City OKs radio station funding

By Argen Duncan: PNT Senior Writer

The Portales City Council voted to provide about $11,400 to Rooney Moon Broadcasting for expansion and digital conversion.

At their meeting Tuesday night in City Hall, councilors unanimously approved a recommendation to that effect from Greg Fisher, director of the Roosevelt County Community Development Corp.

City Manager Debra Lee, who spoke in Fisher’s absence, said Steve Rooney of the radio broadcasting company applied to the Finance Review Committee for funds.

“We started talking to Steve some time ago about his plans to expand, and he’s doing some wonderful things,” she said.

Lee said the money is to go toward digital broadcast storage and delivery equipment related to expansion.

Rooney said the broadcast area of the city’s only commercial station has increased, and employees are preparing to switch to digital broadcast soon. He needs a part-time staff member and a salesperson, whom he said would add to Portales’ tax base.

“We’re excited that we can broadcast the fun and excitement of living in Portales to a larger area,” Rooney said.

In other business, the council:

• Approved an agreement to provide sewer service to a residence on West 22nd Street, outside of city limits.

• Approved providing $20,000 to the community development corporation. Lee said the amount was already in the budget. City Attorney Randy Knudson said the contribution, which is $5,000 more than last year’s, entitles the city to another representative on the corporation board.

• Approved an updated city employee safety policy.

• Heard Community Affairs Coordinator Nicole Wilkening say the city is receiving help from the Roosevelt County Soil and Water Conservation District to plant trees at the athletic complex. The project should take six months to a year, she said.