Commissioners agree to water pipline modifications

By Thomas Garcia: PNT staff writer

Roosevelt County commissioners agreed to modifications to a water pipeline construction plan proposed by the city of Portales.

The pipeline, which would pass under a county road, would be used to reroute water in the event of water-line breaks, which have plagued the city in recent years.

Roosevelt County Manager Charlene Hardin presented the new plan to the commission during Tuesday’s regular meeting.

The new plan has the pipeline running along N.M. Highway 267, across city property behind the city’s recreation complex, underneath Industrial Drive — a county road — and continuing a short distance to West 18th.

“This new plan is much better for the county road involved,” Hardin said. “Instead of miles of county road right-of-way to consider, there is now only a few hundred yards.”

The city’s water system had three breaks in the past two years, which resulted in the interruption of water services for several hours. The most recent break in April interrupted the service of west side residents of Portales for 12 hours.

“This pipeline loop will act as a back-up system in the event of the city’s 24-inch water line breaking,” Portales City Manager Debi Lee said. “We have recently installed five valves on the pipeline and if there was a break, the water could be rerouted through this line to continue water service to the municipal users.”

A plan proposed by Lee in September had the 24-inch water pipeline running along N.M. 267, turning off onto Industrial Drive for two miles, and continuing onto 18th Street, Hardin said.

Roosevelt County Road Manager John Bohm and the commissioners had concerns about Industrial Drive being damaged, Lee said.

“Our hope is that more time is not lost now that this new design is favored by the commission and the county road manager,” Lee said.

The contract with Smith Engineering of Albuquerque will include a stipulation that Industrial Drive will be restored to the same or better condition than it was in at the beginning of the project.

Other items before the board included:

• Approval by the commission to renew the contract between Stephens Construction and Ready Mix for hauling road materials.

• Approval by the commission to increase the DWI Operating Funds to $9,312.