The Bent County Commissioners held their second meeting of the month, Wednesday, May 9. The three commissioners, Patti Nickell, County Clerk and Recording secretary were present plus commissioner candidates, Chuck Netherton and John Thomas.
Sheriff Dave Encinias and undersheriff Frank Gallegos reported the inmate count for April is 46, with 19 from Otero County, four from Crowley County, one from Prowers County, four from Department of Corrections, and 19 from Bent County. Vickie Mendell was hired as an administrative assistant. Revenue for April was $35,003.01 and year to date, $1124,487.93.
Elsie Goines, School District RE-1 Superintendent, submitted a request for a School Resource Officer (SRO) to cover elementary, junior and senior high schools. The SRO would need to be a level one enforcement officer, which would allow this person to carry a weapon on school grounds. The district has grant money to pay for this position. A discussion ensued regarding duties, hours, benefits. The Commissioners requested more information and Goines will be placed on the May 23 agenda.
Social Services Director Jonna Parker presented a verbal two month report covering various programs administered by her department. Parker then handed the commissioners a written report of March And April payroll and bills.
Calvin Feik, County Administrator, talked about problems with dumpsters at Blue Lakes and other items including Arkansas River Farms. He explained that the transit bus stop was going to be relocated to 408 Sixth Street in front of the County owned building which is empty. The sidewalk there is 12 feet wide which will accommodate a 4 by 10 foot shelter. The county attempted to buy the vacant lot on Carson Avenue where the transit bus stop had been but were unable to do so.
Feik received a verbal request allowing children to ride the Golden Age bus, from the Library to the swimming pool this summer. The policy states that unsupervised children are not allowed on the bus.
The Bent County Fair Board would like to add a mutton busting event for the Fair this year. The Commissioners agreed to permit it if insurance would cover the event. Then the issue of the unsightly branches dumped along the northwest edge of the Fairgrounds was brought up. The Fair Board will be asked to save the amount of firewood needed for the barbecue, move it to a different location and stack it neatly, then sell the rest.
Public Health Director Omer Tamir was on the agenda but did not attend.
Not on the agenda was John Thomas who asked to speak to the Commissioners.
Thomas, a member of the newly activated Urban Renewal Board, a member of the Public Health Board and a candidate for commissioner, spoke about cleaning up the parkways, (a responsibility of property owners) from the Courthouse to the fairgrounds on the westside of the City. It will cost approximately $6,000 to $8,000 with Urban Renewal paying $2,000 and Public Health funding $4,000. He requested that the County serve as the fiscal agent for the project, and the Commissioners voted to do so.