Hull overpass named one of top priorities for city

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Raymundo Garcia of Plains Masonry in Clovis saws a brick Friday for the masonry work on a home under construction in the Raintree subdivision in northeast Clovis. Getting affordable housing is among the top five priorities for Clovis this year, City Manager Joe Thomas has said.

By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico

The Clovis City Manager lists completion of the Hull Street Overpass and swimming pool improvements among the top priorities for projects to accomplish in 2010.

“The first and top priority is the completion of the Hull Street Overpass,” City Manager Joe Thomas said.

Thomas said construction has begun on the $3.4 million overpass and is scheduled to be completed in late summer to early fall.

Another Clovis priority is refurbishing Pile Street.

Thomas said the project would run from Eighth Street to Commerce Way and cost $712,794, which is available through a Community Development Block Grant.

For the third priority, Thomas said the city is in the first phase of construction of a wellness and fitness center at the city’s enclosed pool.

“We want to add an office and classroom at the pool,” Thomas said. “The cost of these additions will be $529,293.”

The office and classroom would be used to offer wellness classes to the public, such as water aerobics, Thomas said.

In a future phase, he said, officials would like to build a competition-style pool and a physical therapy pool.

Thomas said affordable housing is another high priority for the city. He said with the increase of personnel at Cannon Air Force Base, it is becoming harder to find affordable housing in Clovis.

“We need to work closely with local and regional developers,” Thomas said. “The construction of new affordable homes and rental units is very important to the future of Clovis economic development.”

Thomas said the key is to increase and speed up the construction of these new homes and rental units.

Also, Thomas said one crucial issue to the future of the area is the development of the $432 million Ute Water Pipeline project.

“We are working closely with the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority,” Thomas said. “Every effort is being made to secure funding for the pipeline.”

Thomas said securing an adequate water supply for Clovis and the surrounding communities ensures a future for the residents of the area.