Talk of extraterritorial zoning dominates meeting

By Karl Terry: PNT managing editor

Roosevelt County Commissioners heard a report from Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega Jr. on extraterritorial zoning.

Ortega said growth in outlying areas and conflicts like odors and insect control prompted him to begin exploring the process.

Ortega said a preliminary meeting to learn how extraterritorial zoning might benefit citizens included participation by County Commissioner Bill Cathey and City Manager Charlene Hardin.

“We want to work together to compile information and get the facts,” Ortega said. “We want to do what’s best for our community, that’s our only purpose. Extraterritorial zoning is designed to help people protect their properties.”

Extraterritorial zoning would, by state statute, be controlled by a commission separate from city or county officials, Ortega said. City councilors and county commissioners would appoint an equal number of members to the extraterritorial zoning commission. Ortega also said extraterritorial zoning can only be applied within a mile of city limits.

“It’s a very fair system and it’s the people that regulate that zone,” Ortega said.

Commissioner Dennis Lopez asked if some of the study was based on other counties with extraterritorial zoning. Ortega said there are other counties in New Mexico using extraterritorial zoning and those would be studied, but most of the initial information came from state statutes.

“I’ll just say it sounded like a pretty good thing,” Cathey said. “It was well thought out and presented.”

Meetings Watch

In other business commissioners:

• Heard from Dana Millen, education outreach coordinator for the Health Security for New Mexicans campaign, about a plan her group is proposing to lawmakers in the state to provide a single-pool provider for health care for most New Mexicans.

• Approved awarding $2,627 in matching funds to the Local Growth Management Committee to hire a consultant. The committee was formed to assist during the transition period as Cannon Air Force Base’s mission changes. The money matches a $236,498 grant from the federal Office of Economic Adjustment.

• Gave approval for the Local Growth Management Organization president to negotiate a contract with the consultant.

• Heard a report on the Roosevelt County Fair from Fairboard President Tim Allison.

Allison said weather was cooperative and the fair was a success in the eyes of the fairboard. He said the board will be working on a list of projects to improve the fairgrounds.

“We’re the oldest fair in the state, and now we look like it,” quipped Allison about the condition of the grounds.
Commissioner Gene Creighton noted that wiring of vendor booths appeared to be a safety problem to him.

Allison said the board was looking into a plan that would provide individual electrical boxes for each vendor based on needs and taking
a look at rates for vendors using electricity.

• Approved the r2007 Certificate of Tax Rates provided by the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration. Residential property tax rates are scheduled to rise 1.18 mills while non-residential increases by .397 mills, according to Roosevelt County Treasurer Nancy Belcher.

• Approved the county treasurer’s proposed investment plan for county funds.