Portales hires recruiter

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

The Portales City Council selected the Roosevelt County Community Development Corp. to provide economic development services for the city.

Four providers were evaluated by a committee appointed by the council. The focus of the memorandum of agreement with RCCDC will be to provide the mechanism to hire an economic development recruiter for the city and RCCDC.

“Overall, we think this is a great opportunity to address the economic development opportunities before us,” City Manager Debi Lee said.

Lee told the council that the recruiter, who would work to recruit new business to the county, could either be a city employee or a contract employee. The city is obligated to provide office space for the recruiter under the agreement and a salary of $45,000.

The agreement also provides for the mayor and one council person to fill board seats on the non-profit organization, which would also include two city-appointed members as well. Other representation on the board likely would be from the chamber, the county and Eastern New Mexico University, according to Lee.

In addition RCCDC’s, Orasis Development, Holbrook Development and Ronnie Phillips submitted proposals. RCCDC scored the highest in the evaluation and was local.

“It was determined that the committee wanted someone who lived and worked in Portales, not from a distance,” Lee said.

RCCDC President Jerry Partin said he was pleased with the decision and said his group could begin moving in a positive direction since being idle following the August resignation of Kim Huffman, who served as executive director of the RCCDC and the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce.

“We’ve got a lot of activity going on and we need someone in that position (recruiter),” Partin said.

In other business, councilors:
• Approved an emergency joint resolution with the county declaring a state of emergency following the recent tornado.

• Approved a resolution requesting the removal of dangerous buildings in the area of South Abilene and East Second Street.

• Approved an easement agreement with property owner Rodney Phillips for an encroachment at 108 E. 7th St.