Council sets application fee for new businesses

Tony Parra

Mayor Orlando Ortega and the city council established an application fee of $100 on Tuesday for new businesses interested in receiving taxpayer funds to help start new industry in Portales.
City Manager Debi Lee said the application fee can be anywhere from $50 to $150 and recommended a $100 fee, which the city council approved.
“It’s a standard fee,” Lee said. “It shouldn’t be a high fee to encourage new businesses, but it shouldn’t waste people’s time if the new businesses are not serious or not viable interests.”
Lee said the fee goes towards economic development and economic analysis conducted by the city.

Also at the meeting:

• The city council approved the D & L addition, the final subdivision plat approval for Kevin and Valerie Jones’ project.
Ortega conferred with city attorney Stephen Doerr on a document addressing the maintenance for the draining issue.
“As long as we both agree to help each other in the maintenance … ” Ortega said and the project was approved. “It’s approved with the understanding that we’ll work together on the draining issue.”

• Community Development Director Darla Wilhoit asked to proceed with a contract for Bill Nance as a temporary replacement for Doug Rapp as city inspector. Rapp pursued a position as state inspector in late January. Lee stated Rapp can inspect buildings but he cannot certify, until then construction projects are on hold unless they go through the state.
“He (Nance) offered the same type of service a few years back,” Wilhoit said. “Nance was recommended by a contractor. Due to the lack of qualified applicants, we decided to re-advertise the position.”
According to the contract, the temporary position shall not exceed six months beginning March 3.
Three new businesses were introduced in the city council meeting: Owner Curt Jaynes introduced Garden Source, a business which will deal in landscaping and gardening; Gary D. Ford introduced his business, Fords Locksmithing; and Aubrey Merrick and Charles May introduced their real estate business, Buena Vista Realty. All three are open for business.