Trashed hot springs draw concern
September 05, 2018 10:22 PM
LAS VEGAS, N.M. - The owners of Montezuma Hot Springs, near Las Vegas, say they're facing some challenges that they can't tackle alone.
“I’d say 20 percent of those who visit are the ones who are taking advantage and really damaging the property itself and creating liability situations,” said Dr. Victoria Mora, the president of United World College.
The school owns the hot springs, which she says are often trashed.
“We find drug paraphernalia, we find alcohol and bottles, we find dirty diapers, pet waste,” said Mora. “We've found people that have died there.”
Jeffrey Terr died in the hot springs, but it’s still not clear what killed him.
“We don't know if it was a heart attack but that's possible and likely because the water is so hot because as I've studied it, even a healthy person can get a heart attack just being in that hot, hot, hot springs,” said Jim Terr, Jeffrey’s uncle.
Jim hopes the school places a new regulation so that no one can soak alone.
But right now, enforcing any rules, making sure people are safe, and keeping the place clean is a lot to ask of the school, according to Dr. Mora.
“What we need is mutual responsibility from rest of community,” she said.
Wednesday night, Mora and other staff asked the community for possible solutions.
Ideas including building a gate that locks at midnight or teaming with a community college to provide more security in the area. Some people suggested making the hot springs private.
Mora says they aren’t rushing to make any changes.
“I think it's so easy to hear, ‘oh my gosh, we're talking about the hot springs the school is going to take them away.’ That's not where we're at at all. This is really a chance to try to work together as a community to try to find a solution," Mora said.
To offer suggestions to protect the hot springs, you can contact the school by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: September 05, 2018 10:22 PM
Created: September 05, 2018 09:37 PM
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