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San Eli residents seek County help to fight Socorro annexation

Dozens of San Elizario resident showed up at Thursday’s Commissioners Court meeting to plead with County leaders to stop the City of Socorro from annexing part of San Eli.

At least 30 San Elizario residents expressed their concerns with the City of Socorro’s plans to annex seven different parcels of land out in the County, including an historic slice of San Eli.

In the end, Commissioners Court voted to delay a vote on possible legal action until February 4.

“The community of San Eli has a very proud history,” said Precinct 3 Commissioner Vince Perez, who called annexation laws complex. “There are certain things a County can do. There’s a lot of things a County can’t do. In this situationI really hope there can be a mutually beneficial solution.”

Perez said one option is for San Elizario to incorporate.

“Incorporation is certainly a big solution to all of this,” Perez said. “This has been a hot topic for decades. Incorporation has failed previously. But I think in this circumstance, nowthe community realizeswhat’s at stake.”

San Eli resident Maya Sanchez told Commissioners Court her father voted for incorporation back in 1979.

“Our only option is to incorporate in my opinion of course,” Sanchez said. “A lot of the community is crying for incorporation because, back then they weren’t being faced with the threat of being taken over by another city. Now we have a verythreat. We have an enemy at the door and we need to fight it off.”

Socorro spokesman Dave Garcia said the City of Socorro and San Elizario have been neighbors for more than a hundred years and fought over many things during that time. But he said Socorro is simply trying to make life better for those out in the County by providing trash collection and policing they don’t already receive.

Many residents of San Eli said Thursday that they think Socorro’s motive for annexation is simply to collect more taxes.

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