During their meeting Tuesday at the Roosevelt County Courthouse, the Roosevelt County Commission:
• passed a resolution opposing the proposed New Mexico Environment Department regulations for maintaining groundwater quality under dairies. Commissioners voted unanimously with Commissioner Bill Cathey absent.
Dairy owner Alva Carter Jr. has said the regulations could put between 35 percent and 50 percent of New Mexico dairies out of business because of prohibitive costs. If half the dairies went out of business, he said, it would cost the state $40 million in direct taxes.
Greg Fisher, executive director of the Roosevelt County Community Development Corporation, said the economic component is significant. New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma, are one of the last U.S. regions where dairies can operate at a profit, he said.
• in an economic development progress report, heard Fisher say the Portales area has more jobs than people and so is importing about 400 people a day. He said 80 homes are expected to be permitted this year, twice as many as usual, but supply still isn’t keeping up with demand. Fisher also said Portales has a need for to fix and sell older homes.
• approved a bid from WWRC Inc. of Clovis for construction of a new Public Health Office. The total contract is for about $1.2 million. County Manager Charlene Hardin said even with a large contingency allowance, the amount is under budget.
• awarded a bid for chip seal aggregate to Constructor’s Inc. of Carlsbad. The bid sets prices at less than half the cost compared to the previous company’s. Hardin said the county could save $32,000 by having its own employees haul the material from the pit in Roswell.
• appointed Commissioner Bill Cathey to the Golden Acres Executive Board.
• approved an agreement for professional services with Justice Benefits Inc., which would look for more revenue sources for the Roosevelt County Detention Center in exchange for 22 percent of any new income procured
• heard Roosevelt County Sheriff Darren Hooker say his office had handled cases of stolen copper and radiators, and officers were watching for such activity. He later encouraged people to call 911 if they see unfamiliar vehicles lingering in their neighborhoods.
• heard lobbyist Mike Miller said state road funding for the next fiscal year could be cut as much as 40 percent statewide, although he wasn’t sure how Roosevelt County would fare. Road Department Supervisor Ricky Lovato said he wasn’t sure how the county could handle such cuts. He said dilapidated chip seal roads might need to be converted to caliche.
• directed Hardin to travel to Colorado to see about getting a barn for the county fairgrounds. A gravel company had offered the barn for free to an entity that would haul it away, but negotiations had stalled, Hardin and Commissioner David Sanders said.
— by Argen Duncan