City council signs off on grant application

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

Portales city councilors signed off on an application for a 2007 Community Block Development Grant that could provide street improvements in east Portales next year.

Community Development Director Jeremy Sturm presented a resolution to city council Tuesday that allows the mayor to sign off on the final CDBG application, which will be presented to the 2007 Legislature. Sturm said after two public hearings the project was determined by staff to be the best project.

It proposes street improvements, including curb and gutter and pavement, in the area between East Brazos and East First from South Elgin to South Boston streets.

Councilor Jake Lopez remarked that some of the streets in that section of town already have curb and gutter, and questioned whether all the curb and gutter would be replaced.

Sturm acknowledged the existence of curb and gutter in places, but said the worst part was the condition of the pavement.

“The streets are in bad shape over there,” Sturm said. “If existing curb and gutter is in good shape, we can save those and just redo the streets.”

Public Works Director Tom Howell said some of the existing curb and gutter would likely have to be taken out because of drainage issues.

Sturm said one requirement for applying for the CDBG is that previous years’ projects must be complete, a requirement that the city met this week.

CDBG projects can be individually funded up to $500,000, according to Sturm.

City council also adopted policy and rules for the new skate park located in front of the Portales Recreation Center. The skate park opened earlier this summer, replacing an outdated one at Rotary Park.

“We have had a few issues but those have been resolved,” City Manager Debi Lee said. “We just want to make it fair for all.”

Among the items addressed in the policy are the prohibition of additions or alterations to the park, such as extra ramps and the banning of glass containers, alcohol and tobacco on the property. Children under 8 are required to have adult supervision. Helmets and protective gear are encouraged, but not required by the policy.

In other business, city councilors:

• Passed a resolution supporting General Obligation Bond Issue B. The issue would provide money for colleges and universities across the state, including Eastern New Mexico University.

• Approved a resolution outlining road work on First and Second streets from Abilene to Avenue C as a contingency project for GRIP 2 (Governor Richardson’s Investment Partnership) funding from the state.

• Approved a memorandum of agreement with entities from the Local Growth Management Committee and appointed officials to that committee, which will direct the economic transition as Cannon Air

• Approved a joint powers agreement with the Portales Municipal Schools providing for a school resource officer program.

• Approved an outside water and sewer contract for Emery and Linda Hankins at 910 Redwine Quincy.