Serving the High Plains

Courthouse windows, HVAC high on priority list

The Quay County Commission on Monday approved an Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan that puts replacement of the courthouse’s windows and climate-control systems high on its priority list.

The plan, which serves as a guide to the state legislature for capital outlay funding, still has $30 million to build a new Trigg Memorial Hospital as the top item.

The county is due to receive $10 million in state funding for the hospital project later this year, and county manager Daniel Zamora is applying for an additional $20 million in funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Replacing courthouse windows for $1.164 million is second on the list for fiscal-year 2026.

Zamora told commissioners he added courthouse HVAC replacement for $500,000.

Combined with the window replacement, he said it would make the courthouse more energy efficient and save money on utility bills.

Also on the list for FY2026 are $300,000 for a transport truck, $250,000 for a loader and $200,000 for a backhoe.

Zamora said he lowered a $35 million request for a regional behavioral health facility on the priority list. The last item for FY2026 is $1 million for Ute Reservoir watershed restoration.

In future fiscal years, the county is requesting funds for Quay Roads 63, AP and AR, replacing a bridge on Old Route 66, replacing county vehicles, paying for an asset management procedure plan, renovations to the Quay County Detention Center and an excavator.

In other business:

— Commissioners approved lease agreements, indenture and bond purchase agreements for the Caprock Wind project.

The commission during a previous meeting authorized the issuance and sale of about $140 million in taxable industrial revenue bonds to improve and expand Caprock’s wind farm in southern Quay County.

The county’s bond attorney, Luis Carrasco, said the county would receive about $209,000 annually from the project. He said area school districts also would receive money that would be determined later on enrollment numbers. Carrasco said the county also would see increases in gross receipts tax revenue due to construction.

The agreements state the company cannot use county-maintained roads for the project, which addressed concerns by Commissioner Jerri Rush. If county roads are used, Caprock would enter into a pact regarding their use and maintenance.

— Road superintendent Stephen Salas said the state has approved the use of federal funds for new automatic railroad crossings at Quay Road AI near U.S. 54 and the road to Tucumcari Municipal Golf Course. He said a “jog” in the road at Quay Road AI also would be addressed.

Salas said in the next fiscal year, an automatic rail crossing would be added to Quay Road AD.

— Commissioners approved several resolutions for state funding and match waiver requests for local road projects. The total is about $624,000. Match waivers would save the county about $115,000.

— County treasurer Patsy Gresham said a delinquent tax sale resulted in the sale of 11 properties, with only one that didn’t receive a bid. She said the sale originally had 35 properties listed but taxes or collection arrangements were made on all but 12 of them.

Gresham also said two large vendors — Wex Bank and Xcel Energy — would be allowed to debit the county’s accounts on a monthly basis instead of being mailed checks.

— Commissioners approved New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration capital outlay grant agreements for $400,000 for dump truck, $250,000 for a pneumatic roller and $100,000 for a new vehicle for the sheriff’s department.

— Commissioners approved a state Public Education Department intergovernmental agreement of about $190,000 for the summer intern program. Funds would cover costs for this month and June 2025. About 45 local teens are participating in the program this year.

— Commissioners approved two budgetary increases — $17,000 in excess gross receipts tax for employee training and $300,000 for the Bard-Endee Fire District to purchase a new truck.

— Todd Carter, new pastor at First Assembly of God in Tucumcari, said during public comments he and his wife were about to embark on a “Pray for Quay” initiative.