City commission reviews roads, anticipates landfill

By Leslie Radford: Quay County Sun

Streets and Sanitation Superintendent Larry Moore gave a presentation at Thursday night’s Tucumcari City Commissioners meeting at City Hall.

The presentation included updates on the maintenance of city streets. Currently, the City of Tucumcari Street Department maintains 84 streets (roughly 61 miles) based on a 1996 Street Inventory Survey. This survey reported the majority of the city’s streets were rated in poor condition.

“The City has used various State and Federal funding sources in combination with our own matching funds to improve existing streets and to reduce the amount of streets in poor condition,” according to the report Moore distributed to board members that night.

Moore told the board several street renovations had been made since the 1996 survey, such as asphalt paving projects completed prior to 2003. The 2003-2004 projects included paving Seventh Street from Gambles to Charles Streets, Charles Street from First to Tenth Streets and Rock Island Street from Main Street to the railroad right of way. With funds received by the school system, the City was able to pave the streets surrounding the campus.

Moore also compared the 1996 survey with the most recent 2003 City Street Inventory Survey. This survey showed a small improvement in the condition of streets with poor ratings. According to Moore’s report, those streets rating fair changed from 40.8 percent to 38 percent and those streets rating good went from 16.8 percent to 23 percent. A total of 19.4 miles of city streets were improved since 1996, according to the report.

Moore said projects planned for 2005 include: Construction of First Street by the New Mexico Department of Transportation, proposed to start in April; through special funding, 1.02 miles of road will be renovated, and new curbs and gutters will be added to Charles Street, beginning at the east side of First Street to Rock Island Street and from Charles and Rock Island Streets to Rt. 66; and the anticipated COOP project in February and involves Leonard Street. Other projects were listed as well.

Moore told the board of projects for next year that were already in the works. He said “pot holes are a never ending battle and they are everywhere” and the road crews would get to them as time allowed.

“I have spent $4,909 on cold mix,” Moore said. “Just recently, the City Street Department and the City Water Department went in on half the cost of a new Dura Patcher pot hole and crack sealing matching at a cost of $18,954.”

The City will be working with the County on specific chip seal projects and aid in some of the construction involved with the new landfill in order to cut operating expenses.

It was also reported at this time that Moore had worked with the State Traffic Control Dept. over the last year concerning Tucumcari traffic lights and outdated control panels and equipment among other things. Four new control boxes with updated equipment was updated at four different traffic light locations this past September.

The Street Dept. will begin installing a chain link fence around the top of BOC Gases next month. “The property belongs to the City, but BOC bought the material if we would put it up,” according to the report. Moore said the project would cost over $14,000.

Moore said the last project that needs to be completed is hauling off a stock pile of concrete and asphalt to the landfill. He said the City will finish this project up over the next seven days.

The Sanitation division reported the City had four employees operating the landfill at this time. “The Tucumcari landfill has a total of fifty acres and at the beginning of 2003 permitted space available was 4.65 acres,” Moore said.
This will provide enough space for about two more years of usage according to the report.

It was also noted that the City will soon have to start hauling material to cover the trash at the current landfill at end of each day. The material will have to be hauled to the landfill to prepare for closure. Figures analyzing costs for closure, post-closure and Phase 1 and Phase 2 assessments were attached to the report and studied by the board.

The document listed equipment within the Sanitation division as well as what was kept at the Landfill. The department said they still need a new trash truck, a dozer and a scraper. Moore said the Department is looking at a trash truck in Mosquero that would cost about $99,000. The cost for a new dozer would run over $400,000 and the scraper to be used at the new landfill would cost just over $500,000.

The report states the City’s current equipment is “old and worn out.” The Department said they were looking into ways to replace this equipment.

The Tucumcari Landfill serves just under 10,000 customers, said the 2003 annual report. It was noted that landfill fees were raised in October of last year. New hours were also established at that time. Video cameras were installed for safety and monitoring reasons and a cash register was installed in the office at the current landfill.

Records showed the landfill is receiving trash from two trash trucks that service Logan, San Jon, Mosquero, Conchas Dam, and House. In September 2004, the City started accepting trash from Santa Rosa’s transfer station.
There were 3,705 tons received from all of these locations last year with $81,535.07 in revenue.

The issue of illegal dumping was also mentioned in the document. The ordinance attached was previously published in the newspaper and advertised on the radio. The Department asks City employees and area citizens to report illegal dumping. It is a crime punishable by law.
Moore introduced Fred Curnutt with Engineer’s Inc. during his presentation.

“Fred has been involved with getting the new landfill site permitted,” said Moore.

Curnutt gave the status of the project and highlighted problems the project had encountered. He said all requirements for the application were being taken care of and hope the City will soon have a permit for the site.

Just before the Streets and Sanitation presentation, corrections were made to the minutes of the last meeting at the beginning of January. Mayor Mary Mayfield said the City had received acknowledgement of Library Advisory Board minutes and City Manager Richard Primrose gave his report.

Primrose said the application of permit for the new landfill still needed a few items of information in order to be completed. This was discussed in the presentation. These items are being handled and the application should be completed by next week.

Board members commented on their recent trip to Santa Fe to meet with the governor and legislators. Mayfield reported all five chairs from the board attended the reception earlier this month.

“We were well received,” said Commissioner Betty Ditto, who was pleased with the representation made by the City of Tucumcari.

The board adjourned with no further items to discuss. The next meeting will be Feb. 10.