County authorizes spending on three regional projects

County Commissioners also approved a bid to build a new fire station in Lee Acres

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
Terry Scholz fills a jug with water, Friday, Sept 1, 2017 at the Apple Orchard drinking water fill station in the Harvest Gold subdivision.

AZTEC — The San Juan County Commission officially approved using $3 million of reauthorized capital outlay money for regional water projects during its meeting Tuesday in Aztec.

The money was initially intended for a project that would have connected the Flora Vista area to Farmington wastewater infrastructure. State legislators had the money reauthorized earlier this year at the county's request.

The capital outlay money will be used on up to three regional water system projects.

The priority project will be assisting Apple Orchard Mutual Domestic Water Users Association, which serves Harvest Gold subdivision east of Bloomfield. The county estimates the association will need about $500,000 in addition to the money the city of Bloomfield received from the state to build an interconnection that will provide the subdivision with clean water. The subdivision has been on a boil water advisory for more than a year. The $500,000 could be used for infrastructure improvements, such as replacing a water storage tank riddled with holes.

Harvest Gold resident Troy Hethcox, right,  fills jugs of water while talking with Doug Bryan, secratary of the Apple Orchard Mutal Domestic, Friday, Sept 1, 2017 at the Apple Orchard drinking water fill station in the Harvest Gold subdivision.

The next priority will be an interconnection between North Star Water Users Association and Upper La Plata Water Users Association. North Star serves and area north of Aztec. The interconnection will provide water for East Culpepper Flats, which currently has water delivered by truck to a storage tank.

Any remaining money will be used to build an interconnection between North Star and Flora Vista Water Users Association.

"It's our hope that we will for sure complete the first two projects and we'll have to see what's left on the third," said County Operations Officer Mike Stark during the meeting.

The County Commission also approved an approximately $966,000 bid from Winters Construction to build a second fire station that will serve the Lee Acres area. This fire station will be located on the opposite side of the bridge on County Road 5500 from the existing fire station, and more than five miles away. Fire Chief Craig Daugherty said it will be paid for mainly using bond money and will be similar to the new fire station that opened this year off of New Mexico Highway 173 north of Aztec. 

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

This article was modified to reflect he date that the meeting happened.