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Infrastructure updates shared at committee meeting

City Engineer Louis Najar stands before the Infrastructure Committee to address the city of Roswell’s infrastructure updates on Monday evening. From left, Councilors Jeanine Corn Best, Caleb Grant, Juan Oropesa and George Peterson. Bernadette Lopez is also pictured. (Alison Penn Photo)

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New information on water meters, infrastructure master plan and street condition survey presented

The city of Roswell’s Infrastructure Committee approved five invitation to bid (ITB) awards for five projects and updated the councilors on current citywide projects.

The following projects and the awards to contractors were approved by council: South Atkinson Rehabilitation, Montana/Stone Street realignment, annual maintenance contract, North Main alley sewer replacement project and Mescalero lift-station project. The committee determined that there will be no infrastructure meeting in December and will have its next meeting in January.

City Engineer Louis Najar said the hot recycling and microsurfacing on the perimeter road around the Roswell International Air Center, South Sunset Avenue from the Relief Route to West Brasher Road, West Jaffa Street from South Sunset Avenue to South Lea Avenue, North Washington Avenue from West 19th Street through West Country Club Road.

Najar said the South Washington Avenue and South Union Avenue project was completed after paving South Washington Avenue from West Poe Street to Lusk Drive, mill and pave from West Poe to North Heights Drive. He said milling started on North Heights Drive to West Hobbs Street and South Washington Avenue began on Monday.

At the early part of the year, the city took a survey from over 600 citizens and the condition of the roads was the primary issue brought up by participants. Najar said he has been asked frequently about the pavement condition study. He said crews conducting the study will begin driving on Dec. 10, a tentative date, and they will take about a month to collect data.

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Councilor Caleb Grant asked for updates on the Roswell Recreation and Aquatic Center and the Roswell Convention & Civic Center. Dillon said the construction on the aquatic side of the rec center is on track to meet the May date. He said the plan is to meet substantial completion between May 15-20 and City Manager Joe Neeb said the estimated opening date is May 31 in previous coverage.

When Grant asked about the smart water meters, Dillon said 650 of the 19,000 meters have yet to be installed. Dillon also said the city’s water meter system should go live by the end of December. Dillon said there were some “dead meters” that are being reassembled in Colorado and will be shipped down to Roswell.

“The outstanding meters — they had a due date to be in town by the end of this week,” Dillon said. “So then, that would leave us another 100 meters to just swap out.”

Najar also shared updates on large diameter waterlines on the south end of town. Najar said the city is working on the 36-inch line at West Gayle Street and that project is over halfway done. On Nov. 6, a water line on West McGaffey Street also burst. He said crews might start working this weekend on West McGaffey Street to get the road open when possible. Najar said once the work on McGaffey is done, it will be the first road with large diameter valve work to get completed and will be reopened.

Finance Director Monica Garcia said the capital project fund has reserves of $72,000, which is not enough to cover the South Atkinson Rehabilitation project. According to the agenda, the total project cost $1,451,731.68 and only $1,170,412 was budgeted for fiscal year 2019.

Garcia said she and Najar will have a meeting to determine which projects will be finished this year or will be moved into next year to work with the city’s finances. For the last three years, Garcia said the city has spent around $5 million each year on capital projects. Garcia said the city has “a little over 300,000 in general fund” and wouldn’t cover the shortfall on this project. If a transfer from the general fund needs to happen, Garcia said the council would have to vote to determine this action.

City Manager Joe Neeb announced there will be a staff meeting in mid-December to begin a preliminary conversation about a water infrastructure master plan.

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.