Curry County begins jail study

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico

Architect Don May called Friday the “kick-off” for a study to determine if Curry County needs a judicial complex.

During a special commission meeting held at the courthouse, May and other members of his firm were on hand to hear a list of objectives for the study from county administration and commissioners.

Rohde, May Keller McNamara Architecture, PC, was recently hired to conduct the analysis. They will also look at how all county properties and facilities can best be used.

One purpose of the meeting was for commissioners and administration to give the firm a list of goals and objectives for the study.

County Manager Lance Pyle listed six goals:

• Studying all county facilities in a plan that is most economical and fiscally prudent for the next 15-25 years.

• Address court security and options.

• Examine infrastructure and plant issues at the jail and give cost effective solutions.

• Evaluate a regional juvenile and adult detention facilities and a judicial complex.

• A secure, climate controlled location for voting machines.

• Present solutions or recommendations realistic to the county’s ability to fund or find money for them.

Commissioner Caleb Chandler asked May to study the possibility of creating a regional detention facility that would accommodate Curry and Roosevelt County’s needs and to also consider privatization in its evaluation.

“I don’t know if it would be an answer or not but it’s worth looking at,” Chandler said.

Commissioner Wendell Bostwick said he would like to see consideration given to creating a secure location to store electronic data as the county continues to grow technologically.

Commissioners opened the floor to the public.

State Sen. Clint Harden, R-Clovis, suggested the study look at including Quay and De Baca counties in consideration of a regional detention facility.

He also asked that as the issue of court security is analyzed, due consideration be given to how changes might impact other services the community accesses at the courthouse such as the assessor’s, clerks and treasurer’s offices.

May said he and his staff would begin meeting with department heads Friday to start the process .

The process will take place in three phases — data collection, the development of a program, and creating a final master plan.