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08-26-1997 VETERANS AFFAIRS ADVISORY BOARD CITY OF LAS CRUCES P .O. DRAWER 2000 LAS CRUCES , NEW MEXICO 88004 26 August, 1997 The board convened at 1300 at the Branigan Memorial Library in the Board Room. Roll call was taken. Present were Chairman Joe Heintz, Vice Chairman Warren Rogers, Dav rep Fred Frank, VVA rep Elsa Baker, AMVETS rep Noel Cooley, This constitutes a quorum. Also present were Donna McClanahan of Rep Joe Skeen' s office and Louise Rutledge of Sen Pete Domenici' s office. The minutes of the last meeting were approved as written. Reports of Committees: Elsa Baker reported on the status of the Veteran' s Park. (Encl 1) Unfinished Business : The Sun News article of 26 August about the status of gambling was read and discussed. Gambling at veterans clubs is a prime source of funds which are used to aid veterans in distress . Since their video gaming machines were shut down, there has been a great curtailment of funds available for this purpose. It now appears that no further action will be taken until money is appropriated by the next legislative session to fund the establishment of the New Mexico Gaming Control Board. When established, this board will write the necessary regula- tions, approve setting up gaming machines in veteran, fraternal and non-profit establishments and get the gambling program going. New Business: Over two years ago the United Veterans Council was to publish a procedure to provide for an orderly means to help veterans in distress . A UVC appointee was to monitor all requests for assistance in cooperation with the NM Veteran Service Commission representative. Each veterans organization was to donate a monthly amount to a fund to cover cost of aid. The status of the fund, persons helped and other pertinent data would be reported at the bimonthly UVC meetings . This has yet to be done. There is an informal program in operation. Joe Heintz is in charge. John Heiss, Vet Svs Commission, receives requests from veterans, verifies eligibility and contacts Joe Heintz, Lee Hogue, or Warren Rogers for funds . DAV 10, VFW 10124, AMVETS and American Legion Post 10 share the costs. The other organizations have either been reluctant to join in or have no' established chain of contact within their organization to approve funds for help. The burden falls on DAV 10, VFW 10124, American Legion and AMVETS. It is believed that the UVC should take action at once to establish a workable procedure. :a The Gospel Rescue Mission helps in providing shelter and food. They have the applicant fill out a questionnaire before admittance. Many veterans object to this . They don' t like sleeping in the dormitories with others and complain about the food. These are not considered valid. The Mission is on a limited budget and must check for felons on the run. One valid complaint is that the persons who run the shelter at night are homeless who work as payment for assistance they receive. There is a constant turnover and they are not well trained. A solution to this might be to have supervision when the regular staff is off, a more costly operation, however. With Veterans Day coming up in November, there are two events planned: first a parade at the Downtown Mall . Starting at 10: 00 a.m. 8 November at Loretto Town Center then via Main and Church Streets to the SO-LO parking lot. On 11 November there will be a traditional ceremony at one of the Veterans Posts with a speaker and refreshments . The VA is taking steps to improve relations between its staff and patients . There have been too many complaints in this area and actions are being taken to make corrections. Elsa Baker gave a brief summary of the legislative actions in process to aid veterans and active duty personnel . She gets E-mail reports from veterans groups in Washington. Her reports give the board excellent background information. There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 1400. The next meeting will here at 1300 on 23 September. G✓ Warren Rogers Acting Secretary Encl: a/s August 26, 1997 Veterans Memorial Park. Landscape Architect, Joni Gutierrez, is still waiting for the topographical survey to be done on the new park site (5 acres adjacent to original parcel) . She sugguested that I speak to Jim Ericson (528-3350) concerning the survey. I did call him today and he is under the impression that some of the work has been started and that we are looking at a couple of weeks until completion. He will double check with the survey department. He advised me that doing the survey in-house will allow the funds budgeted for the park to go further. In other words, if the survey had been hired out, part of the park budget would have had to pay for it. Jone Gutierrez was also asked about the park budget. After speaking with city budget personnel, she advised me that the park has $70,000 allocated to it out of the Park Fund. The source of these funds are developer contributions in lieu of land. Since this is the amount originally set aside for the park, I questioned the disposition of the funds added by the developer at the time of the 5 acre turn-over. The response was that these funds were put into the Park Fund. I was also advised that not all Park Fund funds have been allocated to specific parks. If the $70,000 already allocated can be spent, then our project can go in for more funds out of the unallocated amount. Ms. Gutierrez advised me that once her office gets the survey, it won't take long to re-design the park to fit the new piece of land. Elsa J. Baker ,f