Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Steve Hansen

City to give nearly $62K to senior meal program


July 19, 2017

Tucumcari’s Senior Citizen Center is operating its meal programs and other activities that assist seniors 60 and older on a little more than $315,400, according to terms of an agreement between the city and the North Central New Mexico Economic Development District Non-Metro Area Agency on Aging.

The Tucumcari City Commission on Thursday approved the agreement.

Of that amount, $219,597 comes from a grant from the Agency on Aging. The city is contributing nearly $61,900 in money and $47,800 in in-kind services. Another nearly $31,000 comes from other donations, and $3,000 is expected to be generated from fundraising activities, according to documents presented the Commission.

The commission also approved another grant from the agency on aging for about $25,500 to purchase fresh, raw produce and other foods for the senior meal progams.

In addition, the commission voted to appoint Mayor Ruth Ann Litchfield to the city’s senior citizen advisory board.

The commission also gave final approval to correcting the billing formula for surcharges to treat wastewater that puts more of a burden on the city’s wastewater treatment plant than standard household and storm effluent.

Charles Krause, owner of the Tucumcari Mountain Cheese Factory, which is the city’s largest single contributor of such wastewater, described actions he has taken already to neutralize acid in the liquid waste his plant sends to the wastewater treatment facility.

He questioned whether even the changed formula was unreasonable, however.

“I understand the surcharges in today’s world,” he said, adding that he would live with them the best he could.

Mayor Pro Tem Robert Lumpkin questioned whether the surcharges should be imposed at all, and abstained on the commission’s vote.

All four of the other commissioners, however, voted for the surcharge with the changed formula.

In his report to the commission, Langenegger discussed:

• The city’s exploration of contracting with a service that can help identify more grants that could benefit the city.

• Langenegger’s participation in the East Central New Mexico Stronger Economies Together planning process that includes Quay, Guadalupe, De Baca and Torrance counties.

Langenegger is participating on a committee looking into improvements in transportation for medical patients in the region, he said. Distance between patients’ homes and medical facilities is often considerable, and many patients have difficulty finding transportation to medical appointments, he said.

• Support for renewing the Blue Ribbon yard and business sign program in Tucumcari. The Blue Ribbon program would give monthly recognition for attractive residential yards and business properties, he said.

“We hammer them when people don’t comply (with nuisance laws),” he said. “We should offer praise when they do well.”

The commission also:

• Approved spending $44,815, including $33,611 in New Mexico Department of Transportation funds and $11,204 in services from the city, to begin improvements on Second Street from Main Street south to Historic Route 66 Boulevard. The work includes asphalt, preparation for traffic signals, material testing, curb and gutter work and sidewalk improvements, according to commission documents.

• Approved an agreement to receive $9,500 in grant funds from the New Mexico Department of Tourism to operate a litter control and beautification program in Tucumcari. City Manager Jared Langenegger said the program would bring part-time jobs for area young people.

• Approved the release of $332,758 in Lodger’s Tax funds, including funds to operate the Tucumcari Convention Center, billboard advertising, YouTube advertising, and contributions made to help promote Tucumcari events that encourage tourism, as presented by Lodger’s Tax Chair David Brenner.

The Lodger’s Tax Board recommended lower-than-requested amounts for several events, including the Rattler Reunion, Rawhide Days and Fired Up!, Brenner said. The Lodger’s Tax fund ended fiscal 2017 with a $57,551 cash balance, he said.


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