Clovis’ future depends on water

I always have loved to call Clovis home. The amazing people of this area have always shown great heart, soul, courage and faith with any challenge we have faced.

Recent examples include getting off the Base Realignment and Closure list in 2005 and the tornado recovery effort in 2007.

Now we get to face our biggest fight — the fight to secure water for the city we love.

Living on the High Plains of New Mexico, I do not have the luxury to be able to say, “We won’t run out of water in my lifetime.” I have two granddaughters and hopefully they will raise a family that will want to make Clovis their home. Our city’s future depends on water, and many people who are smarter than I am rightly think the only solution is the Ute water pipeline project.

This $500 million dollar project will take care of this area’s future water needs and the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority’s portion of that cost in 10 percent. Every other community has identified how they will fund their proportionate share of the Ute Water Pipeline project EXCEPT Clovis.

A few people will tell you they support the Ute Water Project, but feel there are other options than the .25 percent gross receipts tax to pay for Clovis’ share.

And there are — the commission could implement a franchise fee where only the people that use New Mexico American Water will pay — but how is that fair when only 5 percent of the water drawn from the aquifer is used within the city limits? The same few people will tell you we have a one-sixteenth gross receipts tax designated for the landfill that will be paid off in 2013 that could be used.

We could, but then where will we get the money for the new cell we have to open at the landfill, or the money for our streets? The commission could implement a property tax, but why should only property owners have to pay for this water that benefits the entire area?

I believe everyone has a stake in this, so why should the burden of financing this project be put on a select few? We all benefit from this project so we should all step up to help pay for it. This community has stood up together to support each other through past challenges and we need to do the same now.

In the ordinance the city commission adopted in February for the .25 percent for the Ute pipeline, it was stated that this money would ONLY be spent on the Ute pipeline project and the tax would END in 10 years when our initial portion was paid. There in NO conspiracy to use the money for something else.

Like you I am against additional taxes for taxation’s sake, but this tax is to secure a basic essential need which our community will need going forward — and I do not believe you can have anything more basic and essential than water. There are people out there that actually believe they are protecting our citizens by fighting every issue to do with government. I believe that to be counterproductive and anti-growth. As a result of the petition these people filed requiring an election on the .25-percent ordinance for the Ute pipeline project your elected commission passed, your city will now spend $30,000 of your tax dollars on an election so you can decide whether of not YOU want to ensure a future sustainable water supply for yourselves and your family going into the future.

I ask you to please vote for this .25 percent for the Ute Pipeline Project and to quote a great American Redneck and Patriot, “Get ‘Er Done.”