Council to discuss funds for landscaping

By Eric Butler: PNT staff writer

Portales City Council members are expected to hear Tuesday how federal stimulus funds will be used to improve landscaping for medians on U.S. Highway 70.

Improvements are part of a $247,000 award through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act intended for the Highway 70 medians and other landscape work around the Roosevelt County Courthouse.

Other scheduled business before the councilors includes an update on the construction and renovation at YAM movie theater on Main Street, the annual report on Portales MainStreet and a department report on the city’s recreation center.

One department has two items on the agenda: Portales Fire Chief John Bridges plans to request authorization for two grant applications.

Bridges is hoping his department will be able to apply for $120,000 from the New Mexico Department of Health, Emergency Medical Services Bureau, for the purchase of a new ambulance.

The Portales Fire Department has four ambulances, but high mileage on the vehicles is causing concern.

“We have a 1994 model with 142,000 (miles), a 2000 model with 230,000, a 2001 model with 165,000 on it,” Bridges said. “We’re looking at three ambulances, based on their body style and their engine, that are high mileage and need to be replaced or remounted.

“It’s kind of a high priority for us,” he added.

Another grant application Bridges wants approved is a $56,000 request for two fully-configured heart monitors.

The fire department also has four heart monitors, but wants to replace two of them with improved versions.

“They come with newer technology for cardiac monitoring. They also come with carbon monoxide monitoring,” Bridges said. “There’s a big push for CO monitoring in rehab components for firefighters.”

Bridges said the last component is for the safety of his own personnel.

“There is an association with carbon monoxide exposure and linking that to firefighters having sudden cardiac arrest after working in a fire,” he said.