The peculiarities of a financial grant prompted Ruidoso village councilors Tuesday to approve more work than originally planned on a project designed to harden Alto Dam and a reservoir bypass channel.
"We're in an interesting situation on this particular change order, because we are asking the village to spend more money, because we have more money to spend," Ruidoso Utilities Director Randall Camp said during the special meeting.
On June 28, 2012, village officials signed a loan agreement with the New Mexico Board of Finance for $413,000. Of that amount, $218,990 was approved for emergency funds that allowed the village to take immediate actions and authorized expenditures for the hardening of the dam and reservoir, Camp wrote in a memorandum to the council. The reservoir is part of the village's water supply system and was impacted by flooding after the Little Bear Fire last June burned a significant portion of the watershed.
A contract was awarded to C. J. Mead on July 13, for $138,460 plus gross receipts taxes. A contract was awarded to Renegade Construction for $27,883 on April 16, 2013 for Alto Dam and by-pass channel erosion improvements and any authorized supplemental work. The general terms of the contract provide for additions to the contract, he wrote.
The net increase of $32,000 approved for the change order to Renegade's contract will hike the price to $59,883 plus tax.
"This project simply is dumping large rock on Alto Dam to protect from erosion during the flooding," Camp said.
Councilor Jim Sto_ddard asked if the additional rock was needed to accomplish the goal of protection.
Camp replied there were two goals, to protect the dam and to spend the money as quickly as possible.
"I get that same philosophy from my children," the councilor said. "Does it need to be done? Have we put enough rock there without putting more. Just because we have the money isn't a reason. I want to know what additional safeguard this will provide."
"We've done the worst first," Camp said. "We want to armor an additional area. Virtually the whole thing needs to be rock covered. We fixed the biggest risk and want to go as far as our money will go."
"The more rock you put in, the more stable it becomes," Village Man_ager Debi Lee interjected. The money must be expended only on this project and within a designated time line, she said. The contractor will keep the same unit prices.
"Any money not spent or used reverts into a loan," she said. "We don't want a loan or to return the money."