Meetings watch: City Council

The Portales City Council met Tuesday evening for their regularly scheduled meeting. Items on the agenda were short and the meeting moved quickly.

• A presentation was made by Erinn Burch, executive director of United Way of Eastern New Mexico, and board member Leo Lovett on the progress of the organization.

• The city council approved an industrial discharge permit for Southwest Canners.

• The city council approved an industrial discharge permit for Western Dairy Transport. It was reported by Public Works Director Tom Howell that the company would put in a sample port to retrieve samples within 30 days of the permits approval.

• A lease agreement between the City of Portales and Nino Ortega was approved. The agreement would allow Ortega to lease 40 acres from the city at the corner of Avenue O and Spruce Street to run cattle. The agreement would be for a four-year term, with the council determining whether to renew or terminate. Ortega has agreed to pay $4 an acre, or $160 per year.

• A Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Portales and the New Mexico Mainstreet Program of the Economic Development Department was approved.

• City attorney Steve Doerr received approval for a letter of support from Mayor Ortega and council members to pursue a cultural/arts district for the downtown area during the upcoming quarterly Mainstreet meeting next week in Silver City.

• Council members approved changes to Ordinance 669, which would change height limitations for single-family residential zones.

• A presentation was made by Lee Einsweiler of Code Studio regarding the progress of the Portales Downtown Plan.

• A presentation was made by Manon Arnett of the New Mexico Department of Transportation on the upcoming “Toss No Mas” beautification event set for Oct. 10 at the Memorial Building. A challenge was issued by city council member Diane Parker for fellow council members to participate with her in the beautification event.