DWI Task Force optimistic

By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

The DWI Task Force will meet on Friday morning with the Quay County Commission in hopes the commission can be persuaded to, again, become the program’s fiscal agent.

“I feel positive because of this meeting,” said Pam Tompkins, DWI Task Force chairman, at a meeting of the task force on Tuesday.

At stake is a grant proposal for $126,000 to the state’s Department of Finance and Adminstration that has to be in Santa Fe by 4 p.m. on Friday, said Noreen Hendrickson, coordinator of the DWI program.

To be eligible for the grant, the task force has to show it has a fiscal agent, said Hendrickson.

Included in the grant are requests from the Tucumcari Police Department for $2,386, the New Mexico State Police for $2,112 and the Quay County Sherrif’s Deparment for $992. The requests cover overtime and other expenses for DWI saturation patrols, check points and other operations to reduce the number of motorists driving under the influence, Hendrickson said.

The state requires that DWI programs have a fiscal agent, which is a city or county governmental agency, to provide financial oversight.

At its Jan. 19 meeting the commission said it could no longer be the fiscal agent for the DWI program, effective July 1, because fiscal oversight took too many man hours.

The task force then asked the Tucumcari City Commission. The mayor and commissioners said the county had relinquished too many programs to the city – including the senior citizen center, operation of the landfill, which serves Quay and portions of adjoining counties, and other programs – and suggested that the county reconsider.

Since the city commission meeting, the DWI Task Force has talked with representatives of Logan, San Jon, House, New Mexico State Parks and De Baca County to become the DWI program’s fiscal agent, Tompkins said.

All five said said they did not have the resources to provide financial oversight, Tompkins said.

Because of the county’s concern about man hours to fiscally administer the program, the grant request due in Santa Fe on Friday includes a contractural arrangement, that would require a request for proposal, for financial oversight, Hendrickson said.

DWI Program Budget
• Salaries & Benefits $87,137.67
Provides funding to pay for three full-time employees to provide the following programs: Prevention, screening, court Compliance Officer, and Coordination, Planning and Evaluation.

• Treatment Services $27,500.00
Provides Intensive Outpatient Treatment to DWI offenders and after care.

• Law Enforcement Activities $15,652.00
Provides funds for checkpoints, saturation patrols and underage drinking prevention enforcement.

• Law Enforcement Equipment $3,258.00
Provides a simulator for the IR8000 breathalyzer and cameras for night work on underage drinking prevention.
Contractual Services $15,560.00
Provides for contracts with all four school districts in Quay County including Protecting You/Protecting Me (PY/PM) Prevention Curriculum, youth media training, and oversight for the Substance Abuse Committee.

• Educational Supplies $2,390.00
Provides funding to all four school districts to pay for supplies used while implementing the PY/PM program.

• Operating costs $48,911.97
Provides for rent, utilities, supplies, per diem, mileage, out of state travel, media coverage for two grants including a youth media campaign, training for the youth on effective media campaigns, postage, telephone, maintenance and repair and building insurance.