Local owners aim for new package store

By Tony Parra

Danny Heflin of Danny Heflin Builders in Portales said he is looking to begin construction on a new liquor package store between three to six weeks.
The liquor package store will be located at 1013 W. 2nd St., next to the new Dollar General store which opened up earlier this year. A public hearing was held at Tuesday’s city meeting so Mayor Orlando Ortega and city councilors could listen to supporters and the opposition of the new liquor store.
“I would like to have a specialty package store,” Susan Hamilton Dick, owner of the new liquor store, said. “I would like to have upscale beer and wine. It’s going to be very nice. We’re still in the planning stages.”
There was no opposition at the public hearing. Dick said she would like to offer a larger variety of beers and wines than what is being offered at the Goober McCool’s bar and package store. She is also the owner of Goober McCool’s and has owned it since 1985. She said the new package store will have as many beers from microbreweries as they can carry.
Dick is working with Chad Heflin, who will be her partner in the endeavor. Danny Heflin said the store will be approximately 1,533 square feet. According to Danny Heflin, it will take three to four months to build the store.
In other business at the meeting:
• Portales Police Department Chief Jeff Gill gave a briefing on drug operations and searches in conjunction with the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Department and Roosevelt County adult probation officers, which have turned up 27 arrests involving marijuana and methamphetamines.
Gill said the operations have been going on for the last 30 days from the ‘informal’ task force. He said there were three undercover purchases of narcotics. He said there were 18 drug operations and six additional searches.
“There has been quiet a lot of activity,” Gill said. “We’ve seized vehicles, money and drugs. Things are happening on a daily basis. All of them are felonies.”
• Gill also addressed the problem of tenants letting their weeds grow too long on their properties. Gill said there was a vacancy in code enforcement, which was recently filled, to address the problem.
“We’ve written dozens of warning letters involving weeds,” Gill said. “People can call the Portales Police Department if there are problems that need to be addressed. I’ll get someone over there.”
Councilor Jake Lopez said he was concerned with the weed problem in Portales. Gill said an option the code enforcement department will look into is working with the municipal court and writing citations to those who don’t mow their lawns.
“Unfortunately there’s not a quick fix,” Gill said about the process — which requires sending letters, receiving a response, having city workers mow the properties and bill the owners.
“We’re trying to approach the problem with a lot of one-on-one contact,” Gill said.