By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
The Quay County Commissioners, County Manager Richard Primrose and Road Superintendent Larry Moore – after hearing concerns about the condition of a county road — discussed county road needs and priorities with residents during Monday’s regular meeting in Tucumcari.
County officials began discussing county road conditions and maintenance needs during the public comments portion of the meeting when residents Royden Lopez and Bill Martin informed the commission that QR 65 was in need of repair.
Martin said the road needs to be widened and resurfaced with caliche, adding that the road is not wide enough for two vehicles; recent rains have caused the road to wash out making it difficult to travel.
“I would like to know what we are doing and need to do to address the concerns of these residents and fix our county roads,” said District 1 Commissioner Sue Dowell.
Primrose said many roads in the county need even more work because of the recent moisture. He said there is a priority list of road repairs included in the county Infrastructure/Capital Improvement Plan, which also was discussed in a public hearing and approved by the commissioners following the public comments.
Primrose said the road list is based on a system of priorities that included bus routes and police, fire and EMS access to county residents. He said QR 65 needs a culvert to divert the water from flooding the road and to keep water away from Martin’s driveway.
Moore said the county road department has been working to repair and maintain roads, although that has become difficult with the rain. He said there are different amounts of rain fall across the county creating a larger area of work for road crews.
Moore said on Aug. 4, a portion of Route 66 near Bard/Endee washed out by rainfall. He said a section of road 30 feet wide, 100 feet long and 22 feet deep collapsed as a blade operator was driving the equipment on the road.
Moore said the worker escaped injury, but road crews worked until Friday to repair the road and make it passable again.
Moore said currently crews are hauling caliche from atop the Caprock to repair portions of roads and that takes time.
Dowell said in the past, residents would donate caliche to the county for road repairs below the Caprock. She said if that is no longer the case then the county needs to rekindle those relationships. Perhaps the county needs to hire more road crew employees or look into road consultant.
Commission Chair Franklin McCasland asked Dowell to inform the commission if she knew of any caliche pits below the Caprock. Dowell said she did not know of any but would speak with residents about finding a caliche pit.
Moore said at this time, he has had no luck locating any pits below the Caprock or a resident that would donate the caliche to the county. He said road crews continue to work to maintain and repair roads in the county.
McCasland said the commission will look into the issues on QR 65 and other county roads that may have issues after the recent rain.
In other business, commissioners:
• Approved the mill levy and gross receipt tax payment for the first and second Quarter, totaling $250,000, to Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital.
• Approved the ACT Work Ready Communities, a partnership with the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corp., Mesalands Community College, Tucumcari Public Schools and City of Tucumcari to seek funding to develop a work for solutions training center. The center would help to train existing workforce in the area.
• Held an executive session to discuss limited personnel matters. No action was taken after the executive session.