County, city leaders finalizing money requests for 2006

Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer

Street, road repairs and building improvements top the wish lists for city and county representatives for the upcoming 2006 New Mexico legislative session Jan. 17.

The Roosevelt County commissioners have settled on six capital outlay requests. Roosevelt County has seen rainy conditions this year which has required county road crews to repair the roads. That takes money and it’s one of the requests for this year’s capital outlay session.

County officials are asking for $1.5 million for road improvements, $600,000 for road equipment, $516,000 for the detention center, $800,000 for fairground improvements, $112,000 for group home equipment and more than $1 million for heating and electric improvements to courthouse.

Charlene Hardin, county administrator, presented commissioners with cost estimates for each request which were lower than the numbers they settled on. Commissioners wanted higher projections because of the continuing increase in costs of building materials.

The total amount of money set aside for Roosevelt County from 2005 capital outlay monies was $983,000. The money went for new vehicles for the sheriff’s department, road improvements, road equipment and fairground improvements.

Debi Lee, Portales city manager, said options will be presented to city councilors during the Dec. 21 city meeting for their approval. Lee said the city has a 5-year infrastructure plan for upgrades to Portales.

One of the items which will be listed for approval from city councilors is street repairs. Lee said they are looking at approximately $1.5 million in requests for street improvements, more specifically curb and gutter work. According to Lee, another item is roof repairs to the fire station, public library and city hall.

She said the animal shelter and swimming pool are listed as two other places in need of upgrades.

“We’re going to have to do some work on them to be able to keep them up to code (because of new regulations),” Lee said. “We can’t afford to lose the swimming pool. We use it a lot.”

The City of Portales is also in need of garbage trucks and a street sweeper, according to Lee. She said park improvements will be something else presented to the city councilors. She said city councilors will get a chance to finalize the capital outlay requests during the Dec. 20 meeting.

Lee said she would like to have a meeting between state and city representatives in early January to discuss the needs.

The City of Portales received $700,000 for street repair, street equipment and improvements to railroad approaches from the 2005 capital outlay requests.

The Portales School District is in need of improvements to some of the older buildings in the district. Randy Fowler, school superintendent, said they are seeking money for renovations to the Steiner, James and Lindsey elementary buildings.

“We would like to do some work on the older buildings,” Fowler said. “They are very old buildings.”

Fowler said some of the work would be new energy-saving windows and other building maintenance items.