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County officials condemn North Atkinson property

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Chaves County commissioners have decided to condemn a property northeast of the Roswell City limits so a cleanup can begin at the residential parcel that county officials have said is a “dangerous property” and the subject of complaints from neighbors.

Members of the Chaves County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously 5-0 on Thursday to pass the condemnation resolution for the property at 6143 N. Atkinson Ave., which is next to East Gallina Road, not far from U.S. Highway 70 East.

County Planning and Zoning Director Louis Jaramillo, Sheriff Mike Herrington and Commissioner Jeff Bilberry said that they have received complaints from neighbors and residents about the property because of debris and waste on site.

The property has numerous vehicles and mobile trailers on it, in addition to significant amounts of what appear to be discarded items and debris. The county resolution characterizes the tract as a “dangerous property” because of its “state of disrepair, damage and dilapidation.”

According to county officials, another problem is that people without homes or passers-by are staying on the property, although Herrington said people have been told to leave and warned about criminal trespass on private property.

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“We do have deputies who live in the area,” said Herrington, “Like I said, they have been through there. We have been advising the transients or the homeless of criminal trespass. We’ve been doing lots of stuff there. But they just keep coming.”

Jaramillo said that he and his staff have not heard from the property owner, Roy A. Rogala, in spite of sending written notices and visiting the property. He also said that the mortgage holder had not responded to a written notice.

Attempts to find contact information for Rogala by the Daily Record were not successful by press time.

Jaramillo said that he was told that people have not seen Rogala at the property since about March 2020 and that utilities to the property have been disconnected.

Following the commissioners’ vote, notice of the approved condemnation resolution will be posted on the property and publicized. After the public notice, Rogala will have 10 days to object to the condemnation with the county or begin cleaning the site, Jaramillo said.

If no objection is made or if debris removal does not occur, then the county would expect to begin its cleanup within a couple of months. The county then could file a lien against the property for the cost of its work.

The home on the property needs a lot of repairs inside, according to county documents, but is otherwise in sound condition.

“Staff will secure the building with locks, as it is still structurally sound,” said Jaramillo.

Jaramillo said abandoned properties in the county — which could be the situation with the Atkinson Avenue property — present a problem for county officials. He said structures on them are often burned down.

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.