Lansford says he plans to focus on infrastructure

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Clovis Mayor-elect David Lansford is interviewed by a television crew from Amarillo Tuesday after winning the race for mayor at Clovis City Hall. Lansford won 2,914 to Brumfield’s 1, 1718.

Robin Fornoff

Roads and streets across Clovis will take on new priorities. Recreation and other quality of life projects will continue as planned, newly elected Mayor David Lansford said Wednesday.

Lansford said infrastructure improvements, particularly streets and roads in Clovis, will be a major focus for him as mayor.

“A lot of things are in motion,” Lansford said, noting improvements under way at Hillcrest Park and the new Colonial Park golf course. “Most everything is certainly past the point of no return.

“I think the best thing is to move ahead. Stay the course on most everything.”

Lansford also said he is considering a series of town meetings to hear what residents across the city want the city commission to prioritize.

“It’s important to get a feel for what the priorities are,” Lansford said. “Try to establish some manageable and realistic goals for the future. Roads will certainly be a a big part of that.”

Lansford said finding the money for street improvements could be difficult but he’s convinced after talking with other commissioners that it can and must be done. Re-elected District 1 Commissioner Randy Crowder has ideas for accomplishing Lansford’s goal.

Crowder said he’s convinced the city can find more than $2 million a year for street improvements simply by shifting existing revenue.

Crowder’s target is a .25 percent tax approved by voters in 2004.

“It was presented to taxpayers as being for water, streets, police and fire protection.”

Crowder said portions of the tax can be designated for street improvement, but it would take a resolution by the city commission to ensure a sustained program of street improvement.

“The key,” said Crowder, “is to get that money dedicated. Once you’ve dedicated those funds to a certain specific purpose … it’s hard to undo it.”

Crowder said 3/16 of the .25 percent tax now going to water improvements can be dedicated to street improvement. He said another 2/16 being used to pay off improvements at Potter Park will soon become available as will another 1/16 being used to pay off improvements at the landfill.

“In my mind,” Crowder said, “It’s absolutely do-able.

“Until the day comes that we dedicate funds just for that purpose,” Crowder said, “we’re going to have sorry roads.”

Newly elected District 2 Commissioner Sandra Taylor-Sawyer said she agreed that street improvements are needed.

“That is my biggest concern,” Taylor-Sawyer said, “is to take care of the roads. And, to make sure that city employees have the tools they need to do their jobs.”

Finding the cash to do it, Taylor-Sawyer said, is something “I think the more I get in there and understand the process, then some ideas will flow.”