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

By Kathleen Stinson
Staff writer 

Clovis hopes to make economic development change


Last updated 8/7/2021 at 2:42pm

CLOVIS — The Clovis city commission on Thursday paved the way to include retail as an eligible category of economic development dollars.

The Nov. 2 general election ballot will include a question as to whether Local Economic Development Act dollars, collected as an increment of gross receipts taxes, can be used to recruit and retain retail businesses. Senate Bill 49, which went into effect July 1, allowed communities of 35,000 or more to make that change. City Attorney Jared Morris told the commission voter approval is required to make that change official.

Mayor Mike Morris, who helped push for the passage of SB 49, said the bill is about local control. A yes vote, Morris said, would put retail in the city’s “toolbox for economic development.”

In other business at the commission meeting:

• Attorney Morris asked the commission to approve the creation of a cannabis business license, which would charge a $1,000 per calendar year fee to cannabis retail businesses.

The city is “still working on” an ordinance that would set the distance requirements for the location of cannabis businesses, he said.

• The commission approved an agreement allowing the library to place a collection of arrowheads owned by Don Clifton. Library Director

Margaret Hinchee said the collection is “beautiful, colorful and detailed.” The arrowheads were found by Clifton and his mother in the Clovis area.

• The commission approved a waiver of fees at Hillcrest Park Zoo from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on November 13 for a “Communities Talk” event. As the families visit the zoo, they will hear various presentations on the issue of preventing underage drinking.

• John Ryan, a federal and state consultant for the city of Clovis, spoke to the commission about his visit to Washington, D.C. He said he met with the New Mexico congressional delegation “on the heels of the mayor’s recent trip” to the capitol. An infrastructure bill that could provide around $17 million to “substantially fund the Ute Water Pipeline Project is expected to pass the Senate, Ryan said.

“To have that pipeline fully funded,’ Mayor Morris said, “that would be a game changer.”

• Michael Booth, a paramedic with the Clovis Fire Department, was recognized as distinguished line employee of the quarter.

• Clovis MainStreet Executive Director Lisa Pellegrino-Spear told the commission $65 million was invested in the downtown in 2020. The majority, $39 million, was in private property improvements, along with $20 million in public sector investments and more than $3 million in grants. In 2020, more than 14.5 net new jobs were created and three net new businesses located to the downtown, she said.

• Mayor Morris said a state bond has sold that includes more than $5 million for construction of the Hillcrest Park Senior Center. Morris anticipates completion in 2023.

• The next commission meeting is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. Aug. 19 at the North Annex of the Clovis-Carver Public Library.


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