City council adopts resolution to fund new stadium

By Lillian Bowe
Staff writer
lbowe@pntonline.com

The Portales City Council made it official, adopting a resolution Tuesday to give $500,000 to the Eastern New Mexico University Foundation to help fund a new football stadium.

The money will be used for architectural related expenses and is from the city’s Local Economic Development Act fund. LEDA funds are a portion of the city’s gross receipts used to pay for local projects and studies supporting economic growth.

City Manager Doug Redmond said the LEDA fund has $979,898.65 as of May 30 and the fund accumulates an average of $21,000 a month.
“The four years I have been here, the fund does not go down,” said Councilor Keith Thomas.

The city’s economic development finance review committee reviewed the request from the ENMU Foundation.

“The committee is very comfortable with this,” said Councilor Michael Miller, who was on the committee.

Councilor Leo Lovett said the stadium will bring in more money through the city’s gross receipts and other tax sources because visiting teams be in Portales instead of being eight miles away at the old stadium.

“This project will be beneficial as the teams will stay here, the families will eat in our restaurants ,” said ENMU President Steven Gamble, who thanked the council for considering the agreement.

Mayor Sharon King said, “It is one of the most exciting thing for Portales in decades.”

Recently, the stadium reached its $8 million funding mark, the trigger needed to start construction for the stadium. At this mark ENMU can start hiring an architect and seek state approval of the project.

ENMU’s eventual goal is $12 million and it is still raising funds. The stadium will be partially owned by Portales Schools, which gave $1 million.

Also at the meeting:
• King issued a proclamation declaring June 14, as Flag Day in Portales to encourage citizens to display the flag.

• Councilors approved a contract with Privett Electric, LLC to update and replace electrical service and wiring for the Lime Street pump station. Public Works Director John DeSha said the money will come from the New Mexico’s Construction Programs Bureau’s grant. The cost is $29,481.58.

• Councilors approved a contract with Yucca Telecom to provide more than 24 miles of fiber, enabling direct fiber cable access from 12 city departments to the Memorial Building server closet. The goal is to provide the city a more stable network and unlimited date transfer speeds between the 12 locations. The initial annual cost for the new network will be $34,979.60 annually. This cost was budgeted in the city’s 2014 fiscal year.