Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Steve Hansen

Commission gets behind 'Solo Work' facility


January 17, 2018

The Tucumcari City Commission Thursday resolved to support efforts to establish a “Solo Work” facility in the city, which would provide offices and equipment for area residents who work for remote employers.

The Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is responding to a request for proposals from the New Mexico Economic Development Department to establish a Solo Work program in Tucumcari, EDC Director Pat Vanderpool said.

He also requested the city commission reserve up to $105,000 in Local Economic Development Act funds to finance construction and equipment for a Solo Work facility.

Local Economic Development Act funds come from a local gross receipts tax.

District 1 Commissioner Ralph Moya asked whether the LEDA fund had sufficient proceeds, and City Manager Jared Langenegger assured the commission the money is there.

“This is one of the best opportunities to develop economic base jobs we’ve seen,” Langenegger said. Economic base jobs are those that serve customers outside the local area.

Companies like Amazon, he said, are hiring customer support personnel who work from remote locations to save the cost of establishing large call centers, he said.

“This will help employ our citizens,” he added.

Tucumcari Tonite T-shirts

The commission also decided to license the logo and phrase for “Tucumcari Tonite,” to Al Patel, a local business owner who is planning to start a T-shirt manufacturing business in Tucumcari. He said he wants to start out with a batch of “Tucumcari Tonite” tees to promote tourism.

Patel is a co-owner of the Desert Inn motel in the city.

Senior Center Funding

In a public work session before the regular commission meeting Thursday, Clara Rey, director of the Tucumcari Senior Citizens Center, said she and her staff are uncertain of the fate of funding through the Non-Metro Area Agency on Aging (AAA) after the New Mexico Aging and Long Term Services Department terminated its contract with the AAA.

The department cut off its contract with the AAA due to alleged financial irregularities, New Mexico news agencies reported.

Tucumcari’s Senior Citizen Center operates its meal programs and other activities that assist seniors 60 and older on a little more than $315,400 in area agency on aging funds.

North Central New Mexico Economic Development District sponsors the on-Metro Area Agency on Aging.

Rey assured the commission “We’re going to do all we can to serve our seniors.”

Data collection is one of the major tasks that the AAA assists with, Rey said, and if local staff must deal with data collection, she said, it will take significant time away from serving the needs of seniors.

Commissioners agreed the city should respond to the issue with a letter to the department asking to restore its contract with AAA.

Improper dumping at yard waste site

Also at the work session, the commission discussed the dumping of junk besides tree branches and brush trimmings at the Coronado Park dump site. There was agreement on a plan that would stagger work weeks for street department employees in order to allow one employee to monitor use of the dump site on Saturdays,, and opening the site only on Saturdays.

Commissioners make no decisions during work sessions.

Promoting Tucumcari events

The work session also included a discussion of promotion ideas presented by Carlos Medina, an entertainer and promoter, and his partner Joe Dean at the Dec. 28 commission meeting.

Commissioners Moya and Todd Duplantis, District 5, said the commission should give more consideration to contracting with Medina and Dean’s promotional firm to advertise Tucumcari events through their marketing service.

Langenegger said Medina and Dean should submit a proposal through the request for proposals the commission decided to publicize at the Dec 28 meeting. The request the commission approved is asking for proposals to develop a tourism brand for the city, using visitor data, and marketing the city’s brand in connection with the New Mexico Department of Tourism’s “New Mexico True” campaign.

Wall murals

The work session also included a discussion of a mural that artist Seamus Wray is painting on the walls of the Princess Theater downtown.

Wray said that mural is dedicated to workers.

Mayor Pro Tem Robert Lumpkin said he would like to see that mural depict Tucumcari’s cultural and ethnic diversity. He also said murals should celebrate Route 66 and the city’s rail history.

Langenegger said the artist, Seamus Wray, is scheduled to paint murals on a few other buidings, and that future murals could depict some of those scenes.

Another artist, Estefanita Garcia of Tucumcri, also offered her services in painting murals.

Routine annual resolutions

At its regular meeting, the commission passed some routine resolutions that are acted upon every year to comply with state law and qualify for federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

These included a pledge to comply with the state’s Open Meetings Act and resolutions that prohibit housing discrimination in regard to race, color, religion, sex, handicap, family status or national origin to qualify the city for CDBG funds.


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2020

Rendered 10/27/2020 17:39