Tucumcari, San Jon to split $1 million in federal grants

Thomas Garcia

Several Eastern New Mexico communities recently received a portion of $5 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funds, said an Eastern Plains Council of Government official.

“It was a good day,” said Gregg Williams, director of Economic Development, EPCOG. “A total of 10 communities in eastern New Mexico received these funds for improvements.”

Williams said most communities each received a $500,000 allocation, which will be used for improvements on existing properties, projects or to start of a new project.

In Quay County the city of Tucumcari and the Village of San Jon each received a $500,000 federal grant.

“Tucumcari will be using the allocation on the Second Street project,” said Yvette Fazekas, Community Development, project coordinator.
Fazekas said that the project is to replace the water lines on Second Street from west Route 66 to east Charles Avenue.

“The city has secured additional funding for the resurfacing of Second Street once the project is complete,” Fazekas said.

The village of San Jon will use its funds to lay a new six-mile city water pipeline from wells in Porter to the village, said Bobbye Rose, former village administrator. Rose is now the manager for the city of Tucumcari.

In June 2008, the village’s water pipeline became clogged and it had to be bypassed. All new piping is necessary and through state emergency funds, and a earlier CBDG award, the villages has about $900,000. “It’s almost enough,” said Rose, adding that the village hoped to get added funds from the stimulus package.

Like Tucumcari, Portales will use it’s $500,000 grant for street repairs.

“Portales is very fortunate to have received these funds,” said Debi Lee, Portales City Manager. “We have applied for the funds every other year and these funds will allow us to complete the street repair project we started two years ago.”

Lee said that the streets marked for repair are east First Street, from Elgen to Knoxville, east Brazos from Elgen to north Golbe and east Amazon from Elgen to north Globe.

“Repairing the city’s streets is one of the highest priorities,” Lee said. “Impact and environmental studies have already been performed. We are just waiting for the funds to come in order to begin. Jake Lopez, did a great job representing eastern New Mexico, in obtaining these CDBG funds.”

The city of Clovis will also use their allocation for street repair, said Carole Moreno, the city’s grant coordinator.

Moreno said that the allocation that the City of Clovis received was from a separate stimulus package of $3.8 million.

“Basically it is the same as the CDBG allocation,” Moreno said. “The difference is that instead of quarterly reports we have monthly reports and our project has to be started sooner.”

Moreno said that Pile Street from east First Street to Commerce Way will be resurfaced and the curbs and gutters will be brought up to state code.

Curry County’s allocation will be used to build a new health care facility in Melrose, said Lance Pyle, manager of Curry County and mayor of Melrose.

Pyle said construction on the facility could begin within two months. The architectural design has already been approved and the engineering study has been completed.

“We are hopeful to be done with construction by the year’s end,” Pyle said. “The land that the facility will be built on has already been deeded to the county. The allocation should cover the entire cost of construction.

Grant Awards

EPCOG helped these communities secure federal grants.