By Tony Parra
Roosevelt County Sheriff Department Sergeant Rick Short announced during Tuesday’s county commission meeting that the department will be adding another deputy, leaving only one vacancy.
Sheriff Tom Gossett has previously said that a fully-staffed sheriff’s department would have 10 deputies, Gossett and Short. Short said there have been times in which the department has been down to five deputies instead of the 10.
Short said deputies are working with Portales Police Department officers and have been conducting drug raids over the last four weeks. Short said there have been 28 drug operations and searches leading to 27 arrests. He said this has led to deputies working overtime.
In other business at the meeting:
• County Road Superintendent Jackie Grimes and Cannon Air Force Base has agreed to send $40,000 to the county to pay for the construction of chip-sealing two miles of Sundale Valley Road, located 23 miles northwest of Portales.
Grimes said the money is to pay for the materials while the county will provide the labor.
• Commissioners discussed the money they received from Gov. Bill Richardson and Sen. Stuart Ingle, (R-Portales) in a capital outlay request. Roosevelt County gained $250,000 from Ingle and Gov. Bill Richardson.
Commissioners said representatives from the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds had initially requested $160,000 to be from capital outlay to go with the $35,000 fairgrounds officials already have set aside for building a conference room next to the Extension Office.
Commissioners are considering using 29 percent of the capital outlay, about $107,000, to help pay for the conference room.
• County Clerk Janet Collins stated the department will purchase four voting machines, each costing $6,200. Collins said the money is already set aside for that purpose, but state law requires approval from county commissioners.