Commission makes roads top priority

By Tony Parra

Deteriorating road conditions in the county caused commissioners to dispute what is the best way to distribute funding for roads throughout the county during Tuesday’s Roosevelt County Commission meeting.
District 2 Commissioner Chad Davis is of the opinion more money should go to the roads which have the most traffic. District 3 Commissioner Tom Clark, District 4 Commissioner Gene Creighton and District 5 Commissioner Paul Grider are of the opinion the money for roads should be distributed evenly throughout the four largest districts.
Davis said his district has roads with the most traffic in the county because his district has the most dairies. Roosevelt County Administrator said there are 44 dairies in Roosevelt County.
“Ninety percent of the calls that I receive are about roads are in (Davis’) district,” Hardin said. “There is a lot of heavy truck traffic in his district.”
Creighton argued the other districts have roads which are in bad condition. One estimation made by Davis and Road Superintendent Jackie Grimes was that two roads in district 2 would cost approximately $400,000 to fix. The two roads are South Roosevelt Road F and the Baseline Road.
“Those roads need to be paved,” Davis said. “There’s no way Roosevelt County can ever pay to pave those roads.”
The discussion about the roads was the result of preparing the top three legislative priorities for Gov. Bill Richardson. Initially county commissioners voted 4-to-1 in a September meeting not to send a letter with the top three priorities to the governor, citing the letter was a way of taking out the legislators of the capital outlay funding requests.
The commissioners decided to have James Jimenez, secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration, travel down to Portales and make a presentation to the commissioners trying to convince them to send in their legislative priorities.
The final decision made by the commissioners was to send in the letter with their top three priorities — roads, detention center and the fairgrounds, with each commissioner specifying which roads in their district need the most help.
Commissioners also decided to allow the Portales city recreation committee plant a tree next to the W. E. Lindsey statue on the south side of the Roosevelt County Courthouse property in memory of Russell Knudson.
“I think it would be very good on our part,” Clark said about the memorial on county property. Portales city manager Debi Lee presented the idea to the commissioners and it was approved unanimously.