Area landowners won a small victory Wednesday when Local Growth Management Committee members were unable to reach a consensus over a document that would have created an agreement among landowners, local governments and Cannon Air Force Base on land use issues.
The majority of landowners who attended the meeting are concerned about the effects of military operations on possible wind energy projects in Roosevelt and Curry Counties.
“We have real concerns over this thing,” said Rick Ledbetter, a landowner and representative of the Roosevelt Soil and Water Conservation District.
“We do have projects that are being studied that this may affect,” said Walter Bradley, representing Dairy Farmers of America. “We need to make sure that we don’t step on something here that blows things away.”
The document – a proposed Letter of Intent – would have outlined communication procedures with the base regarding projects that could interfere with military operations.
Failure to adopt the letter was an about face from the committee’s previous meeting where the agreement was inching toward approval. Local leaders openly discussed the glaring issue that very few of their landowner constituents were interested in a written agreement with local government and the base.
“Sitting here and observing all the conversations at our last meeting and the meeting before, and all through to this point, I keep hearing that you’d rather leave it like it is,” said Portales Mayor and committee chair Sharon King. “Don’t have (a Letter of Intent), don’t do any of this. I think this has become almost a hostile implement and I hate to see that.”
In a plea to decide one way or another if the committee should move forward with the document or scrap it altogether, several members made motions that were not supported by the rest of the committee.
Unable to reach an agreeable motion, the committee was forced to take a recess to speak with legal counsel regarding its next steps.
Reached via phone, Clovis City Attorney David Richards advised that, due to lack of a motion, parliamentary procedure dictated the item on the floor was dead.
“That doesn’t mean we can’t bring it back to the agenda at some point, but for now it is no longer an issue,” King said.
No date was chosen for the next LGMC meeting since the Letter of Intent is currently off the table.
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