By ROB LARSON
Daily Press Staff Writer
After a lengthy discussion, the Eddy County Commission decided Tuesday on some preliminary numbers to begin discussions with various local oil and gas producers in the hope of partnering with them to repair and maintain county roads frequently used by the oil and gas industry.
At first, the commission discussed potentially paying 50 or 70 percent of the road construction, with the oil and gas industry covering the rest. They also contemplated beginning the talks with no set percentage or monetary value in mind, but County Manager Allen Sartin advised against it. … For the rest of the story, subscribe in print and on the web.
“It needs to be narrowed a little bit so they know what we’d consider to be reasonable,” Sartin told the commission. “Obviously, they’re going to have their perspective, and we’ll go back and forth in the negotiations. If we give them a percentage, which would be up to you guys, that would be a good starting point for them to respond to.”
Ultimately, the commission settled on asking the oil and gas industry to pay for 70 percent of the road work. The remaining 30 percent of the cost would be covered by the county. As Sartin pointed out, “these numbers aren’t final.”
“Because the majority of these roads are used by the oil industry, I would suggest that we start by saying we’ll pay for 30 percent and the oil and gas industry pays for 70 percent,” Commissioner Tony Hernandez said. “Right now, they’re doing a lot of road maintenance on their own.”