By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
Tucumcari city commissioners held two public hearings during Thursday’s regular meeting at City Hall for the purpose of helping cultural venues — such as the Princess and Odeon theaters — qualify for economic development funds.
The public hearings were for the second and final readings of Ordinances 1125 and 1126.
Ordinance 1125 amended the Tucumcari Municipal Code to allow the city to add qualifying entities, including the Farmer’s Market and cultural facilities to qualify for State Local Economic Development Act funds.
Adding these entities to the municipal code will help the Princess and Odeon Theaters qualify for LEDA funding, City Manager Jared Langenegger said.
Langenegger said the Odeon Theater needs repairs to its roof; adding it as a qualifying entity opens the door to the theater receiving state fund for the repairs. Langenegger added that there might be funds available for work on the facade of the Princess Theater.
“Now it should be noted that even though these two entities now qualify for state funds they can not receive funds from the local LEDA funds that is drawn from gross receipt taxes,” said Mayor Robert Lumpkin.
Ordinance 1126 changes the zoning on the 700 block of East Smith Avenue from commercial to residential.
Both hearings were uncontested and both ordinances were adopted.
In other action, the commission approved a change order for the Metro Well Field Rehab Project.
The original project was for the rehabilitation of city well number 5, but after an examination of the well it was determined that it would be more cost-effective for the city to drill a new well, according to community development project manager Mark Martinez, who also presented a request to approve the bid and award the contract for the construction of the Five Mile Park water pipeline for $1,638,908.45 to J & D Construction, based in Albuquerque.
Martinez said this contract needs to be drafted and approved by commissioners as quickly as possible to get construction started before harsh winter weather arrives.
Commissioners also were presented items from the Paws and Claws Animal Rescue group for the funding of the Santa Fe Humane Society’s spay and neuter bus and from Brenda Bishop for the development of walking trails aimed at improving the health of city residents.
Bringing the bus to Tucumcari will cost $2,350 a day and the goal is to have them here for two days, said Kathy McClelland, rescue coordinator.
McClelland said this bus would be a huge benefit to the city and would help to curb the already growing pet population. She said last year in the United States, 2.7 million animals were euthanized; 1.3 million were dogs, and 1.4 million were cats.
McClelland said a dog and her mate can produce 67,000 puppies in six years. She said the bus would provide the service at a cost for those who normally cannot afford to have their animals spayed or neutered.
Lumpkin said the commission will look into what funding is available to help with the cost of bringing the bus to Tucumcari.
McClelland said if 100 people donated 25 cents a day for a year, they could raise $9,125 to pay for bringing the bus to Tucumcari twice annually.
Bishop then presented commissioners with a plan to kick start the Quay County Trails Project.
Bishop said the project would help reduce the number of obese children and adults in Quay County, explaining that the program aim to establish a series of trails that would have trail markings and a QR code to allow walkers to download the trail path onto their smart phone.
Bishop said there also is a plan to have commissioners become involved directly in the development of events for the community. She said each district commissioner would appeal to their constituents and have a competition where prizes would be awarded to the district that had the most participants.
Other Items before the commission:
• Approved the 2015 COOP Agreement for and two change orders for the Lake Street and Whitmore Project.
• Approved a contract between the city and Tucumcari General Insurance to act as their insurance agent.
• Approved the contract between the city and David Morris for the Nuisance Property Maintenance.
• Approved the renewal of a five year rent agreement with the city and New Mexico Route 66 Museum.