County commission to vote on burn ban

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

Commissioners are expected to vote today on a burn ban for Curry County.

The ban would prohibit open fires for a period of 45 days, at which time commissioners would reevaluate the ban, according to a resolution distributed to commissioners.

Covered propane and charcoal grills would be exempt from the restriction.

Under the proposed resolution, enforcement falls to the sheriff’s office and violators would be subject to a $50 fine for a first offense, $100 for a second and $300 for subsequent offenses.

As recently as Monday, the National Weather Service identified portions of east-central New Mexico, including Curry County, and the Texas panhandle as critical fire areas.

Commissioner Bobby Sandoval, who proposed reinstating the ban during the last meeting, said Monday even though there was a small amount of moisture last week, he is still concerned about the risk.

“I know with this little bitty rain and snow we had, things got a little bit damp but I don’t think it’s where we don’t have to worry about it,” he said.

“I might just be a worrier, but it really concerns me with the low humidity.”

In years past, burn bans have been a contentious issue, but this year Sandoval said he has been surprised because he has received no communication from constituents on the issue.

Sandoval said he expects the resolution to meet with the support of the commission.

According to the agenda for today’s meeting, commissioners are also expected to hear a presentation on local emergency management services from Clovis Emergency Management Director Ken De Los Santos.

Detention center Administrator Lois Bean is expected to give a report on the updating of policies and procedures and a security audit at the facility in addition to a presentation on the jail’s training programs.

And the sheriff’s department will be requesting permission to apply for a near $250,000, three-year federal stimulus salary grant to hire two new deputies.

Today’s meeting will be the final commission meeting to be held at the county courthouse.

Beginning April 7, meetings will be held at the Clovis-Carver Library’s North Annex.

To see more of what’s planned for today’s meeting, click here to view the agenda