Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

City commission approves higher price for compactor


January 13, 2015

QCS Staff

The Tucumcari City Commission approved the purchase of a trash compactor to reduce the volume of garbage deposited into the city’s landfill, even though the best price for such a device was about $200,000 more than originally authorized.

The commission gave City Manager Jared Langenegger and city staff the option of whether to obtain a loan to make up the difference or to take from city cash holdings, which, Langenegger said, are adequate to the task.

The compactor’s purchase price is about $512,000, Ralph Lopez, a project manager for the city’s Community Development Department, told the commission. That was about $200,000 more than the city had budgeted for the purchase.

The $300,000 in state funds originally earmarked for the compactor had come from a capital outlay allocation through the state legislature.

Langenegger said the newest section of the landfill is filling up too quickly because no compactor is available. The new compactor will help to reduce the volume and slow the fill rate, and he recommend the city buy the compactor despite the higher price.

The new section of the landfill was constructed on an accelerated schedule in 2013, at a cost of more than $1 million in city labor and contract work by an Albuquerque firm. The new section had to be built in a hurry because landfill’s first section had filled up more rapidly than expected, due both to a defective compactor and additional trash that the city was taking in from other communities, including Santa Rosa.

While a low-interest loan would be available through the New Mexico Finance Authority, he said, the city can use cash from reserves it is required to keep to make up the price differerence.

Commissioners agreed with Langenegger that the need was urgent.

“If we are going to continue to be regional landfill, we have to take care of this,” Mayor Robert Lumpkin said.


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