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Public welcome to attend site visits regarding proposed road closures


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Whether to close county roads and turn them over to private property owners can sometimes be a highly controversial topic.

This year, Chaves County commissioners still have to consider 10 closures, or vacation requests. Two drew opposing views at a Thursday public hearing of the Chaves County Board of Commissioners.

On Monday, the commissioners will visit each of the 10 sites, as required by statute, before making their decisions, which could occur on-site or at a later time.

The commissioners will gather at the Chaves County Administrative Center, 1 St. Mary’s Place, at 7:30 a.m., with the intent of starting their journey across the county by 8 a.m.

Those interested in attending the site visits will not be provided transportation, but they can follow the commissioners during the day or they can be at the sites they are interested in during the commissioners’ planned stops. Signs are posted near the properties to indicate when commissioners expect to be at those sites, give or take 20 minutes.

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The roads that could be vacated include the following:

• A 1.54-mile stretch of Chickasaw Road, west of Quail Lane to Pecos River.

• 100 feet of Chickasaw Road near a Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad crossing.

• 1,400 square feet in the 1700 block of East Mescalero Road. This request made by Tom Conlee is opposed by neighbors who have fenced in or landscaped part of the road, which Conlee said has resulted in denying him access to his property if approaching from the back. One neighbor said he landscaped the area to prevent people from driving off the road onto his property.

• 0.4 miles of Raleigh Road, described as an apparent driveway.

• 0.25 miles of Pack Road.

• 0.5 miles of Joy Road near the Flying H community. A rancher, Phillip Brainerd, said that he wants the road, what he described as basically a circular drive, closed because county grading of the area harms his grazing land. Others said that they wanted the road to remain open, and had successfully fought before to keep it from being closed because the only other access to their property is unsuitable for heavy loads.

• 300 feet of Gloria Road.

• 700 feet of Sharon Road.

• 0.8 miles of Tabitha Road.

• 700 feet of Ursula Road.

Originally the county had 16 road vacation requests to consider this year, seven filed by private property owners and nine filed by the county’s Road Department. Appointed freeholders voted unanimously to accept four of the requests, which commissioners approved. Then the county withdrew two requests, leaving the 10 applications subject to the site visits.

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