City council talks water wells, computers

Tony Parra

Mayor Orlando Ortega and city council members discussed the goals for water wells and a Wide Area Network for computers in all of the city’s department in Tuesday’s city council meeting.
Ortega said some of the goals he and Tom Howell, the city’s public works director, talked about was to have 10 to 13 wells converted from agriculture wells to municipal wells. Howell informed the council of the status of five wells the department is converting.
“Realistically, we are looking at getting the wells in by July or August,” Howell said.
Howell said the new wells were pumping 300 gallons per minute and municipal wells generally pump between 300 to 500 gallons per minute.
Denise Burnett, Portales Public Library director, informed Ortega and city council members of the Wide Area Network. Fiberoptic technology would allow computers from different departments across the city to be tied together and work through an intranet.
“Department heads will be able to access budget totals,” Burnett said. “It will be easier to match totals with the finance department. There will be less paper and less filing.”
City Hall, Portales Public Library, Portales Police Department, etc. would be tied together through WAN. Burnett said requests for price bids were sent to Plateau, Yucca Telecommunications and Qwest.
“Money for this has been budgeted,” Debi Lee, city manager, said. “I’m really excited. It’s cost-effective to be connected. The staff would be more efficient and we (city) won’t need to add staff.”
Ortega and the city council members proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Marsha Gilliland, executive director of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), informed the audience there will be a Light of Hope Ceremony on April 2 at noon at the Roosevelt County Courthouse.
She said CASA, which is based out of Clovis, is looking for volunteers for the program. The volunteers will be trained.
In other business at the meeting:
• Ortega and the city council members proclaimed March 20 as Fast-Pitch Softball Day in Portales.
• Rick Matthews informed the mayor and the city council members of his new business, American Eagle Tattoo.