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Rec center opening and other projects reviewed

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Trent Moore, left, and Kevin Dillon, center, listen as Daniel Mendiola, right, answers questions about the clean water loan for the city’s wastewater treatment plant at Infrastructure Committee on Monday afternoon. (Alison Penn Photo)

Project updates and five action items were discussed by the Roswell City Council’s Infrastructure Committee on Monday.

Chairman Juan Oropesa, Vice Chair George Peterson and City Councilor Caleb Grant were present. City Councilor Jeanine Corn Best was absent.

Rec center

Grant thanked the staff for the soft opening of the Roswell Recreation & Aquatic Center last Wednesday. Roswell Recreation & Aquatic Center is set for a public opening on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“I think it turned out very, very nice and I bet the community can’t wait for Saturday,” Grant said. “I don’t think it’s going to have any problem being filled up, but I was surprised by the indoor facility … the indoor pool was — with that rock climbing wall and basketball stuff in there — was just as much liked as the outside stuff by the kiddos from what I observed. So I think that was a positive note on just that square footage of it …”

Grant asked if the rec center would be “smooth” and ready to go for the weekend. In response, Kevin Dillon, the city’s project and facilities director, said the city’s side is ready to go. Dillon listed that there are a couple of bugs to be “worked out” this week — including goal height adjustments for basketball goals in the indoor gym and few issues in the pool’s mechanical room.

Peterson asked if people using the skate park or the other Cielo Grande Recreation Area facilities would be able to use the restroom at the rec center. Dillion said no, since the facility was designed to be a secure vestibule, similar to ones in the school district, and the Parks and Recreation Department’s after-school program is to be held there.

Najar and Dillon said the facility was designed for safety, but on an operational standpoint, those in charge of the rec center could allow the public to use the restroom.

Peterson said it wasn’t “right” to prohibit the public from using the restrooms. Najar and Dillon mentioned the port-a-potties near playground equipment.

“That was one of the things when we started designing it, everybody wanted it to be safe and so safety was built in,” Najar said. “So when you build in the safety, you sacrifice some of the other friendliness to the community. I know there’s been some other citizens that have been unhappy that you can’t go in there and use the bathroom, but again, it was designed for security.”

Streets

For an update on the street condition survey, Najar clarified that the data gathering done by Infrastructure Management Services is complete, the streets have been rated and the city has been sent a preliminary draft of the survey to review and submit comments.

Two awards were recommended for council’s approval for “hot-in-place” recycling and the other was for micro-surfacing of the city’s streets. The meeting agenda stated that hot-in-place recycling is a pavement maintenance tool and microsurfacing seals and extends the pavement’s use.

For the hot-in-place recycling, Najar listed sections on South Main Street, North Washington Avenue and South Sycamore to be worked on — totaling to about 9.13 miles of two-lane streets.

The scope of work for a request for proposals for the design of the bridge on South Lea Avenue and West Deming Street was also approved.

Water and railroad 

Two of the five action items were tabled. One was an award for the work on the Roswell International Air Center water tanks that would hold 2 million gallons of water and replace a tank built in 1943. Najar said there was a “big disparity” between the lowest bid at $6.1 million with the loan at $5.3 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Drinking Water Loan Program and he suggested tabling the motion until approval is received from the New Mexico Environment Department. The other tabled measure was the city’s wastewater treatment plant’s clean water loan for additional financial and operation information.

Two sections of the BNSF Railroad will be closed to repave the crossings at North Atkinson Avenue, to be closed Wednesday and reopen Friday morning, and East Country Club Road, to be closed on Monday and reopen Tuesday afternoon.

Najar said the railroad worked on the crossings a couple of times, but the city rejected their work and J&H Services will be removing existing pavement before repaving. For the Country Club crossing, the east side will be repaved, but the west side is tolerable.

On the large diameter water lines, Najar said the repair on Hobbs and Main was finished and cost $679,770.34. He also said the Edgewood project continues, which is named after the closed Edgewood Elementary School, and consists of replacing four large-diameter valves at the intersection of East Third Street and North Garden Avenue. He said eventually another project for the large-diameter valve at South Main Street and Poe Street would go out for bid.

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