By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
One month on the job and Village of Logan interim Manager Jim Neece has had everything from water well repairs and pothole funding come across his desk.
“I was fortunate to have spent time with then-Manager Larry Wallin to learn about the day-to-day operations before taking over,” Neece said.
Neece began his term as interim village manager on July 1 and will become the permanent manager when Wallin retires at the end of August.
“I spent as much time with Larry to gain all the knowledge I could from his years of experience as manager,” Neece said.
Neece said he has lived in Logan for eight and 1/2 years and is familiar with the residents of the community and some of the issues he will be dealing with as manager.
“I’ve already had somebody talk to me about pot holes in the streets,” Neece said.
Neece said he wants street improvement in the village and out at the lake a priority. He said it is important to make sure the infrastructure is maintained and repaired for residents.
Neece said since his start as manager, there have been no major issues that he has had to address. He said for the most part he has been getting settled in and has been using the calm to prepare for the storm.
Neece said recently power fluctuations in the Farmers Electric power grid have caused some issues with village water wells. He said the Harding County well north of Logan had an electronic panel burn out due to the flickering; it was down for two days. The panel has been replaced, the well is operational again and Farmers Electric officials say they are working to resolve the issue, Neece added.
Neece said water is a major issue for the residence of Logan. He said he has yet to have any dealings with the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority or it’s Ute Pipeline Project.
“I want everyone to know this is an issue I am going to stay a top of,” Neece said. “The waters in Ute Lake are crucial to the economic well being of our community.”
Neece said the toughest issue he has had to face to date is the funding of the Logan Senior Citizen’s Center.
In October, the Tucumcari City Commission voted to not continue to act as the fiscal agent for the Village of House and Logan’s senior citizens program.
In reviewing the contract with Non-Metro AAA the cost of being the agent for both House and Logan could be in excess of $100,000 to the taxpayers of Tucumcari, said Jared Langenegger, city manager.
Langenegger said the city would submit a request for proposal to the Non-Metro Area Agency on Aging for congregate meals, home meals and transportation only for the Tucumcari Senior Citizens Center. He said the city would work with Logan and House officials to offer assistance in helping them to fill out and submit their own RFP application to Non-Metro AAA for their senior services.
Neece said he and the senior citizen center officials are working together to work the numbers on the grant amount requested and the actual amount awarded. He said the village took over the center effective July 1. He said the process has been a learning experience for himself and center officials.
“We are going to make sure that services continue for our senior citizens,” Neece said. “We are still crunching the numbers, but will find a way to make it work.”