The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Area officials hope for best from capital outlay

 

February 17, 2017

Tony Bullocks

Code repairs for Clovis' Lyceum Theatre are among several capital outlay projects in the area that could be impacted by state finances.

When it comes to capital outlay projects, eastern New Mexico city and county officials are hoping for the best as they anticipate potential impacts on previously approved projects.

Some officials are confident there will be no claw backs, as projects are moving along smoothly, while others are a bit more cautious.

Clovis Assistant City Manager Claire Burroughes said two previously approved projects might be at risk. In both cases, money was allocated but contracts have not been received from the state.

"What might be impacted are some funds for the Lyceum Theatre," said Burroughes, referring to a $55,000 project.

Clovis MainStreet Executive Director Lisa Pellegrino-Spear said code repairs including safety lighting, adding handicapped spaces, balcony railing concerns and providing fire resistant curtains are currently being addressed.

Some code concerns, such as the railing and handicapped spaces, might be prioritized over others if money is lost, she said, delaying the opening of the theater. Nevertheless, she added the project will continue.

Another possible impact is $70,000 for the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico (FBENM), Burroughes said.

FBENM Executive Director Dianna Hernandez said the money would be used to fix foundational problems with the food bank's freezer and refrigerator.

"We're hopeful that the funding will be saved," said Burroughes.

Roosevelt County Manager Amber Hamilton said she already saw impacts from previous capital outlay projects.

"The state took $25,000 in capital outlay from Roosevelt County early in the session," Hamilton said via email. "It was a 2015 appropriation for Clerk's Office record storage. We were hoping to have it reauthorized this year to purchase an additional vehicle for the Sheriff's Office. However, that wasn't a viable option during the state's initial sweep."

Portales City Manager Sammy Standefer said things are looking to be in pretty good shape.

"We have one grant with $5,000 left," said Standefer. "We're pretty good about spending our money, getting everything in and out. We know that's our priority. If we get legislature money, we movie it as fast as we can."

The grant is for a water infrastructure project, he said, adding money will be used by the end of the month before any call backs.

Curry County Manager Lance Pyle said he does not anticipate any losses either.

"We have utilized those funds or the money has been encumbered," said Pyle. "As soon as we get contracts in place we get to work on them."

Previously approved projects from the 2016 legislative session include $200,000 for a fire department in Broadview. Pyle said the groundbreaking will be Feb. 24.

Capital outlay projects from a local school perspective vary in certainty between Clovis and Portales, according to school officials.

Clovis Municipal Schools Superintendent Jody Balch said previous capital outlay was used for design funding for a new school site for Parkview Elementary.

"It's been in the books for four or five years," said Balch. "We're waiting for new money to begin Parkview's build. We are using the last of our bond money from four years ago."

"We have got just about everything buttoned up," Balch added.

Portales Municipal Schools Superintendent Johnnie Cain said the district was awarded $50,000 to $58,000 for new water faucets in the original wing of Brown Early Childhood Center.

Cain said the project was approved in October of last year, adding he was not sure where the project stands currently.

"It's the only capital outlay as far as regular capital outlay funds that we have through the pre-K initiative," he said. "It was after the summer before they approved the project. That was the only one we had applied for recently."

 

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