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

Agreement between city, county finalized

 

April 28, 2018



CLOVIS — A new agreement between the city of Clovis and Curry county on how the two entities share services will appear on both commission agendas on Tuesday.

The previous joint powers agreement between the city and the county expired in 2016, though the city had continued to make the monthly payments of $10,833.33 to the county, or $130,000 a year, until this past February.

The new intergovernmental services agreement still calls for the city to pay the county $130,000 a year, but also requires the county to pay the city $35,000 a year, along with a one-time payment of $1 million.

The services provided by the county and the city didn’t change much. The city will still provide ambulance, fire, emergency management, pest control and library services to the county while the county will provide housing for detainees who are arrested for violating city ordinances at the Curry County Detention Center.

According to the agreement, the money paid by the county to the city will come from the county’s environmental funds and then can only be used towards the Clovis Master Water Assurance Plan, while the city’s payments to the county can only be used for the operation of the detention center.

Curry County Manager Lance Pyle said the county’s environmental fund had $2,029,588.06 as of March 31. He said that money comes from a 1/8 of 1 percent gross receipts tax collected only from the unincorporated areas of the county, which went into effect in 1991 and can only be used on water and wastewater projects.

Clovis City Manager Justin Howalt said the city commission would need to provide direction in regards to which part of the assurance plan the funds are directed towards.

Representatives from the county and the city believe the new agreement will be mutually beneficial.

“I think it works well for both parties,” Curry County Commissioner Robert Thornton said. “It gets the county some help with the detention center and it also supports the city with the water issues that we have and trying to help with that.”

“The new agreement considers services provided by each entity to one another and duly compensates each other for those services,” Howalt said. “I look forward to hearing any feedback from either commission and I hope that it will be approved by both commissions and both entities will continue to work together and move forward under the new agreement.”

Clovis City Commissioner Sandra Taylor-Sawyer called the new agreement a “win” for all citizens of Curry county, including Clovis residents.

If the agreement is approved by both commissions on Tuesday, Howalt said the city will begin making its $10,833.33 payments to the county in May and Pyle said his goal is to have the $1 million payment made to the city by June 30.

According to the agreement, the annual $35,000 payment from the county to the city will come at the end of each calendar year.

Curry County Commissioner Chet Spear said he thought the changes to the payment structure in the new agreement were fair.

“I think it works out over time,” Spear said. “With the 10-year period it’s going to even out pretty much dollar for dollar.”

If both commissions approve the agreement on Tuesday, the county will pay the city $1,350,000 between May and the expiration of the agreement on June 30, 2028, compared to $1,321,666.66 going from the city to the county.

If the city terminates the agreement before 2028, Clovis will need to return $100,00 for every year left on the deal while the county will forfeit the $1 million payment if it ends the agreement prematurely.

Spear, Thornton, Taylor-Sawyer and Clovis City Commissioner Ladona Clayton have been working a new agreement since October.

Taylor-Sawyer said the biggest challenge was simply just finding a time where they were all available to meet.

“When the four of us sat down and really heard each other out and talked about various things and we heard them and they heard us, it was really just a good negotiation,” Taylor-Sawyer said.

 

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