City turns to collection services

By Ryn Gargulinski

If you owe money to the city’s ambulance service, expect a call from a collection agency.
City officials on Tuesday agreed to use Collect Rite collection agency in efforts to recover about $200,000 in unpaid bills owed to the city’s ambulance service.
Revamped roads, withdrawal from the Ute Water pipeline project and senior citizens centers were also on Tuesday’s City Commission agenda, city administrative assistant Clara Rey said.
Rey said by the end of the month, those who owe past ambulance bills to Tucumcari Medical Services may expect a call from Collect Rite.
“Collect Rite will add more teeth to the collection process,” Rey said, adding anyone wishing to settle past due amounts can come by City Hall.
On the road improvements, the city’s Municipal Arterial Program (MAP) project is expected to start soon as a contract was awarded to Versatile Construction Company, said Project Manager Yvette Fazekas. Although Versatile was the only bid the city received, Fazekas said, “If we did not feel the company could do the work, we could have rejected the bid and started over.”
Some work had to be cut from the project to fit the $212,698 budget allotted from the state, but improvements will be made on Rock Island Avenue and Charles Street to coincide with the First Street Project, Fazekas said, adding once work begins on the MAP project it will be completed within 60 days.
While the city is gladly participating in the MAP project, it is bowing out of the Ute Water pipeline project, Rey said. The city agreed to send a letter to the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority discontinuing its participation, Rey said.
A contract was also signed between Tucumcari and the Eastern New Mexico Area Agency on Aging, Rey said. This will allow the city to administer the grant money for senior citizen centers in Tucumcari, Logan and House, she said.
Some final issues discussed included a revision of the budget and procedures for conducting city meetings, Rey said.
The budget revision includes simply making fund transfers for the budget to balance, Rey said. City meetings will be conducted using a modified version of Robert’s Rules of Order, said Rey. “This will make the meeting less formal and allow for a more relaxed atmosphere,” she said.