By Steve Hansen
QCS Managing Editor
The Quay County Commission Monday approved the first step toward rancher Phil Bidegain’s request to transfer more than half of the T-4 Cattle Co.’s 180,000-plus acres to Quay County.
The commissioners gave final approval Monday to an ordinance that would place the 110,000 acres of the T-4 ranch in San Miguel County into Quay County’s jurisdiction.
San Miguel County, however, has not acted on the request. San Miguel County officials were not available Tuesday to offer a reaction to the proposal.
Bidegain said Tuesday he has informed San Miguel County officials of his request, but has not received an opinion on the proposal from San Miguel County officials. Bidegain said he pays about $20,000 a year in property taxes to San Miguel County on that property.
Bidegain said he proposed the move for two reasons. One was convenience. He said he would rather take care of county business involving T-4 matters in Tucumcari, which is 20 miles from the ranch’s headquarters in Montoya, than drive 90 miles to Las Vegas, the seat of San Miguel County.
The second reason, he said, was to divert T-4’s tax proceeds to schools, including Mesalands Community College, in the family’s home, Quay County, instead of to San Miguel County schools.
Bidegain said he is seeking the transfer under terms of a state law that allows such transfers when there are no homes on the land to be annexed.
The property in question covers much of the land north of Interstate 40 and south of State Route 104 from about five miles north of Tucumcari to the Guadalupe County line between Montoya and Newkirk.