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County board makes some road decisions

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Chaves County adopted seven new roads Thursday and will hold a public hearing April 15 to consider 14 new applications for road changes.

During their Thursday meeting, the five elected members of the Chaves County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt the new roads.

County residents or county Road Department employees had applied for the roads to become official county roads in 2020. Commissioners voted in July 2020 for preliminary approval of the adoption of the roads, allowing time for them to be improved to meet the county requirements to become public roads.

“Normally we do this in May and we do it (approval to adopt roads) by the end of the year,” said County Manager Bill Williams. “But because of being unable to have meetings, we didn’t do this until July, so we allowed them a little additional time.”

Williams said that the new roads will be added to the county road atlas and will be maintained by the county Road Department.

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The roads are Paul Avenue, El Rosal Street, El Arco Way, Los Padrinos Road, Larry Drive, Allen Avenue and Suzanne Drive.

Portions of two roads were considered for adoption but have not met county requirements yet. They are Ambush Road and Hopi Road. They will remain private roads, Williams said.

Commissioners also made some decisions regarding 2021 road change requests, including that they will hold a public hearing on April 15 for people to express support or opposition for the proposed changes.

“There won’t be any decisions made until after commissioners go out and view those roads,” said Chairman Will Cavin. “But it will be a hearing where people can speak. That is the time for anybody who has any issues to come speak to us at that public hearing.”

After the hearing, the commissioners will choose a day between April 20 and April 23 to tour the roads. They can make their decisions about the applications during the site visits or during a future Board of Commissioners meeting.

For 2021, the county received 14 road change requests. Williams has said at prior meetings that none of the requests this year appear to be very contentious. In some years, disputes among neighbors sharing a road or concerns about closing roads to public access have led to rooms filled with people protesting requested changes.

Three appointed freeholders visited all the roads involved in road change applications and made the recommendation that the commissioners accept 13 of the requests. The commissioners voted to accept the freeholders’ report on Thursday.

Two recommended requests are for the county to adopt portions of Thunder Road and Stagecoach Road. Four recommended requests are for the county to start maintaining portions of four roads. Those are Tierra Grande Boulevard, Veleta Drive, Blanca Rosa Lane and El Dorado Lane.

Eight of the requests were for road vacations, or releases of ownership of the roads by the county. The seven roads that the freeholders recommended for vacations were portions of Woodbine Way, East Grand Plains Road, East Mescalero Road, Mark Road and Honeysuckle Road, as well as most of Foxglove Road and Wiggins Lane.

Freeholders did not recommend the vacation of a portion of Studdard Road near Mark Road. Freeholders said the part of Studdard Road in consideration appears to be a driveway and vacating it could create property that has no road access in the future.

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.