Tucumcari city commissioners on Thursday held the final public hearing and approved the second reading of two ordinances set to increase the salaries of the municipal judge, city commissioners and mayor effective after the March 1 election.
With the annual salary increases, commissioners will get an increase from $3,600 to $4,600; the mayor’s salary increases from $4,800 to $5,800; the municipal judge’s salary goes from $14,355 to $15,750.
The commissioners also approved the second and final reading of Ordinance 1130, which will amend the city’s local capital outlay gross receipt tax collected for Ute Lake water rights.
Tucumcari Mayor Robert Lumpkin described the Ute Lake tax as an existing tax. He said, “We want the residents to me clear, this is not asking for a new tax. It is asking for use of an existing tax for other purposes.” He said the tax has included a quarter percent from gross receipt taxes that are used for protection of the city’s water rights at Ute Lake and the construction of an intake and delivery system to bring the water to the city.
City Manager Jared Langenegger said the funds – totaling $1.9 million — are not being used right now; he said the city is fortunate to have wells that refresh at a rate that is greater than residents’ demand. He said the amendment will allow the city to use the funds to repair city infrastructure, including streets, water and sewer lines and the wastewater treatment plants.
Later in the meeting the commission approved resolution 2015-37, an election resolution for the election of three commissioner’s positions, (district 1, 2 and 3) and the gross receipt tax item to the March 1 ballot.
The final item in the public hearing was the Approval of Ordinance 1131, amending the uniform traffic code making it illegal to text and drive and adding the definition of “three-wheel autocycle.”
In regular session the commission:
• Approved the first reading of ordinance 1132, an agreement between the New Mexico Economic Development Department for $50,000 to be used towards the repair of the Odeon Theater roof. In October the commission approved Ordinance 1125 that qualified the city’s cultural and arts facilities for State Local Economic Development Act funds.
• Approved the amendment of the 2014/2015 Community Development Block Grant construction budget.
• Approved a chip seal project for sections of Estrella Avenue, Washington Avenue, First-Fourth Streets.
• Approved the hiring of Calra Ray and the new director of the Tucumcari Senior Citizen’s Center.
• Approved the change order 3, for the metro well field rehab project.