Official: MainStreet going on as planned


April 3, 2019

Steve Hansen

Tucumcari High School wresting coach Eddie Encinias praises the work of his team after it received a proclamation from the Tucumcari City Commission recognizing their state- and district-level achievements in 2019 competition.

Mark Lake, interim executive director for Tucumcari MainStreet, assured Tucumcari city commissioners during their regular meeting Thursday that ongoing MainStreet projects are continuing as planned despite a recent change in leadership.

Lake was named interim director after the MainStreet board fired its executive director, Gail Houser, in February.

Lake said Doug Quarles, Tucumcari's best-known muralist, has nearly completed a work on a breezeway wall on Main Street downtown.

He also noted work has begun on creating a "pocket park" on the site of the former Sands Dorsey building at Second and Main streets. The project includes new soil, sod and a watering system, he said.

Tucumcari MainStreet's top priority, Lake said, is its Great Blocks program, a $1.3 million project that includes roadway improvements, narrower streets and wider, leveled sidewalks, as well as lighting, drainage and greenery.

The project focuses on 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.

Lake included with his presentation a summary of the $206,430 that New Mexico MainStreet, a division of the New Mexico Economic Development Department, used for Tucumcari MainStreet in 2018.

The lion's share of that money, $150,000, was spent on Great Blocks programs, the summary shows.

In other action, the commission:

n Authorized a group of residents to seek a Recycling and Illegal Dumping (RAID) grant from the New Mexico Environment Department to fund a tire-recycling facility in Tucumcari. District 5 Commissioner Todd Duplantis said the group would apply for about $300,000.

n Approved payment of $6,360 in lodgers' tax funds to cover advertising costs associated with the Rawhide Days event. Of that total, $3,996.77 was for billboard advertising along Interstate 40 from Moriarty to Cuervo. The rest paid for advertising in the Quay County Sun, KTNM radio, Will Sims for internet advertising, Horse Around New Mexico and to Arte Formz, a Tucumcari design business.

n Authorized spending of $2,736.94 in lodgers' tax funds for advertising costs related to events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Tucumcari Historical Museum through its sponsor, the Tucumcari Historic Research Institute. The four events will be between April 13 and Aug. 10, according to documents submitted with the request.

n Heard a proclamation from Mayor Ruth Ann Litchfield declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. The proclamation noted the state recorded 40,606 reports of alleged child abuse from July 2017 to June 2018 and recognized that people in neighborhoods are the most effective tool for child-abuse prevention. Litchfield presented the proclamation to George Arguello, manager of the Quay County office of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department in Tucumcari.

n Heard a proclamation recognizing the Tucumcari Rattlers wrestling team for placing fifth overall in state competition, as well as individual achievements, including a state championship won by Kaleb Hayes; A'leaya Lucero as a third-place finisher in state competition, the first female grappler to win a state medal; and others. "The Rattlers wrestled with respect and represented our high school and city in an outstanding manner," the proclamation stated.

n Gave final approval to a variance that allows Tucumcari resident Donald Best to build a carport that extends to the end of his property line instead of allowing a 5-foot setback as zoning laws would normally require.

n Appointed Vic Baum, Tonya Rigdon and Paul Candelaria to the city's Planning and Zoning Committee. The three were among five who expressed interest in the positions.

n Approved a Tucumcari Senior Citizens Center declaration it would not apply for capital outlay funds for the 2020 New Mexico Legislature. Clara Rios, the center's director, told the commission recent purchases of new vehicles, building repairs, improvements to a walk-in freezer and pantry improvements have completed the center's current wish list. The commission, however, voted to accept the senior center's lack of a request on condition if new needs are identified before April 12, which is the deadline for capital-outlay requests, senior-center managers will ask the commission for permission to apply for new funding.

n Held an executive session involving City Manager Britt Lusk. The commission took no action related to the executive session.


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