Commissioners give conditional approval to road

By Jack King

Curry County Commissioners approved a request from the Clovis Industrial Development Corporation Tuesday to improve Curry Road 4 to prepare for the building of the Southwest Cheese plant, but added several conditions to their approval.
They voted to approve the road improvement, conditioned on the cheese plant deal being successfully completed, on the Clovis City Commission providing $100,000 to fund the improvement, and an agreement on an easement being reached between the county and PNM gas company.
CIDC Executive Director Chase Gentry asked the commission to add a paved surface to the road, located a mile north of the Roosevelt and Curry county line off Highway 70. He said he will go before the City Commission Thursday to ask for $100,000 from the city to help pay for the construction.
But he added that PNM has an easement under the road that may complicate the improvement process. The gas line under the easement is the main line supplying Portales, said County Attorney Stephen Doerr.
Doerr told the commission that in 1966 Southern Union gas company, which later became PNM, obtained easements from the property owner and from the county. According to one easement agreement with the county, if the county wanted to improve the road the gas company would have to move the gas line at its own expense. However, Doerr noted there are several other legal documents connected to the easement and whether PNM is actually obligated to move the line could not be settled by the end of the commission meeting.
In other business, commissioners approved the county’s using Community Development Block Grant money to help fund an overpass over the railroad at State Highway 467. The county is applying for $500,000.
They appointed Commissioner Ed Perales to serve as an ex-officio member of the Plains Regional Medical Center board of trustees and appointed Lance Pyle, county Indigent Care officer and administrative assistant to the county manager, as an alternate.
Commissioners voted 4-1 to allow Sheriff Roger Hatcher to hire a certified deputy to replace a process server who is leaving the sheriff’s office.
A deputy’s pay is $4 an hour more than that of the process server and the new position will add approximately $10,000 a year to the sheriff’s office budget.
Commissioner Pete Hulder, who voted against the proposal, said it would be financially more efficient to hire another process server.
Hatcher said his office needs another deputy on the streets and that deputies could divide the process serving work among themselves so that one deputy would not do it all. He said his office has the money in its budget to pay a deputy’s salary, for this year. He said he wasn’t sure about funding for the next fiscal year.