Year in review: Tax dollars in spotlight

File photo Renovations on the Hotel Clovis began in October. The $12.8 million project is expected to to completed by December 2012.

Political conservatives calling themselves High Plains Patriots forced two elections hoping to overrule city of Clovis spending plans.

One failed — the city was allowed to implement a tax hike to help fund the Ute water pipeline project — and one was successful, forcing a developer to find more private funding for renovations of Hotel Clovis.

The Ute Water Authority broke ground in August on a pumping station that would move water from the reservoir in Logan to authority members who have reserved it, including Clovis and Portales.

The historic hotel that dominates Clovis’ skyline is the centerpiece of a 59-unit apartment complex officials expect to be completed by December 2012. Renovations began this fall.

Clovis city officials also found opposition to their efforts to purchase Chaparral Country Club and its 18-hole golf course, then close the nine-hole municipal course in favor of youth sports fields and other amenities.

But the new golf course was open and the old one closed by year’s end, with plans well under way for the changes.

“It’s progression. It’s the city growing,” said Clovis resident Jody Crampo.

This and that

• Clovis Community College on April 6 selected Clovis native and longtime educator Becky Rowley as its fourth president. She succeeded John Neibling, who retired after six years.

“I’m excited and I feel a sort of overwhelming sense of responsibility,” Rowley said.

She took the helm July 18 with a salary set at $145,000.

• Citing financial struggles, the U.S. Postal Service in July listed about 3,700 post offices it will study for closure nationwide, including eight in this region.

Dora, Causey, Milnesand, Pep and Rogers in Roosevelt County; Taiban and Yeso in De Baca County; and Lazbuddie in Parmer County were among communities in danger of losing post offices.

USPS in December announced it would not close any of the rural mail agencies until at least May 15, but their fate is in the hands of Congress, which is overhauling post office operations.

• Cannon Air Force Base Commander Col. Stephen Clark passed leadership of the 27th Special Operations Wing to Col. Albert Elton II on July 8.

Then in November, Brig. Gen. Clark was appointed to lead an investigation into errant American airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani troops.

His investigation found that U.S. forces were fired on first and acted in self-defense. But he also found that efforts to determine who was firing on the U.S troops and whether there were friendly Pakistani forces in the area failed; that was because U.S. forces used inaccurate maps, were unaware of Pakistani border post locations and mistakenly provided the wrong location for the troops, The Associated Press reported.