Politics & Government

Clovis makes room for horses

Stables for the Clovis Police Department's volunteer mounted patrol were approved Tuesday night by the Clovis City Council without a nay from surrounding residents.

Council members approved the plan 5-0.

Earlier this year, neighbors from the nearby Woods Mobile Home Park said they were concerned about noise, dust, flies, lighting and odors.

But no one spoke against the stable project at Tuesday night's meeting.

Among 40 conditions for the project approved by the council were several addressing potential problems.

The mounted patrol has been consulting with an entomologist; it will screen lighting; it will regularly water to reduce dust; and it will dispose of horse manure twice each week to reduce odors and flies.

The stables are on 1 acre in the middle of a 12-acre city yard west of Letterman Park that has been used to store equipment, cement, green waste and impounded vehicles.

The yard sits east and south of the Woods Mobile Home Park and also not far from apartments.

The stables will be about 230 feet from the nearest home.

Three horses will be living in the stables with the possibility of going to four, city officials said.

The stables will be built with money from a fundraising drive by the mounted patrol. The patrol is a nonprofit organization that receives no city funds.

Since the patrol was first organized 15 years ago, the horses have been moved from place to place as volunteers looked for ways to keep costs low.

The volunteers help Clovis police during the holiday season by patrolling Sierra Vista Mall at Shaw and Clovis avenues. They also patrol the city's weekend bar scene, major events and the city's trail system.

The new location will give the patrol easy access to downtown Clovis without having to place the horses in trailers, said Bob Keyes, acting police chief.

In other discussion:

Council Member Lynne Ashbeck said a monument should be built along the Old Town Clovis Trail in commemoration of members of the military from Clovis.

Ashbeck said it would not only serve as a remembrance for the seven Clovis men who have died in action in Iraq, but would also recognize other city residents who have served in the military.

Ashbeck said the death of Nathan Hubbard two weeks ago -- the second of two Clovis brothers from one family to die in Iraq -- inspired the idea. But, she said, military service in all of the nation's wars should be recognized as part of Clovis' heritage.

"We [the City Council] should all step up and make this happen in a relatively short period of time," she said.

Council Member Nathan Magsig said the statue should depict a woman, since all statues along the city's art walk have been of men.

Magsig suggested that artistic proposals be forwarded to the city's art committee for a decision.

Council members also said they will discuss the project with the Clovis Memorial District.