City renews agreement

By Tony Parra

City councilors unanimously approved to renew their annual membership with the Eastern Plains Council of Governments so that EPCOG administrators can provide services to bring funding, housing and businesses to Portales.
Councilors approved during the city meeting on Tuesday to pay the EPCOG $2,577 as an annual membership for services such as maintaining a work program, which provides for technical assistance, project and program planning, proposal development and funding assistance for government entities, according to EPCOG officials. They also said they continue to administer rental assistance programs and Workforce Investment Act programs for members of the community, which is an EPCOG member.
Lee Tillman, EPCOG executive director, gave a presentation to Mayor Orlando Ortega and councilors on Tuesday, illustrating the services EPCOG members provide.
• City Councilors unanimously approved a resolution in support of Cannon Air Force Base. CAFB military officials are requesting supporting resolutions from local government entities to have on file in case the resolutions are needed for lobbying if CAFB is on the Base Realignment and Closure list. The deadline is May 16 for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to give the BRAC commission and Congress the Pentagon’s recommendations for military facilities that should be closed.
• City councilors recognized Eastern New Mexico University football coach Mark Ribaudo and ENMU football players for their work around the community with projects such as working on the softball fields, mow lawns, help run the Spanish fair, wash cars and play with Lindsey Elementary students.
“Our team decided to give back to the community,” Ribaudo said. “We live in Portales and we’re proud of it. We divided the team into groups of 10. They (football players) did a great job. We’re (ENMU football staff) really proud of them.”
The players pushed their total to 1,000 hours of community service on Saturday during the school’s National P.E. Day event.
• City councilors approved to provide $2,803 from the Portales Recreation Board for the start-up of a softball association in Portales. The money will handle the start-up costs of the summer slow-pitch softball league which will have its games at the Portales Softball Complex on Industrial Drive.
The money will be used for rakes, plates, pitching rubbers, baseballs and bats among other equipment. City Manger Debi Lee said the equipment will be owned by the property.
“This is one of the goals from the Portales Recreation Advisory Board,” Lee said. “It is the first step in the strategic plan for the recreation board.”