During its regular business meeting Friday, the Chaves County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution and an agreement regarding the New Mexico Association of Counties 2013-2014 Wildfire Risk Reduction for Rural Communities Grant Program.
The county received a grant of $10,000 from the program to update the Chaves County Community Wildfire Protection Plan. First developed in 2010, the plan emphasized implementing preventative measures for eliminating wildfire threats.
County Community Development Director Charlotte Andrade said the county will assess what has been implemented and develop recommendations of what additional steps need to be taken to eliminate the risk of wildfires.
The board also approved a resolution to authorize the execution and intercept agreement between the county and the New Mexico Finance Authority for a loan on behalf of the Sierra Volunteer Fire Department.
The loan, in the amount of $619,613, will be used to construct a new fire station, drilling a well and installing water storage tanks with pumps.
The commissioners also approved an agreement between the county and the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department. The county received $190,000 from the department, which will be used in the Chaves County Comprehensive Strategy Board’s efforts to administer programs and services to help juvenile offenders as alternatives to detention.
“Many people talk about the problems we have in our area — now is the time to make changes,” said Rebecca Melendez-Turner, Juvenile Justice Continuum coordinator.
The board also discussed an upcoming coordination meeting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the lesser prairie chicken.
Commission Chairman Greg Nibert said the agency extended the meeting after much time and effort in asking for it and said it is critical that commissioners go with well thought out comments and questions.
He said the board also will look into how it can show support for the Service, after groups have filed lawsuits to protest its decision to not list the dune sagebrush lizard.