Fire chief receives new toys

Mike Linn

It’s not even Christmas yet and Portales Fire Chief Steve Beaty is already looking for a place to put all his gifts, which include a brand new fire truck among other items.
Beaty told the Portales City Council at Tuesday’s meeting he has recently been awarded roughly $250,000 from grants to purchase an array of equipment.
His most recent score includes $119,467 allocated from Gov. Bill Richardson for a new fire truck.
“It’s Christmas at the fire department,” Beaty told the council.
Beaty has also been awarded approximately $39,000 for a breathing compressor, roughly $60,000 for two Lifepack 12s (used in emergency medical situations) and about $30,000 for a suburban automobile.
“We’re going to have to add on to the fire station to get all that equipment in there,” Mayor Orlando Ortega joked.
“You’re doing a great job, an excellent job,” Ortega told Beaty.
Beaty has plans to retire as chief this spring and move to Albuquerque. He noted that it’s very unusual to receive so much money from grants in such a short period of time.

Also at the Meeting:

— The council welcomed soon-to-be Portales City Manager Debi Lee, who was at the meeting and will be in town for some of today.
Lee is currently serving her last few weeks as the assistant city manager in Hobbs. She is scheduled to start in Portales at the end of December.
— The council appointed Public Works Director Tom Howell to an ad hoc committee which works with a review committee formed to make recommendations on dispersing city funds for incoming businesses. As an ad hoc member, Howell is a non-voting participant.
— The council approved an easement agreement for a right-of-way encroachment at 821 East Canadian.