By Christina Calloway
PNT senior writer
Portales will be putting in its own bid in a fight to locate a veterans cemetery in the city.
The Portales City Council approved a resolution Tuesday night supporting the submission of an application to the state for funding from the National Cemetery Administration State Cemetery Grant Program for the placement of a veterans cemetery to be located on the eastern side of the state.
Portales City Manager Doug Redmond said so far he only knows of the city of Clovis making a similar request, but said only one cemetery will be built for veterans on this side of the state.
Redmond spoke about the possibility with excitement, saying that the cemetery will be a landmark destination.
The cemetery would be covered by federal funds, but the state has to submit its application.
“The people on the east side of the state need (a veterans cemetery),” Redmond said. “We’re supporting it here.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Ronald Jackson said he believes Portales will look favorable for the state’s decision because of the work being done to upgrade the city’s current cemetery.
“I think we’ll have a leg up since we’re redoing the cemetery,” Jackson said.
Public Works Director John DeSha estimated the work at the city’s cemetery to be complete within two to three years.
Councilor Oscar Robinson said as a member of the Eastern Plains Council of Governments, he initially voted to bring the cemetery to Clovis, but applauded Redmond and the councilors for their desire to bring the cemetery to Portales.
Redmond added the cemetery would better the community and act as an economic development opportunity.