City council eyes facelift for Portales

By Tony Parra

Portales residents discussed landscaping during the last comprehensive planning meeting in May and one group will be taking a step into improving the landscaping in Portales.
The Ability Service Training Responsibility Achievement girls requested funding for trees and assistance in installing a sprinkler system for landscaping the corner of 18th and Avenue D, where a Lee and Lee Auto warehouse exists. The business is closed and the property belongs to Mike and Donna Tucker, according to city clerk Joan Martinez-Terry. People who attended the comprehensive plan meeting said improvements needed to be done to the Portales scenery.
The ASTRA girls are a junior teen girls’ club version of the Altrusa Woman’s Club. The ASTRA Club Corner Project is a project in which members will grow shrubs, grass, plants and grass story on the corner. Mayor Orlando Ortega and city councilors approved funding for the removal of a electricity pole ($3,000), not functioning and the cost of materials for putting in a sprinkler system ($672.83, labor not included).
Ortega and city councilors approved a change to ordinance 21-9 allowing members of the recreational advisory board to oversee the management and conduct of all city recreational activities and establish a well-rounded recreational program.
The recreational advisory members will oversee activities such as girls softball leagues, tennis camps, little league football and soccer, along with the recreation center and the softball complex for adults, located off the industrial park road.
Many of the little league programs and the recreation center already have directors, but Ron Jackson, recreational advisory chairman, said the directors’ responsibilities will stay the same.
“The programs have been running well,” Jackson said. “We want to have all of the programs under one umbrella. We want to try to get more participation in the programs and make them more accessible to the citizens. We want to give the programs more exposure.”
Community Services Center employees will be getting a two mini-vans and bids were announced during the city meeting. Approval of bids for the mini-vans was put on hold until city attorneys could look into other options of awarding the bids for the lowest bid possible.
The $96,000 funding for CSC vehicles was received through severance tax funds contracted with the state agency on aging. CSC Executive Director Pamela O’Malley said the vans will be used to deliver meals to senior citizens and to pick up seniors who volunteer.
“We also use it to provide adult day care,” O’Malley said. “We don’t have anything to transport seniors outside of a five-mile radius. The area-transit vans for the city can’t travel outside of a five-mile radius. We’ll be able to travel to seniors in different places in Roosevelt County with the two mini-vans.”
Ortega and city councilors also approved the contract for Sandra Rush as city auditor. The contracts are annually with the option to renew annually for a total of three years total.