Authority seeks more federal funds

Staff Report

MELROSE — Members of the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority will speak with officials Wednesday in Washington D.C. about securing $2 million in year-end funding, Authority Chair Gayla Brumfield.

Brumfield said the trip to the nation’s capital was discussed on Thursday during the authority’s regular meeting in Melrose. She said the delegation will speak with several elected officials about possible year-end funding for the second phase of the $550 million Ute Pipeline project.

The pipeline, scheduled for completion in 15 to 20 years, is expected to pump water from the Ute Reservoir near Logan to Clovis, Portales, Elida, Texico, Grady, Melrose, and other areas of Curry and Roosevelt counties.

Brumfield said top funding priorities include construction of an interim pipeline system near Cannon Air Force Base. She said the pipeline is the beginning of the second phase of the Ute Pipeline project that will pump purchased groundwater from surrounding sources to the authority’s member communities.

The authority used $300,000 of federal year-end funds from 2014 for its engineering firm CH2M Hill to complete the scope and design of the interim pipeline.

Brumfield said the first phase of the pipeline project, a $15 million main intake shaft that will house pumping equipment at Ute Lake near Logan, is in the final steps of being completed.

She said the site has been cleared and Rex Stall, the Interstate Stream Commission’s caretaker of Ute Dam on the reservoir, was hired to oversee the site. Stall’s contract for maintaining the site is $20,000 a year.

Brumfield said the project is developing well and the authority is committed to proceeding with the phases it can and securing the funding needed to complete the project.

Other items before the authority on Thursday:

• Approved a $25,000 contract with Mordall Sperling Law Firm to manage the authority’s financials.

• Approved $52,000 to continue the testing and monitoring for the Ute Reservoir Water Quality Monitoring and Watershed Management Plan.

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