New tax proposed for back up of 911 system

by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

Tucumcari City Manager Richard Primrose proposed a sales tax increase in Quay County to cover the costs of radio back up system for the county’s consolidate dispatch, or 911 system, at Tuesday’s County Commission meeting.
Primrose said the system currently has no back up and that it “extremely critical to have one.”

In order to pay for a radio back-up system, Primrose suggested a .25 increase in sales taxes that would generate more than $335,000.

The system is necessary because state police and other police department are not set up on the same frequency.
Commission Chairman Franklin McCasland said the proposal would have to be voted on after the general election.

McCasland also said he thought the commissioners should visit city officials from Logan, San Jon and other communities to explain the county’s needs regarding the 911 system and why the tax is needed to pay for a radio back-up system and for dispatchers.

In other business for the commission:

l Cheri Nipp, director of Central System Administration for Presbyterian Medical Services, asked the commission to “possibly entertain a different building” than its Quay County Health Care Center at 1302 E. Main Street.
Nipp suggested that the county could fund a new building through a Community Development Block grant or through legislative appropriation. PMS also has a grant writer which may be able to assist the county in getting funding, she said.
Nipp said a new building would become a signal to healthcare consumers that its services were available to consumers who have health insurance as well as those who rely on governmental programs to fund their health care.
“We need to be more presentable,” she said.
A 4,000 square foot clinic costs about $600,000 based on construction costs in a larger city and material costs of about a year ago, she said.
“We are committed to being here, but we need to do some long range planning.”
Nipp also said that the health center assists Trigg Memorial Hospital by treating patients, who might use the Trigg Memorial’s Emergency Room as its general practitioner.

l County Manager Terry Turner said that county received less than 1 percent of the $26.4 million in GRIP II funds that are to be divvied up between the seven-county RPO regional area.
With 1,200 miles in county roads, “It’s extremely frustrating,” Turner said.
“We are trying to come up with ways to cure it and to be more competitive,” for dollars with other counties in the region.
One solution Turner suggested is to ask for a reallocation if another county cannot meet its required match.

l Lonnie Phelps, planner for the Ute Lake Ranch, presented the planned unit development’s (PUD) 10 areas to the commission to ask for approval of procedures that would set up processes for major and minor changes.
“Over the next 30 days, we’d like to establish procedures with Terry Turner for minor and major amendments” and bring it back to commission, said Phelps of Phelps Engineering based in Denver.
The commission approved the planning request.
When the development is completely built out, which could take 20 years or more, it is designed to have more than 1,000 acres for open space, about 12,000 residences, 300 acres for commercial and retail use, 10 acres for hotel use, two 18-hole and one nine-hole golf courses and other amenities.

l A memorandum of understanding was agreed to be written between the county and the city of Albuquerque through its police department to participate in a DNA database.
If a person convicted of a felon is not already in the DNA database, a swab would be taken of the prisoner’s salvia and sent to Albuquerque to be tested and put in the database. Turner said that there may be some in-kind costs, but that the program provides for training and is expected to provide computers for access to the database.