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Commission recommends approval for Hagerman permit


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The Town of Hagerman has cleared a small hurdle in plans to install a new emergency communications tower.

The Chaves County Planning and Zoning Commission voted 3-0 to recommend approval of a special permit use for a 43-acre parcel in Hagerman near Petree and Shoshoni roads where the communications tower is expected to be placed.

The matter now goes before the Chaves County Board of Commissioners at its Aug. 15 meeting.

“This does not appear to have significant impact on surrounding properties and will enhance communications for emergency services,” said Marlin Johnson, Chaves County Planning and Zoning director.

“Southwestern Wireless has actually donated this tower to the town,” said Chad Hamill, Hagerman Fire Chief, “which will actually benefit the county both north and all the way south.”

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In a prior interview, Hamill explained that the town now has its antennae for fire, police and emergency crews on a structure owned by American Tower. For about 18 years, the community was able to use the tower for free, but changes in ownership have led to a decision to charge Hagerman about $3,600 a month.

As the town looked for options, Southwestern Wireless of Roswell decided to donate a 320-foot tower to the community.

Hamill also said that the new tower will provide stronger signals with less interference because the antennae can be located high on the new tower, whereas they are placed lower down on the American Tower structure.

In other preliminary reviews, the zoning commissioners recommended approval for two other Hagerman projects.

The commissioners voted for a rezoning application from residential to multi-family to permit the construction of two four-plexes on a couple of parcels near Ottawa Road and Lincoln Avenue. Ernie Williams and his brother, two of the family members involved in the project who spoke at the meeting, were cautioned to investigate what water supply they would have available before proceeding as water from shallow wells is not abundant in that area. A neighbor who chose not to give his full name for publication also expressed concerns about depletion of the water table in the area and the amount of dust that will be raised by construction and by traffic at the units.

In addition, a rezoning application to allow a trucking business to operate on Bronzite Road in Hagerman was recommended for approval.

Both matters will be go before the Board of Commissioners for a vote.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.