Officials debate substation

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Representatives from the city and the county discussed the advantages that an emergency services substation could bring to the north side of Portales.

Currently this area is not covered by emergency services and various factors have caused delay in emergency response time.

The two major factors contributed to the decision to discuss the building of a substation are population growth and heavier railroad traffic, said Dennis Lopez, Roosevelt County commissioner during Tuesday’s regular commission meeting.

“That and other factors, we feel it’s time to get a substation in the northern part (of Portales),” said Lopez.

Lopez hopes that all local goverment entities will be on-board and contribute to the idea of a new substation. If this addition were built, response time for emergency personnel would be decreased, he says.

“Without support from all entities, it will be impossible. It has to be a joint effort, we really have to come together,” said Lopez.

Also at issue is the growth of the current law enforcement complex. The complex currently houses the main dispatch center, along with the Portales Police Department and the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office.

“It’s a benefit to have the police department in the same building, but both agencies are growing,” said Darren Hooker, Roosevelt County Sheriff.

“It’s certainly an issue for us, it’s not just fire, it’s police also,” said Debi Lee, city manager. “It seems feasible (for the city) to spread manpower out.”

Though in the early stages of discussion, Lee was also in agreement that all entities be involved. The issue will be brought before the city council during their next meeting in two weeks. Public input will also be an important factor in the decision, said Lee.

On behalf of my constituents and myself, we don’t want to wait for something tragic to happen,” said Lopez.

In other business:

• A notice of intent to adopt ordinances prohibiting burning and fireworks within Roosevelt County, would provide standing verbage, with actions and penalties outlined, that would allow a ban to be put into place as needed without enacting an ordinance each time.

• Commissioners denied one indigent claims appeal.

• Bids previously received for a new truck for the road department have been rejected, due to wording in the request for bids. The request will revised and readvertised.