City OKs $20,000 for civic center

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer

The Clovis City Commission on Thursday approved a $20,000 contract to hire a firm to assist in the planning, opening and initial operations of the civic center.
The Pennsylvania-based company, Global Spectrum, operates civic centers, arenas and other special events centers across the country.

“It’s the feeling of that (steering) committee that it probably would be appropriate to have someone who has some experience in the process of opening and developing a civic center … to come in and advise us on what some of the pitfalls may be,” City Manager Joe Thomas told commissioners.

He said the city had negotiated a $20,000 contract to hire the firm to consult until the facility is opened, or about six months. The $6 million facility is set to be complete by the end of the year.

Mayor David Lansford endorsed the plan.

“I think this company is very experienced in facility management, planning, policy formation, and those types of things,” he said, “which I think will pay huge dividends for us as we at some point down the road take it on ourselves as a community.”

The commission voted to hire the firm 6-1, with Commissioner Isidro Garcia dissenting.

Later in the meeting, Commissioner Kevin Duncan suggested considering the issue of alcohol consumption on the grounds of the civic center. Eventually, he said, the issue would come up, and the Commission should not put off the inevitable.

“We might as well just get (the alcohol issue) in front of us,” he said.

Lansford said under current city code there is no drinking in public buildings.

City attorney David Richards said there could be several alternatives dealing with alcohol consumption in a city facility.

“It is possible to obtain a governmental license for that operation,” Richards said, adding that he could provide more information about those alternatives at future meetings.

Commissioner Robert Sandoval said the city should wait until Global Spectrum is in place and advising on various issues.

“I spoke with them for about 20 minutes on my phone the other day, and they are very, very qualified,” Sandoval said.

According to the company Web site, Global Spectrum began in 1994 and operates facilities in Kansas City, Mo., Miami, Des Moines, Iowa, and many other cities.

Also at Thursday’s meeting:

• David Boswell, purchasing agent for the city, said the city put together a request for proposal to address retention concerns connected with next month’s Base Realignment and Closure proceedings. The Clovis/Curry County Chamber in conjunction with the Clovis Industrial Development Corp. responded to the RFP, Boswell said.

“These people would be responsible for handling negotiations with the BRAC committee … if the air base happens to come up on the BRAC list,” he said.

No fees have been negotiated with the group, he said, and that would be done if and when their services are needed.

“I think it’s appropriate to be in position to respond quickly and very effectively if in the event Cannon is on the BRAC list,” Lansford said. “We obviously don’t think there’s any justification for that … but you need to plan for a worst-case scenario with regard to a situation like that.”

Lansford added that it would be appropriate to use public funds in order to “make the argument that Cannon is much needed by the U.S. military and defense.”

The Commission voted to approve the RFP.

• Lansford proclaimed April and May as “Great American Cleanup Months,” and it was announced that a city-wide cleanup effort would occur at the end of April. Interested participants should meet at 8 a.m. April 30 at 500 Sycamore St. to participate. A golden dumpster award will be presented to the group collecting the most trash, along with an undisclosed cash award.

Additionally, commissioners voted to waive landfill fees to county residents from noon April 29 to 5 p.m. May 2 for the “Great American Cleanup” weekend.