Council votes to move forward with grant application

By Sarah Meyer, PNT Staff Writer

The Portales City Council sped through its business Tuesday, finishing in 30 minutes.

Councilors quickly approved most agenda items and tabled two business items.

Among the items approved was a notice of intent to adopt an ordinance that will allow the city to receive funding from the New Mexico Economic Development Department to install an 8-inch sewer line from Sunland Peanuts to Kilgore Street.

City Manager Debi Lee said the project will allow Sunland to expand its operations, adding 15 new jobs.

The Local Economic Development Grant would provide $159,000 of the $250,000 project, Lee said. Sunland would contribute $89,000.

City officials are considering annexing Sunland and other properties between current city limits and Sunland along U.S. 70, Lee said.

Items tabled included a request for proposals for banking services.

Mayor Pro-tem Mike Miller asked that the matter be tabled until one of the council’s November meetings so staff can have time to review the proposals. He said there are several variables to be considered.

Also tabled was consideration of bids for downtown courthouse square streetscape and parking improvements.

Lee said only one bid was received and it was over budget. The city could seek new bids in spring, redesign the project or try to find the additional money. The item will be brought back to the council Nov. 4.

Councilors also approved resolutions in support of Bond D for education, which includes $12 million for construction projects at Eastern New Mexico University, and in support of Bond B for libraries, which includes $29,266 for Portales Public Library, $117,168 for ENMU’s Golden Library, and $50,451 for public schools in Roosevelt County.

In other action, the council approved:

• paying September bills.

• a resolution authorizing application for an Emergency Medical Services grant toward purchase of a new ambulance.

• a resolution authorizing application for an EMS local systems improvement project for the fire department.

• a resolution authorizing a grant from the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security for $46,921. The funds will be used to pay one-half of the salary of the emergency management director, retroactive to January 2008 and continuing through June 2009.