City parks, proposed water hike draw criticism

By Thomas Garcia Quay County Sun

A city park and a proposed water rate increase were two hot topics before the Tucumcari City Commission Thursday night.

Overflowing garbage cans, drug paraphernalia and used prophylactics at Dunn Park should be cleaned up, said resident Clair Strong.

“Once I was walking through the park with my child and I saw broken needles and used condoms on the ground,” Strong said.

There have been times that the trash cans at Dunn Park have been overflowing, Strong said.

Strong suggested the city use some of its economic development funds to help maintain and clean the parks.

“Our parks are our city,” Strong said. “People that pass through Tucumcari will look at our parks and think that we do not take pride in our city.”

Commissioner Robert C. Lumpkin asked city manager John Sutherland to look into the budget for the parks department.

Commissioner Jim Witcher advised Strong to call the city when the trash overflows or there is debris such as needles that need to be cleaned up.

A proposed ordinance to increase water rates drew fire from Yvonne Braziel, owner of Del’s Restaurant.

If the city is going to increase rates, they should schedule increases across the board and not selectively, Braziel said.

“I believe that there has been increases on certain water bills in Tucumcari before the proposed increase was approved,” Braziel said.”If there has been selective increases of water rates, I think the person responsible should be reprimanded or released from their position.”
Although the meeting’s agenda called for the discussion of and possible approval of a proposed water rate increase, the commissioners decided to table the matter for 30 days for additional research.

Other items approved by the commission were:
* Installation of a street light on the 1400 block of Heman Street. Sutherland advised the commission that Xcel Energy would not charge for the installation of the light and would charge $8.16 a month to operate the new light. John and Dora McTigue asked the commission in November if the city could install the light.
“It is really dark in that area. The closest street light is at the corner of Lake and Heman,” said Dora McTigue. “I am very happy that the light will be put up.”

* Applications to the EMS Fund Act for the following amounts:
l $17,000 for the Tucumcari Fire Department for the repair and maintenance of rescue units, travel for training, medical supplies and other items.
l $35,200 for the Tucumcari Ambulance Service for the repair and maintenance of four ambulances, training expenses, pages, communication equipment and other items.

* Transfer of a liquor license from Holiday Inn to S&S Hotels which is doing business as the Quality Inn.
* Tucumcari depot restoration project fee: $38,000 for roofing, utility work and interior repairs
* Renewal of the lease agreement with the Linde Group, Inc., formerly BOC Group, Inc., for city-owned property at 1101 W. Railroad Ave. The lease calls for an annual fee of $4,800 from 2008-2013 and is to increase to $5,400 a year from 2013-2018.