Private drainage options explored

By Jean Verlich: CNJ news editor

The Clovis City Commission has given a private land owner another 30-day reprieve on a decision to build a drainage ditch on his property that may require eminent domain.

Commissioners voted at their meeting Thursday to table action after they heard from a licensed civil engineer who spoke on Daniel Griego’s behalf about the pros and cons of two alternative solutions.

Griego owns a 15-acre farm at 1317 Lea St. The city wants to build a 30-foot drainage ditch along an alley off Rodeo Road to Humphrey Road. In order to do so, the city would need to acquire 1.13 acres of his land.

Martine Garcia of ABQ Engineering in Albuquerque proposed an alternative solution to the city’s plan that would require less of Griego’s land for installation of underground pipe.

The city’s plan involves an open channel to handle the water drainage.

Garcia estimated the city’s plan to cost $210,000 and the closed-pipe plan alternative to be about $272,750, but said it would be more beneficial in the long run and less costly to maintain. Greigo also offered to give property to the city if the closed-pipe plan is adopted.

Commissioners previously considered the issue in February.

In other business, commissioners:

• Took the first step in extending the main runway at the Clovis Municipal Airport by authorizing an environmental assessment. Federal funds will be used for the majority of the $60,000 cost, with the city supplying 2.5 percent, or about $1,500, and the state of New Mexico funding the balance. The environmental assessment will consider extending the 6200-foot runway by 1,800 feet, which would give the airport capability to handle more corporate aircraft, larger turboprop planes and 30-passenger regional jets, according to Clovis Municipal Airport Director Steve Summers. Summers said the assessment should be completed in one year.

• Formally approved the lease agreement with Southwest Cheese for the wastewater pretreatment plant.

• Heard from Raymond Mondragon, chairman of the Clovis 100th Anniversary Committee, about plans to celebrate the city’s 100th anniversary in 2007. They include a gala Oct. 6, 2007, at the Clovis City Center

• Heard Mayor David Lansford proclaim June 14 as Flag Day in Clovis and this week as Pioneer Days. Lansford also presented the keys to the city to Miss Rodeo America Tressie Knowlton.

• Heard from Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce Ernie Kos about plans to establish a local film commission and present the Chamber’s quarterly report.

• Authorized use of a city-owned parking lot in the 300 block of Pile Street for the Farmer’s Market.