$400,000 grant for train station in works

by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

The centerpiece of Tucumcari’s downtown redevelopment will be its railroad station, which next month, will have $400,000 for improvements. The improvements of the Tucumcari Train Station will be working in tandem with the MainStreet project, said Pete Kampfer, director of the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corp.

Funding for the train station improvements are from a Department of Transportation grant to the city. One of the first projects will be asbestos abatement, which calls for sealing of the basement, and cleaning up lead paint on the building’s exterior.

That work is estimated to cost $67,000, Kampfer said.
Already the train station is earmarked to be the home of the Eastern New Mexico ArtSpace.

ArtSpace was originally started with a $5,000 grant from the TEDC, and they conducted a major fundraiser with “Great Eggpectations” in spring 2006, said David Buchen, an advisor for ArtSpace.

In the future, ArtSpace hopes to establish a gallery and artist incubator program, he said.

“The train station is envisioned as an anchor for downtown MainStreet development project from which other small business projects can move outward,” Buchen.

Several members of the ArtSpace board have started business in the downtown area. They include Ruth Nelson of Parajito Interiors and Doug and Sharon Quarles.
Kampfer discussed the train station project at a meeting of the MainStreet steering committee on Friday morning.

At the meeting, 11 members of the MainStreet steering committee agreed to be on the start-up committee to establish MainStreet. The group will establish working and fiscal guidelines and hire a MainStreet administrator to start.
Twenty-one members of the steering committee attended the meeting.

Earlier this year, the city of Tucumcari has also approved $20,000 for the work of the start-up committee.

MainStreet’s boundaries are Railroad Avenue on the north, Fourth Street on the west, High Avenue on the south and Monroe Street on the east.

Kampfer said these boundaries were used by the city to apply for acceptance to New Mexico MainStreet, but could be changed by the local group.

Tucumcari’s MainStreet was officially recognized Dec. 7 as a New Mexico Main Street project by Rick Homans, the state’s secretary of economic development.

Members of the MainStreet start-up committee are:
Nancy English
Tom Broom
Dave Crane
George Evetts
Debbie Lafferty
David Hale
Don Schutte
Ronnie Sanders
Pam Keystone
Leo Thrasher
Sharon Quarles