Portales focuses on street repairs

Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer

Portales city officials will at least explore solutions to combat the wear and tear on First and Second streets in Portales.

The decision was made during the city council meeting on Monday evening. They will do it with $250,000 received through 2005 capital outlay funds from Gov. Bill Richardson and Rep. Joe Campos, D-Santa Rosa for a solution. Many solutions are bieng considered, including a truck by-pass on U.S. Highway 70.

Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega said Campos felt after many discussions with representatives from the New Mexico Highway Department and complaints from the community members that a truck by-pass was needed.

Ortega said it wasn’t a request from city officials and that he’s not necessarily sold on a truck by-pass, but a solution for the street problem is needed. Ortega said the $250,000 will only be enough to do surveys and hiring an engineering firm to conduct feasibility studies.

“There has to be community meetings,” Portales City Manager Debi Lee said. “Truck by-passes are controversial. It needs to be introduced to the public.”

Lee said the next step is to go out for request for proposals for an engineering firm. Lee said one of the duties she and Jeremy Sturm, the city’s economic development directory, will have is to go and meet with community members to receive feedback on a truck by-pass.

Portales City Councilor Diane Parker said she has heard talk in favor and opposed to a truck by-pass.

City meetings usually take place on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, but because city councilors and administrators will be gone to Washington D.C. today to help lobby, it was rescheduled to Monday. Lee, Ortega and city councilors Gary Watkins and Ron Jackson will be in Washington D.C.

Ortega said they will talk to U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M, U.S. Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M and U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M along with congressional staff members from each of them. Ortega said they will talk to them about economic development, Cannon Air Force Base, but mostly about the Ute Water Pipeline Project.

• Summer Wilson introduced her new business, a dancing company, to city representatives on Monday. Wilson said the Spotswood/Wilson School of Dance teaches ballet, jazz and tap dancing. Jennifer Spotswood is the other dancing instructor. Classes have already started and Wilson said there are more than 60 students. People can register their children for classes by calling 356-9813. Final registration for dancing classes is Sept. 30.

• Ortega proclaimed September to be Literacy Month and Roosevelt County Literacy member Rick Hauptmann was present to receive the proclamation. Hauptmann said people can come to an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 25 at the Portales Public Library.

Hauptmann said the literacy council is looking for volunteers and clients and can call 356-8500 for more information.