Commission says cattle guards will stay

By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

Like it or not, the cattle guards are going to stay on Quay Road 70, the Quay County commissioners told rancher Dusty Stone at their Friday meeting.

Stone and his dad, Lee Stone, drive a team of horses on the road to check their land and animals. The installation of cattle guards over the summer, at the request of a neighboring landowner, requires them to stop, get off their rig and tie up the horses to open a gate so that they can proceed down the road.

Dusty Stone came to the meeting to ask for the cattle guards to be removed.

And even though he argued his case for more than an hour, citing various state statues, he did not prevail.

“I want the cattle guards out of there,” Stone told the commissioners.

“The cattle guards stay,” commissioner Franklin McCasland said.

The commissioners, however, did agree that a better gate, latching system and maintenance of the cattle guards could be provided by the county.

After the meeting Stone said, “It was business, I don’t want anyone to take anything personal. But anybody who wants to come look at the situation can.”

Stone also said that horses and a team have the same rights as vehicles on the roads. “If you can’t have a gate across a road to make a car stop and open a gate, then you shouldn’t be able to have a gate on a road that makes someone driving a team stop and open a gate.”

In another matter before the commission, developer Bob Poorman presented a plan for development of small ranches, between 47 and 154 acres each, on land in Quay west of Highway 209 at the base of the caprock.

The land is at the south end of Quay Valley off of Quay Road 43.

Poorman, who is a principal with Ranch Enterprises with offices in Santa Rosa, said a hydrologist was currently conducting studies to be presented to the state.

Water will not be provided to individual property owners, Poorman said.

The plan calls for property owners to have a homeowners association and for the property owners to share wells and storage tanks, he said.

Shallow wells have, so far, provided better quality water than deeper wells, Poorman said.

Poorman said he has developed properties in other areas of New Mexico and Texas.

The development project was presented as an informational item and no action was taken by the commission.