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The Eddy County Commission on Tuesday approved changes to the Happy Valley Convenience Station New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) Access Permit.

The changes stated were an adjustment of the width of access – from 30 feet to 60 feet – and the surfacing from caliche to caliche with millings.

Public Works Director Ray Romero said winter storm Goliath, the storm which caused a plethora of issues in the county in late December, forced construction of the station to be postponed by 30 days.

Commissioner Stella Davis expressed worry about people dumping trash outside of the provided containers, but Romero said he hoped “community support” would prevent people from doing so.

“This station is very important,” said Commissioner Susan Crockett. “Unless Happy Valley residents use Waste Management, they have no other options for a weekly trash service.”

In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, the commission discussed a resolution regarding the per-diem, mileage, and out-of-county travel rates for elected officials and employees, including volunteer positions. The new per diem allows for $85 for in-state areas, $135 for special in-state areas, and $115 for out-of-state areas.

Now that the commission has voted to adopt the new travel policy, they are in compliance with the state’s legal requirements regarding travel policies and procedures.

The commissioners also voted to approve the process to begin adopting the Eddy County Liquid Waste Ordinance, which discusses liquid waste disposal requirements, and the Eddy County Vegetation Nuisance Ordinance, which covers the prohibition of plants determined to be a fire hazard or nuisance to the inhabitants of the county.

Community Services Director Wesley Hooper said the contents of the ordinances are not yet finalized. Two public meetings are to be held in Artesia and Carlsbad regarding the ordinances. The dates will be determined by Hooper.

Two letters of support written and signed by Commission Chairman Royce Pearson were also brought before the commission. The first was in reference to the reopening of the Crossroads facility, which provided a rehabilitation service to women who were in danger of losing custody of their children. The second regards the long process of repairing the inoperable, primary elevators at Carlsbad Caverns National Park and how revamping the secondary elevators in the meantime can increase visitation.