Meetings Watch – Portales City Council

The following took place at the Portales City Council meeting Tuesday night:

  • Portales Mayor Sharon King proclaimed April 8 as Fair Housing Day in Portales.
  • A U.S. 70 reconstruction project official gave an update on the project.

New Mexico Department of Transportation Project Manager Pat Garcia said First and Second streets should be paved from Avenue J to the Super 8 Motel in Portales by April 15. He added they should make progress to Avenue C by July.

King said at the rate the construction group is going; she's worried about them tearing up sidewalks in the downtown area where there is a concentration of businesses, especially during the Christmas shopping season.

Garcia said he has to meet with Constructors Inc., Project Manager John Guldemann to discuss possible solutions to those concerns.

Other councilors expressed concern about access to businesses in the downtown area and offered up possible solutions.

King ultimately decided to schedule a meeting sometime later this month with Garcia and Guldemann as well as local business owners to discuss those issues.

  • City lobbyist Michael Miller reported on the 2013 New Mexico legislative session.

Miller notified councilors of bills that were passed by both houses that he felt had an effect on them and the city. He said Gov. Susana Martinez has until noon by Friday to sign the 298 bills passed by both houses.

Miller told them about a house bill that has been signed by Martinez that would require governing bodies to give a 72-hour advance notice of public meetings.

He notified the council that a bill to raise the state's minimum wage to $8.50 an hour was vetoed.

Miller told the council about a bill that passed that would allow members of the U.S. armed services to suspend their utility services while deployed longer than a month and have them reconnected when they return at no fee. He added the bill had not been signed into law yet.

Miller said Sunday liquor sales in the state can now begin at 11 a.m. at restaurants but the change does not apply to establishments that only serve beer and wine.

  • The council approved a 90-day extension for Portales property owner Sharla Thackston to remedy her dangerous properties.
  • The council approved an application for a telecommunications tower by Roosevelt County Rural Telephone Cooperative.

City Councilor Matt Hunton abstained from voting on the item.

  • The council approved Ordinance 702, which approved economic development projects.
  • The council approved a resolution authorizing the mayor's signature to submit the Annual Fire Protection Fund Distribution application for the 2014 fiscal year.

Funds are in the amount of $154,164 and will have no fiscal impact on the city.

— Compiled by PNT senior writer Christina Calloway

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