City revisiting family center funding

By Christina Calloway

PNT senior writer

ccalloway@pntonline.com

City officials are trying to revive plans to bring a family entertainment center to Portales by revisiting funding options for the facility.

Portales Mayor Sharon King said at the Portales City Council’s meeting Tuesday night that she and others are looking into using gross receipts tax funds to pay for the construction of the center. But she feels there are a few more steps to take before pursuing that route.

“I feel like we need to get more information,” King said. “How can we get a realistic amount?”

King said she approached the Roosevelt County Commission earlier that morning to see if it was able to use gross receipts tax funds to partner with them and build the fun center, but was told it wasn’t possible by the county’s manager.

City attorney and Roosevelt County Community Development Corp. board member Randy Knudson said he believes economic development funds can be used to build the center.

“Everything’s subject to argument but it’s my position that we can,” Knudson said.

City Councilor Keith Thomas, who took a trip to Deming last year with RCCDC board members to visit the fun center there, said the Deming facility was ideal.

Thomas said the proposed facility would bring people the quality of life that he feels is missing in the area. He also says it will prevent the money that has been leaking out of the community from families spending money on entertainment in surrounding communities.

“We want more things for people to do,” Thomas said.

Doug Redmond, the city’s new manager and former economic development director for the county, said another study needs to be done in order to assess how much the facility would cost to build because the one that was presented in June to the RCCDC board was not comprehensive enough. The cost of the June study was $5,000 and was paid for with RCCDC funds.

“We need to have a study done by someone who’s in this business,” Redmond said. “We need a better idea of the money we need to raise. I think we need to do a realistic study before bringing it to the voter.”

King asked Redmond to outline a plan for the study. King says she also wants the study to include the cost of maintaining the facility.

Redmond added that the county commission has allocated about $15,000 for a feasibility study. Redmond said he will give an update at the next city council meeting on July 16.

 

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