County manager granted authority to purchase properties near courthouse

Sharna Johnson

Curry County Commissioners granted County Manager Lance Pyle authority to purchase three properties near the courthouse for a total of for $209,000 following an almost one-hour executive session Tuesday.

The properties — located at 810 Main Street for $56,000, 905 and 913 Mitchell Street for $85,000 and $68,000 — are three of five properties the county has had under purchase option agreements since July, paying $100 to $250 a month each to retain first option to buy.

“The properties are in close proximity to existing County property and these properties will serve the County Master Plan,” Pyle said by email following the meeting.

A 2010 master plan drafted by Albuquerque architects called for purchase of the five properties to enable the county to build a three-block judicial complex.

Then plan was heavily defeated in November when posed to voters in the form of two bond questions totaling $33 million.

The Tuesday executive session came at the end of an 8-hour meeting —with a mid-day lunch recess — in which commissioners heard multiple presentations and considered a lengthy list of action items.

Among business conducted at the meeting, commissioners:

• Approved a 10-item consent agenda including: Service contracts; memorandums of understanding with Elida and Melrose for jail money in exchange for infrastructure funds; a joint powers agreement between Grady and the sheriff’s office for services.

• Approved Global Spectrum to obtain a liquor license for the pavilion at the fairgrounds to aid in booking private events.

• Approved a fire emergency resolution, enacting a burn ban ordinance.

• Approved an amended agreement with La Casa de Buena Salud, Inc. for medical services at the Melrose Health Clinic which included an extension of the open date for the facility to July 5.

• Heard a report on the ankle bracelet program from Tiffany Calbert from the jail. Calbert said ankle bracelet policies are so stringent they exclude a lot of inmates who might succeed on the program. Under existing policies, inmates must have a job or be in school full-time to go on the program, which eliminates inmates who have been incarcerated for extended periods and lost their jobs or aren’t enrolled in school. It also requires inmates waiting trial meet their bond obligations, which many of them can’t.

Commissioners referred Calbert to the jail committee to have the issue studied so recommendations can be formulated and presented to them.

• Voted to increase by $25,000 the amount paid on a contract to La Casa de Buena Salud for primary dental care. Pyle told commissioners the cost of services is expected to exceed the contract by $100,000 but he has only been able to locate $25,000 untapped funds in the fiscal budget to supplement.