Editor's Note: This is Part 4 of a multi-part series on the Prospectors' forum, which was held on Dec. 9. Then the holidays happened, and the rest of the articles did not get written.
Silver City Town Manager Alex Brown represented the Southwest Solid Waste Authority during the local government presentations.
"The Southwest Solid Waste Authority is for the whole county, but it provides curbside trash pickup in Silver City and recycling with roll-off bins in the county," Brown said.
The authority has three capital outlay projects:
1) A roll-off truck for stations in Grant County;
2) Upgrade the trucks at the authority; and
3) A heavy-duty dump truck for curbside and recycling containers throughout the county.
"There is an issue with landfill requirements," he said. "In 1995, we received a 20-year permit. We are in the process of re-permitting for the exact same area. We have to put in place $1.9 million in closure costs, which creates a financial hardship. We expect the area to last another 30 years."
Sen. Howie Morales asked Brown what the authority's top priority is.
"The roll-off truck," Brown replied.
"Is there any type of matching funds or is it solely capital outlay?" Morales asked.
Southwest New Mexico Council of Governments Director Priscilla Lucero replied that it was capital outlay.
"We just received funding for a wayside," Brown said. "Priscilla said we can use Colonias funding for the closure money, but we only rank well if we have the closure funds.
Rep. Rodolpho "Rudy" Martinez asked if the re-permitting included sludge
"We did an amendment last year on the sludge, which will be included in the new permit," Brown said. "We have no problems with the sludge. We are meeting all compliance."
City of Bayard Mayor Charles Kelly said: "You have our requests in front of you. Kristi Ortiz, our clerk, will give you a quick rundown."
"We need upgrades for the water distribution system, including reconstruction of the water distribution line and the water meter systems," Ortiz said. "We do have Colonias funding, but we are waiting to receive the documents. The funding with the USDA is on hold because it didn't have waste distribution. We should get $700,000 from the USDA.
"Our second priority is the Bayard Community Cemetery," she said. "We have $150,000 left on the legislative allocation, and it was included in the bond sale. We are requesting capital outlay for Phase II."
The third priority is the Stewart Street crossing, Ortiz said. "We are waiting for funds. The state doesn't provide enough. And fourth, we want to purchase two fully equipped police vehicles."
"What is the dollar amount for the water distribution system?" Morales asked.
"We have Colonias infrastructure funds, but we need the 10 percent match for the loan," Ortiz said. "The match is $40,000."
"The administrative rule is that the Senate cannot approve capital outlay for less than $100,000, and the House no less than $50,000," Morales said.
"We are applying for $400,000," Ortiz said. "The rest would be USDA."
"What about the Department of Transportation and the cemetery entranceway?" Morales asked.
Ortiz said it has been resolved. "We're just waiting on the grant agreement."
"Will all the construction of the entranceway be done by Bayard?" Martinez asked.
"Yes," Ortiz replied. "We've been using $150,000 for engineering for the project."
Martinez said there is a possibility that Congress will exclude water and wastewater projects. "It is a concern."
"The line has been washed out four times in the past four years," Ortiz noted. "We need to get it fixed."
Town of Hurley Mayor Edward Encinas reported the funding from the Office of the Natural Resources Trustee is almost complete, with $80,000 going back.
"We will start on another project in May," Encinas said. "Another one is delayed by the funding. Colonias is ongoing, with approvals for planning and construction."
He said the lift station is in dire need of repair. "From Colonias, we have $500,000, but we are waiting for the design."
Encinas said he opened a dialogue with Freeport McMoRan for an extension on the water issue. "We have three years left. We haven't heard back."
"Our water project is part of the regional water plan," he continued. "We are looking for 750 acre-feet."
For the cemetery, the town had 5.3 acres donated. "We have to do a survey and engineering to increase the size."
"Heating for the swimming pool, we want to get done," Encinas said. "We received a couple of quotes—one for $65,000 and another for $80,000. We would have the only baby pool in the area.
"Our audits are up to date," he confirmed.
Rep. Dianne Hamilton said: "I was sorry to lose part of Hurley in the redistricting."
"Maita always gets with us," Morales said. "The COG will be fiscal agent for oversight?"
Lucero said the contract had already been submitted to the DOT. "We will sign up for procurement regulations. We just need a grant agreement."
"I hope the fiscal agent and oversight are well documented," Morales said.
"The Hurley Pride Committee wanted to ask for funding for the swimming pool, but it could not," Lucero said. "Things were not in place, so the only funding will be capital outlay."
"Is there any unspent capital outlay funding?" Martinez asked. "Has the Hurley water improvement been expended?"
Encinas confirmed that it had been expended.
Village of Santa Clara Mayor Richard Bauch said the village's first priority is a critical request for SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) to electronically manage the wells and rewiring the system for the water wells.
Second is remodeling of the community center. And third is fire station improvements, as well as flood control.
Morales thanked Bauch and the village trustees for getting the audits done.
"We are up-to-date on our audits," Bauch confirmed.
"That is huge for you for any funding," Morales said. "Make sure you have all the language correct on the requests."
"The first project will help us conserve water," Bauch said.
"The audits really open up opportunities to assist the village with funding from all sources," Martinez said.
"The funding request also includes replacement of the fire hydrants," Lucero pointed out. "I am struggling with convincing the Colonias Board with ranking the need for SCADA."
The next article will cover the COG and a presentation on a proposal for a tavern license within the state.