Commission takes no action on city manager, waste water plant woes

By Chelle Delaney

The Tucumcari City Commission decided not to decide who would be the city’s new manager, at a special meeting last night.

An early agenda of the meeting indicated that the commission would meet in a closed door session regarding the selection of a city manager.

After meeting in a closed executive session for about an hour and a half, the commissioners reconvened.

“No decision was made,” said Mayor Mary Mayfield.

Up for consideration were:
• John D. Berchtold of Charlotte, Mich.
• Boyd A. Kraemer of Benson, Ariz.
• John R. Sutherland of Flagstaff, Ariz.

None of the five commissioners explained why there had been no decision.
Clara Rey has been serving as interim city manager since Richard Primrose left the position to become the Quay County manager at the end of February.

In other business before the commission, a resolution was passed declaring a disaster in light of failed systems at the city’s sewer treatment plant on Rock Island Road.

Partially treated sewage had to be discharged from the plant for a time because pumps at the plant were flooded and quit operating on March 23, said Joe Ramirez, superintendent of the wastewater plant.

March 23 was the Friday that a hail and rain storm hit Tucumcari and spawned a tornado which hit Logan.

There are now standby pumps at the treatment plant until all of the pumps can be worked on and become fully operational, Ramirez said.

Since Monday, water samples have been taken at several points along the treatment stream and at points on Breen’s pond where the treated water is discharged.

Breens Pond, also known as Breen’s Lake, is on the Breen Ranch at the end of Rock Island Road. Water from the pond eventually flows into the Pajarito Creek.

Rancher Emmett Breen, who was not at the commission meeting, said he was not aware of the discharge until earlier Tuesday.

As far he knows, Breen said, “We haven’t had any problems.”

He said livestock, wild animals and ducks do use the pond and the surrounding areas.

Ramirez said levels were higher than normal, but not that high.

Inspectors from the state’s Department of Environment were scheduled, in the future, to come to the plant for a routine inspection. They moved up the date of their inspection to today because of the plant’s shutdown on March 23, said Rey.