At the Portales City Council meeting Tuesday in the Memorial Building, councilors:
• Heard an update on Portales road construction by Wes Hancock of Constructors Inc.
“The rain has delayed us but we’re only about four days from our goal,” Hancock said.
He said road crews still plan to have traffic opened on the town square portion of the road project by Dec. 1, weather permitting.
“Hopefully, this is the only glitch we’ll have in the next couple of weeks and we’ll remain on schedule.”
• Were introduced to the Portales Police Department’s two newest officers, Daniel Narvaez and Calvin Tayler, by Interim Chief Pat Gallegos.
• Approved $140,000 in Local Economic Development Act funds for the Falcon Group, LLC, for improvements to Sands Shopping Center.
Renovations will include parking lot overlay, facade improvements, lighting upgrades and improved signage, according to the LEDA documents.
Falcon representative and local business owner Mark Vigil said the Dollar Tree will be the first tenant in the renovated shopping center but he is talking to other national businesses concerning renting the second vacant spot once it is completed.
• Gave permission to release a Request For Proposals for contracted mowing maintenance of Lindsey Park, Confer Park, La Buena Vida Park and Morrison Park.
• Tabled completing the abatement in the Ravenwood addition phases one and two due to a bankruptcy issue.
Doerr said he is not yet clear on whether land owners or companies involved with the estate are facing bankruptcy.
• Approved a resolution establishing penalties and procedures for a sewer tap repair and replacement permit.
Public Works Director John DeSha said home owners will be required to have a $250 permit for plumbers to come in to replace sewer lines instead of the city.
He also said up to $1,000 in fines will be charged to plumbers and home owners if they do not obtain a permit or violate proper procedures for replacing the line and for clean up.
DeSha said most cities have such resolutions and Portales fines and permit fees are lower than most.
• Heard an update on the Waster Water Treatment Plant by DeSha.
“The plant, for all intents and purposes, is ready to go and we will put out bids in January,” he said.
DeSha said the Construction Programs Bureau is finishing reviewing construction documents.
• Heard a waterline project update by DeSha.
DeSha said despite a rough start due to the discovery of unknown water lines, the project replacing water lines and putting in new water manes and fire hydrants at Avenue C and Third Street is expected to be finished in the first half of December, a month ahead of schedule.
• Held a public hearing for an ordinance regarding businesses selling synthetic marijuana.
According to the ordinance, if business owners or operators violate the ordinance, they will lose their license and be unable to operate any business, sell, dispense or distribute any products or goods in the city for one year from the date of the third violation.
No council members or Portales citizens were opposed to the ordinance.
Councilor Keith Thomas expressed his concern that the ordinance does not remove the guilty party’s business license after one violation instead of three.
City attorney Steve Doerr explained that three times would hold up better in court if the business owner were to argue the ordinance, because three violations is repetition whereas with just one, it could be argued that the ordinance goes against the business owners Constitutional rights.
Doerr also made it clear if a business has multiple owners and only one gets caught selling the substance, the business will still be fined for violating the city ordinance and will be counted as one of the three violations.
• Approved the ordinance regarding businesses selling synthetic marijuana with the understanding that one word within the document be changed to say businesses will not be allowed to re-open until one year from conviction date, rather than the date of the violation.
• Went into executive session. No action was taken.
— Compiled by CMI staff writer Alisa Boswell