By Tony Parra
Elida Mayor Gerald Lee addressed the county commissioners on a couple of issues — deferring money to fund dispatch services and a vehicle for the Roosevelt County Detention Center to use to transport inmates.
Roosevelt County Administrator Charlene Hardin said Elida officials are trying to figure out a way to make up for the additional cost of $5,000 a year for dispatch services for the Elida Sheriff’s Department.
Commissioners decided to approve the proposal of the joint powers agreement between the town of Elida and Roosevelt County. According to Hardin, the joint powers agreement will entail an exchange of money the town of Elida could before only use for care of prisoners, $5,000, to Roosevelt County to cover the cost of the dispatch services.
“We can help them funnel the money they have in the corrections fund,” Hardin said. “We can try to send it to the (state Department of Finance Administration), they may shoot it back.”
Lee said there is about $30,000 in corrections funds for the town of Elida.
The Elida Police Department incurred the additional costs when the Roosevelt County Sherrif’s department removed the town of Elida from free use of the dispatch services. Commissioners said Roosevelt County Sheriff Tom Gossett felt there was too much traffic and chatter through their frequencies.
However, Gossett said there’s more to it.
“The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) says you’re to have a radio license,” Gossett said. “Each department has to have a license. The prior sheriff had no legal right to allow Elida to use the frequency.”
Gossett said the Elida Police Department officials have been trying to get a license for the last year and a half going through the proper channels.
Commissioners and Gossett said the Roosevelt County Sherrif’s Department has an agreement with the city of Portales, which allows the Portales Police Department to use the county building in exchange for dispatch services.
The city of Portales officials have a two-year agreement with the town of Elida officials to provide dispatch services at a cost of $5,000 a year.
Randy Knudson, attorney for Roosevelt County, said it would not hurt to run the joint powers agreement by the DFA. Commissioners also renewed the services of Knudson under the firm of Doerr and Knudson to provide attorney services to the county.
Hardin said the agreement still needs to be approved by the New Mexico Department of Finance Administration officials.
Lee also made an agreement with county commissioners on a trade. Lee gave the commissioners a 1998 Crown Victoria in exchange for the services of the Roosevelt County Road Department. Workers from the road department will do street sweeps in the town of Elida in preparation for their July 4th celebration.
The vehicle will be used for detention center employees to use to transfer inmates.