City councilors officially adopt transportation committee’s study

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

Portales City Council officially adopted the year-long study that has produced the Portales Transportation Plan along with its recommendations.

Work on the plan, done by a citizen and stakeholder group called the Portales Transportation Planning Committee, was directed by G.C. Engineering. It is wide-ranging, from a recommended northwest alignment for a relief route to take truck traffic out of the downtown to roundabouts, traffic-calming measures, drainage and things as simple as moving the mailboxes off the square.

Council members got their first full look at the plan last month at a work session, and only minor changes were made before the formal presentation. City officials and committee members agreed that timely action, even if it’s on the smaller scoped recommendations, is crucial to the plan’s success.

“I recommend that we keep the group together a little bit longer while we clarify that the leftover money from the study can be used for construction,” Portales City Manager Debi Lee said. “Our first option is to put something physical and visible up as soon as possible.”

Kathy Good of the PTPC and Councilor Diane Parker agreed they didn’t want the plan to sit on a shelf and continued movement was important.

“I think it’s very, very crucial that we do something with it while it’s fresh on people’s minds,” Parker said.

The study was funded with a $250,000 legislative appropriation. Lee has said approximately $100,000 of that is available to begin making some of the recommended changes.

In other business councilors:

• Adopted the 2009-2013 Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan document that is necessary to gain capital outlay funds from the Legislature.

• Declared narcotic detection dog CeCe surplus property and approved her being sold to her handler so that she can retire because of health problems. A new dog has already arrived.

• Appointed Amy Franz as representative to El Llano Estacado RC&D.

• Approved the citizen participation plan for the Community Development Block Grant process.