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

Committee approved to consider air service


October 6, 2019

CLOVIS — Commissioners on Thursday approved the formation of a committee to evaluate five proposals for a new Essential Air Service for the city of Clovis. Their review and recommendations are scheduled to go back before the commission at its Oct. 22 meeting.

Among five proposals are three that were submitted through the U.S. Dept. of Transportation’s request for proposal: Advanced Air, LLC, Sky West Airlines, Inc and Key Lime Air Corporation, doing business as Denver Air Connection.

Two additional proposals were submitted through USDOT’s “alternate EAS program,” City Manager Justin Howalt told The News. Those proposals are from Contour Airlines and Boutique Airlines, the latter of which has the current EAS contract “set to expire at the beginning of the year (2020),” he said.

“It’s just a different program that the federal government has,” Howalt said Saturday of the alternate EAS applicants. If the city of Clovis is dissatisfied with the first three options then it can consider Contour or Boutique, but it would entail applying to the federal government for authorizing to administer the program itself and use federal dollars to do as much.

The task force will review the five proposals and then present their findings as the strengths and weaknesses of each before the city commission this month, at which time public input is invited and commissioners themselves will make the final decision. USDOT requests the city submit comments on the proposals by Oct. 29 for the new contract term starting Feb. 2020, records show.

Members of the task force include: Southwest Cheese Representative Debbie Abrego, Committee of 50 President James Burns, Civil Aviation Board President Donnie Lewellyn, Chamber of Commerce representative Jonathan Justus and Clovis Industrial Development Corporation representative Vince Tyson. Commissioner Rube Render will serve as chairman in a non-voting capacity.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Mayor Pro-Tem Juan Garza was absent and all votes were unanimous. Also at Thursday’s meeting:

n Discussion on drainage issues during the Oct. 1 heavy rains and flash-flooding in the city. Howalt said the areas that traditionally experience flooding “have been recognized” and pointed out that work on 7th Street had successfully mitigated some of the flooding. Mayor David Lansford spoke to “valid concerns out there” but said there were “some easy fixes, in some cases.”

• Presentation from CIDC’s Chase Gentry on a proclamation declaring October “National Manufacturing Month.” Gentry said officials would conduct visits Oct. 9 to manufacturing sites in Clovis and that bio-energy companies and solar wind projects had expressed interest in coming to the city as well.

• Request from a resident of the Sunrise addition area in Clovis for guidance into the creation of a neighborhood watch program for the area.

• Appointment of Tom Martin and Gilbert Salguero as citizen representatives for Districts 3 and 4 to the Parks, Recreation and Beautification Committee.

• Appointment of Harry Pomeroy to serve on the Water Policy Advisory Committee.

• No action following an executive session preceding the meeting.


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