The Hispano Chamber of Commerce and offices associated with a countywide DWI prevention program have found new homes as they complete their moves from the downtown Fisk Building.
A unanimous vote by the Chaves County Board of Commissioners during its regular monthly meeting Thursday morning approved separate seven-month leases for the DWI education and prevention program and a DWI screening program to move to the Pecos Valley Medical Complex, a county-owned office building at 1600 S.E. Main St.
The rent will be $200 a month for each tenant, Dianne Meda and Diane Taylor. They are independent contractors working with the Chaves County DWI Program, funded by the state.
The Hispano Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, has relocated to a building about a block further south, according to its director Christie Mann. The chamber is now situated in an office and retail center at 1701 S.E. Main St.
“I am excited about our new location because it is quite a bit bigger than our old office,” said Mann.
The chamber and the DWI offices were required to find new locations following the city of Roswell’s approval of a sale of the Fisk Building to a company owned by a local couple. The 114-year-old building at the southeast corner of Fourth and North Main streets, originally constructed for a bank, had belonged to the city since 2013, when it acquired it from the county. The county had owned it since 1985.
Mann acknowledged that the move had hurt the chamber financially. An initial offer of relocation assistance to the chamber as part of the sale was withdrawn due to legal concerns and questions of fairness to the other building tenant, the DWI program. But Mann said her organization was focusing on the opportunities presented by a larger facility and plans a grand opening within a couple of months.
The Roswell City Council approved the sale of the Fisk Building for $30,000 at its Sept. 14 meeting following several public meetings and a public search for bidders. That occurred after an expression of interest by Mason Holdings LLC, comprised of Amanda Mason, a short-sale specialist with a law firm, and Joe Mason, a Roswell police detective. They plan to open a Southern-style ice cream and sweets shop after renovations are complete.
Amanda Mason said she was signing the purchase agreement Thursday and expected to close on the transaction by next week. The sale was subject to a 45-day waiting period, during which time the state Department of Finance and Administration could review the sales contract.
Taylor said that the DWI Awareness program will need to find additional space for meetings with teens. Right now, the DWI programs are in two small offices that are part of Suite D of the office complex. Another section of the suite is occupied by the Southeastern New Mexico Economic Development District / Council of Governments.
In another action today, commissioners voted unanimously to name Cliff Waide to a vacant seat on the DWI Planning Council to represent the south portion of Chaves County. Waide has been mayor of Hagerman since 2005 and is also owner of Waide Irrigation and Supply Co.
The seat was once occupied by Case Mason, who stepped down when he retired as Hagerman police chief. In an unrelated action, Mason is one of five people in the Hagerman area charged for alleged sexual exploitation of a minor.
The council, which coordinates DWI education, prevention and enforcement programs, has 13 members. Sheriff Britt Snyder is the current chair and will become the vice chair in January when local rancher and community volunteer Alice Eppers takes over leadership of the group.
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at email@example.com.