area that will add to the green nature of the town. If the owner insists on posting such signs, especially if they get more threatening, then there will be demonstrations sooner or later. Old v. new realities. Enforcement re: to closing off the Hills, or making access complicated, will not go down with the citizens who want a greener Town. The inevitability of that becoming more a signature of Silver City means that this will become an "issue" for the owner. His property, but I'd think a compromise is possible. In the meantime, hikers and walkers are there, doing their thing. But, thanks for the background. I had no idea and was perplexed by the appearance of these signs. Since 2002, people have hiked the Hills and trails have been constructed. Where was this owner? Tourist attraction? More like local use ... visitors get to hike among ugly mining ruins. Not like we're talking about pristine Gila forests ... but functional and valuable nonetheless. A reminder of how rapacious the mining industry was/can be/could be.


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 Author: mousie
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:04 pm 
Although I am no longer able to go hiking, I loved Boston Hill the best of all the hiking sites I've visited throughout the state. We need to keep Boston Hill open for all current and future hikers. It is, among other things, an historic site and that alone should keep it accessible to those interested in the history and/or hiking it - and of course, photographers. As for protecting animal holes and bat caves, I totally approve of this measure, but if anyone is going to claim Boston Hill as private property, I hope the powers that be keep the entire property open, and make necessary improvements so that wildlife and humans don't go where they shouldn't. How about making signs by these places so hikers can read where not to go or to be careful?

I do realize that certain places must be fenced off for safety reasons. The border between the Humane Society and the huge opening at BH is the one specific places I'm thinking of. That is truly a necessity. If someone wants to claim, that spot as "private property," since there isn't supposed to be any access there anyway, as long as there is no building of any type - except perhaps building it up as a museum of sorts. However, I wouldn't want to see any other sort of construction up there for any reason.

The last time I hiked on Boston Hill, I picked a small circular path and enjoyed the scenery, the fresh air and all else that this trail presented. When I told someone about it afterwards, I was told I picked the most challenging and dangerous path there is up there. I'm glad I didn't know before choosing that particular trail. It was a fitting last hike for me. Now I go hiking in my memories. Not as much fun, but better than nothing and still provides great mental visual memories.


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 Author: SMB
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 6:26 pm 
John - I spoke with Roger from the Town, and he said that the Town offered to pay fair market value for the property, which is the most they are legally allowed to offer, not simply an offer of a tax credit, but the owner declined. Also, the owner also has apparently had problems with some people dumping trash up there. The notices were posted by the owner, according to the same source, at the city's urging for reasons of liability.
It does seem to be complicated, and I hope that it can be worked out in the near future. Boston Hill is a wonderful enhancement to our neighborhood and to the whole community. It would be wonderful to keep open and legal access to all the trails there. I, personally, don't like to trespass even if it seems to be tolerated.


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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:49 pm 
Thanks S: Roger is essentially correct but incomplete. This how it works, when you donate something like to the restore ou can get a receipt for a fair amount and use it to prove a donation for a tax write-off. In our case here the Town on my tip went to the owner who confirmed my tip, the town then went to an Appraiser who then provide so called "comparable" properties to prove his value. The Town took that to the owner and said "we will give you a receipt for that amount for your donation", the own said "not enough" and that was that but shouldn't have been.

Case In Point- back in the 1980's friends of mine wanted to buy a house and found their dream; they got an Appraisal complete with comparable properties; they took it to the owner/seller who said "no way"; my friends went back to the Appraiser and said "raise that by $30,000", he did and provided comparable properties for a "fair market value" and everybody was happy. I don't think the Town went back to the Appraiser an said "not good enough". Though how valuable is a piece of property with open mind shafts and depleted ore or worthless ore?

In my initial interview with the owner, before I tipped off the Town, the owner expressed his concern with the AML and a Town Councilor about turning Boston into a tourist attraction and the added liability it would bring and his feeling that he should establish "No Trespassing" signs.

When the "deal" fell through neither the Town nor the owner wanted liability for the here-to-for informal trails but the "No Trespassing" signs had already appeared and by then the Town encouraged them.

The Town can not make special deals with individuals but as the Assistant Town Manager said to me during this process "what is fair market value other than what is agreed to between a buyer and seller as fair to each"?

Next, what I think should happen on Boston Hill.


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 Author: Bruce
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:36 pm 
If the seller won't sell at the value assigned by the appraiser, the Town can wait six months and go to a different appraiser. They can't just go back to the same appraiser and ask for a higher appraisal. This is what happened on some land wanted for the San Vicente Trail. In 2010 or so it was appraised at about $28,000, but the town didn't want to buy it. Then about 2014 the same appraiser appraised the same land at about $2,800. The seller wouldn't sell at that price. I estimate this land at about $12,000. The whole game of appraisal is weird. You can come up with any value depending on which comparable land you pick. In the past some appraisers have appraised based on what they thought the side hiring them wanted rather than an objective value. Appraisal regulations have gotten stricter lately, and it is more difficult to play loose. But appraisal is still a weird game, and it's hard to predict whether any appraisal will be acceptable to both sides. I hope one way or the other the land on Boston Hill (and land needed for the San Vicente Trail) can be purchased.

Bruce


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Silver City & Southwestern New Mexico Monthly Community Calendar

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Community Events
Week of November 23, 2017

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23
Arte Chicano de San Vicente @ SC Museum
Our Paws' Cause Thrift Store
Volunteer at The Bike Works 3-7pm
Tai Chi at Lotus Center
Blooming Lotus Meditation
Pet Central Thrift Store
Our Paws' Cause Thrift Store
24
Arte Chicano de San Vicente @ SC Museum
Qi Gung for Health at the Lotus Center
Fiber Arts Collective's Holiday Fiber Art Sale
Holiday Fiber Art Sale
Women's Al-Anon Meeting: Women Embracing Recovery
Pet Central Thrift Store
Hapkido Class
Community Bike Ride @ The Bike Works
Our PAws' Cause Thrift Store
25
Arte Chicano de San Vicente @ SC Museum
Tai Chi Chuan
Fiber Arts Collective's Holiday Fiber Art Sale
Shop Small Saturday
Lighted Christmas Parade
Ecstatic Dance
26
Arte Chicano de San Vicente @ SC Museum
New Hope Al-Anon Family Group
27
Hapkido Class
Tai Chi Chuan
Laughter Yoga at 1 p.m. at the Lotus Center
28
Arte Chicano de San Vicente @ SC Museum
Silver City Rotary Club Meeting
International Folk Dancing
Hapkido Class
Compassionate Friends Gathering
Tai Chi at Lotus Center
Wine & The Word @The Toad Brewery
Creative Writing for Beginners-free workshop
ToSC Council Meeting- Agenda
Our Paws' Cause Thrift Store
29
Arte Chicano de San Vicente @ SC Museum
Hapkido Class
Tai Chi Chuan
Insight Buddhist Meditation
Gin Rummy
Wednesday Evening Al-Anon Family Group Meeting
Concert Band of the Southwest “Not Just A Holiday Concert”










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