PAT gets council’s budget OK

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

Portales City Council gave the nod for Portales Area Transit to pursue funding from New Mexico Department of Transportation to allow the operation of its transportation programs.

Councilors expressed concerns that the $55,164 request on the proposal was out of range with a cap they had previously placed on participation with the program. PAT Director Jim Good explained that with federal reimbursements taken into account he would still honor those caps.

Portales City Manager Debi Lee agreed with Good’s assessment and commended him for the job he was doing since the city took over the PAT operation approximately two years ago.

“Jim’s done a very good job,” Lee said.

Councilors questioned if the use of the service was increasing. Good told them he felt usage was going up this year. But the reporting on the state and federal applications he has to fill out didn’t necessarily make it look that way, he said, since he had to list numbers provided by Community Services Center when they operated the system.

“It appears to me the spirit and intent of the cap is still being met,” Councilor Mike Miller said, as he moved approval on the resolution.

In other business councilors:

• Approved a preliminary plat for a subdivision proposed by Larry Combs on the west side of the city. Combs said he plans to start with eight homes that would sell between $135,000 and $220,000.

• Approved a special use permit for Danny and Ludell Heflin to operate a sports bar at a new business called the Dawg Houze that will be opened soon by their son Chad.

• Approved an intent to adopt an ordinance providing penalties related to the smoke-free statutes put in place by the New Mexico Legislature this year.

• Gave final approval to an ordinance adopting rate increases for city services.

• Approved a resolution allowing them to serve as fiscal agent for Los Abuelitos Senior Center in accepting a legislative grant for kitchen equipment.