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Water Projects Dominate New Mexico Capital Outlay Bill, says Construction Reporter

Industry: Commerical Building

New Mexico State Legislature’s Capital Outlay Bill for 2014 focused heavily on water projects with 89 million dollars total for water projects across the state.

New Mexico (PRUnderground) June 4th, 2014

New Mexico State Legislature’s Capital Outlay Bill for 2014 focused heavily on water projects with 89 million dollars total for water projects across the state.  These include $10 million for Las Vegas’s Bradner Dam, an $8 million wastewater treatment plant in Chama, $4 million for Alamogordo’s desalination plant, $1.6 million improvement of the Santa Cruz regional water association system in Rio Arriba and Santa Fe counties, and 1.6 million to upgrade Rio Rancho’s water pipes.

The largest individual allocation of $10 million went to the design, construction, and expansion of Las Vegas’s Bradner Dam.  For decades leaders in Las Vegas, New Mexico have been talking about improving the city’s water system and storage.

“It’s been a topic of discussion around here for at least the last 50 years,” remarks Mayor Alfonso Ortiz.

“With these new funds, our intent is to enhance Bradner from 300 acre feet of storage to about 2300 acre feet,” says Ortiz.

Expanding the city’s available water storage is crucial given that it supplies up to 18,000 residents, as well as a regional hospital and the all of the buildings at the New Mexico Highlands University.

“Sometimes in a drought we have gone as low as less than 90 days of available water,” continues Ortiz. “If we expand the dam we could get up to 12 to 18 months of storage opposed to the normal 3 to 4 months.”

The $10 million appropriation for Las Vegas’ Bradner Reservoir is just a part of a larger $89 million committed to a variety of water projects across the state.

Projects that received funding include the $1.9 million design, construction and expansion of a wastewater system along NM Highway 63 in the town of Pecos; a new $8 million wastewater treatment plant in Chama; and the $1.6 million improvement of the Santa Cruz regional water association system in Rio Arriba and Santa Fe counties.

“I’m satisfied with how the selection process went,” Governor Martinez said in public comments, as she announced that $4 million in capital outlay funds will go towards the completion of Alamogordo’s desalination plant.

“But there are more projects to be done, and there wasn’t enough money because the legislature didn’t give it to me,” Martinez continued.

“We have a list that we didn’t get to finish,” Martinez added. “What we are going to need to do, year after year, is continue to invest in our infrastructure, because it is old. It’s 40 to 50-years old and some of the new pipe lines underground are made with arsenic. Back in the day maybe that was a good idea, but today it’s not and has to be replaced.”

For more information on the City of Las Vegas Bradner Dam project contact the Gloria M. Medina, Office Manager for the City of Las Vegas at: (505) 426-3257, or gmedina@ci.las-vegas.nm.us

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