Council approves next phase for Wellness Center

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer

Clovis city commissioners unanimously approved the next step in the design and construction of the Wellness Center, despite uncertainty that lingers about language used by the New Mexico Legislature to appropriate funds for the center.

Designing and overseeing the construction of the second phase of the Wellness Center — a pool and Wellness offices — will be Camp Dresser & McKee and project subcontractor Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, city commissioners decided in a Thursday meeting of the Clovis City Commission.

The planned location of the pool and offices is near Play Inc. on Seventh Street.
Total cost for design, development and construction administration on phase two is about $360,000, according to City Purchasing Agent David Boswell.

The first phase of the Wellness project encountered a setback when the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration deemed language used to appropriate Wellness funds in 2005 did not specify the funds could be used for the construction of a baseball field.

The DFA has determined the city should not be reimbursed by the state for roughly $150,000 it used for the construction of a baseball field, unless the Legislature clarifies language it used to appropriate Wellness funds during the 2007 legislative session.

City Manager Joe Thomas said phase two of the project could encounter the same setback, but the language issue should be settled before the city would have to spend money on phase two.

“Because of the DFA’s interpretation of the language, there are some questions that

I don’t have the answer to right now,” Thomas said.

“But,” he added, “we don’t have to turn around and write the check today.”

At Thursday’s meeting, commissioners also:
• Heard from three residents who oppose the ethanol plant proposed for U.S. Highway 60/84 near Clovis.

• Tabled an ordinance for the disposal of garbage and rubbish. The ordinance would have required residents to place their garbage in plastic bags and prohibited tampering with garbage and refuse, according to city documents. Commissioners decided to further research the ordinance because there was concern it would be difficult to enforce.

• Approved distribution of $16,900 in lodger’s tax funds for local events and projects. Commissioners voted to hold $20,000 for the 100th Anniversary of Clovis celebration until the next fiscal year to protect this fiscal year’s budget. They also decided to further research the Gus Maker March 2007 event and determine if the event meets its purpose of generating lodger’s taxes in Clovis.

• Approved an initial project to develop a city water conservation plan. Daniel B. Stephens and Associates will be paid about $8,842 from the city’s cash reserve to develop the plan, which City Commissioner Randy Crowder said involves extensive engineering work.

• Approved additional funds for the repair of the Clovis-Carver Library roof. Initially, $300,000 was approved for the repair of the roof, but a bid for $377,961 was awarded for roof repair to Centennial Contractors Enterprises, according to a city document. The additional amount will be funded through the general fund cash reserve, according to a city document.