By Chris Schmaedeke, QCS managing editor
Tucumcari city commissioners are debating what to do with the Sands Dorsey building.
The debate Thursday is the latest chapter on centered on either tearing down all the building or leaving some portions. It’s a question lingering now two years.
“Public safety is the most important,” Commissioner Robert Lumpkin said. “The area needs to be as safe as soon as possible.”
City Manager Bobbye Rose will be seeking a bid to find out how much it will cost to demolish the entire building.
City leaders are concerned they may not have enough money to pay for demolition.
“The city really has no money to tear down the building,” Commissioner Jim Witcher said during the meeting.
What to do with Sands Dorsey has been a hot topic with the city since fire damaged the building in June 2007. Some fear the price of demolition could be high because of harmful contaminants within materials in the building.
Lead, mercury and asbestos have all been identified.
Adding to cost concerns — there is no landfill nearby licensed to accept hazardous waste. The waste will have to be transported to an approved facility.
Once a bid is received, commissioners will vote. There is no timetable as when the bid will be proposed to the commissioners.
Commissioners also discussed appointing a non-voting student member to the commission. The student would sit on the commission and discuss the issues that may come up.
One senior and one junior would be nominated according to the proposal. The students must meet New Mexico Activities Association requirements and act and dress in a professional manner. The two students would share responsibilities on the commission.
“Having two students split time could be a bad idea,” Commissioner Jim Lafferty said. “We also need guidelines in place for the students.”
Lafferty felt having two students would not give them the feeling of being on the commission. Having one student and possibly having an alternate was discussed as an option.
A new proposal will be presented to the commission Thursday.