Council appoints Keith Thomas to Ward D seat

Argen Duncan

Keith Thomas, co-owner of Portales Home Medical Equipment, is stepping into the Ward D Portales City Council position Michael Miller vacated.

The council voted to appoint Thomas at their meeting Tuesday in City Hall. Twelve people applied to finish the last two years of Miller’s term after he resigned because he moved to a different ward and was selling the house in Ward D.

Thomas is to be sworn into office before the next meeting.

Mayor Sharon King said Thomas is a land owner, business owner, father and the type of person people wanted in a councilor.

Thomas and his wife, Laurie, have four children, and he has lived in Portales 12 years. He said his family is excited and wants to see Portales grow.

“(With) this many bright minds on the council, I think good things are going to happen,” he said.

Thomas said he plans to ask the other 11 applicants for help and ideas. His other goals as councilor include working on water, roads and activities for youth.

“Everybody says our children are our future,” Thomas said. “Let’s invest in our future.”

Also, he wants to support senior citizens.

In other business, the council:

• heard an update from New Mexico Department of Transportation personnel on the plan for improvements on U.S. 70 from Avenue R to Bryan Avenue.

The pavement from Avenue R to Avenue K is to be rehabilitated. Both First and Second streets from Avenue K to Bryan are to be reconstructed with concrete roadways, parking lanes and sidewalks, said project manager Derek Meier.

For safety reasons, Meier said, workers will close Avenue G and Boston Avenue at First Street.

Design team members are set to discuss plans one-on-one with property owners along the roads today from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. in City Hall.

Meier said construction is scheduled to begin in winter of next year and last about 12 months.

Also, DOT personnel have plans to eventually reconstruct U.S. 70 from Bryan to Stripes and replace the top layer of the road from Stripes to N.M. 467.

• approved a notice of intent to annex the Raven Wood Estates subdivision and to zone it as a Planned Zone Development.

• approved the final plat for Raven Wood Estates. The first phase of development contains 43 lots just south of 18th Street, and the houses are expected to cost $129,000 to $170,000.

• authorized the submission of a Community Development Block Grant application for street improvements in the area of Lindsey-Steiner Elementary School. The city is applying for $500,000, with a local match not to exceed the budgeted $65,000.

• passed a resolution supporting Roosevelt County Community Development Corporation’s efforts to get a movie theater in Portales.

• passed a resolution supporting the creation of a Low-Altitude Tactical Navigation Area in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Cannon Air Force Base personnel would train in the area, if it’s established.

• passed a notice of intent to a pass an ordinance approving providing Roosevelt County Community Development Corporation with $45,000 in Local Economic Development Act money.

• tabled the issue of consent for DairiConcepts refinancing. City attorney Stephen Doerr said company representatives still didn’t know what they wanted to request.