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Rio Rancho’s chance for Army Corps reimbursement meets opposition

Rep. Ben Lujan’s bid to get a $15 million increase in the Army Corps of Engineers budget met strong opposition from Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, the Republican Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee, according to a release from Lujan’s office.

Lujan on Wednesday was seeking an amendment to theĀ  Energy and Water Appropriations bill to ensure that local governments like the city of Rio Rancho, Bernalillo County and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District could be reimbursed for infrastructure work they have done in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers.

In a tight economy, Freylinghuysen said, the Army Corps should focus on its historic responsibilities, navigation and flood control.

The amendment failed.

Rio Rancho’s water utility is owed more than $6 million by the Army Corps. under a 2007 grant agreement.

The Army Corps of Engineers agreed to reimburse the city for 75 percent of the cost of a water treatment facility at a city well near Northern and Loma Colorado to lower arsenic levels to meet a federal mandate.

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