Floyd land owners to receive fire claim help

Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer

Cattle ranchers and land owners will have a chance to receive information on Friday to properly assess the damage to their properties so they can be compensated correctly.

Floyd McAlister, Roosevelt County Extension Agent, during the Roosevelt County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday said there will be a meeting held specifically to address questions from land owners who suffered property damage.

“We’re going to present some information that landowners who were affected by the fire need to consider before they make their declaration of the damages they received,” McAlister said.

Officials estimated the fire burned between 26,000 and 35,000 acres. Almost 200 firefighters from 14 agencies helped bring it under control. Dan Ware of the New Mexico Forestry Division reported approximately $100,000 has been spent to fight the fire as of Monday.

• Dennis Lopez, county commissioner, presented a certificate of recognition to Portales volleyball coach Ruth Chavez during the meeting. Portales defeated St. Michael’s to claim its fourth Class 3A title in six years. The Lady Rams went 22-3 with their only losses coming from Tatum, Roswell and El Paso Bel Air.

“I thought about what Chavez and her girls have done,” Lopez said. “They’ve brought a lot of talent and charisma.”

• Commissioners approved an agreement with Lea and Chaves Counties to house juvenile offenders. Previously, Roosevelt County detention administrators were having the juveniles sent to Tucumcari to be housed. The Quay County juvenile center will no longer be in operation.

Jesse Luera, jail administrator, said the first option for detention center officials is to have the juveniles housed at Curry County for $85 a day. He said if they have no room the second option would be to send them to Lea County for $85 a day and the third option would be to send them to Chaves County for $105 a day.

Luera said they average about two to six juveniles transported from Roosevelt County to other counties each month.

• The commissioners approved six capital outlay projects for submittal to the upcoming 2006 legislative session.
Commissioners agreed on the projects, but county commissioner Tom Clark disagreed with how the projects should be presented to area legislators. Clark and Jackie Grimes, road superintendent, felt the projects should be prioritized. Clark said from his experience this would be a more effective way of gaining capital outlay funds.

Lopez felt by not prioritizing the projects there would be better chance of getting money for all requests and that legislators would fund what they felt was a priority.

The list of requests are: Road improvements for $1.5 million, road equipment for $600,000, detention center for $516,000, fairground improvements for $800,000, group home equipment for $112,000 and electrical and heating improvements to courthouse.

Ninth District Judge Stephen Quinn was present during the meeting to voice his concerns for court personnel and jurors working in cold conditions. Margie Jones, a district court clerk, said the clerks at times have worn jackets and gloves due to the cold.