Commission OKs industrial park design

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Curry County commissioners approved the design Tuesday for the Clovis Industrial Park, which will be constructed in the county.

Plans are already under way for two biodiesel plants in the 237-acre park, and it could include a business incubator, according to Clovis Industrial Development Corp. Executive Director Chase Gentry.

Clovis Biodiesel has already started construction on its facility in the park, he said.

During a public hearing on the design, County Attorney Stephen Doerr suggested the city annex the area where the park will be built because the maintenance on the park will be done by the city.

“For the county’s benefit, it should probably be annexed by the city,” he said. “At present time there are no standards in the county for (industrial park).”

But Gentry said the park needs to be part of the county in order for the companies based in the park to have access to incentives such as rural job tax credits and some U.S. Department of Agriculture programs. These programs help the city compete for businesses to come to Clovis.

“We need to do anything we can to get a step above the competition,” he said.

Approval for amendments in the county and city joint action guide passed in a 3-2 vote. Commissioners wanted the land use committee to examine the amendments before approving them.

Clovis Building and Safety Director Pete Wilt presented amendments the city made to the guide’s water sections. The changes were made on the city’s side and concern policies on the water system in the city.

“The city does not have a water system,” he said about the city’s request to clarify language about ownership of the system. “The water system is owned by New Mexico American Water company.”

Commissioner Tim Ashley, who voted against the resolution with commissioner Albin Smith, said his reservations on approving the amendments concerned adopting regulations on individual wells.

“I think I would like to be a little more comfortable with that statement and would like to know a little bit more about where we’re going with that,” Ashley said.

In other business commissioners:

Approved temporary stop signs on County Road R, which runs along the west side of Cannon Air Force Base.
Road Department Superintendent Danny Davis said the base will close its main runway for six months to expand it and will use another one near the county road. He said portable stop lights will be erected on the road and will be controlled by the base’s control tower. Davis said the lights will be up by the end of the month.

Approved a letter of support for the development of Hotel Clovis. Commissioners also approved a resolution to support the project. But county attorney Doerr recommended against the action since he said resolutions usually involve funding.

“Since they’re not asking for money, I have reservations for a resolution,” he said. “Although it doesn’t bind you (financially), it is usually reserved for financial matters.”