A Portales man wants to donate his life-long windmill collection to the county to be used as a tourist attraction, an idea the city turned down several years ago.
Bill Dalley brought the matter to the Roosevelt County Commission on Tuesday.
Dalley has been collecting windmills for 30 years.
“I would like to keep them in the county, because most of them came from the county,” Dalley said.
He said tourists passing through Portales have sought out his home to see the collection many times in past years, and his wife has the guest books signed by visitors to prove it.
“Just the other day, a couple from Georgia stopped by to see the windmills. They said they saw the mills on the front page of a travel magazine at the state line,” said Dalley’s wife, Alta.
Roosevelt County Commissioner Bill Cathey said he likes the idea, and thinks the windmills could be best displayed at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds, and maybe even downtown on the square.
“I’m going to do all I can to preserve and keep the windmills together,” Cathey said, adding he will work with the fair board, city council and chamber of commerce to try to move the idea along.
City officials said they have already been approached with the idea of a windmill tourist attraction, and there’s a catch.
“I’d love to keep the windmills here, but we couldn’t work around the plan the Dalley family had,” said Mayor Sharon King.
King said when the idea was discussed years ago, the Dalleys wanted the city to maintain the windmills, but they would keep legal ownership of them.
“The city won’t pay to maintain something it doesn’t own,” King said, adding the city would discuss the matter more seriously if the Dalley family would donate the windmills outright.
King also has her concerns about any ideas involving a windmill on the square. She says not only would the city have to fence it in for liability reasons, but the square was just remodeled.
“There’s been a lot of time and money spent remodeling the square. I would have to see a plan,” King said.