Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Commission takes action to help local cheese factory


July 1, 2014

QCS Staff

The Tucumcari Mountain Cheese Factory will be allowed to close off a section of an alley to keep both its manufacturing operations and refrigerated shipping area indoors, after the Tucumcari City Commission voted Thursday to give final approval of an ordinance allowing the closure.

In addition, the commission gave preliminary approval to an ordinance that could provide economic development funds of $141,830 to the cheese manufacturer to help it construct a lift station and holding tank that will help keep its wastewater discharges from interfering with operations of the Tucumcari Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The commission voted to give final approval to the closure ordinance after receiving assurance that the cheese plant would be financially responsible if any utilities have to be moved for the closure. In addition, city officials said, the alley will still be accessible to city vehicles where it is not closed off.

The environmental construction will be included with expansion of the cheese factory’s capacity. In return, the ordinance says, the cheese factory will provide 10 to 12 assorted permanent jobs averaging $10.50 per hour in wages. During construction, the cheese factory will pay $262,080 in wages, and after, it will provide a payroll between $218,400 and $262,080 per year.

The commission also:

• Approved a $42,457 grant to operate its Youth Conservation Corps program in fiscal 2015. The grant will finance jobs for young people that involve improvements at the city’s baseball fields at 1100 S. 15th St.. The city will match the $42,457 with $25,143 in funds and in-kind services, Ralph Lopez, a city grant writer said.

• Approved an application for $50,000 in New Mexico Finance Authority funds for planning work on improvements to the city’s drinking water supply system.

• Approved a contract with HDR Engineering Co. to provide engineering services for a wastewater project. The $16,825 contract will be paid out of planning grant funds totaling more than $54,000 from the finance authority

• Approved contracts that allow the city’s senior citizens’ center to operate a foster grandparents program in cooperation with Head Start programs and Tucumcari Elementary School, and a grant of $491,419 to fund senior nutrition programs at Tucumcari, Logan and House.

• Approved a request from City Manager Doug Powers to allow city employees to carry over vacation time up to 120 hours from year to year, instead of the 80 hours of carryover allowed today. Powers said that in the face of reductions in the city’s workforce, many city employees do not get opportunities to take vacation they have earned, and should be allowed to carry over more hours. The city’s payroll has been shrinking, he said, as employees who leave the city are not replaced.


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