Commissioners indicate preference to keep current air service

Kevin Wilson

Clovis city commissioners indicated a preference to keep the city’s current airline carrier during their regular meeting Thursday night.

There was little discussion on most items, including a recommendation to stay with Great Lakes Airlines at the Clovis Municipal Airport, in a 50-minute meeting.

Great Lakes, which has served Clovis since 2006, submitted a proposal for 12 round trips per week, either nonstop to Albuquerque or to Denver, with a stop at either Santa Fe or Pueblo, Colo., through a federal Essential Air Service subsidy of $1.59 million. The city currently uses the plan for flights to Albuquerque, but can opt for Denver during the service period.

The U.S. Department of Transportation, which is accepting comments through Tuesday, will make the final ruling.

Near the conclusion of the meeting, the commission held a hearing for the transfer of a liquor license from the Allsup’s convenience store on 2021 Prince St., to the remodeled store — also on 2021 Prince St.

The previous building was torn down and is being replaced with another to open in March, more than double the original building’s size and further east on the lot at the intersection of 21st and Prince streets.

Commissioner Fred Van Soelen said he was surprised such a hearing was even necessary, since the building was the only component that changed.

City Attorney David Richards said it was rare to transfer a license inside the same lot without an ownership change, but was necessary because the company’s original liquor license was based on the physical footprint of the building and not the street address.

No citizens spoke during the hearing, and the transfer passed unanimously.

In other business:

• The commission approved modification of a lease agreement between the city and The Old Lyceum Theatre, Inc. The agreement was last executed in 1999. The new agreement calls for the group to pay $600 annually to the city and for the city to pay reasonable and necessary utility costs, and requires an annual report from the group.

• Commissioners OK’d installation of an artificial surface at Dickenson Field. The move, which would be paid for through donations and grants, would save the city money on maintenance. Doug Bowman of the Clovis American Little League said the board is setting aside money every year for when the turf would need replacement about 15 years down the road.

Clovis is hosting the state Major League Little League Tournament this summer.

• An ordinance was approved to add dumping excess water onto roadways to the “public nuisance” category. City Engineer Justin Howalt said the change was meant to address a handful of businesses dumping water on the city’s most used roads during inclement weather, and would not apply to residential streets.

• Certificates were given to Farmers Electric, Xcel Energy, New Mexico American Water Company and the Clovis Public Works Department for their roles in helping residents during harsh winter weather earlier in the month.

“We had our problems, but we had relatively few problems” compared to other New Mexico cities, Mayor Gayla Brumfield said. “I think that was due to the hard work and dedications of our utility employees and the public works department.”

• Commissioners appointed Debbie Abrego and Dick Ross to the Clovis/Curry County Local Emergency Planning Committee’s Executive Council, and retained Dennis Rogers and Rudy Garcia on the Public Works Committee.

Three applied for the public works positions and seven for the LEPC council.

“This is normally not difficult,” Commissioner Randy Crowder said, “and I struggle (tonight) because everybody is so well qualified.”

• Brumfield said the State of the City address is tentatively scheduled for the first week of March.