Commission to vote on closure of Curry Road R

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

The Curry County Commission is expected to vote today to close Curry Road R out of consideration of concerns from Cannon Air Force Base.

According to a resolution included in commission packets, Curry Road R, which runs along the west perimeter of Cannon, will be closed and $2 million will be sought to chip seal a section of Curry Road T, from U.S. 60/84 to N.M. 467, as a replacement route to through traffic.

The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. at the Clovis-Carver Public Library’s North Annex.

Col. Stephen Clark, who assumed command of Cannon last month, will give commissioners a presentation on the issues Cannon has with traffic along the road.

“(Colonel) Clark will … be addressing two force protection (security) concerns regarding having the road so close to our runway and base housing, three issues concerning how County Road R negatively affects the safety of planes using our runways and one quality of life concern, which is finding a way to limit the train whistle through base housing,” Spokeswoman Capt. Mae Li Allison said in an e-mail Monday.

Cannon has expressed concern about the road since Air Force Special Operations Command took command of the base last year.

The proximity to the base’s perimeter poses a security risk and also, with its positioning near the end of the base’s runways, encroaches on safe flight zones, officials have said.

Additionally, closure of the road will alleviate an issue with its railroad crossing near U.S. 60/84, which lies near base housing areas. Officials have said train whistles, as many as 90 a day, are disruptive to the quality of life for residents there.

With the road’s closure, that train crossing would no longer be necessary, the resolution said.

The resolution instructs County Manager Lance Pyle to begin applying for federal, state or other grant funds immediately to cover the cost of creating the alternate route.

Commissioners are also expected to vote on a county nuisance ordinance today.

The ordinance, which could result in fines up to $500 and a criminal citation, has been a point of contention since it was proposed.

The ordinance seeks to protect general public health and safety would hold property owners responsible for keeping their properties clean and weeds and vegetation trimmed.

In August when the subject of a nuisance ordinance was last discussed by the county, several residents and members of the dairy industry expressed concern that the ordinance was too vague and the fines too steep.

Some in the dairy industry have said the ordinance imposes conflicting standards with those federal standards already in place and some residents have said junk yards they operate as a business would incur fines and penalties under the ordinance.

In August the ordinance was withdrawn so the county attorney and commissioners could evaluate the concerns expressed by residents.

Fast facts

What: Curry County Commission meeting

When: 9 a.m. today

Where: Clovis-Carver Public Library North Annex