County wants to increase efforts in RCCD

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

Roosevelt County Commissioners agreed with Roosevelt County Community Development leadership that striking while the iron is hot is a good economic development strategy.

Commissioners voted unanimously to increase the county’s membership in the RCCD to two positions at $15,000 per seat as the group reorganized and hired a recruiter. The county had previously maintained one position at $12,000 per year.

“We need to be proactive now with Cannon moving on,” said Randy Knudson, who has filled the county’s seat on the board in the past.
Knudson said the area is poised for growth and an active recruitment should bring results within the next year.

“With Cannon’s expansion, business is either going to be coming into our area or going to Clovis,” Knudson said.

Knudson said the group’s bylaws have been updated and approved and interviews for the recruiter position should begin by mid-June.
“I think its a good thing and its worth a try,” Commissioner Dennis Lopez said.

The organization has been adrift since Kim Huffman resigned last August. He had served as executive director of both RCCD and the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce.

Lopez noted that the organization should bring results for the entire county and not just the city of Portales.

“I’d rather spend the $30,000 than the $12,000 and see some results,” Commissioner Gene Creighton remarked.

After approving the membership, commissioners decided to wait until a later date to decide on who would fill the post. Lopez said he wanted one of the other commissioners, representing the outlying county area appointed.

In other business commissioners:

l Heard an update from Emergency Management Director Keith Wattenbarger on activities he is working on.

l Awarded a contract to SWCA Environmental Consultants for a Community Wildfire Protection Plan. The plan is being implemented with a $30,000 state grant. Each of the six fire jurisdictions will receive a copy when complete.

l Approved purchase of a 2005 Ford F-150 four-door pickup from the town of Elida as a patrol vehicle for the sheriff’s office. The used vehicle is already equipped with radio and emergency gear and will cost under $20,000.

l Rescinded a previous resolution setting adopting a new county employee compensation and classification policy. County officials say they found out more work needed to be done to update the classification of chief deputy.

l Adopted an ordinance setting in place a new county personnel policy.

l Approved the interim 2007-2008 budget. The budget outlines overall expenditures of $9.285 million. General fund expenditures are listed at $4.468 million.

l Approved shift scheduling and policy procedure changes at the Roosevelt County Detention Center.