Some communities can’t afford water project

By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer The Ute Water pipeline project is in danger of losing another partner. Quay County Manager Terry Turner on Wednesday said the county more than likely will opt out of the project. Turner said county commissioners have been discussing the exit of the project. “Quay County has seen a decline […]

Water: Pumping rates exceed replenishment

By David Irvin: Freedom Newspapers The Ogallala Aquifer, which provides much of the water to Curry County and other parts of eastern New Mexico, may never be replenished. That was the ominous message delivered to city officials at Thursday’s city commission meeting. Pumping rates have exceeded replenishment rates by such a wide margin over the […]

Verhines hopes to keep position with ENMRWA

By Tony Parra The $300 million Ute Water Project for eastern New Mexico communities may have a new project manager by May. Or the job could go to the current project manager. Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority members announced that Scott Verhines submitted his two-weeks notice to Louis Berger Group Inc. of Albuquerque in […]

Ute Water Project body wants to illustrate future without project

By Tony Parra CLOVIS — The governing body of the Ute Water Project hopes this spring to have an analysis that would show what would happen if the project is not completed. Clovis Mayor and Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority Chairman David Lansford told the project’s engineering consultants that meetings to distribute federal funds […]

Ute Water Project, Yam Theater topics at city meeting

By Tony Parra Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority Project Manager Scott Verhines is trying to pick up steam for the Ute Water Project before his trip to Washington D.C. Verhines intends to show the support of the communities involved and as far as Portales is concerned, city officials are completely committed to the project. […]

NMFA helps fund Ute Water Project

Freedom Newspapers TUCUMCARI — The New Mexico Finance Authority and the governing body of the Ute Water Project reached an agreement Wednesday for a $2 million grant to help fund the initial stages of the proposed project. Much of the money will go toward engineering services, which include rounds of public meetings at towns and […]

City officials commit to Ute Water Project

By Tony Parra Mayor Orlando Ortega and city officials approved a Portales commitment to the Ute Water Project during Tuesday’s city meeting. Ortega said senators and federal government officials have heard verbal commitments from eastern New Mexico communities but they do not have documentation of each community’s commitment. Ortega advised city councilors to review water […]

Village officials asked how much water they need

By Tony Parra How much water do you need? That’s the question Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority Project Manager Scott Verhines asked ENMRWA members on Wednesday in Portales. Verhines said he wants the information so engineering consultants have an idea on the specifications of the pipes leading to each community involved in the Ute […]

ENMU leaders aim for answers during tour

By Tony Parra Eastern New Mexico University leaders took a first-hand look on Tuesday at leadership in the eastern plains of New Mexico area to find out about the of lack of water, a truck by-pass and housing. The Leadership ENMU tour consisted mostly of ENMU faculty, according to Elaine Ennis, who was in charge […]

Logan out of Ute Water Project

By Mike Linn The Village of Logan will no longer be involved in the Ute Pipeline Project, a decision that is expected to have little impact on the project and Logan’s future water supply. Logan Village Administrator Larry Wallin said the town will continue to reserve its 400 acre feet of water from the lake, […]

Logan may leave Ute Water Project

Freedom Newspapers The Village of Logan is considering pulling out of the $307 million Ute Pipeline Project, city officials said at Thursday’s Clovis City Commission meeting. Clovis Mayor David Lansford said since Logan residents live so close to Ute Lake, water in the Logan area is plentiful underground and can be easily drilled. Because of […]

Officials close marina

By William Thompson LOGAN — The Ute Lake Marina, in service since 1980, was recently closed down by New Mexico State Parks officials due to safety concerns and contractual violations on the part of the marina’s owners, according to a parks department press release. Sid and Beverly Smith were the owners of the marina since […]

Drinking water reserve at issue for commission

By Mike Linn Members of the Ute Water Commission on Friday voted to form a subcommittee to research options for renewing a contract that reserves water as a drinking supply for eastern New Mexicans. Members of the commission said extending the water reservation for 10 years could hamper the $307 million Ute Pipeline Project in […]

Ortega urges water board members to work together

By TV Hagenah LOGAN — Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega on Wednesday urged members of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority to work together — not independently — in efforts to negotiate with the Interstate Streams Commission for the region’s future water suppy. Ortega criticized Tucumcari City Manager Richard Primrose for sending a letter to the […]

City council discusses legislative priorities

By Tony Parra Mayor Orlando Ortega and city councilors met on Tuesday an hour before the city meeting to have their legislative priorities in order for Gov. Bill Richardson. They met and agreed the top priority is street improvements, followed by the purchase of equipment. The third priority is concrete approaches’ improvements. City Manager Debi […]

Water pipeline needs support from others

By Sen. Jeff Bingaman: Guest Columnist An affordable supply of good quality water is critical to sustaining future economic opportunities, not to mention our state’s culture and way of life.  Drought, population increases, and depleting aquifers make water management one of the most difficult and important issues facing New Mexicans. Nowhere is this more evident […]

City councils show approval for Ute Water project

By Tony Parra City councilors discussed the importance of the Ute Water Project at the city meeting on Tuesday while Mayor Orlando Ortega was in Washington D.C. giving testimony in favor of the Ute Water Project on Wednesday. City Manager Debi Lee and the councilors discussed an agreement with the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water […]

Developers find opposition regarding Ute Lake

By Mike Linn CLOVIS — Two developers with big plans for Ute Lake have met resistance from officials who fear development may contaminate the lake’s water, reserved as a future drinking supply for residents of eastern New Mexico. Developers Sid Strebeck and Warren Frost, who sell lots along Ute Lake’s south shore, are asking the […]

Ute water meeting set up to see who’s in, who’s out

By Tony Parra Scott Verhines, program manager of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System, said the goal of holding workshops in Roosevelt, Curry and Quay counties is to see who is willing to commit to the Ute Water Project and he said he received a good feeling from Portales city officials on Wednesday. Verhines […]

Further delays could drive up pipeline price

By Darrell Todd Maurina Local officials told an interim committee of the State Legislature on Wednesday morning that any further delays in building the Ute Water pipeline will hike costs by about $3 million per year. Total capital and enhancement costs for the proposed Ute Water system are now estimated at $310.2 million, according to […]