By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer
Most of the $700,000 the city is scheduled to receive from the 2005 capital outlay budget is earmarked for road repairs.
The budget is subject to approval by Gov. Bill Richardson.
The city is scheduled to receive roughly one third of the $725,000 it requested for road improvements.
Of the $250,000 the city received for road improvements, $150,000 was for general maintenance and $100,000 for North Avenue O.
“We’re really happy with the totals,” Debi Lee, Portales city manager, said. “We (Lee, Mayor Orlando Ortega and Public Works Director Tom Howell) will get together with city councilors to select the priority streets in bad condition with high traffic to do first (with the $150,000).”
The funding for the North Avenue O project would go toward building curbs and gutters.
City councilor Jake Lopez said there is a strong need for curb and gutter improvements in many parts of the north side of Portales.
Lee said the city already has $90,000 for the improvements to North Avenue O in place and is hopeful for the start of construction at some point in time in the summer.
City officials were surprised by the $250,000 set aside for a proposed truck by-pass on U.S. 70.
Neither Lee nor city councilor Mike Miller said the truck by-pass was listed as one of the Legislative priorities.
Rep. Jose Campos, D-Santa Rosa, who sponsored the bill, could not be reached Monday for comment.
Lee said the estimated cost of a truck by-pass is $6 million.
Lopez is optimistic the $250,000 requested by Campos for the by-pass will be added to the money allocated for street improvements.
Purchasing street equipment was also a priority.
Street equipment requests were for example, $125,000 for a garbage truck to $75,000 for a tire roller. However, only $75,000 was approved.
The city is also scheduled to receive $125,000 for improving railroad approaches. Ortega said the goal is to use the money to build concrete approaches to North Main Street instead of the current chipseal.
“There is a lot of heavy truck traffic using that approach,”
Ortega said. “The chip seal is a weak surface for use on a daily basis. Our goal is to replace it with good, thick concrete for re-inforcement for traffic.”
City officials said they were appreciative of the legislators for the funding that was approved.
City of Portales
2005 Legislative Session
Project Amount Bill sponsor
North Ave. O Improvements $100,000 Rep. Joe Campos
St. Equipment Purchase $75,000 Rep. Keith Gardner
St. Improvements $50,000 Rep. Brian Moore
St. Improvements $100,000 Sen. Stuart Ingle
Railroad Approaches $25,000 Rep. Brian Moore
Railroad Approaches $50,000 Sen. Stuart Ingle
Railroad Approaches $50,000 Sen. Gay Kernan
*Highway 70 Truck Bypass $250,000 Gov. Bill Richardson/ Rep. Joe Campos
*According to city officials may be amended to street improvements instead of bypass.
Numbers still subject to approval from Gov. Bill Richardson.