Roswell, N.M. – The city of Roswell is facing a worker shortage amidst the storms that hit the region this weekend and is struggling with maintaining services for the local residents. Clean-up efforts are being fronted as a team effort amongst the different departments of the city.
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Since Sunday, the city has had to deal with drainage issues that have caused flooding in the streets, hail damage, and even dealing with dead fish that had to be cleaned up from the Nancy Lopez golf course at Spring River, as well as many fish that were swept into the arroyos.
Jim Burress, the city of Roswell special services director, says this workload is not something you can prepare but has to be done no matter what. “We’re not staffed for this. you have to have a sequence of events and pull you guys together and decide what to do next,” Burress says.
Adding to the problem is the lack of city workers. Right now, Roswell needs to fill 79 positions across all of its departments. It is across all departments, but solid waste and the parks and rec departments are feeling the greatest hurt.
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Solid waste is having trouble picking up all the trash left behind from the flooded streets since Memorial Day weekend. Now all the rain has caused another problem at the landfill. The garbage trucks are sinking in the mud from all the rain.
Solid Waste Department Director Abraham Chaparro says each department has been working tirelessly to get things running smoothly with the staff they have. They are working closely with the other departments and all operate together as units.
They had to had had the street department when some of their trucks were getting stuck in the mud at the landfill and alleyways. “My trucks the cities trucks run the alley a lot of those alleys are not going to pass as well. those alleys are also utility corridors as well,” Chaparro said.
The city is asking for patience from residents as many have complained about weeds growing out of control at city parks and trash bins being filled with water that is causing even more of a mess. “Be patient obviously no department is staffed for these type of things you know you have a 100-year rainstorm or thousand-year rains storm whatever it was were not staffed for that,” Burress said.
The parks department has the most at 17 open positions and the city is looking to plan another job fairly soon to help fill all the positions in the city. The city is also looking to repair potholes from all the flooding but is having difficulty as the roads have not dried out enough. The landfill is also waiting on the water to dry before a new cell could be dug up. The cell is expected to be completed by the end of the month.