The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Roosevelt officials set sights on road work


PORTALES — With an election behind it and those primary results finalized during their meeting Friday morning, the Roosevelt County Commission set its sights on the open road.

Roads, that is — local roads, and various ways to put grant and emergency funding toward their upkeep. That includes a new used tractor and a lot of repurposed rubber.

With more than $1.3 million in anticipated state funding for local government roads and $750,000 in emergency funding from floods last year, the county is anticipating four times its typical amount of road work soon to come. County Manager Amber Hamilton said that means it was finally the right time to proceed with an item on the county’s priority list for years: a lightly-used piece of heavy machinery.

Officials waited until close to the end of this fiscal year to proceed with the purchase, and commissioners approved Friday the selection of a year 2000 John Deere 8210 tractor. It has manual front-wheel drive, 180 horsepower, a third-party mechanic certification and not even 5,000 hours of use — little wear by tractor standards, commissioners said.

“We realized that a new tractor was not within our budget, so we wrote very specific specifications for a good used tractor,” Hamilton told The News. The tractor, soon to be brought in from Indiana, carried an $86,777 price tag compared with at least $230,000 new. It joins a small but essential fleet for county road work, she added.

As roads go, equipment is one thing and materials are another. Also at Friday’s meeting, the county’s special projects coordinator announced the New Mexico Environment Department’s award of $78,000 to purchase a special road surface sealer made from scrap tires.

Carol Acosta-Flores said the county will purchase the recycled materials from an Albuquerque manufacturer. It takes 80 tires to make one ton of material, which can be used for chip-seal repairs on roads.

Commissioners also held a workshop following their meeting to discuss priorities for upcoming road projects, to be considered at the next meeting June 19.

Also at Friday’s commission meeting, with all approvals unanimous:

• County Clerk DeAun Searl presented to commissioners (doubling as the election canvassing board) to certify results of Tuesday's primary. She said a total of 2,085 votes were cast then, compared with 2,026 and 1,502 votes in the 2016 and 2014 primaries, respectively.

District 4 Commissioner Gene Creighton, who lost in Tuesday’s primary to challenger Tina Dixon, was absent Friday for a family commitment, Hamilton said. The new commissioner will not be sworn in until January.

• Commissioners approved a Community Development Block Grant application for $750,000 toward drainage and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant facilities at the county fairgrounds. Acosta-Flores said the county is optimistic about receiving the grant, of which it would have to put forward 5 percent or $37,500 if awarded.

Additionally, commissioners approved an application to the Department of Justice for $9,865 toward the purchase of 13 bulletproof vests for sheriff deputies.

• Approval of a memorandum of agreement between the county and the Department of Defense (via Cannon Air Force Base) for expert consultation as needed on Explosive Ordnance Disposal. Hamilton said similar agreements are in place with state and local police and NMED as well.

• In his report to commissioners, Jail Administrator Justin Porter said the facility averaged 70 inmates daily for the month. He discussed recent supervised community service efforts by approved inmates, such as clearing debris from an overgrown cemetery and beginning to revitalize a garden of tomatoes, okra, jalapeños and bell peppers at the jail.


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