Commissioners approved the signing of a letter advocating for a grant on behalf of the Manzanola United Methodist Church, which was added to the county historical register in April.

County Administrator Amy White-Tanabe explained that the church is looking to have rehabilitative work done on the building but it needs to have a structural assessment done to first determine the scope of work required. The commissioners' letter simply advocates for matching grants for the church.

One person in attendance at the Monday meeting noted that the church is beautiful inside and out, but that the handrails accompanying the front steps were a bit sharp in places and that it could use some work

"Hopefully that will be part of the assessment that they are going to request the grant for," Tanabe responded. "This church is pretty neat. Not only is it a typical small town church for fellowship and worship, but they house the WIC representatives, so they are reaching out to women and infants in their community.

"They house the daycare / preschool for Manzanola. It's not only a place of worship but a real community hub for Manzanola."

Following a structural assessment, the Historic Preservation Board of Otero Count will draft phases for the rehabilitation project.

At the April Board of County Commissioners meeting where the Manzanola United Methodist Church was accepted onto the county historic register, Goodwin explained that grant funds can be applied to the church because of its historical status, despite it being a religious facility, as long as the funding didn't go directly to anything depicting religious imagery.

“They can be used for any religious facility,” Goodwin said in April. “They can only not be used in the case that you have, say, a religious stained glass or a mural that depicts a religious scene. But they can be used for everything else.”

cburney@ljtdmail.com