Neighborhoods' Roads in a Rut
All is not rosy in some Torrance County neighborhoods south of Edgewood.
Maintenance of a road off of A102, Hummingbird Lane, was the source of much discussion at the June 27 Torrance County Commission meeting.
Everyone at the meeting agreed that the road is bad, with ruts big enough to rip an oil pan from the bottom of a car and stop a four-wheel drive truck in its tracks.
Representatives of the neighborhood insist it is a county road and were there to ask for the county's help in maintaining it. However, it is not entirely clear if the road is private or if belongs to the county.
Those from the neighborhood said that hundreds of families live on the road, and it needs to be repaired in case emergency responders have to drive on it.
Both Commissioner Venessa Chavez-Gutierrez and Rick Lopez, Torrance County Republican chairman, argued that there are lots of roads in the county that are just as bad.
"I am totally sympathetic with what you're saying … (But) why is it that in Tajique, in Estancia, or in another neighborhood … they should have to pay for your road?" said Lopez. "You are asking taxpayers across the board to go in and clean up a private road."
"There are plenty of these roads throughout Torrance County … We represent the entire county, and this county is filled with many roads that need (repair). So at this point … (I would) not support this request," said Chavez.
Steven Guetschow, planning and zoning coordinator, said the road would have to be brought up to county standards before the county would consider taking it over — it must have some degree of maintenance, and, as of now, utilities and fences are in the way.
In the end, all the commissioners could do was to agree to find out if it is a county road or not.
This discussion comes right as the commissioners are working on a public relations campaign to convince residents of the county to approve an increase in the capital outlay gross receipts tax. The proceeds of this tax would go to the road department.
Chavez said that only taxes from two gas stations in the county contribute to the road department.
Also at the meeting, unhappy neighbors of the Founders Ranch had their say.
Brian Kaesman, a representative for the neighborhood, said that old planning and zoning documents allow the Single Action Shooting Society four events a year at the ranch, which are not supposed to affect any houses in the area.
Kaesman said that the ranch holds far more than four events a year, and the Warrior's Dash in early May was the last straw, with thousands of people attending the event. The neighbors dealt with an influx of people, loud noise, open fire pits and no respect for private property, said Kaesman.
He said some people who live in the area could not even get out of their driveway, which was not only annoying but was a safety hazard.
The Founders Ranch is just southwest of Edgewood, in Commissioner Lonnie Freyburger's district.
Freyburger promised to meet with representatives of the society and the Warrior's Dash to try to address the concerns.
Misty Miller, marketing director for the society, got up to say that her organization heard the neighbors' concerns, and would work with the commissioners.