City council celebrates new channel

By Tony Parra

Mayor Orlando Ortega and city councilors on Tuesday celebrated a new channel on Comcast cable television that will televise community events.
Comcast viewers can flip to channel 19 and view Roosevelt County events, including the city council and school board meetings. Ortega also said organization members interested in posting events can contact Denise Burnett, Portales Library director, at 356-3940.
“The purpose for this channel is endless,” said Dennis Jones, Comcast general manager. “There was another system in upstate New York, which televises council and school meetings. This will give those people who are unable to attend the meetings a chance to see them. It’s a huge benefit to the community.”
Portales City Manager Debi Lee said the channel can also be used to notify Roosevelt County residents of severe weather and to post weather warnings.
City Council members on Tuesday also confirmed the appointment of interim fire chief Jesse Mowrer as the Portales Fire Department fire chief.
“He has had to deal with personnel and budget issues,” Lee said. “Jesse is very aligned with the community and it’s a great honor to present him as the fire chief.”
Lee said Mowrer has been interim fire chief since Lee moved to Portales to become the city manager (in late December).
“I would like to say, I appreciate the opportunity,” Mowrer said. “Citizens can count on the best EMS (Emergency Medical Services) and fire service ever.”
City councilors approved an agreement with the Portales Main Street Board to allow the board members to pursue opportunities to find businesses to use city-owned buildings. One of the projects PMSB members help gain funding for is the Yam Theatre building renovations. Renovations are taking place on the building located on South Main Street, south of the downtown square.
Greg Erf, a Mainstreet member, said the Yam Theatre could be used for family reunions, theater camps, and wedding receptions.
Stephen Doerr, PMSB member and city attorney, said the members will negotiate contracts with interested business members and once a contract is agreed on, the contract will be presented to the city councilors for their approval.