By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
The New Mexico Environmental Department has approved final demolition plans for the Sands Dorsey building and work is scheduled to begin this week.
On Thursday, City Manager Jared Langenegger told Tucumcari city commissioners he expected the state environmental department’s approval on Friday allowing the demolition to begin within the next week.
Langenegger said the city had to submit an amended demolition plan to the environmental department. He said the state wanted some amendments to the plan developed by Coronado Wrecking and Salvage Company Inc., of Albuquerque, that was awarded the bid for the Sands Dorsey demolition at the cost of $191,246.11.
Langenegger said if the demolition proceeds as projected the Sands Dorsey building will be torn down and the area cleared before MainStreet’s Fired Up event in September.
The bid for the demolition was awarded by the commissioners during the June 25 meeting and approved a mutual release and hold harmless agreement between the Sands Dorsey owner Robert Hengstenberg and the city to take possession of the Sands Dorsey Building on July 23.
“The Sands Dorsey building has been a long-standing issue with the city and by next week we should finally see progress in its removal,” Langenegger said.
The commission held a public hearing for the second and final reading for Ordinance 1124, amending and adding a chapter to the city’s municipal codes. The added chapter focused on vacant and dangerous buildings.
This change to the municipal code will help the city to prevent another incident like the Sands Dorsey, said Commissioner John Mihm.
Under the new code, vacant buildings will be inspected by the city’s fire and police chiefs to determine if the building poses a risk to units responding to calls for service. The code includes requirements for buildings to be properly boarded up to prevent entry by the public as well as maintaining the grounds around the building.
The amended code also would require building owners to insure the vacant property.
Mihm said the code also addresses existing buildings that could pose a danger to the public or which need cleaning up. He said the new code will give the city some “teeth” in its enforcement efforts.
This amended and added code will help the city remove blight and attract businesses to the area, said Patt Vanderpool, executive director of the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corp.
Vanderpool said the city has taken steps toward the improvement of Tucumcari with the application for a $50,000 grant for the designation of downtown Tucumcari as a metropolitan redevelopment area. He said this effort, combined with efforts to develop a workforce solutions office to train and develop the city’s existing workforce, will help attract new businesses and change the way potential companies view Tucumcari.
In other items, commissioners:
• Honored Tucumcari resident Olana Romero during the opening portion of the meeting. Romero was presented an award from the organizers of the 2015 Great Race. Romero’s performance of the National Anthem during the race’s stop in Tucumcari in June was voted the best performance of the event’s run.
• Approved the amendment of the contract between the Federal Aviation Administration and the city for the rental of space at the Tucumcari Municipal Airport.
• Approved the landscape agreement with the New Mexico Department of Transportation for the placement of monument signs at the entrances to the city on U.S. Highway 54, East and West Interstate 40 and on State Highway 209.
* Approved the 2014 NMDOT MAP construction contract with Pacheco Construction and Trucking for the Whitmore street improvements.
• Approved the engineering services with Forsgren Associates, Inc., for the metro field transmission line project (Five Mile Park water line) at $128,172 excluding taxes.
• Approved the Lodger’s Tax Advisory Board’s recommendation to fund $25,000 toward the 2016 Rockabilly on the Route event.
• Approved the termination of the Kodiak lease.
• Approved the ACT Work Ready Program, a partnership with the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corp., Mesalands Community College, Tucumcari Public Schools and City of Tucumcari to seek funding to develop a training center that would help to train existing employees in the area.
• Approved the application of a grant request to the New Mexico MainStreet program for capital outlay funding to develop the cleared site of the Sands Dorsey building into a park.
• Approved the application of a grant from the NMMS program’s Great Blocks grants for improvements of Tucumcari’s Main Street including the facade of the Princess Theater.
• Approved waiving of a businesses fee for Sun Valley Rides, LLC., for the Quay County Fair.
• Postponed voting on the request for proposal submission by the city that would seek bids from interested and qualified companies to take over the bar management and catering services at the Tucumcari Convention Center.