City sells water to Ute Lake Ranch

By Thomas Garcia: QCS staff writer

Tucumcari city commissioners on Thursday approved a bulk sale of water to Ute Lake Ranch and set a new water rate for two Quay County water cooperatives.

Commissioners agreed to sell 500 acre feet of water to the Ute Lake Ranch Public Improvement District 2 for $75,000.

“The sale is not finalized at this point,” City Manager Bobbye Rose said. “The city’s attorney still has to review the proposal and we still need the approval of the Interstate Streams Commission Board.”

Commissioners also voted to change the water rate for Rural Area Development cooperative and Hills subdivision cooperative water users. The rate was lowered from $2.19 to $1.83 per 1,000 gallons.

“What we asked the Commission to do is to change the water rate for Hills and RAD users to match the rate of Liberty (cooperative) water users,” said Warren Frost, an attorney representing Ute Lake Ranch Public Improvement District 2.

Ute Lake PID 2 constructed the first nine holes of the Ute Lake golf course.

“The water will be used to water the existing nine holes and the additional nine once they are completed,” Frost said.

Commissioner Jim Lafferty told commissioners the city has 6,000 acre feet allocated from the Ute Lake Reservoir. He said 3,750 acre feet had already been sold to the Ute Lake Ranch.

“This additional sale will lower our allocation down to 1,750 acre feet,” Lafferty said. “I want to recommend the sale of the water to move forward with the project.”

Commissioner James Witcher also recommended the sale of the water.

Frost asked for the reduction in water rates for RAD and Hills because he said they were paying 36 cents per 1,000 gallons more than Liberty cooperative users.

Commissioners also:

• Appointed Rose and Lafferty to the Tucumcari Economic Development Committee Board of Directors.

• Approved an increase of the municipal judge’s salary from $13,050 to $14,355 a year, effective March 9.

• Approved a second reading of the proposed increase of a judicial education fee from $2 to $3.

• Approved annual resolutions qualifying the city to apply for the Community Development Block Grant Program in 2009-2010.