By Tony Parra
Mayor Orlando Ortega and the Portales city councilors approved a joint powers agreement during Tuesday’s city council meeting between the city of Portales and the town of Elida to provide dispatch services to Elida.
The agreement is for two years and the Elida officials will pay the city of Portales, $5,000 a year for the dispatch services. Payments shall be made in quarterly amounts of $1,250, according to city documents.
“They (Elida police department officials) approached us about it a couple of months ago,” Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said. “We will be able to help their officers on tracking with driver’s license checks. Before they were receiving basic information. Now it provides their officers with extra protection. If they check out a vehicle, they call the information to us and we’ll know who (the officer is) and where they need backup (for traffic stops, if necessary).”
Berry said the Portales Police Department will begin offering dispatch services this week. Berry said the Elida Police Department has three officers on their staff.
City councilors also approved the monthly bills for February and March. City Clerk Joan Martinez-Terry said the bills are usually approved every month, but this time they were backed up for two months. She said they were in a transition period with an interim city treasurer, after Reba Robertson retired at the end of February and since then Marilyn Rapp, who was the assistant treasurer, has been filling in as the interim city treasurer.
“They’ve (department) been short one person since then,” Martinez-Terry said. “The city will hold on hiring an additional person to the department until the end of the budget process.”
Martinez-Terry said the city of Portales must have an interim budget report by the end of June and a finalized budget by the end of July.
City officials also approved the declaration of surplus equipment from several departments for auction on June 5. There are four vehicles from the Portales Police Department in the auction, all 1994 and older models.
The water department also has four vehicles, including a dump truck, that will be at the auction. The tecnology/library department has computer equipment for the auction as well.
“A lot of the equipment is worn out and sold as is,” Martinez-Terry said. “The money we get through the auction goes to the budget of department which provided the equipment.”