City commission to consider affordable housing plan

CNJ staff

A resolution and ordinance creating an affordable housing plan for the city are part of the agenda for the Clovis City Commission’s first regular May meeting, scheduled for 5:15 p.m. Thursday at the north annex of the Clovis-Carver Public Library.

The affordable housing plan allows an exception to the state’s anti-donation clause for the purpose of affordable housing. The clause states the city cannot “directly or indirectly lend or pledge its credit, or make any donation to or in aid of any person, association or public or private corporation.”

The ordinance was introduced in the commission’s April 7 meeting on a 7-1 vote. Commission Randy Crowder, dissented because he feels uncomfortable that the private-public union could create an uneven playing field for builders and enable companies to leverage the city for taxpayer-funded benefits they couldn’t get in the free market.

During that meeting, Crowder brought up a commitment letter, approved by the commission previously as a resolution and sent to Tierra Realty of Taos, which is renovating the Hotel Clovis. The city is making a $1.4 million loan to Tierra Realty, but Crowder said a segment of the letter — upon creation of an affordable housing plan — would change the terms of the loan to include less liability and an ability to indefinitely defer payments as long as the city has cash reserves.

Commissioners in favor of the plan point to the renovation of the Hotel Clovis city landmark and the need for new housing for incoming personnel at Cannon Air Force Base as reasons for the move.

However, some commissioners noted they were only voting to introduce the ordinance. Commissioner Fred Van Soelen had concerns over extra administrative duties and costs that would come through enactment of the plan.

Also on the meeting agenda:

• Certificates of appreciation to the Clovis Fire Department and Living Stones Community Church for aiding the city’s Easter egg hunt, awards for distinguished supervisor and line employee of the quarter and a proclamation of May as Great American Cleanup Month.

• Participation in the Eastern Plains Council of Governments for the upcoming fiscal year, and appointment of a representative and alternate.

• A request to hire two seasonal employees for the Colonial Park Golf Course. The total cost is $11,400.

• An extension for leases on golf carts with Golf Professional Services. The $5,000 contract would run through Sept. 30.

• A budget change for $28,584 with the Clovis Municipal Airport, mainly for work on an elevated water tank.

• A solid waste disposal agreement between the cities of Clovis and Portales. Landfill fees of $30 per ton, $11 a ton for demolition debris and $18 a ton for green waste will apply to Portales.

• A request to approve a fundraising cookout at Green Acres Park by the Cannon Air Force Base 561S A Flight Team. Money from the cookout, tentatively scheduled for May 14, would go towards improvements at the park.

• A budget change of $5,000 for unforeseen electrical expenses at the airport’s fire station.

• A budget change of $35,000 for equipment repairs at the Public Works Department.

• A waiver of dumping fees at the landfill from noon May 13 to noon May 16 in conjunction with the Great American Cleanup. Tire disposals are limited to 10 passenger vehicle tires per household.

• Requests for street closures from noon to 1 a.m. May 22 on the 300 block of Merriwether (with a noise variance) and on Fourth Street between Oak and Maple streets for two separate graduation parties. Another street closure is requested on the 1300 block of Merriwether at James Bickley Elementary for its annual Maypole dance.