Special Events Center 30 percent complete

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Randy Kamradt told county commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting the Special Events Center is 30 percent complete.

Kamradt represents DavTek, which the county hired to manage construction of the $7 million facility. The county is serving as the project contractor.

About 92 percent of the cost of the facility has been contracted or is on purchase orders, according to a DavTek report. Kamradt said Monday the facility should be completed in August.

“The other 8 percent is not locked in, but it’s a matter of us managing that budget, which we’ve managed to do pretty handily up to this point,” he said.

The current cost of the facility is $ 7,094,193.59, according to the report. The cost only covers the construction of the facility and not furnishing it.

Commissioners approved a Jan. 3 work session to discuss the management of the fairgrounds and to narrow down a list of amenities to furnish the facility.

During the Dec. 4 meeting, commissioners were presented with a list of amenities estimated to cost about $2 million. The list included bucking chutes and video and audio equipment for the facility.

At that meeting, Rob Burpo, the county’s financial adviser, suggested the county determine the actual cost of the construction of the Events Center instead of having a moving target worth $7 million before tackling the $2 million list.

County Manager Lance Pyle said at the Dec. 4 meeting the county has budgeted for the Events Center, but the exact cost has not been narrowed down.

Since that meeting, Pyle said Tuesday, he has worked with DavTek to narrow down the cost.

In other business, commissioners:
—Approved an ordinance to borrow about $1.4 million from the state’s Finance Authority to buy six road graders.

County Finance Manager Mark Lansford said the lease for six road graders the county acquired five years ago was ending. He said the county has the option of buying the road graders or returning them to the leasing agent. Lansford said the county will try to sell the road graders for a profit.

Lansford said the county will have 12 years to pay the loan.

—Heard a presentation from District Attorney Matt Chandler regarding the purchase of a K-9 unit. Curry County Sheriff Matt Murray said the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office will cover the $10,000 cost of the dog with a grant from the Southwest Borders Fund.

Murray also informed commissioners that the sheriff’s office will take part in the Rio Grande Law Enforcement Exchange. The program will give the office access to suspect information not available from the National Crime Information Center.