City approves bond for college housing project

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Portales City Council signed-off as a sponsor for the issuance of $14 million in bonds to build student housing at Eastern New Mexico University during Tuesday’s regular meeting.

“The city was asked by ENMU to sponsor their development, in partnership with Collegiate Development (Services) to build a housing complex,” Portales City Manager Debi Lee said.

Lee said the city is not responsible for payments on the bonds, it is merely a sponsor in order to help ENMU out on the sale of the bonds. Having the city as a sponsor allows the university to purchase the bonds with a percentage being non-taxable which benefits the project, she said.

According to Kevin Powers, a representative of RBC Dain Rauscher, Inc., $335,000 of the bonds will be taxable, while the remainder is non-taxable to the university.

Included in the taxable amount are services and tangible items in accordance with IRS standards, Lee said.

According to a previous PNT report, the project, proposes to build new residence halls on the ENMU campus just east of Eddy Hall. The complex would include four buildings with approximately 270 total beds.

The developer chosen by ENMU for the project is Collegiate Development Services of Irving, Texas. Plans call for construction to begin this fall with completion likely by the fall of 2007.
City coucilors also adopted a new vision and mission statement for the city of Portales at the meeting.

After attending a leadership summit last month, the mayor and city council hammered out the new slogan: “Working with the citizens to ensure quality of life now and in the future.”

“It was time we updated our vision and mission,” Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega said.

The mayor said it had been six or seven years since the city had taken a look at its mission statement.

“The intent was to paint a picture of what we want Portales to look like,” Lee said.

In other business coucilors:

• Approved a budget of $126,110 for the Portales Area Transit System.

• Took action to accept grants of $325,000 approved for further streetscape improvements in the downtown area

• Approved a resolution authorizing the mayor to execute a funding agreement with the New Mexico Economic Development Department that will provide $3,000 in funding for materials and services to market Portales.

• Took action authorizing the mayor to execute an agreement for architectural services for the remodel of the Yam Theater.

• Gave authorization for the mayor to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between EMS Region III and the Portales Fire Department to accept a disaster preparedness trailer.