By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer
On the day many people sent money to the government, Melrose and Clovis saw government funds come to them.
Wednesday, Curry County was awarded a $500,000 grant to build a Melrose health clinic, and a grant of the same amount went to the City of Clovis to repave Pile Street from First to 14th Street.
The grants came through the Community Development Block Grant program, which targets areas with large proportions of low- to middle-income residents.
Melrose Mayor and Curry County Manager Lance Pyle said Melrose currently has no primary care medical clinic, so some people drive 30 minutes to see a doctor. Some residents don’t have their own transportation, he said.
“So this is a community need, and the community got behind it, and because of that, it’s going to be a reality,” Pyle said.
Pyle expects construction on the 1,900-square-foot building on Main Street to begin in two months and hopes it will finish before the end of the year. The clinic will serve not only people in and around Melrose, he said, but also residents of surrounding counties.
Melrose Senior Center Director Judy Casady said now, senior citizens may put off going to the doctor because they don’t want to bother anyone to take them, and a trip to Clovis takes all day and is tiring.
“To have (the clinic) close here, I think it will save lives,” Casady said. “It will save time and worries.”
Casady and Panzy Jordan, Chamber of Commerce member, said the clinic would require less time off work for people taking family members to the doctor. The clinic should help economic development by making people less reluctant to move to the area, Jordan said.
For the Clovis project, city Grant Coordinator Carole Moreno said the plan involved repaving Pyle Street, repairing damaged curbs and gutters, and making intersections handicap accessible where they weren’t already. Moreno said pavement on Pyle Street, one of Clovis’ oldest roads, is more than 40 years old.
“Most likely the work will start in either July or August and should be complete a couple of months after,” Moreno said.
The city has contributed $180,000 to the project in addition to the $500,000 grant.