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

Clovis moves on water rate, senior items


April 14, 2019

CLOVIS — The Clovis city commission met Tuesday for about 20 minutes in a special meeting, with results that may not come to fruition for another two years.

The commission moved swiftly through three items, one dealing with an ongoing water rate case and the other two associated with senior activities.

An operating and use agreement between the city and the Curry Resident Senior Meals Association was approved, with a scope of work added to align with state aging and long-term services standards.

“This act came into place in 2016,” Senior Services Director Barbara Riggan said, “and (policy alignment is) required for the meal site to apply for any (state) funding.”

The commission also approved a request to apply for 2020 general obligation bond capital outlay funding through the aging and long-term services department for construction of the first phase of a new senior center at Hillcrest Park. Plans for the 16,180 square-foot facility includes 5,300 square feet dedicated CRSMA kitchens and service areas for 350 people. Riggan said the dining area would serve as an activity area at other times.

City Manager Justin Howalt credited Commissioner Rube Render, a member of the senior services community, for helping improve the floor plans for the center.

The city would apply to the department for the project’s inclusion. If approved, it will be part of a package of items the Legislature would put on the ballot for the 2020 general election. The state generally has four bond questions — Question A for senior centers, B for libraries, C for public elementary and secondary schools and D for state colleges.

Should the Clovis senior center be part of Question A, and should the voters approve Question A, the city would expect to receive the money in spring 2021.

The cost for the construction would be approximately $5.7 million — with the price including a 10% contingency added to current estimates because construction is still more than two years out.

Mayor David Lansford noted that city voters overwhelmingly rejected a property tax question that would have funded the senior center construction.

“When that failed,” Lansford said, “a comment was made that we would look for an alternative funding source.”

The commission also took action regarding a rate case hearing starting Monday in Santa Fe, and gave Howalt latitude to act on the city’s behalf if necessary.

“It’s imperative to have somebody able to make decisions as the hearing progresses,” City Attorney David Richards said.

Howalt said he felt the water rate case was heading in a good direction for the city, and an expert witness hired by the city has brought up several arguments Howalt believed to be beneficial for the city.

The commission meets again in regular session 5:15 p.m. Thursday at the North Annex of the Clovis-Carver Public Library.


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