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Meetings: San Juan Water Commission to discuss release from Lake Nighthorse

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
People involved in the Animas-La Plata Project attend a dedication ceremony, Monday, May 14, 2018 at Lake Nighthorse in Durango, Colorado.

AZTEC — The San Juan Water Commission is considering asking for a release of Animas-La Plata Project Water. This water is stored in Lake Nighthorse in Durango, Colorado.

If the commission chooses to move forward with the release, it would be the first time that water is released from Lake Nighthorse upon the request of the San Juan Water Commission.

During the drought of 2018, the San Juan Water Commission took steps to request a release on behalf of the City of Farmington. However that release was cancelled as storms brought rain to the Four Corners region.

The water commission has been discussing a release from Lake Nighthorse as a test run that would allow it to address potential issues that could emerge. For example, making sure the water released from the reservoir reaches its intended destination.

Kayaks sit on the shore, Monday, May 14, 2018 at Lake Nighthorse in Durango, Colorado.

The San Juan Water Commission meets at 9 a.m. Feb. 3 via Google Meets. A link is available on the agenda posted at sjwc.org.

Other agenda topics include legislation and long-term water development opportunities.

County will discuss qualified immunity bill

The San Juan County Commission may pass a resolution opposing House Bill 4, which is the NM Civil Rights Act. This bill would prohibit the use of the qualified immunity defense. It passed its first committee on Jan. 25 on a 5-3 vote. Removing qualified immunity would make it easier for a member of the public to sue a police officer.

However, this could lead to increased costs for local governments like San Juan County. A fiscal impact statement prepared for the bill states that it does not include a cap on how much a plaintiff can seek in damages or for recovery of attorney fees. And, if the act leads to increased lawsuits, this could further impact San Juan County’s budget.

San Juan County Commission meets at 4 p.m. Feb. 2. The meeting will be streamed live on YouTube.

The commission will also have a closed session. The closed session topics include the status of SunRay Casino’s lease.

Other meetings

The San Juan College Board of Trustees will discuss the maximum price for student housing when it meets at 7 p.m. Feb. 2 via Zoom. A link to the Zoom meeting can be found on the agenda posted at sanjuancollege.edu/boardoftrustees.

The Farmington Community Relations Commission is scheduled to hear an update on COVID-19 and vaccination efforts when it meets at 4 p.m. Feb. 1 via Zoom. A link is available on the agenda posted at fmtn.org/AgendaCenter.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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