Land for feed lot gets nod from city

By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

After some requests for refinements, the City Commission approved on Thursday a document that will transfer city property to the city’s economic agency which will in turn give the property to two developers of a planned feed lot.

Tucumcari Feed Yard, LLC, whose principal owners are Tony Gabel of Choncas and Mark Whetten of Newkirk, plan to operate a 218-acre feed lot adjacent to the city’s new landfill off of Highway 54 about 3 miles from the intersection of Mountain Road and Route 66.

Some of the stipulations of the deal are that if the operation ceases within the first five years:

l The first year, the purchaser shall pay $537.50 per acre back to the city. This the amount the city paid for the land.
l The second year, the purchaser will pay $430.40 per acre.
l The third year, the purchaser will pay $323.50 per acre.
l The fourth year, the purchaser will pay $216.50 per acre.
l The fifth year, the purchaser will pay $109.50 per acre.
Commissioner Jim Lafferty said he was concerned the agreement did not offer the city enough protection to get its money back if the plan did not go through.

Lafferty said he supported the project, but wanted to be a good steward of the city’s property.

Franklin McCasland, president of the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corp., said that development and investment were a “calculated risk.”

Gable and Whetten “are taking a bigger risk than any of us in this.”

Gabel, who attended the meeting, said he and his partner would be investing between $300,00 to $400,000 in the feed yard.
Other considerations of the agreement were an uncertainty about where the city’s 30 acres would be located. The city had requested that 30 acres be reserved for its use for landfill expansion.

City commissioners and Gable agreed that certain provisos could be allowed in the final document following discussions with Whetten and attorneys.