By Steve Hansen
QCS Managing Editor
The Quay County Commission on Wednesday approved a contract with the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corporation that requires regular “written accountability and progress reports” and an annual financial report to the county.
County Commissioner Sue Dowell voted “no” on the contract, which was approved by the other two commissioners, Brad Bryant and Mike Cherry, at Wednesday’s special meeting to approve a special measure to authorize a special election on a gross receipts tax for emergency communications in the county.
Dowell said her “no” vote was based on her belief that the contract, which she had requested, still falls short of the accountability she would like to see from the economic development corporation.
There are still funds that the EDC receives that no one sees an accounting for, she said.
The EDC, she said, “gets more money than the $50,000 from the county and $58,000 from the city of Tucumcari,” she said, and she would like to learn more about how other EDC revenue is spent.
“I’m not trying to criticize the EDC,” she said. “I just want to know how county taxpayers’ money is used.”
At their Aug. 11 meeting, county commissioners had language added to the contract that specifies quarterly reports within 30 days of the end of each quarter, but did not set a deadline in the contract for the annual report, even though the commissioners seemed to think that the annual report would be subject to the fourth quarter’s deadline, which would be July 30, since the final quarter of each fiscal year ends June 30.
The EDC’s contract with the county covers four years, retroactive to July 1, the contract says. It also specifies that the county manager and one person designated by the commission will serve on the EDC’s board.
The accountability reports, the contract says, will include information on the EDC’s activities and use of funds, and specifies that EDC will be available to meet with the commissioners on a quarterly basis to discuss EDC projects, more frequently if necessary.