By Christina Calloway
PNT senior writer
2014 will kick off major capital projects for both Portales and Roosevelt County. Here are projects residents can look forward to starting this year:
Wastewater treatment plant and reuse center
Cost: $27 million
The city is advertising for bids today for the first part of the project, which is the construction of the wastewater treatment plant, according to Public Works Director John DeSha.
The landmark project, which will replace the city’s current wastewater treatment plant and promote the re-use of water, was awarded one of the largest loans the New Mexico Environment Department’s Construction Program Bureau has ever been involved with in October.
The NMED provided a $26.5 million loan and $420,000 in a grant to complete the project.
The purpose of the project is to bring the plant up to compliance with the state’s standards, according to DeSha, and to address the growth of the city’s population.
The re-use center is also a vital part of the project, which DeSha says will extend the life of the city’s well field.
But DeSha says the city has additional plans for the reuse center, which will re-use groundwater to water the city’s schools, parks and cemetery.
“We’re looking at building a recreational type of lake at the Softball Complex,” DeSha said. “We want to conserve water but we also want to provide recreation for the city.”
Street drainage projects
Location: Area of Kaywood and Main
Cost: $150,000 paid with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.
The project includes curb and guttering, and asphalt for streets in the area of Kaywood and Main, according to DeSha, to improve the street drainage in that area.
DeSha said the project will also improve Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access in that area.
DeSha said the city is currently in the design phase of the project but he hopes to begin construction within the next two months.
Location: Avenues D, E and F from Third Street to Fifth Street.
Cost: About $150,000 to $200,000
This is the second phase of a waterline project that will improve water circulation and fire protection in that area.
DeSha said the U.S. 70 reconstruction project required replacing the waterlines from First and Third streets.
DeSha said this phase will take two to three weeks but hopes to be completely done with the project by 2015.
Roosevelt Wind Ranch
Cost: $430 million
The industrial revenue bond ordinance and lease agreement has been approved for this wind ranch, which will be located on land in Elida and Dora.
The county holds the legal title to the project but taxpayers will not pay anything out of pocket, according to attorney Daniel Alsup, who represents the project’s contractor Infinity Wind Power.
The project will encompass about 60,000 acres and will have a capacity of 250 megawatts a year, according to an Infinity Wind Power official.
Though the massive project is underway, construction won’t actually begin until 2015, according to Roosevelt County Manager Charlene Webb.
A new Magistrate Court
Cost: $3.3 million
The proposed 10,800 square foot building will be built into the back of the Roosevelt County Detention Center, replacing the court on the U.S. 70 highway.
The project will aid operations between the jail and the court. A secure passageway will be constructed for transferring inmates from the detention center into the court building.
Webb said Friday the preliminary design for the court is complete, but the next step is approval of the financial consultant contract, which is pending. Once approved, Webb said the county will proceed with financing and bidding for the project.
Jail security upgrades
Security upgrades to the county’s jail have been a rising priority for commissioners and RCDC staff after two jailbreaks last year.
In both cases, inmates used broken legs of jail beds to pound a hole in the ceiling, then gained access to the roof before fleeing the property.
The county’s project will be in phases, which includes new beds, a perimeter fence, additional cameras for increased coverage, and additional lighting.
Webb said the new bunks are scheduled to be delivered this month but she does not have a timeline for installation of razor wire fencing on the roof.