One of the requests that will go before the state Legislature asks for funding to design a secondary source of water for the city

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BLOOMFIELD — The Bloomfield City Council has approved applying for capital outlay funding from the state Legislature for two projects, including one that would provide an alternative water source for the city from the San Juan River.

Councilors tonight approved authorizing Mayor Scott Eckstein to submit two funding requests for the upcoming fiscal year state budget.

City officials are requesting $321,000 to help with the design of an upgrade to the city's Second Source Project and $53,500 for a new police vehicle.

Public Works Director Jason Thomas said the $321,000 would fund the design of a proposed $3.9 million project to upgrade a secondary surface diversion that was built along the San Juan River just outside city limits.

Thomas told councilors that city staff have been working to develop a secondary water source after an 80-foot stretch of the Bloomfield Irrigation District Ditch collapsed in May. Access to the ditch that fills Bloomfield's reservoir with water from the San Juan River was closed for two weeks while crews made repairs.

The original Second Source project was completed in 2009 and later shut down in 2011, according to council paperwork.

City staff determined it was too difficult to operate because river water had too much sediment, and groundwater contaminated the water in the settling pond.

Some of the proposed upgrades include increasing the size of the settling pond from 2.3 million gallons to about 6 million gallons and installing a pond liner to protect against groundwater.

A water pre-treatment facility would be built to remove sediment from the river water that goes into the pond.

The water could be pumped into the city's treatment plant or reservoir.

"It'll give the city a reliable second source of raw water," Thomas said.

City staff are taking monthly samples from the San Juan River over the next year to collect data that would shape the design of the pre-treatment facility. That will help determine how much sediment needs to be removed from the river water.

The $53,500 for a new police vehicle would help the Bloomfield Police Department's fleet of 28 vehicles, Police Chief Randy Foster said. More than half of the vehicles have more than 100,000 miles and are more than seven years old, according to Foster. Some of the vehicles are more than 12 years old and have more than 200,000 miles.

The department hasn't bought a new police vehicle in the last three years.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.

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