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Infrastructure committee to determine projects’ survival

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The city of Roswell will begin on Monday the task of deciding which upcoming projects survive expected budget cuts due to the crash in oil prices and a drop in revenue from the pandemic closures.

Director of Administrative Services Juan Fuentes will give a presentation on the city’s project list at the Infrastructure Committee’s meeting at 4 p.m Monday in Meeting Room A of the Roswell Civic and Convention Center, 912 N. Main.

The meeting will be live-streamed on the city’s website and YouTube channel.

The list includes projects that are in the city’s queue and the budget, said City Engineer Louis Najar, staff coordinator of the committee.

“With the COVID and the oilfield crash, the budget’s tight and we’re trying to figure out which projects we will do, which projects may not survive,” he said

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Three projects are on the committee’s agenda to consider moving forward to the city council’s May 14 meeting. Two of them could be in danger of having state funds taken back if the Legislature meets in special session to revise the budget.

Improvements at McBride Veterans Cemetery and a splash pad at Carpenter Park both received funds through a $9.9 million capital outlay appropriation by the state in 2019.

The veterans cemetery project would install a frame to hold a helicopter display and construct a shelter for the honor guard, as well as some security installations, Najar said.

The proposal before the infrastructure committee on Monday would award the $42,419 design services for the project to Huitt-Zollars, Inc., Albuquerque.

The splash pad proposal would award the contract to Waide Construction Co., 5302 N. Main, for $314,907 plus 10% for a contingency fund. A balance of $103,603 would be used to plan, design and construct other improvements at the park.

“We’re trying to get these awarded and some contracts underway and (purchase orders) issued. At least that portion would be safe from clawback,” Najar said.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a press conference Wednesday a special session would likely be called in mid-June.

A third action item on the committee’s agenda will proceed at least in part whether or not the city council approves it. A proposed repaving of Southeast Main is planned to begin in May, giving just enough time for the city council to consider it.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation has proposed using $389,510 in leftover funds to repave north from Poe Street. It is asking the city to contribute $130,638 to pave Southeast Main up to McGaffey Street. That would total 25% of the project.

If the city does not participate, NMDOT will pave only up to Hobbs Street, the proposal says.

The project would use a thin pavement mill with Nova Chip overlay, the same as used on South Main recently.

“I’ve been talking and complaining to the DOT for a couple of years saying we need some attention on Southeast Main. It’s raveling and needs some attention,” Najar said.

“Things are tight right now, but as city engineer, I feel if we don’t get this done now, we might not have any work done next year, which is probably obvious, for roadwork, so maybe can get a little something before everything freezes,” he said.

The Nova Chip paving could give the street another five to 10 years of service, Najar said.

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

 

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