Los Lunas approves ICIP projects

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The Los Lunas Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan for fiscal years 2015-19 hasn't changed much since the recession started in 2008.

The top five priorities remain the same, and funding still has not yet been secured.

The No. 1 priority is purchasing more filters for the Membrane Bioreactor at the Waste Water Treatment Plant. When it was built, the village bought enough filters to run the system at half its capacity. That was all that was needed, but now, with the state prison added onto the system and economic growth picking up, it's time to ready the system for a larger load.

"We're still pursuing legislative funding, state revolving loan funding, different avenues to try to get that thing going," said Rudy Archuleta, the Public Works utility director.

The project is estimated to cost about $2.3 million, and Archuleta anticipates installing the filters within the next two years.

"Molzen Corbin put together two preliminary engineering reports prioritizing projects based on need, based on how the village is growing — where the demands are on the current infrastructure," Archuleta said. "That's what develops the hierarchy of what we want on this ICIP listing."

Second on the list is the $5 million west-side fire substation and a ladder truck, followed by the $2.2 million east-side water loop, currently in the design stage.

"Right now, we're pursing funds from legislative requests and drinking water state revolving loan funds," said Archuleta.

The west-side fire station and truck are a costly project.

"The reality is we haven't identified money for that project yet," said Los Lunas Village Administrator Greg Martin "We had been to Washington, D.C., last spring looking for funding, but there just isn't money for that kind of project right now. For whatever reason, the money for fire facilities just isn't available right now."

Fourth on the list is to start building roads, streets and bridges for the Morris Road extension project.

In 2015, the village is scheduled to spend $2 million and, in 2016, $1.5 million more. The money for the projects comes from the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

The only new projects added to the ICIP list are in the Public Works department. Some of those projects include security cameras at the water well sites.

"We have experienced break-ins in the past," Archuleta said. "I think they just took menial stuff … but we want to go ahead and incorporate that into the ICIP so we can protect our investments, especially with our arsenic treatment plants that came with a huge price tag."

Also added to his list is updating the water department's two-way radio system so they can read meters remotely and save on labor costs by turning water on and off remotely throughout the system. That would also speed up the process of getting water to residents sooner when water has been shut off.

He would also like to do maintenance and repair work on the inside of the water storage tank near the Isleta Pueblo border, and the storage tank west of the Jubilee subdivision, about a $500,000 job.

"It's just prolonging the life of those tanks," he said. "It's not something that has to be done today, but it is something that does have to happen."

Eventually, the village wants to drill another water well and build another water storage tank, a project estimated to cost $1.5 million.

"And with that would also come arsenic treatment, because that's federally mandated," said Archuleta.


-- Email the author at dfox@news-bulletin.com.