Foul odor concerns neighbors

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Zoning and nuisance issues dominated Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Roosevelt County Commission.

County residents Butch and Tommy Allen raised concerns about a neighbor who has moved in approximately 80 calf hutches on adjoining property near their home just west of the city limits.

Not only are the hutches and calves permeating the air with an odor, but debris is also being blown into the road from the hutches. Flies and dead calves are also a big concern, the couple said.

“I don’t know how to explain it. It’s a nuisance,” Tommy Allen said.

During the meeting, the Allens asked if the county could implement zoning or nuisance laws that would prevent an individual from putting such a large operation in a place where homes are located, she said.

“I just feel like this is damaging our property values,” Tommy Allen said.

Johnny Paiz Jr. also questioned the commission about zoning and nuisance laws concerning a wastewater lagoon a dairy is building behind his home.

According to Paiz, the lagoon equals the size of five football fields and comes within 400 feet of his back door, he said.

Besides the odor, he also fears a small child could fall into the 16-foot-deep lagoon. Paiz presented the board with a letter and a petition signed by neighbors in the area of the dairy, located near his home about a mile south of Portales.

Though both parties are and have been involved in ranching, farming and agriculture operations, they said they are not trying to bash anyone in the industry, but merely avoiding future problems for their respective areas.

“We all understand that we have to live and work together and make something of our communities,” Paiz said.

The commission noted there are no ordinances or zoning laws in place concerning the matters.

The matters have been set aside and will be investigated further by the county attorney, Randy Knudson.

In other business:

• The commission approved a motion to purchase bleachers in use at the fairgrounds for $6,000.

• The commission voted to approve a contract with Rural Bookmobile East for library services.

• The commission moved its next meeting from March 20 to April 3.