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

Roosevelt also adding alcohol sales to ballot


June 26, 2019

PORTALES — Alcohol sales in Roosevelt County? Voters will get to decide as much come November.

That follows the approval Tuesday morning of a resolution calling for an election that could allow Roosevelt County to adopt the local option provisions of the Liquor Control Act, “allowing for the sale, service or public consumption of alcoholic beverages” within the unincorporated areas of the county.

Commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of the resolution, with District V Commissioner Paul Grider voting against the initiative. Grider declined a request from The News for comment on his vote.

Commission Chairman Shane Lee brought up the idea at a commission meeting last month, noting input from constituents. District I Commissioner Dennis Lopez “gladly” motioned in favor of the resolution on Thursday, and both commissioners previously noted their hopes for the expanded alcohol sales options providing an economic boost to the county.

The language of the resolution spoke to that as well, noting the dispensation of alcoholic beverages by licensed vendors at the county fairgrounds “is expected to significantly increase county attendance and revenues for scheduled events,” and that the option “may lead to the emergence of retail outlets in unincorporated areas of the County.”

Roosevelt is one of just two dry counties still in the state of New Mexico. The other, Curry County, also approved taking the matter to voters in the Nov. 5 general election.

According to Roosevelt County’s resolution, “alcohol sales have been demonstrated to attract customers and may assist grocery stores, eating establishments or other business establishments and would provide enticement to entrepreneurs to consider the possibility of opening such business establishments,” in addition to preventing “economic leakage” from the county to adjacent communities.

Also at Tuesday’s commission meeting, with approvals unanimous:

• A report from County Treasurer Layle Sanchez, who urged any county residents with outstanding taxes due from 2016 to pay them at her office or online no later than 11 a.m. Friday lest they face an additional $125 fee. Sanchez said those who still owe 2016 taxes should have been already notified by mail but anyone interested can check by contacting her office.

• Approval of resolution adjusting precinct boundaries, expanding the number from 18 to 19 with the division of precinct two “right down the middle” into the eastern and western portions of Kilgore Street. County Clerk Stephanie Hicks said the division was necessary since the precinct had more than 750 voters in the past two elections but would not entail any difference for voters or changes to the county’s districts. The split goes into effect Jan. 1.

• Approval of four resolutions describing agreements with the state’s Department of Transportation. The state will provide $383,000 toward chip seal and caliche work on over 13 miles of county roads in a capital outlay program, and between three cooperative agreements through the Local Government Road Fund Program the state will provide $595,525 for 22.5 miles of roads.

• Approval of an information technology policy, expanding on policy already in place and clarifying security and privacy expectations. County Manager Amber Hamilton said the policy would “keep us compliant with what the auditors are going to be looking for” going forward.

• Approval of a resolution designating polling places for statewide elections in 2020-21, maintaining the same locations throughout the county as in the last election.

• No action following a closed executive session of 45 minutes.


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