City seeks to improve with plan

By Jack King

The city of Clovis solicited comments from city residents and outside agencies for its infrastructure capital improvements plan for the first time this year at the urging of City Commissioner Catherine Haynes.
The plan is a list of projects — usually city equipment, street or public works improvements — for which the city plans to solicit grants and legislative funds. The projects are distributed over five years, but the plan is updated every year, said City Manager Raymond Mondragon.
Mondragon said in the past the needs have been defined by city department heads, but this year Haynes pressed for a public hearing and an invitation to agencies outside the city government to present their needs.
Haynes noted that only three members of the public attended the Aug. 5 meeting although it was advertised.
“The idea is a planning process for the citizens. I don’t think most people have any idea what the city’s infrastructure plans are. At least we had a public hearing and gave people a chance to make comments on the plan,” she said.
Assistant City Manager Joe Thomas said it’s common for cities to hold public meetings on their capital improvements plans.
City Clerk Claire Burroughes said as a result of opening the process to outside agencies, the city received funding requests from the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce, the Clovis Downtown Revitalization Program and the Life Saver Food Bank, as well as from city departments.
Burroughes said the Chamber of Commerce requested $1.4 million in 2004 for an overpass over State Road 464, and $1.39 million for the same project in 2005. The chamber also requested $275,000 in 2008 for the city’s industrial park. The Clovis Industrial Development Corporation will meet with the city’s industrial park board at 8:30 a.m. Thursday to discuss taking over management and promotion of the park under a contract with the city.
Life Saver Food bank requested $240,000 in 2007 for an expansion of its food bank, she said.
The Clovis Downtown Revitalization Program requested $1.4 million over five years beginning in 2004 to develop a railroad historic district in the downtown area. It requested $950,000, over five years beginning 2004 to develop a farmers’ market in the downtown area and $850,000, beginning in 2004 to provide landscaping, sidewalk improvements, new lighting and other upgrades to create a “streetscape” in the downtown area, she said.
The City Commission approved a five-year plan for 2004-2008 on July 1 totaling $44.1 million. Among the projects listed in that plan are:
— Clovis Area Transit System (CATS) building, $1.2 million;
— city drainage improvements, $2 million;
— Ute Water Pipeline, $2 million;
— improvements to Martin Luther King Blvd. from Riate to Llano streets, $1 million.