Council to vote on restaurant grant

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer

The Portales City Council is set to vote on whether to provide $50,000 in economic development assistance to Vines Italian Restaurant.

The vote is part of the agenda for the council meeting at 7 p.m. today in City Hall.

Vines owner Mark Vigil said he applied for the money as a safety net because with the building having sat vacant for some time, he wasn’t sure how many repairs it would need.

The Local Economic Development Act money is a percentage set aside from gross receipts taxes, City Manager Tom Howell said.

“It’s a state law that you can only spend it for certain kinds of industrial promotions and job creation,” Howell said.

Under the Local Economic Development Act, a business applies for the money, the city Economic Development Review Committee makes a recommendation that the city council approves or rejects.

“If they receive the grant, it’ll benefit the city by creating new jobs,” Howell said, adding that it would also bring in more gross receipts taxes.

In another matter, the council plans to hear a mixed quarterly report on gross receipts taxes.

“We’re a little ahead of what we anticipated, but we’re still down from last year,” Howell said.

He also said with this being the first quarter of the fiscal year, it’s too early to get excited about the tax receipts rise above predictions.

Also, the council is to vote on declaring an intent to annex Sunland Inc.

The annexation would also involve zoning the area from Kilgore Street almost to Sunland as commercial land and Sunland’s property as light industrial.

Howell said the declaration of intent would allow 30 days notice before the annexation.