County rents armory

PNT staff

The Roosevelt County Commission met Tuesday morning in the County Courthouse with Commissioner Paul Grider absent. During the meeting, commissioners:

• Approved a 25-year franchise agreement with Southwestern Public Service Company to allow SPS to continue to use county right of ways as necessary to provide electricity to county residents.

• Approved an agreement to lease the local National Guard Armory for $1 a month for 20 years. The county will also take over the utility payments. County Attorney Rick Queener said maintenance would be $5,000 to $6,000 a year.

Sheriff Darren Hooker said the building seems to be in good condition and he hopes to move his office there because the current Law Enforcement Center has become crowded. The building could also be used to shelter disaster victims or as a medical clinic in case of a large outbreak such as with last fall’s H1N1 flu.

• Tabled an at-large pet ordinance requiring police to issue two warning citations to owners of dogs running loose before citing them, unless the animal was dangerous or damaging property. With Grider absent, the vote would have been tied, and commissioners wanted wait until the next meeting to decide.

• Approved a summary subdivision, Tisthammer Subdivision Unit No. 2, near Redwine Street.

• Voted to retire the sheriff’s office narcotics dog because of medical problems and sell it to its current handler for $1. Hooker said he didn’t expect to replace the dog soon because of the $6,000 to $8,000 cost, but his office could use the Portales Police Department’s narcotics dog.

• Approved a proposal from Compass Group to provide food service at Roosevelt County Detention Center.

Compass would charge about $166,000 for the year, and service would include $10,000 worth of kitchen equipment upgrades and meals for $1.81 each. Now, Roosevelt County is providing food service for about $171,000 year with meals at $1.86 each.

Commissioner David Sanders asked if the food would be as good with another provider, and detention center Administrator David Casanova said it would.

Sanders voted against the motion, while Commissioners Jake Lopez, Bill Cathey and Gene Creighton voted in favor.

• Heard county Assessor Tex Belcher say notices of value for taxes were with the printer and he hoped they would be mailed before April 1. The state has required Roosevelt County to increase property taxes.

• Approved a request for an employee recognition picnic costing about $1,200.