City ready to look to future

Tony Parra

The city of Portales is looking for the right person to help guide it into the future.
Mayor Orlando Ortega selected a diverse, seven-member committee to help select a city planner responsible for creating a Comprehensive Plan within 12 months.
The plan will determine in what direction the Portales community is headed for the next 20 years, city officials said.
“My goal is to get everyone involved,” Ortega said. “ We will have meetings in the future that will be open to the public so that we can get everyone’s feedback. We will also have members of the (Roosevelt) county commission involved.”
The city planner will help determine how to spend local, state and federal funding for improvements dealing in a wide range of aspects, such as land use, transportation, health care, education and arts.
The Steering Committee for Comprehensive Plan and Planner Selection consists of city and school officials as well as one Portales High School student, Adriana Romero.
A junior, Romero is on the volleyball, basketball and softball teams. She is also the vice president of the junior council and a member of the Fellow Christian Athletes.
“They wanted someone with a student perspective,” Romero said. “It’s a little too early to discuss what we are doing.”
“It’s too early in the process right now to know in what direction we are heading,” said steering committee member Jake Lopez. “I’m not sure exactly how it’s going to work, yet. We still haven’t met. We still need to get together and discuss the proposals.”
A $50,000 budget will go to the city planner and his team of experts. The city planner will be responsible for keeping the public informed on the aspects of the proposal and in what ways the plan will benefit these areas of the community.
Portales received a $25,000 matching grant from the state’s Department of Finance. The other $25,000 comes from the city budget.
The last Comprehensive Plan was done in 1993.
“Many of the zoning and planning regulations that we are working under, today, are from the proposal plan of ‘93,” City Clerk Joan Martinez-Terry said.
The steering committee will present its candidate to the City Council for approval.