Commissioner calls for accountability

By Steve Hansen

QCS Managing Editor

Quay County Commissioner Sue Dowell continued to protest what she called a lack of accountability to the county from the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corporation by voting no on the county’s 2014-2015 budget.

Commissioners Brad Bryant and Mike Cherry voted to approve the budget, which allowed it pass over Dowell’s objections.

Dowell said the economic development corporation had failed to maintain its good standing with the New Mexico secretary of state’s office, a situation that has now been corrected.  In addition, she said, the EDC has been late in filing documents with the IRS that help it maintain its tax free status.

The county contributes about $55,000 a year to the EDC, County Manager Richard Primrose said.

Primrose is serving as the president of the EDC board, he said, and receives regular reports on EDC actions.

Patrick Vanderpool, executive director of the EDC, was not immediately available for comment.

The commission also approved the county’s final quarterly report for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014.

Quay County government accumulated nearly $8 million in revenue and dispersed nearly $7.2 million in expenditures for fiscal 2014, which ended June 30, according to data Primrose provided.

The county finished the year with nearly $6.3 million in cash, about $250,000 more than its cash holdings at the beginning of the fiscal year, the figures show.  The county’s hospital fund finished the year with nearly $1.2 million in cash in fiscal 2014, a little more than half again as much as the nearly $466,000 it started with.

Primrose said the difference was due to the county’s transition to a new, state-mandated system of funding care for the poor who cannot pay for health care.  In the new system, he said, the county will forward funds to the hospital to be transferred to the state.  The county has held on to these funds, due to some confusion on how the system should work.

The larger amount in the hospital fund was offset by reductions in the cash balances of other accounts. The greatest decrease in available cash occurred in the county’s general fund, which started the year with more than $967,000 in cash and ended the year with about $344,000.

The difference was the result of additional payments to the county improvement fund and expenditures for the county’s improvements on Quay Road 63, northwest of Tucumcari, and new roofing on the Quay County Detention Center, Primrose said.

The commission also voted Monday to accept about $497,000 in Community Development Block Grant money to fund road reconstruction on Quay Road 63.  The improvement will resurface 1.7 miles of the road, starting just west of the Tucumcari Memorial Park Cemetery.


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