Land donation for feed yard up for approval

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

A contract for land for a feedlot will be up for review by City Commissioners on Thursday at a regular meeting. The contract is to call for the donation 218 acres of land to the Tucumcari Economic Development Corp. which will in turn donate the land to the developers of the feed lot.

The feed lot developers are Tony Gabel of Conchas and Mark Whetten of Newkirk. The lot is on land owned by the city and adjacent to its new landfill off of Highway 54, about three miles from Mountain Road and Route 66. Construction on the landfill is to be completed later this year.

At a special meeting of the commission on Tuesday, commissioner Jim Lafferty made a motion to approve the donation of the acreage provided the addresses certain points outlined by the commissioners. Lafferty’s motion received unanimous approval, except for commissioner Christopher Maestas, who was not at the meeting. The contract is to be drawn up in time for Thursday’s regular meeting.
TEDC Executive Director Patrick Vanderpool told commissioners on Tuesday that the economic impact of the feed lot, over a three-year period would range from 27 new jobs during the construction phase with a projected payroll budget of $449,400 in the first year and 17 jobs, with projected salaries of $25,500, in the third year when its operational.

The feed yard would bring a capital investment of $1.5 million for the construction and operation of the lot, Vanderpool said.
In addition, the feed lot would generate tax revenue from the feed lot and from commodities purchased from area farmers.

“This is a win-win situation for the community,” said Vanderpool. “It will bring a new business to Tucumcari that will purchase services and materials from local retailers in its development and eventually commodities from area framers.”

The TEDC board approved the project before it was presented to the city commissioners, said Vanderpool.

Following the approval of the contract by the commissioners, the TEDC will develop a contract with the feed lot’s developers to deed the land over to them, said Vanderpool.

“We would like to have this process done in 30 days or less in order for the project to begin development and construction,” said Vanderpool.

A concern that was raised about the project involved potential pollution of groundwater, but the site has had an environmental assessment by the New Mexico Environmental Department and there will be no danger to the ground water and a confined animal permit has been issued, said Vanderpool.

“The land will be deeded over for the project,” said Vanderpool. “The economic impact and benefits to the community will far exceed the value of the land if we were to sell it.”

The donation of the land to the TEDC will break a lease for 215 acres at the 218-acre site between the city of Tucumcari and the New Mexico State University Agricultural Science center.

NMSU science center’s 10-year lease has seven and a half years remaining, said NMSU science center superintendent Rex Kirksey. “The contract that we had with the city was to use the land for grazing purposes only, ” said Kirksey.

“Since the contract will be broken in five years the city will reimburse the science center for the materials and labor for the perimeter fence we put up around the property,” said Kirksey.

The contract up for approval on Thursday is to address concerns voiced by the commissioners including: the unrestricted access and use of the road leading to the landfill and feed lot, a restriction that prohibits development of the front 30 acres of the 218-acre site should the city need to expand the landfill and the return of the land to the city if the project should not go through, said city manager John Sutherland.

Economic Impact of feed yard on Tucumcari
Year 1
27 jobs
Payroll $449,400
Year 2
15 jobs
Payroll $367,000
Year 3
17 jobs
Payroll $435,00

Capital Investment
Construction: $580,000
Equipment: $ $240,000
Operating Expense: $265,00
Total: $1,534,400
Estimated property tax:
3,000 head of cattle at
taxable rate of $182 a head.
Estimated GRT (Gross Receipt Tax):
$86,940 a year

Commodities purchases from local farmers
Yearly grain and feed
purchases: 13,687 tons
Total: $670,010