County continues push to clean up Clovis entryways

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

The campaign by Curry County officials to clean up the entryways to Clovis continued at Tuesday’s County Commission meeting.

Commissioner Tim Ashley said the county’s Land Use Committee has received complaints from county and city residents about tall weeds and grass growing on median and bar ditches on state highways.

“The first thing you see when you get to Clovis is trash,” he said.

Ashley, who said it was a quality of life issue, suggested sending the state’s Department of Transportation a memorandum to clean up the highways.

Commission Chairman Albin Smith said he doubted the county has the leverage to convince the state to do anything. In fact, the state could pass on the responsibility to the county.

“The pecking order is, the county gets pecked on by the state. The county can’t peck back,” he said.

Manon Arnett, State Department of Transpiration District 2 public information officer, said the state conducts maintenance patrols, including mowing, during the spring and at the end of fall. She said mowing operations for this year should start soon.

County Manager Lance Pyle said the city and the county can partner to try to clean up the areas under a joint action guide passed last year.

“I’m willing to sit with a couple of commissioners with the city, the (Department of Transportation) district manager and a decide a course of action we’re going to follow and what that will cost us,” Commissioner Pete Hulder said.

The discussion Tuesday is the latest attempt to address littered and disheveled public and private property in the county.
County officials also are working on a nuisance ordinance to address private property.

In other business:
• Commissioners approved applying for U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Facility grants for $200,000. Requiring a 25 percent match from the county, the grants will be used to purchase three vehicles for the sheriff’s department and cameras for the adult detention center.

Grant coordinator Connie Harrison said the sheriff’s office has a 25 percent match available from its budget, but was not sure if the detention center had matching funds.

• Commissioners also awarded a bid to rent a pneumatic roller from Bee Equipment sales in Lubbock for $3,300 a month.
Finance Director Mark Lansford said the county will be using the rollers on bus routes in the county for about three months.