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

By Steve Hansen
Staff writer 

Portales approves annexation of RGH, property into city

 

Last updated 12/11/2021 at 3:46pm



PORTALES — Portales city councilors on Tuesday unanimously approved the annexation of Roosevelt General Hospital and surrounding property to the city.

According to the text of the ordinance authorizing the annexation, the hospital requested that the 36.4-acre area that includes the hospital be annexed to the city.

The area will be known as the Roosevelt General Hospital Subdivision, according to the ordinance text.

Before the commission vote, the city council held a public hearing at which no one spoke for or against the annexation.

Councilors also unanimously approved a separate ordinance rezoning the property for commercial use, to correct the automatic zoning for residential use of all new annexations to the city.

A public hearing before council approval received no public comments.

Both the annexation and rezoning ordinances received preliminary approval at the council’s Nov. 9 meeting.

The council also approved the city’s participation in design and construction of the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority’s Finished Water 1 (FW1) pipeline.

The pipeline will be part of a network of lines designed to deliver water to Portales, Clovis, Elida, Texico and Cannon Air Force Base.

The estimated cost of FW1 is $7.7 million, with federal funds covering more than $6.9 million. The New Mexico Finance Authority is loaning $770,827 to the participating local entities to cover the remaining shares.

Portales’ share of FW1’s costs is $188,288.25, City Manager Sarah Austin said.

The council also approved the city’s Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan for the upcoming five fiscal years.

Included in the plan are 17 projects for which the city would seek capital outlay allocations from the New Mexico Legislature when it convenes on Jan. 18.

The top five priorities among those 17 projects include improvements in the city’s water wellfields, $660,000; Improvements on Avenue A from First Street to Second Street, $260,000; purchase of a new street sweeper, $320,000; Improvement on Lime Street from North Avenue O to Chicago Avenue, $283,154; and the purchase of new emulsion tanks to store asphalt materials, $250,000.

In other action Tuesday, the council:

• Approved a proclamation urging Eastern New Mexico University to develop a plan to return students to in-person classes on campus safely. ENMU students on campus, the proclamation stated, provide “a substantial and significant increase in the available employees for business in the Portales and Roosevelt area.” The student population on the ENMU campus has been greatly reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has contributed to reduced hours and days of operations for many Portales businesses.

Regents did not discuss the proclamation during their Friday meeting, but university officials did note that many families discussed hesitancy to return to campus because the university had no vaccination mandate and Roosevelt County had one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state.

• Allotted $550,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding to the city to provide $100 incentives for employees to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide extra pay to city employees to cover extra duties and additional risks they face because of the pandemic.

• Reviewed the city’s permit application forms for cannabis-based businesses, as presented by Austin. Austin noted the requirements are similar to those for businesses applying to sell alcoholic beverages.

 
 

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