Economic forum to expand on ideas to improce community

Tony Parra

By Tony Parra
PNT Staff Writer
Tony_Parra@link.freedom.com
The economic development forum’s follow-up session is slated for 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday at Eastern New Mexico University. The forum will take place in the Zia room of the Campus Union Building.
The first economic development forum took place on Oct. 2. in the same location.
“It does us very little good to talk why it’s important,” Rusty Galloway, Portales News-Tribune associate publisher and economic development forum organizer, said. “It’s another thing to follow through with it. We need to discuss the areas and decide if we need to do away with any of them or expand on some of them.”
The forum on Oct. 2 specified the ideas down to eight areas of concern for the community: ENMU, health care, housing, marketing, quality of life, tourism, transportation and water. Organizers hope that out of these areas, the participants will focus on which ones are most important.
“It was interesting listening about the local business owners expanding and bringing in new ones (businesses),” D.K. Shafer, city council member, said about the first forum. “It is the backbone of the community. If you have more new businesses it will help keep the businesses you have.”
There were 61 people who attended the original four-hour-long economic development forum. During the forum Noreen Scott, the director of the Rio Rancho Economic Development Corporation, gave a presentation and there was a slide show from the Roosevelt Chamber of Commerce, which will be used as a publicity tool to get people to move to Portales.
The economic development forum follow-up will only be for two hours, with no slides or presentations. There will be a welcome and recap from Galloway, but the time will be used to narrow the options down and get a more specific idea of what the community needs.
Some of the specific ideas people came up with for the community include an all-night diner, a quality hotel and more late-night entertainment options for college students.
“We need to define the objective in each area,” Galloway said. “We need to determine what action will be taken toward accomplishing goals and what steps we need to take.”
There is no cost and no reservations are necessary.
Galloway said he hopes 30 people will attend.