By Jack King
The state Water Trust Board voted Wednesday to give $2 million to the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority.
The money is state funds earmarked by the Legislature in 2002 for the water authority’s Ute Pipeline Project, but the Water Trust Board had to vote to release the money. The New Mexico Finance Authority will consider ratifying the board’s decision March 19, said ENMRWA Program Manager Scott Verhines.
Verhines said a delegation of at least 12 people from eastern New Mexico attended the Water Authority’s meeting in Santa Fe to support the funding request. The group included Clovis Mayor David Lansford, Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega, Logan Village Administrator Larry Wallin and Tucumcari City Manager Richard Primrose, he said.
“This means quite a bit. On our application, we listed 10 items for which we could use the money. We need to start doing several of these activities in parallel, such as beginning a formal public information program and pilot testing source water protection at Ute Lake,” he said.