Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Meetings Watch: EPCOG


April 19, 2017

The Eastern Plains Council of Governments board of directors met Wednesday morning at the EPCOG office at 418 Main Street in Clovis.

The board met for two hours. The following took place during the meeting:

• Clyde Hudson of USDA Rural Development spoke on the administration’s rural development funding programs and gave everybody at the meeting a cheat sheet of grants, loans and assistance programs offered in the areas of housing, community and business.

“We have a program for just about anything you want to do,” Hudson said.

He said the change in presidential administrations would be a gradual process for USDA. He noted Eric Vigil was acting state director and would likely be there for a few months while positions are nominated and filled top-down.

Regarding a question on President Donald Trump’s submitted budget, Hudson said he wasn’t the person to talk to on the matter but did say the budget is always a long negotiating process.

• The council reported it has spent 85 percent of its year’s budget with the year 75 percent finished. Executive Director Sandy Chancey noted EPCOG had paid for many of its major expenses and is still expecting revenue from its administration of grants for various municipalities.

Raymond Mondragon of EPCOG said he had put in for a potential $20,000 grant from the New Mexico Gas Company, but that potential award would go on the 2017-18 budget.

Justin Bennett of Union County asked how the council’s financial picture would affect its ability to attend a possible special session of the state Legislature.

“We will find a way to get there,” Chancey said. “From our understanding, (a special session is) a given; it just hasn’t been scheduled.”

• Mondragon reported on the Eastern New Mexico Spring Job Fair set for 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Thursday at the Clovis Civic Center.

The job fair is in its fifth year, and about 45 vendors are slated to have booths.

The fair is funded with help from the city of Clovis ($3,500), Curry County ($1,400) and the $35 booth rentals. Mondragon said 480 people came to last year’s fair and 110 of them were hired.

• Jose Griego of Clovis spoke during the public comments section. He noted he had acquired the Puerto de Luna courthouse in Guadalupe County. The courthouse, which hasn’t been operational in more than 30 years, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.

Griego said any renovations planned would happen with the approval of the community, and that initial plans pointed toward a museum and research center.

• The board scheduled the EPCOG annual meeting for June 28 in Clayton.

— Compiled by Kevin Wilson


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