Funds requested to detox old hotel

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Whether the city decides to develop or demolish Hotel Clovis, they will have to detoxify the building first, according to Clovis MainStreet representatives.

Clovis MainStreet Executive Director Robyne Beaubien went before the City Commission on Thursday to request approval for the community development organization to ask legislators for about $700,000 for environmental remediation of the dilapidated hotel.

Commissioners approved the request in a 6-0 vote.

An environmental study two years ago revealed the need to remove toxins from the hotel, which has sat in decay after being closed more than 20 years ago, according to Beaubien.

“That has to be done, that’s the next step in the process,” Beaubien said before the meeting.

A 2005 estimate for the remediation ran at $700,000. But she said the cost could go up to about $1 million.

Clovis MainStreet Vice President Lisa Dunagan said the organization has applied for a $240,000 grant to help offset the remediation costs.

A proposed project to convert the hotel into a senior housing facility has stalled, Beaubien said.

The organization presented the plan in June to city commissioners to convert the hotel into a senior housing facility. Clovis MainStreet would work with Albuquerque-based developer Jonathan Reid & Associates on the $10 million project.

Beaubien said the organization is working with several developers with the lengthy process of applying for tax credits to develop the hotel.

“There’s nothing that’s going to happen immediately (even) if this gets remediated,” she said.

In other business:
• City commissioners approved resolutions supporting Clovis Industrial Development Corp. and the Food Bank of Clovis’ capital outlay requests of funds from legislators.

CIDC is requesting about $1.5 million for rail access to the Clovis Industrial Park, which will contain two biodiesel plants, according to CIDC Executive Director Chase Gentry.

The Food Bank will ask legislators for $100,000 for newer refrigerators, said Food Bank Executive Director Nancy Taylor.

• Commissioners agreed to loan $300,000 of city money to the Clovis Fire Department for a proposed regional training facility.

The facility would serve fire departments in the southeastern New Mexico region and could be used for police training, according to Clovis fire officials.