Curry approves infrastructure improvement plan

 

August 21, 2019



CLOVIS — The Curry County Commission approved its Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan for 2021 to 2025 on Tuesday during its regularly scheduled meeting.

Commissioners were asked to rank the top five priorities of the ICIP, for which they kept their previously recommended order as follows: Improvements and renovations to the Curry County Courthouse ($6 million), legislative road projects ($1,234,000), a 4-H/Extension ($1 million), work on Curry Roads P/Q from CR 34 to 288 ($660,000) and improvements to Curry Road 11 from CR P to 311 at ($739,900).

The board also approved the five-year Road Maintenance/Construction Plan presented by Walon Jones, which included the two aforementioned priority road projects.

Other notable ICIP projects include the purchase of a fire truck for Ranchvale, an expansion to the Curry County Events Center parking lot and acquiring new semi-trucks for the road department.

Other highlights from the Tuesday meeting include:

• General Manager Jeff Blake presented the financial report for the Curry County Fairgrounds for June 2019. He told the committee that the number of events and attendance has been up across the board.

Blake said that the report for the 2019 Curry County Fair is still being put together and will be presented at a later meeting, but added that attendance for the fair was higher than usual.

• After a presentation by Vincent A. Yermal, the board approved and adopted the 2020 Salary Update Plan, Employee Benefits and Incentive Survey designed to raise salaries to internally equitable and externally competitive levels.

Yermal says that the plan's study found minimum, median and maximum wages for similar positions of county employees and that some employees have fallen behind or gone beyond those numbers.

The plan would increase wages for employees who have been left behind as minimum wages for their position have increased and freeze salary increases for those who have gone beyond the maximum salary range for their position, while still providing incentive programs for those that raise their qualifications. At the cost of $73,641, approximately 1.38 percent of payroll, Yermal said wages could be bumped back into the appropriate range for those who have fallen behind.


• The board approved the ICIP for the La Casa Senior Center, highlighting the need to replace two condemned HVAC units, to replace the center's roof and to purchase and equip a new handicap accessible vehicle.

• The board received an update on the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority's activities that highlighted the newly estimated overall cost of 527.4 million for their new system project and showcased the progress made so far.

During the presentation, Chairman Chet Spear took a moment to clarify that the board has no intention of leaving the Utility Authority at this time and has voted in favor of supporting it by selling their water share.

The board discussed concerns they had with the Authority's current model, such as its reliance on selling water to EPCOR to then be sold back to the cities and how the Utility Authority hasn't put much focus on Texico despite the city's ongoing water problems.


The board then conceded that ultimately the decisions are left to the Utility Authority and the individual cities, to which they have no control.

• The board approved an action to postpone the payment of $29,284 from the County Environmental fund to the Utility Authority until the end of the fiscal year.

According to Spear, the county voted to market its share of water and if that share is purchased, the purchaser may instead be responsible for that payment. If the county is still responsible for the payment by the end of the year, it intends to pay it.

• Spear issued a public reminder that the illegal dumping of animals by their owners is a crime in both the county and the city of Clovis. He urged the public to report any potential incidents and urged the county and city to revisit their ordinances regarding animal dumping, which were last revised in 1977.


• Members of the Lions Club received a certificate of appreciation from the board in recognition of their efforts to renovate the gate buildings at the Curry County Fairgrounds.

 
 

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