Council sets rules for area parks

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

A new skatepark earlier this year got the ball rolling and Portales city councilors took things a step further Tuesday, formally setting in place rules and policies for all parks and recreation facilities in the city.

A 16-page-long packet gave councilors the specifics on everything from park hours (6 a.m. to 11 p.m.) to the formal appeals process for someone banned from a city park or recreation facility.

City councilor and recreation board member Ron Jackson told council the addition of the new skatepark in front of the recreation center brought the need for formal policies and rules to the forefront for the recreation board, but the new policies also fit with the board’s strategic plan.

“We wanted to come up with the same kind of process for all of our parks,” Jackson said.

City Manager Debi Lee said the rules laid out would provide an umbrella policy structure for all the recreation areas and various activities the city is involved with. In addition, she said that the policies would give police more authority and guidance in enforcement of unacceptable behavior at recreation sites and banning individuals who don’t follow the rules.

“What we attempted to do with this policy was identify a general policy for park use,” Lee said.

Councilor Jake Lopez asked Jackson why an appeal board was being set up.

“Are you having a problem,” Lopez asked?

Jackson answered that there was no particular problem but that the board just wanted to have an overall policy in place to avoid problems and formalize the process.

In other business councilors:

• Passed a notice of intent to adopt an ordinance for a franchise agreement with Yucca Telecommunications.

• Adopted a resolution allowing the mayor to execute a marketing agreement with the New Mexico Tourism Department that will provide the city with $4,000 in state funds to market the city to tourists through magazines, billboards, newspapers and other forms of advertising.

• Approved interim budget adjustments.

• Approved a resolution renewing a contract for use of the city’s wastewater effluent by two adjacent landowners.

• Heard an update of major capital projects from Community Development Director Jeremy Sturm.