Governor Martinez proposes funding to improve water infrastructure
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez visited Las Cruces Thursday to discuss her plan to improve water infrastructure in communities throughout the state.
Martinez is calling on state lawmakers to dedicate $112 million in capital outlay funds to renovate aging water and sewer systems.
"60 percent of capital outlay funds is a lot of dollars but it's taxpayer money that will be used in their communities," Martinez said.
The City of Las Cruces has already been developing plans to replace three aging wells for $1.9 million and extend sewer systems throughout various parts of the city for $2.2 million.
The sewer system improvements would provide city drainage services to almost 200 private homes currently using septic tanks.
City staff said with the money available, the work would begin immediately.
"We have already started some design work so as soon as we know we have the money, we'll kick those out and we'll have those completed probably within 12 months," said Acting Regulatory and Technical Section Administrator Carl Clark.
Clark said the water system has not reached a critical status just yet but aging wells could cause a problem in a few years if several of them fail without any modern wells to pick up the slack.
The governor said making the funds available would allow numerous communities in the state to fix potential problems all at once.