By Steve Hansen
QCS Managing Editor
At a special meeting Wednesday, The Quay County Commission approved for a special election on Sept. 23 an ordinance that would impose a new gross receipts tax to finance independent emergency communications and emergency medical and behavioral health services.
Early voting began Tuesday and ends at 5 p.m., Sept. 19. Early voters may cast their ballots in the Quay County Clerk’s office in the Quay County Courthouse, 300 S. Third St., Tucumcari.
County businesses would pay the tax, equal to one-fourth of 1 percent of gross receipts, if voters county-wide approve the tax. The tax is expected to bring in about $370,000 to pay most of the $500,000 required annually to operate the emergency communications dispatch center.
Currently, the emergency dispatch center is financed by the city of Tucumcari and Quay County, which each pay 45 percent of the center’s costs, with the remaining 10 percent coming from the villages of Logan and San Jon, and Harding County. The city of Tucumcari, however, operates the center. The city’s assistant fire chief, Scot Jaynes, is the day-to-day manager of the facility, which is manned by police department personnel.
Financing the dispatch center an independent agency with its own funding source would avoid raising taxes among other jurisdictions to fund needed improvements for the facility and make the facility eligible for other grants and loans, Larry Wallin, Logan’s village manager said.
The Tucumcari/Quay Regional Emergency Communication Board, made up of representatives from the agencies that use the system, currently oversees the central dispatch system, and, Wallin said, with the dispatch center independently financed, the board would have more direct control over the management of the facility.
On the day of the election, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Polling places include:
Precinct 1: House Community Center, 110 S. Apple St.
Precinct 2: Forrest Fire Station, McAlister.
Precinct 3: San Jon Commmunity Center, 410 E. Elm Ave.
Precincts 4 and 5: Logan Community Center, 108A North U.S. 54.
Prciencts 6 to 12: Tucumcari Convention Center, 1500 E. Historic Route 66 Blvd.