Commissioner upset over road funding changes

By Tony Parra

A rash of holiday crimes has the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s department deputies tracking down cases of burglary and forgery.
Roosevelt County Sheriff Tom Gossett said during the Roosevelt County meeting on Tuesday that burglaries during the holiday season amounted to a loss of an excess of $32,000 in cash and property.
Rick Short, Roosevelt County Sergeant, said three arrests have been made on different incidents, ranging from forgery to receiving stolen property.
Gossett said deputies were working overtime and 50-plus-hour work weeks during December.
“This was a team effort by all of the Roosevelt County deputies to make the arrests,” Short said.
In other news at the meeting:
• Tom Clark, District 3 commissioner, brought to attention a rebuttal to the decision by the commissioners to change the way road funding is distributed between districts. Through capital outlay appropriations for 2004, District 2 was receiving 12 percent ($25,290) of the road money and District 3 was receiving 33 percent ($69,692). Former District 2 commissioner Chad Davis argued because of the high amount of dairy traffic and traffic in general the roads in District 2 were in terrible shape. Davis said the district was receiving the least amount of road funding (12 percent), despite the fact the district was generating the most amount of property tax revenue, 53 percent.
Clark’s rebuttal was the change was unfair because of the disparity of miles in each district (District 2, 154.4 miles; District 3, 427.4 miles; District 4, 308.7 miles; District 5, 394.6 miles).
He said that despite the fact that District 3 has three times the amount of roads that District 2, but approximately the same amount of miles are chip sealed — 22.18 miles in District 2 and 22.45 miles in District 3. He said this disparity will only become worse because $57,000 of road money will be shifted from district 3 to district 2.
Clark also said 10 of the 21 dairies in District 2 primarily use state highways and not District 2 roads. On two separate occasions, District 2 residents have attended county meetings to complain about the road conditions in their district.
• Beverly Bennett of Vista Nueva Inc. also presented the commissioners information on an intent to build a senior citizen housing unit called Portales Highlands Senior Village in a four-acre property directly behind the Russell’s Super Save grocery store.
Bennett said the proposed three-story housing unit would have a community room, main office and possibly a movie viewing room and gym. The proposing housing unit would have 20 one-bedroom apartments and 40 two-bedroom apartments. The one bed-room apartments would be 610 square feet and the two-bedroom apartments would be 825 square feet.
The proposed senior citizen housing unit was put on the agenda for the next meeting on Jan. 18 for endorsement. Bennett said Jonathan Reed & Associates of Albuquerque needs endorsement before Jan. 31 for their grant application to receive federal funding for the project.