Sprucing-up gets OK from city commission

QCS staff
The first step in sprucing up downtown Tucumcari got approval Thursday from the Tucumcari City Commission.

The commission unanimously approved a contract with a design firm that will develop a plan for making the downtown area more attractive to shoppers, tourists and people doing business.

Sites Southwest, an Albuquerque-based design and planning firm, will receive $50,000 to develop a plan that includes assessing current conditions downtown, a marketing analysis, developing a vision and master plan, and a plan for implementation, complete with funding sources and community participation.

The money comes from Metropolitan Redevelopment Area funds administered by New Mexico Main Street, a division of the state Economic Development Department.

City Manager Jared Langenegger said the improvement plans are expected to pay for themselves through “tax increments,” the additional tax revenue that an improved downtown is expected to generate by attracting increased business activity and more businesses.

The plan should result in a public-private partnership project that would aim at reducing the number of unused buildings and disposing of buildings that are beyond repair in the downtown area, Langenegger said.

Commissioner Ralph Moya, whose district includes downtown, said the MRA plan “is a good project” that will work “hand-in-hand” with local Main Street programs.

The commission voted to reject a first offer to improve aesthetic design in the downtown area through the Great Blocks on Main Street program, which focuses on urban design, building and landscape architecture, and public art to enhance downtown areas.

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