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AZTEC — The San Juan County Commission unanimously approved a contract today with TRC Construction, a Flora Vista-based contractor, to build a lift station and connect the Harper Valley subdivision with the Valley Water and Sanitation District sewer system in Kirtland.

Larry Hathaway, a Kirtland trustee and community development administrator for the county, said the current waste water treatment plant serving Harper Valley is close to 40 years old. He said the facility has been under fire from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the last few years. Once the subdivision is connected into Valley Water and Sanitation District, the waste water treatment plant will be decommissioned.

According to The Daily Times archives, the EPA has said the waste water treatment plant, which serves the main residential area of the town of Kirtland, needs to be shuttered because its aging infrastructure is failing.

The county will pay TRC Construction a little less than $700,000 for the work. The county had budgeted nearly $800,000 for the project based on an engineer estimate, according to Hathaway. Construction on the project is expected to begin this year. The project is funded by a loan-grant agreement with the New Mexico Environment Department, according to The Daily Times archives. According to archives, Valley Water and Sanitation District will pay the county back over 20 years.

Harper Valley is one of several waste water treatment infrastructure projects the county is hoping to complete. Other projects include connecting people who are currently on septic tanks in several areas of the county to the city of Farmington waste water infrastructure. These areas include Flora Vista, Lee Acres, Wild Horse Valley and the Totah subdivision near Sycamore Park Community Center.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

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