Lawmaker seeks $400,000 for center

David Arkin

Curry County’s highly controversial proposed convention center could receive $400,000 if a Clovis lawmakers’ request holds up.
Rep. Clint Harden, R-Clovis, submitted several capital outlay requests this week, one of which included thousands of dollars for the proposed special events center.
Harden asked for $400,000 to “plan, design and construct a special events center.”
He said anything that counties or cities in his district are seeking he puts in as requests.
“If you look at the list there is just not all of that money available,” he said. “But whatever they are asking for, I ask for.”
In 2001, Curry County voters gave the green light to a $3 million property tax extension over 14 years to fund the center. In addition, the county has received more than $1 million in other government funding.
The center would house 3,500 seats and would host a variety of events, including indoor sports and family shows.
The proposed center is expected to range from $16.2 million and $18.3 million. That price tag would include an ice rink, planners have said.
Harden said he sees the benefits in what the center could provide. But it’s apparent that the funds he’s seeking are really pennies when compared to the total cost of the project.
“I think it (the center) is another tool in the tool box,” he said.
Most of the items that Harden is asking for are need based.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “I don’t know how much money will be available. Most of the needs are infrastructure needs. It’s an amazing list, though.”
It’s unknown when decisions on capital outlay requests will be made.

On the side…
Here is a look at Harden’s other requests:
> Improvements to West Seventh Street from Tharp to Sheridan Streets: $800,000.
> Design and construct an overpass on N.M. Highway 467 and “the railroad” in Curry County: $300,000.
> Improvements to County Road 16 from County Road J to County Road Q: $280,000.
> Improvements to County Road K from County Road 4 to County Road 6: $150,000.
> Improvements to County Road F from County Road 6 to County Road 7: $55,000.
> Improvements to County Road G from County Road 5 to County Road 9: $145,000.
>n Improvements to County Road 23 from County Road I to County Road J: $55,000.

Local projects
> Renovate facility for the county’s adult detention center: $250,000.
> Plan, design and construct improvements to the streetscape in the Clovis’ historic district related to the Main Street project: $250,000.
> Renovate the Play Inc. natatorium: $150,000.