The Public Works Committee met at Town Hall on Wednesday morning at Clovis City Hall.
• Clovis resident Steve Gershon was concerned about vendors selling items such as food, puppies, and forestry products on the streets and parking lots in Clovis. Gershon is concerned that they’re not properly licensed and that they’re not paying taxes.
City manager Joe Thomas agreed to work with Chief Steve Sanders of Clovis Police to figure out a solution for checking permits of the vendors, particularly on the weekends.
• John Pritchett, who owns an art gallery on Main Street, said he has had problems with other Main Street employees taking up all the parking in front of his gallery for long periods of time. There is a 2-hour Parking limit on downtown Main Street, but it’s loosely enforced. Pritchett said he spoke with neighboring businesses about leaving parking spaces open in front of his gallery, but the visit was unfruitful.
Pritchett contacted Pro Tem Mayor Len Vohs about the issue. Vohs said he visited with Pritchett’s business neighbors and smoothed things over. Vohs also said increased parking enforcement by police could hinder business in the downtown area. He encouraged Pritchett and other business owners in downtown Clovis to be neighborly with each other.
Pritchett said he would encourage employees of Main Street businesses to park on side streets to leave parking open for customers.
• Pritchett also raised concerns about the laws regarding pet ownership in downtown Clovis. The downtown area is classified as an urban zone, and the laws relating to pet ownership were unclear to him and some of his neighbors. Lt. Roman Romero of the Clovis Police will be working with the city lawyer, Dave Richards, and the zoning department to clarify the laws for residents in the urban zone.
• A handful of plumbers expressed their frustration in digging deep into the ground for sewer taps in construction sites. When plumbers have to dig more than 5 feet deep, Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards require shoring — using plywood and/or metal walls in a dug hole to ensure it will not collapse on itself. They agreed that digging beyond 5 feet time consuming and unpleasant. It was even suggested by one plumber, Glenn Eagle, that the city would save a lot of money if they didn’t have to dig so deep.
City Engineer Justin Howalt will draft changes to the city construction standards relating to sewer taps into the main sewer line for all new construction. Howalt will be working with local plumbing and sewer line contractors on the fine details. Howalt said the goal is to have the revised city construction standards ready for the April 4 city commission meeting.
• Howalt gave an update on construction of a traffic signal at Llano Estacado and Thornton.
The Department of Transportation conducted an analysis of the intersection and issued a warrant for traffic signal to be installed at the intersection.
Howalt said the traffic signal design will cost $68,000 plus tax. The money will come from Fund 22, Series 2012 GRT Improvement Bonds.
City officials have agreed to partner with the New Mexico Department of Transportation on the project. The NMDOT will be responsible for the construction and the funding of the signal.
• A recommendation for a proposed ordinance relating to the management of debris at construction sites was tabled until the following meeting.
• City commissioner Chris Bryant requested that the city look into enacting an ordinance requiring persons who collect money for various organizations and charities to have a permit, so city officials can keep track of who is seeking donations. Bryant said he has had numerous questions about aggressive panhandling, and he doesn’t have an answer.
Claire Burroughes, the city’s legislative and community development, director said Abilene, Texas, has a similar ordinance and permit and she has obtained a copy.
A recommendation for an ordinance requiring people who solicit charities to have permits will be brought to the next Public Works Committee Meeting.
— compiled by CNJ staff writer Kevin Baird