Fireworks restriction in place

By Chelle Delaney: QCS Associate Publisher

Severe drought conditions in Tucumcari prompted city officials to impose a fireworks restriction on the sale and use of missile-type rockts, helicopters, aerial spinners and stick-type rockets.

The Tucumcari City Commission met Thursday evening and issued a 30-day proclamation banning all fireworks that shoot into the air eight feet or above.

“We are not saying you cannot have any fun on the fourth of July,” said commission member Jim Witcher. “You can still have fire crackers and sparklers.”

The proclamation also prohibited ground audible devices.

Tucumcari Police Chief Larry Ham said, “I think it’s a good idea.”

Witcher said it was better to be safe and to prevent possible house fires.

City Manager Richard Primrose said that Mike Cherry, Tucumcari Fire Chief, could not attend the meeting but knew about the proposed ban and was in favor of it.

Fireworks for commercial displays designed to produce visible or audible effects were not banned in the proclamation, so long as the seller and user comply with city ordinances and state statutes.

Witcher noted that the proclamation would need to reviewed or renewed in 30 days for it to still be in effect.

In other comission business:

° The commission approved $9,500 in labor costs to Versatile Construction of Tucumcari for the replacement of pump, piping and controls at the Ridge Crest Lift Station south of Trigg Memorial Hopsital. The city was given a $20,600 grant for the equipment from the New Mexico Environment Department. Witcher said the new equipment was especially needed at this time because of the opening this week of a new restaurant and the construction of a new motel at I-40 and First Street.

° Commissioners agreed to hire Albuquerque-based HDR Engineering, Inc. for $535,000 for design and inspection of the construction of city’s new wastewater treatment faciilty. The city had contracted with HDR Engineering for $38,000 to deterime the city’s planning and engineering services for Tucumcari Wastewaster Treatment Facility improvements.

° The commission hired Consensus Planning of Albuquerque to review and update the city’s ordinances.

“It’s been 20 to 30 years since the ordinances were developed and it’s time to update them,” said Lisa Andrada, project representative with the city’s Community Development Office.

For example, Andrada said, the city has no ordinances covering cell phone towers. A contract still has to be negotiated with Consensus and then approved by the commission.

• Virginia Wright, executive director of the Tucumcari-Quay Chamber of Commerce, told the commission that she would be leaving her post on June 30 at the chamber to move to Texas for family reasons.

Mayor Pro Tem Antonio Apodaca chaired the meeting, with Mayor Mary Mayfield out due to illness.

The commission’s next meeting will be at 6 p.m. on June 22 at City Hall.