Clovis Mayor calls for cooperation on pipeline project

Thomas Garcia

Her own political campaign aside, ensuring a sustainable water source for Clovis, Portales and other eastern New Mexico communities has been and always will be a top priority, Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield said Friday.

“The need for continued work to secure funding and compromise with the entities involved is obvious,” Brumfield said regarding a rift over the Ute Water Project between concerns in Quay County and those in communities in Curry and Roosevelt counties.

Officials in Quay County worry diverting water from Ute Lake would affect what has become a valuable and lucrative recreation resource. But the water is necessary for communities such as Portales and Clovis, which is why the dam was built, creating the reservoir in the first place.

While Brumfield is currently seeking re-election as mayor of Clovis, she is steadfast in her duties as Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority’s chair.

“It is important to remain diligent in our efforts to complete the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System,” Brumfield said.

Brumfield said as the new year begins, she has seen signs of additional federal funding for the $432 million water system commonly known as the Ute Water Project.

“I just recently heard that the Bureau of Reclamation has received money to put into different projects,” Brumfield said. “We are hopeful that our project is one of those selected to receive the federal appropriation.”

Brumfield said if the pipeline project receives the new money allocated to the Bureau of Reclamation, it may open the door to additional federal funding. She said with new federal funding there is a strong chance of additional state money becoming available.

“We continue to see support from both the federal and state level,” Brumfield said. “We have come along in the past five years with this project.”

Brumfield said since the project was authorized, they have received $25 million