County Commission meeting
• County Commissioner Frank McCasland gave a presentation on the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority. He said that the county needs to decide how much of their 1,000 acre/feet of water they have reserved in Ute Lake they would like to commit to the pipeline project and how much they would like to keep in reserve.
• Terry Turner, county manager gave a presentation on county business He said on March 15 he will meet with state officials to start laying out next year’s budget. Audits for 2002 and 2003 is still not fully complete by the accounting group commissioned to do them, Turner said. Another accounting firm will be contracted to do the 2004 audit.
• County Clerk Ellen White presented the cost of using mailed ballots rather than opening precincts for the vote on weather to levy a tax to support combining the city’s and county’s dispatch — a combination officials recommended at the last meeting. The cost of mailing the ballots will be comparable with opening the precincts. The board will discuss the issue with city.
• An ordinance was passed to allow the creation of a t-shaped intersection at the corner of Fifth Street and Highway 237 (Railroad Avenue).
• An ordinance was passed creating a municipal airport advisory board. Those interested should submit a letter to the mayor. More information should be released soon.
• J&C Golf’s contract with the city for managing the golf course was terminated because they moved to take another job. The board approved the recommendation of Howie Tucker as the new golf proffessioanl. His contract will be brought up for approval at a meeting at 3:30 on Tuesday. Tucker’s proposal included salary of $38,500 a year, less than what the current contract paid.
• The police department and animal control presentation was canceled because the mayor was not at the meeting.
•The board voted to contribute to the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority lobbyist. The Tucumcari share is $5,000, but the board will try to reduce that amount because they are not going to use all of their water supply in the pipe line.
• Doug Quarles and Sharon Watson did a presentation asking the commission for suggestions and support for raiding more money to painting more murals They have already done 10 murals in Tucumcari and have plans for doing at least 30 more, Quarles said.
• City Manager Richard Primrose said the New Mexico Department of Transportation would put up better signs leading to Tucumcari off of the highway, to make it easier for those stopping here to find the town.
• The commission voted to approve a loan and grant application to the United States Department of Agriculture for rural development. The loan would be for $615,200 and the grant for $265,000. They will pay for improvements to the city’s water system, as part of the state’s First Street project.
School board meeting
• About 25 members of 4-H, Quay County Fair organizers and parents made a presentation o the board asking them to change the school calendar for next year because the first week of school coincides with the fair. The calender had been designed and voted on by school faculty members and approved by the board in November. Student 4-H members said participating in the fair and going to school would be difficult and hurt them in both areas. High school administrators said the first 90-day semester needs to be as close to Christmas break as possible for various academic reasons. The board voted to look into alternative calenders and reexamine the issue at the next meeting.
• The board discussed the public having problems getting access to school athletic facilities. The board decided to devise a blanket policy to present at the next meeting. The policy would figure out how the public could have access to the buildings while still protecting school property from vandalism.
•A new policy book was approved that includes new curriculum, graduation and other requirements. The new rules will go into effect next school year.
• The district report card — in compliance with the No Child Left Behind act — was presented. The high school did not meet standards because of attendance and Hispanic students failing; however, administrators said this had to do with unclear instructions from the state office that caused the school to test the wrong group of students. A complete report card will be published in the Quay County Sun on Wednesday.
• Tonya Hodges said the fence being put up around the outdoor classroom “disappeared.” Hodges asked that the school board encourage the city — that has volunteered to put up the fence. The elementary school classes will be invited to the classroom for Earth Day on April 22 and she said she wants the fence to be up by then.
• The superintendent William Reents contract was renewed in a 3-2 vote.