County commission hopes caliche crushing contract will be a fuel saver

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

Roosevelt County commissioners approved a bid for on-site at the pit caliche crusher services at their regular meeting Tuesday in an effort to save on fuel.

County Manager Charlene Hardin said caliche material has been hauled to road jobs in larger chunks that required breaking up and extra work by crews, using more fuel. Trucks will also be able to haul more of the crushed material per load, which would be more efficient.

“We’re trying to save a little money on the price of fuel,” Hardin said.

Heflin Construction of Portales submitted the winning bid of $363,750 for 97,000 yards of crushed caliche. The only other bid for $395,760 by Stephens Construction and Ready Mix of Texico.

Discussion of the bid award centered around which expense budget line items to take the money from.

“There’s not one particular line item that has this much in it,” Hardin said.

She said the best way to handle the expenditure would be to charge each of the four commissioner districts with road budgets $90,937 apiece since the material would be used in all the districts. Commissioners flinched a bit at the request, however.

“I don’t think I have it in my budget to pay very much,” Commission Chairman David Sanders said.

Roads Superintendent John Bohm said he viewed the bid as a good deal for the county.

“We’re getting 30 percent more rock for our dollar,” Bohm said. “Prices have gone up every time we turn around and they’re talking about raising them again.”

With commissioners Paul Grider and Dennis Lopez absent, the commission voted unanimously to approve the bid and have the money drawn from each district.

Commissioners also unanimously approved the courthouse streetscape plans presented by the city of Portales last month.

Hardin said she had attended a meeting with stakeholders, including the city and New Mexico Department of Transportation officials, and reported that concerns over traffic flow around the square had been addressed to everyone’s satisfaction.

Before voting to approve the plan, Commissioner Gene Creighton said he still had reservations about some of its components.

“I still think it’s probably a mistake to have two-way traffic around the courthouse,” Creighton said.

In other business commissioners:

• Unanimously approved the recommendation of road viewers to close a portion of South Roosevelt Road T. David Stone, a property owner in the area petitioned the county to close the approximately one mile section, which reaches a dead end on his property so that he can properly secure access to his property.

According to the road viewer’s report, adjacent property owner Herman Rhodes expressed objection to the road’s closure stating it would make access to another adjacent property owner’s land difficult in cases of inclement weather and would also be a hardship if that property was ever subdivided.

Commissioners approved the closure with no discussion.

• Approved a bid for purchase of a used chipspreader from Bee Equipment Sales of Lubbock in the amount of $50,000. MCT Industries of Albuquerque’s bid of $112,725 for a new machine was the only other bid.

• Approved the capital cooperative agreement between the county and NMDOT. The annual agreement outlines the terms for receiving state capital outlay funding.