Meanwhile, the county has approved the hiring of six new sheriff’s deputies. Sheriff Mark Cage requested the new positions as part of an overall plan to hire a total of 12 new deputies over the next four years. The six new positions now will cost about 142-thousand dollars for the remainder of this fiscal year. Anually, the cost is expected to run about 370-thousand dollars. Sheriff Cage said the population growth of Eddy County is driving the need for the additional deputies.