Published: 1:00 pm, Wed. Mar. 16th, 2016Updated: 2:00 pm
The Eddy County Commission discussed traffic control devices, updates on various roads and bridges in the county, and foreign national driver’s licenses and identification cards at its meeting Tuesday in Carlsbad.
Debra Hicks, a representative of Pettigrew Engineering, presented a slideshow on different options for flashing LED, solar-powered stop signs, video cameras at convenience stations, and caution signs at intersections and railroad crossings.
The flashing stop signs Hicks introduced could be powered either by solar energy or through a line from the ground to another source. The stop signs average $3,000 apiece, with a “stop ahead” sign also adorned with flashing lights costing the same. That means one intersection of these flashing lights would cost approximately $24,000.
“We want to be cautious where we’re setting them, because we’ll have to keep an eye on them,” said Ray Romero, Eddy County Public Works director. “A lot of our signs get shot up.”
The convenience store video cameras have a night vision capability option, which is more expensive. Railroad crossing signs, meanwhile, are sometimes difficult to install because the signs have strict distance, reflectivity and right-of-way regulations.
No plans for installing the devices have been finalized as of yet, and the presentation was simply an informational one.
The roads, temporary crossings and bridges discussed in the project update presented by engineers from Pettigrew Engineering were the Dogtown temporary crossing, Dillahunty Road, the John D Forehand temporary crossing, County Road 19, Crossbuck Road, and the Harroun Bridge.
The Harroun Bridge was by far the most time-consuming and expensive. The new additions to the bridge include articulated concrete block and the application of an epoxy overlay.
“This section of road, by design – unless there’s really something substantial – the water should never be against the bottom of the bridge,” said Kenny Rayroux, assistant county manager. “It should overtop the road and carry the excess capacity.”
Lala Stroman, manager of the Motor Vehicle Department in Artesia, presented the commissioners with a report regarding the MVD’s transactions.
Stroman discussed a resolution passed by the commission in 2011, which discontinued the distribution of foreign national identification cards at the MVD office in Artesia. Currently, the office neither distributes them nor assists in the process of upgrading them to state driver’s licenses.
Wesley Hooper, director of community services, suggested changing that resolution at a later date.
“We might be bringing that back for you all to look at to see if we want to change it to go ahead and process these,” said Hooper.
However, if that were to be changed and the Artesia office were to distribute foreign national ID cards, Stroman says she would need to have a bilingual staff.
“Everyone in the office will need to translate from Spanish to English and English to Spanish,” said Stroman. “I don’t have the personnel for that.”
According to Rayroux, the distribution was discontinued due to documents required to update the cards being frequently found to be fraudulent.
In other business, the commissioners heard a public hearing for the sale of real property by Eddy- Lea Alliance, LLC, approved the safety net care pool certification of public funds for the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2015-16, and approved the check approval list for February 2016. Commissioners also honored Alredo Parraz, who has worked in the Public Works Department for 15 years, with a service award.