County commission assembles project list

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

Roosevelt County Commissioners pulled together their list of capital project priorities to be submitted to the 2007 New Mexico State Legislature at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Roads were the top priority, as they have been in years past, and at County Administrator Charlene Hardin’s request, commissioners said they would work with road superintendent John Bohm to prioritize individual projects in each district.

In making the request, Hardin told commissioners that the specific projects were much more readily funded than lump appropriations earmarked for roads in general. She said lack of detail and priority had likely led to less funding in past years.

“I think we just need to sit down (individually) with John (Bohm),” Commissioner David Sanders said. “I’ve got some roads in my mind.”
Commissioners briefly discussed efforts to obtain funding to finish North Avenue O in a joint project with the city of Portales, agreeing that the project should be a priority. Commission Chairman Dennis Lopez offered using some of the road money in his budget to help with the project, which isn’t in his district.

After roads, other priorities included replacing the roof on the Business Development Center in downtown Portales, various projects at the fairgrounds and possibly items for the sheriff’s office.

Following discussion about the BDC roof, commissioners agreed that it should be listed immediately after roads on the priorities and that the option of adding a pitched roof to the building be explored.

“You have a brand-new building inside and a bad roof, lamented Lopez, wondering aloud what kind of winter weather was ahead.

Commissioners unanimously approved a recommendation by Pat Willis, the grant writer in the county administrator’s office, to submit a Community Development Block Grant application for improvements to the Elida water system.

The grant application will be written for $395,140. If approved by the state legislature, the county would need to supply a $19,757 match, which would be made up with in-kind work by staff.

Willis said the town’s water system is old and troubled by high arsenic and lead levels.
In other business commissioners:

• Approved two indigent claim appeals of just over $11,000 total.

• Approved an application for financing to the New Mexico Finance Authority to fund improvements to the courthouse electrical and HVAC systems.

•Awarded a contract for chipseal aggregate from K. Barnett & Sons.

• Approved a resolution correcting a mistake made by the state on the property tax rate. It changes the state’s debt service rate from 1.207 to 1.291.