Downtown street lights on the way

By Tony Parra

New street lights down the sidewalk off of First Street in front of Portales City Hall and extending past the Doerr and Knudson attorney offices are in the near future for Portales.

Jeremy Sturm, economic development director for the city, said during Tuesday’s city council meeting that light posts have been ordered and will be placed along First Street as part of an $85,000 streetscape grant.

During the meeting city councilors approved sending a reimbursement request of $20,000 to the New Mexico Department of Transportation for the work completed so far in the project.

Through the streetscape project, construction workers have made curb, gutter and sidewalk improvements in the downtown area on First Street from Abilene to Avenue B.
l City councilors approved a resolution supporting a planning grant application for funding to use aerial photography along with equipment, software and training to support Geographic Information Systems mapping.

Sturm said city administrators are working on a Community Development Block Grant application for Planning and Zoning and want to submit it to the Southeastern New Mexico Community Development Council for $50,000.

“There is a need for mapping and to create an inventory of vacant properties,” City Manager Debi Lee said. “The base maps are old and outdated. Sammy (Standefer, planning director) and I are rewriting a planning and zoning (code) because the planning and zoning maps are old and outdated.”

Lee said new base maps will show more up-to-date information on layers of zoning, water lines, sewer lines and layers of private and city properties.

• City councilor Ron Jackson presented head coach Ruth Chavez and the Portales High School volleyball players with a certificates and a proclamation recognizing Chavez and the girls for the successful 2005 volleyball season.

“It’s a blessing for me to be able to coach,” Chavez said. “They’re (volleyball players) great students and wonderful people. We’re really proud of them.”

Portales defeated St. Michael’s to win the 3A championship title. The Lady Rams went 22-3 with their only losses coming from Tatum, Roswell and El Paso Bel Air. Jackson honored Chavez for being named coach of they year by the New Mexico Activities Association and Megan Kabrick for being named the player of the year.

• The Cultural Affairs Committee for the city of Portales has four new members. Pilar Moreno, Geni Flores and Elizabeth Galligan and Jennifer Ornelas are the four new members appointed at the meeting. The committee members during the year help out with city festivities and celebrations such as Cinco de Mayo, Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and Dia de las Familias.

• Lee introduced two new faces on the city of Portales staff, Joe Ramirez, the new utilities superintendent and Raul Muniz, the new fire chief. Ramirez comes from Tucumcari while Muniz was a captain for the Raton Fire Department.