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State approves planned county building sale

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

A state board has approved the sale of a county building on North Main Street, with a county administrator saying that the transaction is expected to close within a few weeks.

The building at 318 N. Main St., a prime business and retail location between Fourth and Third Streets, had been occupied by the New Mexico Energy Library until this year, according to county officials.

The library maintains documents pertinent to the New Mexico oil and gas industry, including about the Permian and San Juan basins.

County Manager Bill Williams said that group had decided to vacate the building after about 10 years because it had digitized many of its records and no longer needed as much space.

Chaves County commissioners unanimously approved the sale on Feb. 18 to Morris and Holly Schertz of Roswell. The agreed-upon price for the sale is $185,000, the appraised value of the downtown building.

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The New Mexico Board of Finance approved the sale during a Tuesday meeting, with the item on its consent agenda, said Chaves County Chief Financial Officer Anabel Barraza.

She said county officials expect that the deal could be approved within a few weeks. Williams said a property inspection will occur and then finalizing of legal documents will occur.

Stan Riggs, who serves as the county attorney, said in February that the county can sell to a private buyer without a bidding process as long as it sells for at least the appraised value.

Williams had said at the February meeting that records had been kept regarding inquiries about purchasing the building, explaining that the county received a number of interested calls, with some saying that they wanted to see the building back on the tax rolls. When the Energy Library made its decision to vacate, Williams said, the Schertzes were the only people still expressing an interest in buying.

County property records indicate that the Schertzes own other property in the downtown business district. They did not respond to a call by press time. A phone message and email to the New Mexico Energy Library also were not returned by press time.

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