Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Interim city manager term extended


July 15, 2020

Mark Martinez will be Tucumcari’s interim city manager for another 90 days, the city commission decided Thursday.

An extension of Martinez’s contract received unanimous approval from the commission.

Martinez again will be paid $19,000 for the 90-day period that began Friday, which is 15% higher than his regular salary as assistant city manager, according to the contract approved Thursday.

At a work session before Thursday’s regular commission meeting, Commissioners noted the commission has set aside July 17 to interview candidates to become the city’s next full-time city manager.

The commission also:

• Authorized a $232,379.57 award to city from North Central New Mexico’s Non-Metro Area Agency on Aging.to fund services to senior citizens through the Tucumcari Senior Citizens Center. The contract with the Agency on Aging covers the cost of meals to 270 persons at the senior center, as well as meals delivered at home for 172 more seniors, and transportation services for 80 seniors.

n Approved a Nutrition Service Incentive Program contract with the Agency on Aging for $26,813.92 that includes food, not preparation; procurement of food products grown in the U.S. only; encouragement for using locally grown produce meeting New Mexico Environment Department standards; and meeting federal nutrition and sanitation guidelines.

• Authorized the city’s Community Development Department to seek $750,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds to be used for a second phase of street and water system improvements in the Aber Addition on Tucumcari’s east side. The city would provide a $75,000 match.

Commissioners also discussed a longstanding problem of water flowing from a ditch that is eroding property owned by Tony Aragon.

Aragon appeared to seek help with the problem, saying since a 10-by-150-foot portion of his property has been washed away, he has had to move a fence and must watch his cattle to ensure they don’t fall into the washed-out area.

The problem, Martinez said, is ownership of the ditch is in question.

So far, he said, city staff has found the ditch is not New Mexico Department of Transportation property but seems to be on railroad right-of-way.

Martinez said he has been in contact with Union Pacific Railroad personnel and hopes for a response next week.

“If the problem is ours, we’ll fix it,” he said, “but if it is not, that raises liability questions.”

District 5 Commissioner Todd Duplantis and District 1 Commissioner Ralph Moya said the city should consider taking action to divert water away from Aragon’s property, then sending a bill to the owner when the owner is found.

“We should do it because it’s the right thing to do,” Moya said. Moya repeatedly has urged the city to act on this situation.

Martinez said the city must first ensure it would not violate the state’s “anti-donation” clause, which prohibits the city from using funds to benefit a non-government individual or organization.


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