On Tuesday, March 17th Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield delivered the State of the City address for the City of Clovis:
MAYOR GAYLA BRUMFIEL
1. Infrastructure & WaterIn 2008 we saw some restructuring in our Public Works Department. Mr. Clint Bunch became our Public Works Director and Mr. Justin Howalt joined us in January 2009 in the newly created position of City Engineer and the Clovis City Commission looks forward to working with them in addressing Clovis' future infrastructure needs. Street projects completed in 2008 included the reconstruction of the Prince Street GRIP 2 project in the fall of 2008 and the repaving of all the residential streets between 1st and 7th and Mitchell and Thornton in October 2008 which was achieved through a Community Development Block Grant.
Our infrastructure legislative requests this year include the widening of Martin Luther King Blvd. between Llano and Riata to improve access from the north to Plains Regional Medical Center. Obtaining funding for the Hull Street Overpass following its closure in July 2008 has taken much of our time. We have visited with Governor Richardson, the NM Department of Transportation and our Congressional delegation and believe the funding will be there. Rebuilding Hull Street Overpass is our priority for 2009.
Projects that will be completed in 2009 include the repaving of Brady Street between Hull Street and Norris and on Norris Street from Brady to the railroad crossing. The cost for this project is $2.6 million. The North Prince Street sewer line extension is currently being completed at a cost of $123,000. There will also be a sewer line extension placed under MLK in 2009.
The South Side drainage project is currently being studied. This project includes the construction of a storm sewer system which would have the capacity to capture and transport the storm water runoff generated per the NMDOT drainage manual. The storm runoff is generated from an approximate 970 acre watershed area. The current proposed storm sewer system would commence at Beta St. and run east southeast along Grand Ave and Mabry Drive. The system would outfall into a channel that conveys storm water to Ingram Lake. The current estimated construction cost based off preliminary design is $12 million.
We are currently working to restructure the flood maps issued by FEMA to remove some of the designated flood plains due to completion of several drainage projects in the past several years.
The City is preparing to make some $8.5 million in repairs to our twenty year old Wastewater Treatment Plant to ensure its sustainability for the next fifteen years. The Water Policy Advisory Board continues to seek ways to conserve our most precious resource, water and we are looking at creative ways to conserve water such as our effluent reuse project.
The Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority continues to move forward toward federal authorization for the Ute Water Pipeline Project. With Federal, State and Local funding CH2M Hill, the Authority's design engineers, are currently working on the design of the pipeline and continue to work diligently with land owners to secure easements for the pipeline route. We have gone to Washington DC three times in the last year to visit with our congressional delegation and we believe we will have authorization shortly. ENMRWA is also asking for approximately $25 million from the stimulus package for the construction of an intake structure at Ute Reservoir.2. City Services
City of Clovis' public service departments continue to provide excellent service to our community.
In 2008 the City of Clovis' Police Department welcomed Police Chief Steve Sanders. Unfortunately the department was called upon to investigate three homicides in 2008. Although we are saddened with the loss of life, we are proud the police department has arrested the people responsible for committing these heinous crimes. Police department staff assisted the Curry County Sheriff's Department in the apprehension of seven of the eight inmates who escaped from the detention facility. In July 2008 the city experienced a rash of "home invasions". The department participated in a problem solving strategy which ultimately led to the arrest of several suspects responsible for these crimes. In March 2008 Lt. Jim Schoeffel graduated from the FBI National Academy and we congratulate him for completing this leadership school. The Police Department's K-9, Ringo, received top honors at the K-9 Patrol School in Phoenix AZ.
I would like to thank Judge Jan Garrett for her dedication to our Municipal Court.
Each year over 2,400 dogs and cats are euthanized at the Animal Shelter and the Commission created the Clovis Animal Shelter Task Force to make recommendations regarding programs to reduce the number of animals euthanized. As a result of the recommendations the Commission approved formulating spay & neutering and licensing ordinances in the hopes of reducing the number of animals euthanized at the Shelter. In 2009 I would like to see the Animal Shelter Task Force become a permanent committee to continue working with the City on matters relating to the animal shelter.
The Fire Department's construction of a regional training tower at the Brady Street Fire Station will greatly assist in improving firefighter training locally. This has been in the works for quite some time and the Fire Department is very excited to have this here. In 2008 the Clovis Commission approved a new compensation plan designed to retain and recruit Fire Department and EMT personnel. We have received very little precipitation over the winter months and our Fire Department continues to do an outstanding job of dealing with fire incidents which occur in our community and providing excellent ambulatory assistance to the public.
The Emergency Management Department continues to maintain top training levels in standing ready to meet any emergency in the community. Members of the LEPC attended agro-terrorism preparation and planning meetings and several HAZMAT tabletop exercises were completed in preparation for a full-scale exercise in 2009. The Clovis/Curry County Emergency Operations Plan was finalized and approved by Clovis, Curry County, Texico, Melrose and Grady. Mr. Ken De Los Santos, Emergency Management Director for the City of Clovis, received the New Mexico Emergency Manager of the Year award for 2008 and was elected president of the New Mexico Emergency Management Association.
Division of Older Adults
In the Division of Older Adults, websites for both Baxter-Curren and the Friendship Center were established last year. A parking lot was put in at Baxter-Curren Senior Center and a fence installed at the Friendship Center. Older Adults was able to purchase a 15 passenger bus with state funding. The Older Adults Division continues to support and assist with trips for the seniors in our community.
Clovis Area Transit System
Clovis Area Transit System moved into their new facility in January 2008 and a ribbon cutting was held in May. The facility was constructed with federal and local funds and is a great addition to the downtown district. In September CATS received five 2008 Glaval 16 passenger buses with bike racks with funding received from the State DOT. Ms. Mary Lou Kemp, CATS director, was elected Secretary of the NM Passenger Transportation Association. We continue to look at the CATS program going to a fixed route system.
Clovis-Carver Library continues to work successfully to get more adult programming in place at the facility. Through a grant received from the New Mexico Humanities Council and the Hubbard Foundation, several Chautauqua programs have been scheduled for the coming months. Due to large attendance at the Toddler Time program another Toddler Time was begun in 2008.3. Quality of Life
Quality of Life issues remain a high priority for the City and the Parks and Recreation Department continues to strive to meet the needs of a growing community. The second phase of the Wellness and Youth Development project is in progress. The old Play, Inc. facility was removed in fall 2008 to make way for the construction of the new facility. The 7th Street pool complex has been renamed the "Clovis Aquatics Center" and the new locker rooms have been a great benefit to the facility. The design for the new Wellness Center which will include a racing pool, therapy pool and fitness rooms are underway and the city is actively seeking funding to complete this project.
Quality recreational facilities, including walking trails and bike paths, are integral in encouraging the health and wellness of a community and I remain committed to seeking funding to facilitate recreational activities within our community. We continue to work with different groups to look at our park system to establish walking/nature trails. There is a committee looking at all our youth activities to possibly coordinate these activities under a full time director. This would include different sports and other recreational activities.
Our Civic Center is one of the most used facilities in town. Because of this facility we are able to have large banquets, cultural arts series, concerts and many other activities. There is something for everyone. The Curry County Events Center is the perfect equestrian facility for events like the High Plains Junior Rodeo, Pioneer Days Rodeo and Joe's Boot Shop Calf Roping as well as for concerts and expos.
Our parks, zoo, golf course and sports fields are second to none and bring in dollars into our area. The City of Clovis Parks & Recreation Department upgraded and replaced several exhibits at the zoo as well as adding a pair of female black bears and a new pair of Marmosets in 2008. They completed the second phase of the Ned Houk Park Irrigation Upgrade project and the third phase of the Ned Houk Park paving project and installed a new restroom facility at Bob Spencer Park. The Parks Department has plans to replace the restroom at Greene Acres Park this spring. In 2008 our Parks & Recreation Department received the New Mexico Parks & Recreation Association Award for Parks/Grounds Maintenance & Facility Design Award for the Baseball Field.4. Economic Development
Economic development is the lifeblood for any community. We have been experiencing some exciting growth since the arrival of the 27th Special Operations Wing in October 2007 and we are now seeing a lot of new people moving into our community. Growth is expected at Cannon as the new squadrons of aircraft including gunships, C-V22s and Predators arrive over the next few years. To help address the growth at the base, Clovis, together with the City of Portales and Roosevelt County and Curry County are continuing to work on the regional growth management plan. Public hearings on the Regional Growth Management Plan will be held in April this year and I would like to thank the members of the Local Growth Management Organization for the many hours of work they have volunteered to insure our communities are ready to address any growth issue associated with Cannon.
Clovis Municipal Schools
From the time a new mission was announced at Cannon Air Force Base, our public schools have been preparing for a 20 to 25 percent increase in our total student population by the year 2013. A community-wide committee that was formed to study growth has heard a lot about what our superintendent calls the two big E's - Effective and Efficient. The challenge is to effectively educate our kids with the most efficient use of tax payer dollars. This committee's research has led to a recommendation for a new middle school in Clovis that would create room for growth in every elementary school by moving 6th graders into a true middle school setting. This plan would benefit current 3rd graders and younger students. The district will be holding a series of public meetings this month to discuss that concept with the community before the recommendation comes to our board of education.
With another broad-based community group, the district has just completed a five year strategic plan for addressing the academic, social, and emotional needs of students in order to achieve the mission of every student graduating from high school prepared to live productively and pursue whatever goals the student has set for himself or herself. As evidenced by such diverse accomplishments as the many state championships we hold in sports to the trophies we acquire in our music programs to the 3 million-plus dollars our seniors are offered in scholarships each year, the Clovis Schools are one of this community's strongest assets.
Chamber of Commerce/CIDC
The great relationship the city has with the Clovis Curry County Chamber and the Clovis Industrial Development Corporation is a perfect example of how people can work together to achieve great economic results. Even with the state of the national economy and the loss of capital markets, our economic development efforts have been very successful. Several companies over the past couple of years, including SWC, Mesa Ingredients, SEI Call Center, American Medical Call Center and others have created approximately 1,000 jobs in our area. There are several companies looking to expand in our area with renewable energy such as wind and biodiesel and I believe when the economy stabilizes and the capital markets are restored these companies will move forward. The City continues to work with existing companies to help them continue to be successful, such as SWC with their equipment expansion.
Our Industrial Park is a wonderful investment in our economic future and many companies have been looking at the park as a potential future site for their industry. The infrastructure for the site is almost complete with water, sewer and roads being installed. We are also working to construct a rail spur at the park which will greatly benefit potential industry. The estimated cost for the infrastructure improvements is in the region of $3.5 million.
The Curry County Chamber of Commerce continues to do a great job at successfully promoting tourism with the Clovis Sound and opening of the Buddy Holly Museum. 2009 commemorates 50 years since the death of Buddy Holly and the Chamber is organizing a commemorative Music Festival in September 2009.
Curry County celebrates its Centennial this year and we want to congratulate them on their first 100 years. We look forward to joining the County in the celebrations they have scheduled throughout this momentous year in their history.
Plains Regional Medical Center is continuing to grow and as a result of the addition of the healthplex and the cancer treatment center has become the medical hub for eastern New Mexico and west Texas. They have recruited several physicians and provided a walk in clinic and I am confident we will see other growth potentials identified in the very near future.
Clovis Community College continues to be one of Clovis' best resources. The Small Business Development Center, through its planning programs, helps many businesses get started and/or continue to be successful. CCC provides training for local businesses which helps our local economic development. They have an excellent nursing program as well as other programs for a two year degree. Additionally, CCC provides outstanding health facilities and exercise programs for the community.
In 2008 we had a major renovation to the main runway at the Clovis Municipal Airport. A complete mill off of the old asphalt and an overlay of new pavement and paint was done. A new connector taxiway has also been constructed as part of the runway extension program. The engineering design of the 1800 foot extension is complete and we are anticipating federal funding to begin construction this spring. Our Airport will be undergoing a number of changes as a result of the growth at CAFB. And with the renewal of the US Department of Transportation contract with Great Lakes Airlines, we have had discussion with them in hopes that they may be able to provide an expanded service to Dallas in the not too distant future.
The Building Safety Department had a good year in 2008 with 132 new residential houses with a value of $37,418,123 being permitted which was up from last year's 123 residences. In addition, 24 new commercial permits were issued with a value of $9,324,538. This year looks to be an even better year due to the growth at Cannon Air Force Base.
The City of Clovis approved 234 new business licenses in 2008. There were 624 housing units sold in 2007 with an average price of $124,000 and in 2008 there were 610 housing units sold with an average price of $140,000.00.5. Beautification & Downtown Revitalization
Keep Clovis Beautiful
One of my campaign goals was to continue to work hard to improve the appearance of our entryways and other beautification projects. In April 2009 the City will move forward with the creation of Keep Clovis Beautiful, a committee who will work aggressively on beautification, trash eradication and graffiti eradication projects. Additionally they will work on establishing a viable recycling program in our community. We have taken a first step in our recycling program with the installation of recycling bins at Wal-Mart, Albertsons and the Clovis Regional Landfill. Our Trek for Trash and Great American Cleanup events continue to be a success and we want to continue to encourage Clovis citizens to take pride in the appearance of their homes and community. We are also working with Curry County to help improve the entryways into the city. A Median Committee was established by the County to work on this and I represent the city on this committee. Our first project is the landscaping of all the medians between Clovis & Cannon Air Force Base.
Clovis MainStreet Program
The City of Clovis continues to support Clovis' MainStreet program who continue to make strides to revitalize the downtown area. The installation of the Gateway on south Main in 2008 has greatly improved the appearance of the area as has the installation of trash bins and benches on Main Street. In 2008 the City of Clovis and Clovis MainStreet received funding at federal and state level to remediate the Hotel Clovis and work at the Hotel will be starting shortly and this is something we are extremely excited about. We held the first Mayor's Ball on New Year's Eve and the proceeds for this event went towards downtown revitalization projects.
As you can see, the City of Clovis has accomplished so much over the past year.
As I listen to citizens across our community I hear their concerns regarding the improvements they feel our city needs. Infrastructure, quality of life, beautification and youth recreation issues are topics that everyone agrees needs to be improved. Helen Keller said "The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision". Vision is what creates the passion and commitment in a community. Planning and action can bring about a synergy, and by working together great things can be accomplished. I would like to pass on my heartfelt thanks to the Clovis City Commission for their continued leadership, enthusiasm and vision for our community and to city staff for their dedication in implementing that vision.
As your Mayor, my vision for 2009 includes the following areas:
1. Continue to work to rebuild the Hull Street Overpass, complete scheduled street repaving projects and begin repairs to the City's Wastewater Treatment Plant
2. Continue to work with the members of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority and our state and congressional delegations to obtain authorization and funding for the Ute Water Pipeline Project
3. Continue to work with the Local Growth Management Organization, the City of Portales, Curry and Roosevelt counties, our Schools and Community College, to help address the growth of our area primarily brought about by the expansion at Cannon Air Force Base
4. Establish the Mayor's Council on Quality of Life/Youth Activities to work with community leaders to address quality of life and youth recreation challenges in our community
5. Continue to work with the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce & Clovis Industrial Development Corporation to encourage economic development and tourism to our community
6. Restructure Clovis Pride to "Keep Clovis Beautiful Committee" to help encourage and promote our beautification and recycling programs to make our community a safer, cleaner and greener place to live, work and recreate
7. Continue to work with the Clovis Animal Shelter Task Force, non-profit groups and the city to continue to address the needs of the Clovis Animal Shelter
8. Continue to work with Clovis MainStreet to get a contractor for Hotel Clovis so hopefully we can be back one year from now with Hotel Clovis being our anchor once more for the downtown district
During the Linking Arms Linking Lives event last weekend concern was raised regarding youth activities. A working group has formed to look at what is available for youth activities including all sport activities and I would like to address these concerns through the Mayor's Council.
In conclusion, by all of us working together we can move Clovis from Good to Great. There is a quote which says it takes the right people with the right talent in the right place at the right time to make things happen. I know that as your elected representatives the Clovis City Commission and I will continue to work hard in moving Clovis forward in the right direction.