Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By David Grieder
Eastern New Mexico News 

Water group taking bids for pipeline work

Submissions due June 21; contract to be announced July 19.

 

May 2, 2018



CLOVIS — The Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority is now accepting bids for construction later this year on the section of its pipeline connecting Cannon Air Force Base with Clovis, as announced in a board meeting Thursday afternoon and in a news release that followed.

The advertisement for bids will be distributed locally and in Arizona, Texas, Colorado and New Mexico, Administrator Orlando Ortega said in a presentation to the authority board.

Bid applications are due by June 21, with a contract award to be announced July 19 and year-long construction starting by October, according to Jim Honea, assistant project manager for the Albuquerque design engineering firm supporting the board with the bidding process.

Fixed Water 2, as the pipeline section is designated, will run 7 1/2 miles southeast from outside CAFB to an EPCOR water storage system at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Brady Avenue, said the release.

The completed 33-inch transmission pipeline “will have the potential to operate in both directions, therefore being able to provide water supply to Clovis residents and CAFB from interim groundwater sources or EPCOR’s supply from their storage facility,” the release continued.

Honea said in his presentation to the board that recent market fluctuations in steel prices have increased the estimated total cost of FW2 by about $250,000, roughly a 1 percent increase from the $25 million price estimated in December.

“The FW2 is important because it allows us to utilize the pipeline in the interim, while we continue to work building toward Ute reservoir,” Clovis Mayor and water authority Chairman David Lansford said in the release. “We are excited to be able to go out for bids of FW2 as it will enable us to get one step closer to connecting important areas of the member communities’ water supply chain.”

The ENMWUA has over $15 million toward FW2 and Lansford said he was hopeful for about $5 million, but as much as $11 million in federal “plus-up” dollars being awarded early next month by the Bureau of Reclamation.

ENMWUA competes with five other rural water projects across the country for over $60 million in the plus-up funds to be distributed next month by Congress.

Ortega said he was expecting word on May 9 from the state’s Water Trust Board as to a requested $2.5 million in annual funds.

Whether FW2 becomes fully funded by next month or not, the authority will continue with the bidding and construction process, Lansford said.

“We’re going to award the contract and build as much as we can with the money that we have,” he told The News in an interview that followed the meeting. “If we get $5 million (next month) and we can build $20 million of the project, we’ll do that.”

Also at Thursday’s ENMWUA board meeting:

n Newly elected Portales Mayor Ron Jackson, whom the Portales City Council appointed to fill the board seat of the late Sharon King, was sworn in before the meeting and voted in unanimously as the new vice chairman.

Lansford recommended Jackson to accompany him and other board representatives on a trip May 8-11 to Washington, D.C. The trip will include meetings with the Bureau of Reclamation and possibly the Department of Agriculture, both in the interest of securing additional funding for the authority.

Jackson said he had to check his schedule.

n Ortega said he had a busy first month as the authority’s new administrator, including his qualification after a week of classes as a chief procurement officer.

n The board announced no action following a half-hour executive session regarding the acquisition of real estate.

 
 

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