Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Downtown upgrades ready to go forward


March 28, 2018

Tucumcari MainStreet Director Gail Houser said the city is “poised to go forward” with street, sidewalk and greenery improvements to three main blocks of the city's downtown.

The $1.3 million Great Blocks program will include roadway improvements, narrower streets and wider, leveled sidewalks, he reported the the Tucumcari City Commission Thursday, as well as lighting and containers for greenery that will be be able to draw storm drainage for watering.

The three blocks include single blocks of Main Street east and west of Second Avenue, and the block of Second Street immediately south of Main Street.

Planning and engineering are near completion, he said, and now city and New Mexico Main Street officials are finding money for construction of the project.

Houser said Tucumcari MainStreet and city officials are working with New Mexico Fundit, an initiative of the New Mexico Economic Development Department designed to pool funding from federal, state and local sources to finance projects leading to business development and job creation, including downtown revitalization projects such as Tucumcari MainStreet.

Once the funds are committed, Houser said, construction will take about a year to complete.

The Great Blocks project, he said, will

The Great Blocks plans complement work already completed on the old Rail Depot and ground, as well as other downtown improvement efforts that also include remodeling of the old Princess Theater on Main Street, which recently received a new roof.

More downtown improvements are under consideration, including the construction of condominium residences downtown.

“It will take time,” Houser said.

The commission also:

• Tabled action on a proposed contract for marketing services designed to promote tourism in the city. District 1 Commissioner Ralph Moya moved to table the measure, because he said he needed more time to examine it. Other commissioners agreed, and voted unanimously to delay action on the measure.

• Recognized the Tucumcari Rattlers wrestling team, which placed fifth in state competition this year, and included a state champ, Isaiah Valverde, who took first place honors in the 285-pound weight division.

• Recognized Americorps and Senior Corps volunteers as part of National Services activities nationwide.

• Appointed Mayor Ruth Ann Litchfield as the commission's appointment to the board of the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corporation board.

• Moya relayed complaints from city residents about water shut-off valves that the city must shut off when there is no shut-off on the residence side. In one situation, Moya said, the city did not respond for days when a water shutoff failed, and water flowed unchecked past the city's meter, resulting in a huge water bill.

Interim City Manager Mark Martinez said the city is dealing with that situation, but said city ordinances require residential customers to have shutoff valves that they can control.

• District 5 Commissioner Todd Duplantis raised an issue about furniture being dumped on empty lots in the city and asked whether the city's landfill could reserve a day on which residents could take large trash for disposal free of charge. The matter is still in discussions with city staff.


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