Council bumps projects higher on funding wishlist

 

August 12, 2017



PORTALES — Two projects were moved to the top of Portales’ state funding wishlist for the purpose of visibility, according to city council members at a Friday public hearing.

A drainage study for Portales and the new Portales Fire Department substation were moved to positions four and five, respectively, on the city’s 2019 Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan “just so that when people look at it, they can see it’s not that we don’t feel those are top priorities,” said City Councilor Jessica Smith.

The drainage study was previously seventh on the ICIP list, while the substation was eighth.

Both items were high on last year’s list also, she said.

City Manager Sammy Standefer explained at Tuesday’s Portales City Council meeting that the projects had been pushed down the list because the city already had funding mechanisms in place to pursue them.

“If you were to put it on the capital list and you wanted to get capital money for it, that money may not be available until next November,” he said.

Land across from Lindsey-Steiner Elementary School has already been acquired for the substation, Public Works Project Administrator Susan Baysinger said, adding that the design phase of the project is complete. A timeline for construction has not yet been developed.


The drainage study project is aimed at analyzing the condition of the city’s storm water drainage system, she said.

Wellfield improvements and fire protection upgrades were one and two on the list, respectively.

One would include the construction and improvement of wells, while the other would seek to upgrade water circulation by improving valves and water mains.

The ICIP helps the city to seek outside funding for its highest-priority infrastructure projects, according to Baysinger.

“We always seek funding, and that’s not just from capital outlay. That’s from a variety of federal, state, local and even, on occasion, philanthropic sources,” she said.

Other items on the list included downtown gateway improvements (2020), library improvements (2021), a new gate house for the convenience center (2022), and pool improvements (2023).

The ICIP draft will come before the council for approval at its Aug. 22 meeting.

 

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