Home News Local News Committee looks into water plant’s future

Committee looks into water plant’s future

The Infrastructure Committee on Monday evening reviewed potential actions regarding the wastewater treatment plant, and providing water to a new subdivision outside the city limits, as well as other business. Pictured are City Engineer Louis Najar, standing, and committee members Jeanine Corn Best, Caleb Grant, George Peterson and Juan Oropesa. (Alison Penn Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Additions and expansions to the city of Roswell’s wastewater treatment plant are under consideration.

At an Infrastructure Committee meeting on Monday, committee members and city councilors Juan Oropesa (committee chair), Caleb Grant, George Peterson and Jeanine Corn Best voted to recommend that the full Roswell City Council consider approval of an ordinance and resolution to fund a dewatering facility for $5.5 million in construction and design.

City Engineer Louis Najar explained to the committee that the city would be able to move from processing sludge on dry beds to using screw presses to speed up the drying process. At the July meeting, Najar said the city’s current method was “old fashioned” and “very inefficient.”

If approved by the council, the project would be funded by a New Mexico Environment Department Clean Water Revolving Loan with a 1.2% interest rate for 20 years. The meeting’s agenda stated that the city’s engineering application was accepted in June and in July the committee recommended to continue pursuing the loan.

Finance Director Monica Garcia said an analysis projected the water reserve fund will have close to $1.3 million at the end of the year.

Support Local Journalism
Subscribe to the Roswell Daily Record today.

Najar explained passing the ordinance and resolution is part of “final motions to close on the loan.” He said the item will go before the council in November for 30-day advertising and the final approval of the loan would be considered in December.

Acquiring land is needed for the potential expansion of the wastewater treatment plant at the end of East College Boulevard. Daniel Mendiola, with the wastewater treatment plant, said an addition will be needed “within the next three years.”

If the Roswell Test Facility (RTF) is sold, Najar recommended that the city use the proceeds to buy 77.8 acres of farmland east of wastewater treatment plant. The land extends to North Red Bridge Road and was appraised at $740,000. The appraisal of the RTF, at 3801 E. Second St. — outside the city — came back at $150,000, and bids for the RTF property should be in by Nov. 26, Najar and Morris said.

There has been an inquiry sent to the farmland’s owners, but Bill Morris, community development director, said there was no response at this time.

Playing “devil’s advocate,” Oropesa asked what would happen if the farmland couldn’t be acquired.

“But what happens is we have buried lines in there, so what’ll happen is the costs will be greater to remove the old, existing concrete pipes and such,” Mendiola said. “So just the cost of building a new plant would increase significantly on that.”

No action was taken regarding land for the wastewater treatment plant and the committee plans to continue the conversation at its November meeting.

Another discussion item was the city supplying water services to the in-progress McKay Place Subdivision. It is outside the city limits on North Aspen Avenue, which is north of West Country Club Road.

The committee approved three bids for the North Garden Bridge reconstruction, an annual maintenance contract and an annual concrete contract. Two other awards, for paving South Main Street and a Vactor truck purchase for the water transmission department, were also recommended to full council by the committee. All of these will be on the consent agenda.

In other business, Najar said the city must pass a resolution, as a formality, for sign work at crossings at the intersection Country Club and North Main Street.

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

Previous articleHoudini makes a reappearance — of sorts
Next articleChase leads Republicans in third-quarter fundraising