Capital outlay OK’d

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

Gov. Bill Richardson signed a bill Wednesday morning allocating $341 million for capital improvements statewide, including more than $7.3 million in funding to the region.

He also vetoed $580,000 in regional project requests, including a $350,000 request for a Clovis communications/administration building.

Curry County Finance Manager Mark Lansford said an allocation of $850,000 for the county’s special events center is “fantastic,” and added that money for county road improvements and equipment is greatly appreciated.

“We’re very grateful to get (funding) for the improvement of county roads,” Lansford said.
Money for improvement at the county fairgrounds was also much needed, he said.

“We are elated to get the capital dollars that we got. We realize that there are hard economic times out there and we’re going to put it to good use,” he said. “We are very grateful to Governor Bill Richardson and our legislators that represent us and worked so hard to get these funds for us.”

The vetoes account for around 8 percent of requested project funding for Curry, Roosevelt, De Baca and Quay counties. Richardson announced in a press release he had vetoed $7 million of the overall package that legislators passed during the recent session.

Clovis City Manager Joe Thomas said the governor’s veto of the $350,000 project request intended to fund the initial phase of creating a storm-resistant communications building for the community was a disappointment.

City officials have been working on the project about a year, looking for ways to utilize a donated piece of property at 400 Mitchell St. to build a strengthened communications center to process emergency response communications and perhaps house additional administrative offices in the future.

The need came to light when a tornado hit Clovis last March 23, he said.

“Had the tornado last year been a half mile to the west, it would have taken out the communications (center). It’s not built to withstand a tornado,” he said. “Had that occurred, the only communications the community would have had would have been hand-held radios.”

The realization led officials to examine solutions and eventually apply for state funding to clear the property and design a communications center.

A committee charged with planning the center will now have to look at other funding options, Thomas said.

“Obviously when you make requests of the level that many (municipalities) do, you pretty well understand that you’re not going to get everything funded that you request,” he said. “But the hope is you get enough funding.”

All told, Curry County received more than $2.8 million for projects.

“The stuff that actually made it into this bill is significantly reduced amounts over what we requested,” Thomas said. “(But) all-in-all, any time we can get legislative appropriations we certainly don’t question them. We’ll take them and put them to good use.”

— The Associated Press contributed to this report

Vetoed regional requests:
— 9th Judicial District Attorney office equipment $20,000
— Clovis communications/administration building $350,000
— Texico Municipal School District information technology $50,000
— Portales performing arts center equipment and furnishings $75,000
— De Baca County clerk’s office building construction $35,000
— De Baca County courthouse annex repair $30,000
— Fort Sumner irrigation district improvement $20,000

Requests approved:
Curry County
— Clovis Community College phone system upgrade $113,000
— Clovis Food Bank refrigerator equipment $20,000
— Clovis industrial park construction $200,000
— Clovis Region IV Housing Authority building $70,000
— Clovis Senior Center vehicles $28,546
— Clovis streets improvement $25,000
— Clovis wastewater plant repair $205,198
— Curry County Fairgrounds renovate $20,000
— Curry County roads 10, E, C, D improvements $174,000
— Curry County Road Department equipment purchase $50,000
— Curry County Special Events Center construction $850,000
— 9th Judicial District Attorney vehicles purchase $62,000
— Grady emergency services equipment/vehicle $303,000 Grady
— Melrose cemetery expansion and improvement $20,000
— Melrose Fire Department substation $250,000
— Melrose health care clinic purchase and construction $60,000
— Melrose lift station and water system expand $20,000
— Melrose Senior Center vehicles $44,000
— Melrose water system improvement $100,000
— NMSU Clovis agricultural science center improvement $74,000
— Texico Fire and Police Departments storage/maintenance building $20,000
— Texico water and wastewater improvement $150,000
Summary for Curry County: $2,796,744

Roosevelt County
— Causey Fire Department truck bays $40,000
— Dora Fire Department substation $120,000
— Elida maintenance vehicles $35,000
— Elida Municipal School District roads improvement $60,000
— Elida streets improvement $35,000
— ENMU biological sciences equipment $37,000
— ENMU emergency phone equipment $30,000
— ENMU KENW training studio $88,000
— ENMU physical sciences equipment purchase $25,000
— ENMU voice laboratory equipment purchase $40,000
— ENMU weight training facility $350,000
— Floyd Fire Department addition $100,000
— Floyd water treatment facility construction $49,000
— North Abilene Avenue road improvement, Portales, $50,000
— Portales affordable housing $200,000
— Portales community service center renovation $100,000
— Portales Fire Department main station construction $90,000
— Portales Memorial construction $25,000
— Portales Memorial Park swimming pools $45,000
— Portales streets improvement $50,000
— Roosevelt County roads improvement $495,000
— Roosevelt County Sheriff office equipment purchase $55,000
— Roosevelt County special hospital district emergency and trauma center $35,000
Summary for Roosevelt County: $2,154,000

De Baca County
— De Baca County transfer station equipment purchase $270,000
— De Baca County valley community house renovation $41,000
— Fort Sumner Library expansion $50,000
— Fort Sumner Municipal School District parking lots improvement $50,000
— Fort Sumner police vehicles purchase/equipment $50,000
— Fort Sumner sewer system improvement
Summary for De Baca County: $761,000

Quay County
— Eastern N.M. Rural Water Authority Ute Reservoir $230,000
— Logan landfill equipment and truck loader $100,000
— Logan Municipal School District vehicles purchase $25,000
— Logan senior center vehicles $35,000
— Logan water and wastewater infrastructure construction $25,000
— MCC North American wind research and training center $25,000
— NMSU Tucumcari agricultural science center $25,000
— Quay County infrastructure improvement $80,000
— Quay County rock crusher purchase $300,000
— San Jon ambulance chassis purchase $25,000
— San Jon Fire Department facility and truck $300,000
— San Jon Municipal School District activity bus $55,000
— Tucumcari water and wastewater improvement $380,000
Summary for Quay County: $1,605,000

Regional total: $7,316,744

Source: N.M. Senate Bill 471: www.legis.state.nm.us