County commission hears speeding concerns

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior staff writer

The Roosevelt County Commission agreed Tuesday to look into installing speed limit, children playing and cattle warning signs on Roosevelt Road AG near Floyd.

Roosevelt Road AG resident Karen McCaslin asked for the signs, citing concerns for increased activity along the road and fast traffic.

“It has increased over the years, and I can’t prove it, but I think there’s even a little drag racing going on there,” she said.

McCaslin said eight teenagers and preteens live in the first few houses on the road, and her six grandchildren visit her. Also, she said, cattle sometimes get out of the pasture, and people may mow the bar ditches.

Since the nearest speed limit sign sets a 45 mph maximum, McCaslin asked for a posted limit of that speed or slower.

County resident Allen Deen said the houses McCaslin referred to were near an intersection with stop signs, so traffic probably wouldn’t be going above 30 mph.

Commission chairman David Sanders said he would send someone from the county Roads Department to survey the situation.

In another matter, County Clerk E. Janet Collins said the state has a federal grant to pay most voting machine maintenance statewide this year. But some county clerks think the machine company’s price is unfairly high and would prefer to negotiate to decrease it.

The grant would provide $600,000, which would cover most of the statewide maintenance, Collins said. Counties would provide 5 percent matching funds.

The county contribution is also based on the number of voting machines it has.

Roosevelt County would pay less than $500 with the grant, and about $12,000 without it, Collins said. However, the grant wouldn’t cover next year.

The state county clerks association, connected to the Association of Counties, hasn’t made a decision, but some members want to refuse the grant and negotiate with the company, Collins said.

In other business commissioners:

• Approved a New Mexico Department of Transportation grant providing about $8,300 for the sheriff to pay for saturation patrols, a digital video in a patrol car and a deputy at Teen Court.

• Approved an agreement with Lea County to house Roosevelt County Detention Center inmates there if necessary. Detention center administrator Don Burdine said he didn’t expect to send prisoners there because of high prices, $100 a day for adults.

• Sanders asked to discuss the possibility of housing federal prisoners at the detention center at the next meeting because the jail has open beds and the county could earn about $100 per prisoner per day. Burdine said the federal government requires 24-hour physical and mental health care available on site to house such inmates. The upgrade would cost a substantial amount of money, he said.

• The commission again discussed parking in the courthouse lot along Second Street with Bar G Western and Casual Wear owner Buz Goodson. They took no action.