ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – Much-needed rain around the state is proving to be a big problem in southeastern New Mexico. Roswell city officials say they’ve had to cite nearly 1,000 people for weeds, but what happens when the city fails to follow its own rules?
Weeds can be seen from parking lots to alley ways in Roswell. They can even be seen on city property.
“I come out here and the weeds were 3-foot tall. There was grass all over. I couldn’t stand it,” said Bert Eldridge.
Headstones and flowers were fully engulfed at the Roswell Veteran’s Cemetery on Tuesday morning.
“This is supposed to be a place of respect and taken care of,” said Eldrigde. “The City of Roswell agreed to maintain it and for some reason, I don’t know, they haven’t done a thing to it for a month.”
Veterans say the city failed to maintain the cemetery after officials sent out a PSA on Tuesday telling people to clean up their yards or else. Code enforcement officials said they cited 980 people last month for overgrown weeds. That’s double the number of people cited last July.
But why isn’t the city following its own rules?
“I think it got out of hand because of the rain,” said Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh.
Kintigh admits not all city property is in tip-top shape. He said staff shortage is to blame.
“They have two guys out and they had funerals today so when you have those kinds of events piling up then priorities slip,” said Kintigh.
Veterans said they asked the city to clean up the cemetery three weeks ago.
“I was so mad this morning I was ready to get all the veterans to go shut down city hall – go stand in front of the door and not let anyone go to work,” said Eldridge.
The city did clean up the veterans cemetery Tuesday morning, but only after vets say they went to city hall and complained. The mayor said city workers will work overtime all this week or until all city properties are cleaned up.