Value of base group will be discussed

By Vanessa Kahin

STAFF WRITER

vkahin@cnjonline.com

To be or not to be?

That is the question that members of the Local Growth Management Committee have been asking since April.

They question whether or not the committee is still needed in light of the existence of the P4 — another organization that has a similar goal of coordination between Clovis, Portales and Cannon Air Force Base.

It is likely the discussion will continue during today’s LGMC meeting.

“I don’t think you can have too much communication and collaboration,” said Curry County Commissioner and LGMC member Wendell Bostwick.

He said the LGMC was created when Cannon was targeted for closure then designated as a military enclave.

Enclave status meant Cannon was to remain open, but with limited operations, while the Department of Defense searched for another mission for the base.

Bostwick said the LGMC was created to get Cannon “off the enclave” and make it an active base once more.

Cannon has since received a new mission: Special Operations, and the P4 — which stands for public-to-public, public-to-private partnership — is in place.

But Bostwick and Ray Mondragon economic and community development planner with Eastern Plains Council of Governments, feel the LGMC is still relevant.

Mondragon said a member of the EPCOG attends LGMC meetings. He said Cannon has an economic impact of $600 million a year on the surrounding area.

It is important to ensure that Cannon has adequate resources to continue to thrive, he said, and to have elected officials as those associated with the LGMC address issues that affect the base.