Water authority finalizes agreement with US Bureau of Reclamation - Albuquerque Journal

Water authority finalizes agreement with US Bureau of Reclamation

Oct. 3–The Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority board officially socked away a nearly $672.4 million agreement in a special meeting on Thursday that guarantees 75% of the funds needed for completion of the Ute Reservoir Water Project.

“It’s a milestone day,” Mike Morris, the mayor of Clovis and chair of the ENMWUA’s board said as he called for the vote on the agreement between the water utility and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation that finalizes funding arrangements for the remainder of the Ute Reservoir project.

The agreement locks in the federal share of funding at nearly $504.3 million, noting that the 25% non-federal share, which includes state and local funding, stands at nearly $168.1 million, Orlando Ortega, the water authority’s administrator, told the board. The local portion, shared by the cities of Clovis, Portales, Elida and Texico, totals 10%, or about $67.2 million.

Ortega told the board that the agreement is subject to change if needed.

Kameron Barnett, ENMWUA’s attorney, told the board that the agreement includes some “Buy American, Build American” provisions that require the project to use U.S.-built materials wherever possible, with a few exceptions allowed when no domestic supplier is available for necessary components.

Jacquelynn Bowen, ENMWUA’s procurement and grants director, explained that all contractors and subcontractors must also agree to pay prevailing wages to all workers on the project.

At the end of Thursday’s special meeting, Tod Phinney, a senior vice president of Souder Miller and Associates, who has been following the Ute Reservoir Water Project, said he was surprised at the low turnout for Thursday’s meeting.

“There should be a band and cymbals and everything,” he said.

The UteReservoir Water Project will eventually result in a system that will take water from Ute Reservoir near Logan, send it up the Caprock to a treatment plant, then distribute it to Curry and Roosevelt county communities participating in the project.

At Thursday’s meeting the board also approved:

An agreement between the Bureau of Reclamation and ENMWUA for Finished Water 1 (FW1) pipeline phase that will connect to the south end of the completed FW2 pipeline and will travel north 15.5 miles to the proposed Water Treatment site and changes from $61.9 million to $77.1 million. The 75% federal share totals $57.8 million, and the 25% state and local share is $19.2 million, Ortega said.

An agreement between the Bureau of Reclamation and ENMWUA that raises the amount reserved for a treated water pipeline from Cannon Air Force Base to Portales from $37.1 milion to $44.1 million. Of that amount, the 75% federal share is nearly $33.2 million and the 25% state and local share is $13.4 million.

Budget adjustments that accommodate the inflow of federal revenue for the Ute Lake Water Project and divides it among individual components of the project.

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(c)2022 Eastern New Mexico News, Clovis, N.M.

Visit Eastern New Mexico News, Clovis, N.M. at www.easternnewmexiconews.com

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