Public opinion mixed on bypass road

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By Carol A. Clark

The goal of Thursday’s transportation board meeting was to hear the latest alignment options for the West Jemez Road project, analyze the West Road study results, gather public comment and vote on a recommendation to take before county council.

“Our function is to digest public comment and give that to council as part of our recommendation,” Chair Chal Spencer said. “We can’t make a recommendation tonight because we don’t have a quorum and council’s next meeting is before our board meets again.”

Four members of the seven member transportation board must be present to constitute a quorum, he said.

As an alternative, the board will present the evening’s minutes to council to make them aware of the public’s comments, Spencer said, adding that it’s a complicated issue as to whether there is consensus that the bypass road is even needed, and if so, then the technical issues as to what would be the best road to build.

“We’re at a point in the design where we need a decision on this – we can’t go any further and time is money on this now,” Public Works Director Kyle Zimmerman said.