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County approves sale of downtown office space

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the address of the property sold.

Office space on North Main Street that had been used by the New Mexico Energy Library Inc. for about 10 years will be sold by Chaves County.

The 5,247-square-foot building has a street address of 318 N. Main St. and is located among downtown retail stores between West Third and West Fourth streets.

It has been appraised at $185,000, according to County Manager Bill Williams, and the county agreed to sell it for that amount following a 5-0 vote of county commissioners during their Thursday meeting.

The sale is expected to close within 60 days and is subject to the approval of the New Mexico Board of Finance, according to a draft purchase and sale agreement provided to the public by the county.

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The intended purchasers are Morris and Holly Schertz of Roswell, who could not be reached for comment by press time. The Schertzes already own other property near downtown, according to county property records.

Williams said he has kept a log of all the requests to lease, use or buy the property over the years.

“We’ve had inquiries on this property pretty much every year since I got here,” said Williams. “People are always wanting it back on the tax rolls, is one of the biggest arguments that we get.”

The Schertzes and another party had expressed interest in buying it, but when the Energy Library decided to move, only the Schertzes were still interested, Williams said.

County Attorney Stanton Riggs said that state law allows the county to sell to a private party directly without a public bidding process as long as the sale is for the appraised value.

“I think we are getting a good value and getting this back on the tax rolls also, so I appreciate the work that has been done here,” said Commission Chairman Will Cavin.

The county received funding from the New Mexico Legislature about 10 years ago to purchase the building for the use of the New Mexico Energy Library.

The website for the Energy Library indicates that it is a nonprofit group formed in 1966 by oil and gas industry members to be a resource for maps, mud logs, well files and other information related to the industry in New Mexico and its Permian and San Juan basins.

About a year ago, Williams said, the organization let the county know that it would be leaving the building because it has digitized the documents needed.

A phone message and email to the library were not returned by press time.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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