Land sale approved

By Tony Parra

City councilors during Tuesday’s city council meeting approved a resolution for the sale of city property to a Portales attorney to create offices for his law firm in the downtown area.
Councilors approved the sale of 301 S. Ave. A. for $5,000 to Eric Dixon. City Attorney Stephen Doerr said the real estate sales agreement must still be signed by Dixon and Mayor Orlando Ortega. The contract requires for Dixon either to restore the building on the property or tear down the building and have completed construction of the a new office building on the property. Once the new office building is completed, Dixon will convert his existing office on 309 S. Ave. A into three apartment units, according to the resolution.
“The property was in very poor condition,” Ortega said. “It was given to the city two years ago. It’s been abandoned for several years. It’s pretty much an eyesore. We agreed to take ownership. Mr. Dixon will refurbish the building and make it nice for downtown.”
In other business at the meeting:
— Councilor Jake Lopez said he had been receiving complaint calls about an extension of Beech Street, east of the Western Skies Subdivision, being closed off. Lopez said residents wanted to use the street.
Ortega said metal barriers with reflections were placed on the street to keep people from driving on the street. Lopez said it’s a platted street, but it’s an undeveloped platted dirt street.
“Until the developer creates property on it, it’s going to be blocked off,” Ortega said. “The reason it was closed off was because neighbors were complaining of standing water and poor drainage. There were four-wheelers and four-wheel drive vehicles mud-bogging. It’s the responsibility of the land owner. It’s been platted, but it’s not an official city street.”
Ortega said city officials are requesting for legislative funding to address the street problem. Ortega said if they receive legislative funding they will address the drainage problem in the area.
— Ortega and city councilors approved a resolution adopting the comprehensive plan put together by Consensus Planning Inc. representatives in Albuquerque. Ortega said the Consensus Planning Inc. officials had been working on the comprehensive plan for a year.
Ortega said comprehensive plan drafts are available at City Hall for members of the public.
— City manager Debi Lee announced Jeremy Sturm will be the new director of community development planning and zoning director. Lee said Sturm will begin his tenure on March 14 to replace Darla Wilhoit, who resigned in January.